Mare Presents: KinShips, curated by Tiffany Ward, is an exhibition of works created during the inaugural Mare Residency. Ward connected painters Jerrell Gibbs (Baltimore) and Raelis Vasquez (Dominican Republic) for a two-week residency at SunSpot sTudios Baltimore. The work of both artists is connected by themes of family, memory and the Black experience in the Americas. The exhibition features new figurative paintings from Gibbs and Vasquez as well as photographs by SunSpot sTudios artist-in-residence Mark Anthony Benson (Philadelphia, PA) documenting the residency’s process.
Mare Residency’s mission is to connect and support artists of the African diaspora beyond traditional and colonial borders. The residency operates as a nomadic initiative, moving between different cities throughout the Americas. During their time at SunSpot sTudios, the artists partook in studio time, Black history tours of Baltimore as well as a studio visit with 2019 Whitney Biennial artist Daniel Lind-Ramos. On Sunday, October 13, 2019 a documentary about the residency by filmmaker Retji Dakum will be screened in the gallery.
About Mare Projects
Mare, Latin for Sea, is a trilingual platform that focuses on contemporary arts of the African Diaspora, with an emphasis on the Americas and the Caribbean. As an acronym, MARE stands for (M) Magazine, (A) Art Curatorial and Consulting, (R) Residency Initiative and (E) Education. Founded in 2019 by writers Nohora Arrieta Fernández, Tatiane Schilaro Santa Rosa, and Tiffany Auttrianna Ward Mare aims to highlight the vastness of the African Diaspora and its cultures. They have chosen to focus on the African Diaspora because they are inspired by the resilience and creativity of its communities. Historically there have always been conversations and pathways between members of the African Diaspora, but they are less frequently highlighted in the art world. Barriers originally created by colonization are still reinforced by current media and artistic practices. They also aim to address the specific barriers that are reinforced by English-only publications on
Latin American art while also decentralizing North American critiques.
About the Artists
Jerrell Gibbs (b. 1988, Baltimore, MD) through painting, Gibbs examines his life-story and that of family and friends in order to conceive and engage in the multilayered experience of the African-American diaspora. His exhibition highlights include: Art in The Hands of Men at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum, Painted Matters at The Galleries at CCBC and Black
Artists of DC: A legacy of Excellence at The Gallery at Howard University. He also has a permanent collection in the Harbor Bank of Maryland. Gibbs is a 2020 MFA Candidate at MICA.
Raelis Vasquez (b. 1995, Mao, Valverde, Dominican Republic) Drawing on historical, political and personal narratives, his paintings are figurative compositions that conjure the complexity of the Afro-Latinx experience. He aims to highlight an allegorical narrative that presents the psychological states of the figures in his works while presenting a window to the viewer of their daily lives. His devotion is to the accurate representation of the convoluted histories of the Dominican Republic. In 2018, he completed his BFA at SAIC. He is currently a 2021 MFA Candidate at Columbia University.
About SunSpot sTudios Poet, Broker, producer mTkalla keaton has developed an ideal intersection of culture and commerce bringing together the rapidly growing social scene of black influence and affluence. With curated locations in Brooklyn, Baltimore & Johannesburg, SunSpot sTudios uses a collection of properties as a physical social platform of creative magnetic energy.
About Tiffany Ward
Tiffany Ward is an independent curator and scholar born and raised in San Francisco, based in Baltimore. She is a second year MFA Degree Candidate in the Curatorial Practice Program at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). She received her BA in History from Manhattanville College in 2011 with a focus on Afro-Latin American Studies. During
the past ten years, Tiffany has centered the stories of the African Diaspora through her academic and professional pursuits, which have taken her to Brazil, Puerto Rico, and throughout the continental United States. In 2015, she started a bilingual Portuguese and English online journal called Cores Brilhantes – a contemporary online space for Afro-Brazilian art. Since founding the journal, she has also been a contributing writer for AFROPUNK and Sugarcane Magazine as well as assisted artists from across the diaspora with public relations and marketing support.