Curating the End of the World: Red Spring
Curating the End of the World: Red Spring
The Black Speculative Arts Movement (BSAM) returns to New York Live Arts with the second installment of their acclaimed online group exhibition, Curating the End of The World: Red Spring. Organized by Reynaldo Anderson, and curated by Sheree Renée Thomas, Danielle L. Littlefield, and Dacia Polk, Red Spring evokes the clarion call for dignity, equality, and justice portrayed in Claude McKay’s classic Red Summer poem, “If We Must Die.” Curator Sheree Renée Thomas says “In our first online exhibition, Curating the End of the World, we spoke out about the ‘cyclical chaos’ surrounding black lives, black art, black futures. But out of chaos comes clarity, renewed strength, and vision. Red Spring explores the circular nature of systemic racism and the public policies—public safety, health, and wealth—that adversely impact black and indigenous communities.”
This virtual exhibition speaks to the temporal and systemic changes that must come to pass throughout the diaspora in order to birth futures where Black lives truly matter. Red Spring goes live in December 2020.
The BLACK SPECULATIVE ARTS MOVEMENT, aka BSAM, emerged in the wake of the Unveiling Visions: Alchemy of The Black Imagination exhibition curated by John Jennings and Reynaldo Anderson at the Schomburg library in New York, 2015. BSAM is a network of creatives, intellectuals, and artists representing different positions or basis of inquiry including: Afrofuturism, Astro Blackness, Afro-Surrealism, Ethno Gothic, Black Digital Humanities, Black (Afro-future female or African Centered) Science Fiction, The Black Fantastic, Magical Realism, and The Esoteric. Although these positions may be incompatible in some instances they overlap around the term speculative and design; and interact around the nexus of technology and ethics. BSAM L.L.C., founded by Reynaldo Anderson is a yearlong, traveling afrofuturism, comics, film, and art convention held at multiple universities, colleges, domestically and venues abroad.
Dr. Reynaldo Anderson currently serves as an Associate Professor of Communication at Harris-Stowe State University in Saint Louis Missouri and is an executive board member of the Missouri Arts Council. Reynaldo has earned several awards for leadership and teaching excellence and he is currently the Past Chair of the Black Caucus of the National Communication Association (NCA). Reynaldo has not only served as an executive board member of the Missouri Arts Council, he has previously served at an international level working for prison reform with C.U.R.E. International in Douala Cameroon, and as a development ambassador recently assisting in the completion of a library project for the Sekyere Afram Plains district in the country of Ghana. Reynaldo publishes extensively in the area of Afrofuturism, communication studies, and the African diaspora experience. Reynaldo is currently the executive director and co-founder of the Black Speculative Arts Movement (BSAM), a network of artists, curators, intellectuals and activists. Finally, he is the co-editor of the book Afrofuturism 2.0: The Rise of Astro-Blackness published by Lexington books, co-editor of Cosmic Underground: A Grimoire of Black Speculative Discontent published by Cedar Grove Publishing and The Black Speculative Art Movement: Black Futurity, Art+Design (Lexington books, 2019), as well as the co-editor of Black Lives, Black Politics, Black Futures, a special issue of TOPIA: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies.
Sheree Renée Thomas creates art inspired by myth and folklore, natural science and conjure, and the genius culture created in the Mississippi Delta. She is the author of Nine Bar Blues: Stories from an Ancient Future (Third Man Books, May 2020), her first all prose collection, and her work appears in The Big Book of Modern Fantasy (1945 – 2010) edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer (Vintage Anchor, July 2020). She is also the author of two multigenre/hybrid collections, Sleeping Under the Tree of Life, longlisted for the 2016 Otherwise Award and Shotgun Lullabies (Aqueduct Press, 2011), described as a “revelatory work like Jean Toomer’s Cane.” A Cave Canem Fellow honored with residencies at the Millay Colony of the Arts, VCCA, Bread Loaf Environmental, Blue Mountain, and Art Omi / Ledig House, her work is widely anthologized, appearing in numerous publications, including The New York Times. She edited the two-time World Fantasy Award-winning volumes, Dark Matter (2000, 2004), that first introduced W.E.B. Du Bois’s work as science fiction and was the first black author to be honored with the World Fantasy Award since its inception in 1975. She serves as the Associate Editor of the award-winning historic Black Arts literary journal, Obsidian: Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora (Illinois State University, Normal). She lives in Memphis, Tennessee. Connect: www.shereereneethomas.com
Danielle L. Littlefield is an Afro-Mississippi writer, editor, and professor. A regular contributor to creative literary projects in the MemphisSippi region (Memphis and Mississippi), she works to document and preserve Black culture and vernacular from the American South. A two-time Callaloo Fellow, she holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College and extensive graduate work in African American Literature. She currently serves as Assistant Professor of English at HBCU Rust College and as a Fiction Editor at Obsidian: Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora.
Dacia Polk is an award-winning Poet and philanthropist who works and resides in St. Louis MO. Her scope of work is as wide as her interests; which includes writing, curating, community organizing, event planning/production, hosting/MC, public speaking, acting, modeling and graphic design. Better known by her stage name InnerGy, she has written work in the African News World, African American Voice, and has been featured in quarterly visual arts magazine, All the Art and Cosmic Underground: A Grimoire of Black Speculative Discontent. A professionally performing Poet, she has headlined events in Detroit, Pittsburg, Washington, Orlando, Chicago, and Las Vegas. Dacia made her theatrical debut in Sir Ervin III’s “Zella”(2019) and has starred as supporting lead in Moses Weather’s short film, Love in all the Wrong Places (2018) as well has her first lead starring role in her highly anticipated, latest full length film, Sangray’s thriller/action/drama titled Siren’s Song to be released 2021. Inspired by Humans of New York, Humans of St. Louis has profiled Polk, her work, and creative process. She was nominated for the St. Louis UnderGround Music’s Poet of the Year Award (2019). Dacia has been an organizer for The Black Speculative Arts Movement for over four years and is a lead coordinator for its St. Louis-based annual festival and convention. She uses her background in Digital Arts and organizing to manage the BSAM website and Instagram account and is web coordinator for the Black Speculative Arts Movement.
Gerardo Castro was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico raised in New York and earned his MFA from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY in 1997. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including Cuba, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Budapest, and major US Cities. Castro has exhibited in the following selected art shows, galleries, and museums. Jadite Gallery, NY; Biblioteca Nacional, Havana, Cuba; Wilmer Jennings Gallery, New York, NY, Bodies SOMArts Cultural Center, San Francisco, CA; The Human Rights Institute, Kean University, NJ; Joyce Gordan Gallery, Oakland CA; Aphrodisiac, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; Root Division, San Francisco, CA; Museum of the History of Ponce in Puerto Rico; St. Mary’s College Museum of Art, Morago, CA; Contemporary Directions: Niger to Afrofuturism, Westfield State University, Westfield, MA. Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY; Light vs Dark, Gallery 263, Cambridge, MA; The Studio Door, San Diego CA; Dual Art Gallery, Budapest, Hungary.
What is so compelling about Gerardo Castro’s work is the way in which he uses the body, consciously or not, to call attention to the Art and artifice of the construction of Identity. Castro’s work illustrates the multiplicity of the Afro-Latino experience; forces influenced by Afro-Caribbean religions and spirituality. His work enables a connection to history, meaning and myth, ethnicity and gender. Castro lives and has his painting studio in the Hudson Valley, in the city of Newburgh, NY.
Featured Work by Gerardo Castro, Eleggua Quatrefoil
Oil paint, mixed media on wood panel, 9” diameter x 7/8” thick