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Check out my Interview with GTN TV Kenya regarding my recent Art Residency with Tafaria Castle, and the 2 monuments I created along with the Happy Planting Day Ceremonies.
I had a great time at Tafaria Castle, where I created 2 sculptures. The work "Ladder of Acacia" will be officially unveiled as the official monument of the Tafaria Castle Arboretum, unveiling next month. In the meantime, here's a bit about "Weaving Our Roots" currently on view!
Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts (EFA) Culminating Residency Exhibition
"Trophies of War: Kingdom of Light” on View at EFA Project Space until August 12th, 2023
Check out 9 new works (part of the “Trophies of War: Kingdom of Light” series at @efaprojectspace, as part of the SHIFT residency culminating show titled “The World is Before You”, On view July 6 - August 12
After capturing footage for some upcoming projects on a Safari at Masai Mara, and visiting the Masai Village, I began my first Art Residency in Africa at Tafaria Castle & Center for the Arts in Ndaragwa, Kenya! Excited to share work to come...
Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts Culminating Residency Exhibition
A look at 2 of the 9 works (“Abankɛseɛ 1” and "Ɔhene") that will be displayed at EFA this summer!
Trophies of War: Kingdom of Light”
A trophy is a small monument serving as a symbol of a victory. Trophies have been used to denote accomplishment since ancient times, and the word has been part of the English language since 1550, translated from trophée in 1513, called "a prize of war" with that prize serving as a monument of triumph. The word stretches back to the ancient Greek term: tropaion which refers to arms, property, or human captives and body parts, such as head hunting practices and other materials captured in battle. These war trophies commemorated the military victories of a state, army or individual combatant. Historically, human life and culture has been used as collateral for prestige and honor by the conquerors.
I would like for audiences to reflect on the trophy and what it symbolizes. Many in our country have pride and identity tied to our nationalism (American Exceptionalism) without realizing or acknowledging that the colonial and imperialist history that lead to our present standard of living. This pride comes from a sense of meritocracy, with the "western" world having established a standard for living that other countries aspire to attain. Many immigrants move here with hopes to start a better life and internalize pride to be U.S. citizens. We all take advantage of the luxuries that "developed countries" have to offer when given the opportunity to indulge them, though I want to interrogate the trophy to shine a light on its history and purpose, specifically for the Black and POC communities. I would love to push for my audiences to question what has value and why it has been endowed with such power. As individuals, we have the free will to denote what is valuable, and I hope that this series inspires questions and fosters pride in their various indigenous histories.
I'll be presenting a culminating Solo Exhibit as Artist in Residence at NYC Audubon this August! In the meantime, check out a few of my prints, and a new work Sankofa in the downstairs gallery
I'm excited to begin my new residency from May to early August with NYC Audubon on Governor's Island, which will result in a Solo Show in the downstairs exhibition area for the month of August! I'll be creating a series dedicated to the folklore of birds in Africa that I learned about during my trip to West Africa last year, as well as birds I'll study about during a trip to Kenya this July. Look out for Fellow Residents, Carolyn Monastra and Dennis RedMoon Darkheem's solo shows that will take place later in the year.
Bronx Council on the Arts: New Work Grant
I'm grateful to have received the Bronx Council on the Arts "New Work Grant" for a series that I will display at the Bronx Museum for the culminating AIM Biennial following my AIM Fellowship early 2024. I'll share more on that at the end of the year!
“The Ancestral Perennial” Unveiling / Happy Planting Day Ceremony at Old Stone House
I am excited to have kicked off the 2023 year of Happy Planting Day Ceremonies with African Daisy Seed Paper greeting cards in Brooklyn at Old Stone House. Cody Umans and I collaborated on the public art monument: “Ancestral Perennial” installed there and Kraig Blue accompanied the ceremony with drumming. Audience members contributed cards dedicated to their deceased ancestors that will be planted in either Kenya (during my residency this summer at Tafaria Castle or here in NYC later this year) special thanks to Katherine Gressel and Old Stone House for providing this opportunity. This is the first of several workshops that I plan to take place throughout NYC.
