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Curated by Larry Ossei-Mensah, VisArts Mentoring Curator

September 4, 2019 – October 20, 2019

PARALLELS AND PERIPHERIES, an exhibition series curated by Larry Ossei-Mensah, the Susanne Feld Hilberry Senior Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD) and 2019 Mentor for the VisArts Emerging Curator Program, investigates how artists make work that explores the narratives, myths, and memories that shape personal, political and societal understanding.

PARALLELS AND PERIPHERIES: Migration and Mobility is the third iteration of the series and 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 to utilize art and its ability to help us unpack, discuss and better understand the complexities of our current societal moment. PARALLELS AND PERIPHERIES: Migration and Mobility is specifically cited for Rockville, Maryland and the surrounding communities in the region. As a sanctuary city, Rockville serves as an appropriate platform to foster dialogue that will further the exhibition’s aim to leverage the capacity of artists and artistic discourse to create shifts in the power dynamics between the “center” and “periphery.” Each of the artists in this exhibition bring a unique and layered perspective to the discourse that will enable us to engage in a truly dynamic and robust conversation.

The inaugural edition of the series took place in Miami Beach at the Oolite Arts (formerly known as 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 CollinsLizania CruzGenevieve GaignardSusan Lee-ChunJoiri MinayaJamilah SaburSaya WoolfalkKennedy 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 artists 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 played in the creation of these artworks, and the discourse artists 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.

About the 2019 Mentor for the VisArts Emerging Curator Program:
Larry Ossei-Mensah is a Ghanaian-American curator and cultural critic who uses contemporary art and culture as a vehicle to redefine how we see ourselves and the world around us. He has organized exhibitions and projects with artists at commercial and nonprofit spaces from around the globe, including: Firelei Báez, Ruby Amanze, Hugo McCloud, Brendan Fernandes and Peter Williams.

Ossei-Mensah currently serves as the Susanne Feld Hilberry Senior Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD). He also is a co-founder of the 501c3 ARTNOIR in addition to being the guest curator launching Brooklyn Academy of Music‘s new Rudin Family Gallery in Fall 2019.

Ossei-Mensah curated PARALLELS AND PERIPHERIES: Migration and Mobility with the assistance of Kiara Ventura, 2019 Mentee for VisArts Emerging Curator Program.

About the 21st Century VisArts Emerging Curator Program:

The VisArts Emerging Curator Program pairs an emerging curator with an experienced mentoring curator to produce new exhibitions and related programming.

Exhibitions and events are always free and open to the public. Suggested Donation is $5.00.

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


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