'We Out Here' celebrates Black culture, history and identity
“We Out Here,” the final show at the Denison Art Space in Newark before the COVID-19 pandemic, was a celebration of the 50th year of the Black Studies Program at Denison.
Denison University Assistant Professor Justin Coleman “jstn clmn,” who co-curated the show, notes it was, “…representative of a younger contemporary generation of Black identities and built on a plurality of language and perception in Black culture.”
Curated by clmn and Tara Fay Coleman, “We Out Here” is an exhibition about the celebration of Black culture, history, and the dynamics of 21st-century Black identity. It is about representation, visibility on one’s own terms, and the agency to do so — the underlying sentiment in the phrase, “We Out Here.”
We Out Here gives the impression of bordered spaces but doesn’t assert in or out. It is a declaration of visibility, presence, and representation in a space or location. It is a proposition that leaves considerations of insider/outsider abstracted/amorphic, and its proclamation is an act of self-definition. We Out Here: and “we know you see us.”
The show included works by Chelsea A. Flowers, Cameron Granger, Quinn Hunter, Corrine Jasmine, Luis Vasquez LaRoche, James Maurell, Jessica Moss, Sharon Norwood, Tariku Shiferaw, and Alisha Wormsley.
“The themes of this show feel ever more relevant at this point in time, and we celebrate the work of these artists,” says clmn. “This was the last show that students and faculty got to interact with in person, before things went remote due to COVID-19. If this is the last visual art they experienced in person we are glad that it can be images that resonate and amplify black voices.”
“We Out Here” was brought to the public on behalf of Studio Arts and Black Studies programs at Denison University.
The Exhibition was on display at The Denison Art Space in Newark (DASiN): Friday, Feb. 7, until March 13, when it was closed due to COVID-19.