Happy Planting Day Workshop at Climate Museum
Earth Day Planting seed paper greeting cards in honor of our ancestor’s memory not only helps us preserve their legacy, but also influences us to appreciate the beauty and health benefits of nature that can offset some of the negative health and environmental impacts of climate change in our city. I’m thankful to Climate Museum for inviting me to participate in their Earth Day workshop event. You can check out the presentation I whipped up for that day here. This was my second time occupying space with Climate Museum after presenting a sculpture at Nest Summit during Climate Week at Jacob Javits Center.
My new work included in the "Continuation - A Tribute to Colin Chase" show last month
It was a beautiful night dedicated to professor who inspired us all. (Photography + Graphic Design by Anita Sillery).
On Palm Sunday, April 2nd, Cody Umans and I will unveil a collaborative monument titled "Ancestral Perennial" at Old Stone House at 1pm! This is part of Old Stone House's Seed Celebration. In Addition to this, I will carry out the Happy Planting Day ceremony, read below:
Dario Mohr is a first generation Grenadian U.S. citizen born in 1988. His work involves the creation of "sacred spaces" referencing his heritage, and expressing commentary on the cultural zeitgeist through immersive sanctuary experiences. Cody Umans aims to communicate stories, social criticism, educational material, and emotional catharsis through interdisciplinary, participatory artworks. He observes already existing systems of visual communication and educational tools from both his own society and those that are focused on sustainability and emphasize caring relationships with the planet.
Cody and Dario first met at the Flux Factory residency in 2020. Cody participated in an exhibition of Dario’s where they both shared memorials to past relatives. Since then they have discovered multiple ways in which their art practices complement each other. Using Dario’s constructed drawings, Cody built an altar for his Temple of Acacia solo show at the Old Stone House. This altar is being repurposed to serve as the windows and walls of the “Ancestral Perennial” monument that will distinguish the spiritual space where the seeds of our beloveds can grow. The details of the installation are Inspired by Dario’s travels in Ghana. They Include Adinkra symbols inspired by the Ashanti Kingdom in Ghana as well as Cody’s unique puzzle piece construction method that he employs for much of his work.
Special thanks to Katherine Gressel and Kim Maier at Old Stone House for their support in this process. Shout out to Amadu Abdul-Wahab of Dotcom Arts in Ghana for fabricating the custom finials for the piece.
By planting written messages to deceased ancestors along with the African Daisies embedded inside the cards, we will bring new life into the world in their honor. It is also a way to bring a piece of the continent of Africa to NYC. Over the coming months, the public are invited to revisit the monument to watch the African Daisies grow and mature, which will hopefully spark memories and continue the legacy of their relatives and loved ones as the African Daisies grow over the coming months. African Daisies are perennials, which means that they come back every year, and these cards that contain them were sourced from South Africa. The cards that will be planted were gathered from three workshops that Mohr facilitated last year: The Juneteenth event at Lewis Latimer House Museum in Queens; a performance at the opening of Mohr's solo show at Old Stone House in Brooklyn; and a holiday workshop at Poe Park Visitor Center in the Bronx, encompassing the three Black and Brown dominant boroughs of New York City. The workshops allow audience members to engage in direct participation with the artwork and reflect on their own ancestry. Additionally, audiences at the planting ceremony will be invited to contribute dedications for a future Happy Planting Day ceremony!
Check out an interview I did with Ellie Sechet of Brooklyn Botanic Garden regarding my work as an artist, and touching on the upcoming AnkhLave Garden Project that will take place there. You can read it HERE!
You traveled to Ghana, Benin, Togo, and Nigeria, and integrated those experiences into the “Temple of Acacia” series, which is dedicated to spiritual practices in West Africa. What did you take away from those experiences?
One of the major motivating factors for me going to West Africa was understanding how to link my Grenadian ancestry, which really has no recollection of Africa, to that land. I ended up taking an African ancestry DNA test. It acknowledged that we have Akan ancestry on my grandmother’s side, we have Ga ancestry on my grandfather’s side. When I went to Africa, I was very interested in learning more about the Akan people (a tribe historically based in Ghana) and the Ga people.
