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Kaplan Gallery

Curated by Larry Ossei-Mensah, VisArts Mentoring Curator

September 4, 2019 – October 20, 2019

Kaplan Gallery

Opening Reception and Artist Talk: Friday, September 13, 7 – 9:30 PM


PARALLELS AND PERIPHERIES is an exhibition series curated by Larry Ossei-Mensah the Susanne Feld Hilberry Senior Curator at MOCAD that investigates how artists make work that explores the narratives, myths, and memories that shape personal, political and societal understanding. The inaugural edition of the series took place in Miami Beach at that Oolite Arts fka ArtCenter/South Florida in 2018 and presented works by eight women artists whose dynamic practices reframe and redefine how artmaking fits into a broader global discourse impacting marginalized communities. Those artists included: Bethany Collins, Lizania Cruz, Genevieve Gaignard, Susan Lee-Chun, Joiri Minaya, Jamilah Sabur, Saya Woolfalk, Kennedy Yanko.


The second iteration for PARALLELS AND PERIPHERIES  took place in Detroit, Michigan at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD) in Winter 2018. This edition continued the inquiry of exploring how artist construct narratives via their practice and process. The crux of the exploration for the second edition sought to consider the role that art, technology and science plays in the creation of these artworks and the discourse artist choose to have by working in these modalities. The exhibition highlighted the works of twelve artists, all of whom are actively utilizing art, technology and the sciences as a platform to respond to the dramatically shifting social, cultural, and political landscape born from centuries of collective and historical traumas designed to further oppress and subjugate disenfranchised communities.


The third iteration of the series PARALLELS AND PERIPHERIES: Migration and Mobility seeks to explore how emigrant and first generation immigrant artists are using their platform to negotiate issues of migrations, mobility, identity, visibility and invisibility in a time of social volatility. Given the precarious juncture in our society at the current moment, this exhibit seeks use utilize art and its ability to help us unpack, discuss and better understand the complexities of our current societal moment.The works in the exhibition aim to leverage the capacity of artists and artistic discourse to create shifts in the power dynamics between the “center” and “periphery.” Each artist in this exhibition brings a unique and layered perspective to the discourse that will enable us to engage in a truly dynamic and robust conversation. They create work that responds to the multicultural society in which we live in and acknowledges the imperative to spotlight cultural nuances—rather than demonize differences— in order to address many of the issues in the minds and hearts of disempowered communities around the world.Featuring a variety of mediums in the exhibition, each artist utilizes a varied and rigorous approaches to challenge the status quo, assert their creative agency, and tell their story.


Generous funding for PARALLELS AND PERIPHERIES: Migration and Mobility has been provided by