BAY AREA DEAF ARTS
January 14–February 21, 2021
Curated by Antoine Hunter
Curatorial Residency Exhibition
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Bay Area Deaf Arts celebrate and center the art forms and cultural expression historically rooted in the Deaf community, raising Deaf awareness in non-Deaf populations, and inviting collaboration between Hearing and Deaf artists. Curated by renowned performer and activist Antoine Hunter for SOMArts’ Curatorial Residency program, this exhibition asks us: Where are the voices of Deaf and Deaf people of color? What truths are we willing to listen to? Do you know they have more to show than just talk about Deaf culture itself?
“A pattern of light emerges through my comprehension of a patina of understanding of my traumatic childhood, identity crisis and adulthood journey; though fragmented, vivid and without resolution. I seek to make the world brighter, more colorful, joyful and to give the viewer an optimistic outlook and help deal with the negativity in the world,” shares artist Jon Kastrup.
This exhibition celebrates the shared language of the Bay Area Deaf community, American Sign Language (ASL). Hunter invites audiences to listen and learn about Deaf arts, Deaf Queer arts, Deaf BIPOC arts, Deaf women arts, Deaf with disabilities and more. The virtual gallery and accompanying programs are open to both Deaf and Hearing community members in any location around the world.
ABOUT THE CURATOR
Bay Area native Antoine Hunter, also known Purple Fire Crow, is an award-winning Internationally-known African-American, Indigenous, Deaf, Disabled, choreographer, dancer, actor, instructor, speaker, Producer and Deaf advocate. He creates opportunities for Disable, Deaf and hearing artists and produces Deaf-friendly events, and founded the Urban Jazz Dance Company and Bay Area International Deaf Dance Festival.
Antoine has received numerous grants and awards including the inaugural Jeanette Lomujo Bremond Award for Humanity, Isadora Duncan (Izzie) for Bay Area International Deaf Dance Festival, and SF King of Carnaval.
Antoine’s work has been performed globally, most recently in Turkey, the UK, and Russia. He has lectured across the U.S. including at Kennedy Center’s VSA, Harvard and Duke University, and the National Assembly of State Arts. In 2019 alone, his company, Urban Jazz Dance Company, an ensemble of professional Deaf and Hearing dancers, performed for and engaged more than 4,200 schoolchildren. His shoe company, DropLabs, and Susan Paley just released an innovative product to help people feel music through their shoes. He is Vice President of Deaf Counseling, Advocacy and Referral Agency (DCARA’s) Board. DCARA is a non-profit, community-based social service agency serving the Deaf community. Established in 1962 as one of the first Deaf-run agencies in the country.