I met with a tour guide named Confidence, and we drove from Accra to Kumasi, a city in the Ashanti region, where I explored some museums and sacred sites. Among the sites visited was Bonwire, one of the last remaining authentic traditional Kente weaving facilities, where I purchased a giant Kente cloth piece that I used in my “Temple of Acacia” solo show at Old Stone House. We drove through borders from Ghana to Togo, Benin, and then Nigeria. There were many highlights along this journey, including a visit to the Grand Fetish Market, the largest voodoo market in the world, as well as visits to “slave castles” and UNESCO heritage sites.
I'm excited to share that I was accepted into the Bronx Museum's AIM Fellowship! This will culminate in a group show there at the end of the year.
I began my SHIFT Residency with EFA Project Space last month, and have a new series that I'm working on in the studio!
Since its inception in 2010, SHIFT residency has been providing peer support, mentoring, and studio space for over eighty artists who work in arts organizations (as curators, educators, administrators, etc.) to boost their personal creative practices. SHIFT recognizes the contribution of arts workers to the art community, and for whom their livelihood is a passion and responsibility, demanding attentiveness and creativity. The SHIFT residency honors these artists’ commitment to the arts community with a supportive environment to revitalize their creative practices.
SHIFT has hosted over sixty artists working in a range of media, from sound and installation to painting, performance, and social practice. In addition to its role as a support network, SHIFT promotes advocacy for arts workers and seeks to increase equity and representation within the field.
2022 was a fun year inspiring new explorations in travel research for projects, and novel creative experiences, with some of which funded in part by the Bronx Recognizes Its Own (BRIO) Grant. During this year, I created set design for an off broadway play: Mi Abuela Queen of Nightmares, written by Christine Sloan Stoddard, and was commissioned by Materials For the Arts (MFTA) to create trophy sculptures for awardees at their annual Masked Marvelous Gala. I also exhibited in 4 of the 5 boroughs as well as Governor's Island. I am very grateful to have had these opportunities and am excited to see what the new year brings. You can check out some of the 2022 exhibits below:
Solar Apex: Commissioned Work for Nest Summit's Climate Week at Javits Center (NY) I was provided a studio space in Javits Center and was commissioned to create the work, Solar Apex. This was meant to illustrate the importance of sustainability efforts within the events industry. This was presented in the Atrium of their newest building to celebrate its unveiling during the UN Conference and Nest Summit
Promotional Video for Solar Apex at Javits Center
Sow The Seeds: Mural in the (Bronx) My ArtBridge: Bridging the Divide Fellowship Mural unveiled January 2022. One year later, this is still on display at the Mitchel Housing district in the Bronx. This kicked off a 3 borough exploration into African Ancestry, with the intention to display work in the three predominantly BIPOC boroughs of New York City (Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn). I also presented the Happy Planting Day workshop in each of these boroughs, with the Bronx edition taking place at the Poe Park Visitor Center in Kingsbridge.
Coverage of the ArtBridge Murals
Blood is Thicker than the Water that Separated. U.S.: Solo Show at Lewis Latimer House Museum, (Queens) In February 2022, I visited Grenada, where my recent ancestors reside and this inspired this series, honoring my Grenadian heritage and its complicated colonial history.
Artist Talk at Lewis Latimer House Museum
Temple of Acacia: Solo Show at Old Stone House (Brooklyn) In July 2022, I embarked on a journey where I visited the lands of my ancestors from Ghana, to Togo, Benin and Nigeria with additional research gathered while in Morocco. This journey lead to many discoveries and many more questions to inspire projects to come.
Ancestor Veneration Ceremony
Exhibits: West Harlem Art Fund, BronxArtSpace, Harvestworks (Governors Island) I presented these works throughout the 2022 year, with the final exhibit taking place during my Art Residency with BronxArtSpace in the Fall.
Last month I wrapped up my Art Residency at BronxArtSpace on Governor's Island. I met some great artists and got to work on part two of a painting series that I started during my first Residency on Governor's Island. I chose this blue room to display the works from both Bloodline Part 1 and 2.
In an additional room in the Residency I presented this series "In Line"
Looking forward to a new year to start a new creative journey!
Last month I was commissioned by Materials For The Arts to make these original trophies made of creatively reused materials. They were presented as awards to the former Commissioner at NYC Department of Cultural Affairs: Gonzalo Casals, Teaching Artist and co-founder of Jerry Joy Music: Joy Suarez and former MFTA Artist in Residence: Michael Kelly Williams at the 2022 Masked Marvelous Gala.
I presented this sculpture at Harvest Works's Conflict Resolution show as well as at BronxArtSpace on Governor's Island last month. This is a continuation of the above series that will be further fleshed out into the new year.
I don't normally highlight my caricatures gigs in this newsletter, but I had to include this major bucket list item: Caricaturing at Comic Con, 2022 at the HBO booth with Lupine Creative. I drew hundreds of people for 3 days straight days, including the cast of Titans
"Solar Apex", was presented at Javits Center's Nest Summit event during Climate Week last month. Special thanks to Materials For The Arts (MFTA) for this opportunity!
In the spirit of Climate Week NYC, I was commissioned to create my work, Solar Apex, to illustrate the importance of sustainability efforts within the events industry. Using materials donated after recent events at the Javits Center, as well as solar panels from the venue’s green roof, I created a piece that underscores the need to repurpose, reuse and reimagine the world around us in order to build a better future for generations to come. This symbol of sustainability includes painted hand imagery, which serves as an icon for many of my works, as well as LED light used in a series I previously created during my 2021 Residency and Solo Show at Materials For the Arts (MFTA). The work also is crowned with ornamental plants and botanical objects as a celebration of plant life in urban environments as we proceed into the Autumn equinox. The construction of the assemblage was inspired by the Javits Center’s partnership with MFTA that facilitates the donation of event-related items to schools, theatre groups and houses of worship citywide. As a creative reuse artist, I have incorporated sustainability into works throughout my career, including paintings and mixed-media installations formed with found objects. For this work, I explore the smaller footprint of ancient civilizations and the latest green technology and practices that are being featured during The Nest Summit Campus, an official event partner of Climate Week NYC. I believe this work provides a space of reflection on our potential as a society to improve the well-being of our community, now and in the decades to come.
I'm excited to present small sculpture/ sound art work at this event at Harvest Works in collaboration with Flu Factory on Governor's Island this Sunday, October 16th from 2-4pm at Building 10a, Nolan Park.
This month, I deinstalled “Temple of Acacia”, my solo show at Old Stone House. Special thanks to Katherine Gressel for paying me a studio visit at Flux Factory last year, and later selecting my show proposal for this year’s calendar. Thanks to the Director of Old Stone House, Kimberly Maier for all of her hospitality and help throughout the installation, duration of the show, and deinstallation processes. Also, thanks to fellow artist and friend, Cody Umans for his contribution to the show as well as helping break it down last night. This exhibition was one of my favorites, as I was inspired by the history of this beautiful landmark and it’s surrounding grounds (Washington Park), as well as the architecture of the interior of the building. Over the past few years, I’d been inspired to sacred spaces in galleries as well as alternative spaces, and I do believe I leaned more into this than ever before with “Temple of Acacia”, inspired by the space. This series highlighted my spiritual journey traveling through four countries in West Africa (Ghana, Benin, Togo and Nigeria) this past summer to highlight the belief systems of my ancestors, and I look forward to the additional material and inspiration from this trip that I will inspire shows to come!
Join us on Governor's Island on October 29th, and October 30th for the final presentation of our work at the BronxArtSpace Residency. I'll be presenting my first painting series (works in progress) since 2020.
Climate Week at Javits Center as the Featured Creative Reuse Artist In August, I began working on a piece in my designated studio in the Javits Center's Pavilion space overlooking the garden and green house on their greenroof. This view of nature with a city backdrop helped inspire the work "Solar Apex", which I'm looking forward to presenting in the Atrium of the Javits Center's new building as the featured Creative Reuse artist during Climate Week with The Nest Summit. This will be in place beginning 9/19 for the UN Conference and taken down after the Nest Summit ends on 9/23 with the materials used to create this being donated to Materials For the Arts (MFTA).
Check out my Solo Show "Temple of Acacia" at Old Stone House, on display until October 5th! In July, I embarked on a journey where I visited the lands of my ancestors from Ghana, to Togo, Benin and Nigeria. This journey lead to many discoveries and many more questions. It also resulted in multidisciplinary explorations in assemblage, paint and digital media that I will present at my solo show, "Temple of Acacia" at Old Stone House.
Join us for our open studios at my residency with BronxArtSpace September 25th on Governor's Island!
Check out my Solo Show "Temple of Acacia" Opening this Sunday, August 21st from 2-4pm at Old Stone House!
Last month, I embarked on a journey where I visited the lands of my ancestors from Ghana, to Togo, Benin and Nigeria. This journey lead to many discoveries and many more questions. It also resulted in multidisciplinary explorations in assemblage, paint and digital media that I will present at my solo show, "Temple of Acacia" at Old Stone House. The Opening will take place Sunday, August 21st from 2-4pm, and will include a participatory performance starting at 2:30. This exhibit will be on view until October 5th. Read the full show description below.
My work :"Hands of Time" was on display last month at The Clemente Center for ArtBridge's "Present Power / Future Hopes" exhibit, curated by Rebecca Pristoop. You can see the painting as well as the mural I created "Sow the Seeds" featured. The primary icon of Sow the Seeds is the painting that will be exhibited for the first time at "Temple of Acacia" this Sunday at Old Stone House.
Earlier this month, I embarked on a journey where I visited the stomping grounds of my ancestors from Ghana, to Togo, Benin and Nigeria through a private tour with Ucomeafrik. This was one of the most profoundly impactful experiences of my life. I learned so much about the food, music and culture of my ancestors, as well as the slave trade and how it operated in each country. This experience planted the seed for many explorations for years to come, but for now, I will be sharing footage and photography highlighting the traditional spiritual practices that were present during and prior to African's arrival to the Americas. I am excited to share these findings at my upcoming solo show "Temple of Acacia" at Old Stone House, opening Sunday, August 21st.
My piece, "Hands of Time" was exhibited at Present Power / Future Hopes, presented by ArtBridge and curated by Rebecca Pristoop. This piece and exhibition coincides with my ArtBridge Mural "Sow The Seeds" currently on display at the Mitchel Housing district on Alexander Ave, Bronx, NY.
I am grateful to have served as Set Designer for Christine Sloan Stoddard's show "Mi Abuela, Queen of Nightmares" at Gene Frankel Theatre. Check out some pictured of the set:
Artist Talk with LLHM for “Blood is Thicker than the Water that Separated U.S." The Lewis Latimer House Museum is located in Flushing, Queens (34-41 137th St, Queens, NY 11354).You can check out my virtual artist talk with Lewis Latimer House Museum on the work currently on view at there and the work that lead up to it.
Join me for the Juneteenth event at Lewis Latimer House Museum where I will present a workshop: "Happy Planting Day" that will include greeting card dedications to deceased ancestors. The greeting cards will be stored and planted the following year on the grounds of Old Stone House. Register HERE
My piece, "Keep Ya Head Up" was auctioned off at the MFTA Sustainable Art Show curated by John Kaiser.
After a decade, MFTA’s Artist-in-Residence program continues to inspire the public to envision how sustainably reclaimed materials can come together in the spirit of “creative reuse” to form innovative and imaginative works of art. I'm very grateful to have served as a 2020-21 Artist in Residence with MFTA. Here is a short video including each AIR share our experiences.
Check out my new piece "The Teacher" at West Harlem Art Fund's Governor's Island space, along with an encore of 2 painting that were part of the "Don't Let it Slip Through Your Fingers" solo show from my residency at Flux Factory.
I am serving as set designer for my friend Christine Sloan Stoddard's play, "Mi Abuela, Queen of Nightmares" opening at the Gene Frankel Theatre. You can purchase a tickets HERE.
Maya, a young Salvadoran-American, navigates trauma and family mythology through magic and folklore as she comes of age in Phoenix, Arizona.
June 27th, I embark on a journey where I will visit the old stomping grounds of my ancestors from Ghana, to Togo, Benin and Nigeria! Very excited to share footage, photography and stories from this journey in my upcoming solo show at Old Stone House, opening Sunday, August 21st.
“Blood is Thicker than the Water that Separated U.S." is on View! This solo show is on view at the Lewis Latimer House Museum in Flushing, Queens (34-41 137th St, Queens, NY 11354). This will be on view between April 1st and July 3rd.