Free Your Mind Project: Bringing Community Placemaking to Pennsylvania and Delaware

The “Free Your Mind” project is set to engage audiences in two dynamic locations this year: the Touchstone Center for Crafts in Pennsylvania and The Delaware Contemporary. This initiative will run from May 17 to September 20 at the Touchstone Center for Crafts and from June 7 to August 30 at The Delaware Contemporary. Here’s how these engagements will highlight the project’s commitment to placemaking through artist-guided community artwork.

Touchstone Center for Crafts: A Summer of Creativity and Conhttps://www.touchstonecrafts.org/events-exhibitions/free-your-mindnection

From May 17 to September 20, the Touchstone Center for Crafts in Pennsylvania will host the “Free Your Mind” project, transforming the center into a vibrant hub of artistic expression and community engagement. Here’s what participants can look forward to:

  • Interactive Exhibition: Throughout the summer, the Touchstone Center for Crafts visitors are invited to release a microaggression they have experienced on a ribbon. This dynamic display will encourage ongoing engagement and dialogue among community members and visitors alike.
  • Community Events: Special events, including two artist talks and open studios, and weekly community gatherings, will be held to celebrate the project’s progress. These events will foster social interaction and strengthen community bonds, making the Touchstone Center for Crafts a lively and inclusive space.

The Delaware Contemporary: A Season of Artistic Exploration

From June 7 to August 30, “Free Your Mind” will bring its transformative energy to The Delaware Contemporary. This engagement will offer unique opportunities for community involvement and artistic exploration:

  • Public Art Installation: The Delaware Contemporary will feature an immersive public art installation created through the project. In addition to providing an opportunity for visitors to release their microaggressions, an audio and video projection enhance the exhibition space.  
  • Engagement Programs: Participants are invited to explore their implicit biases and contribute to the project. This program emphasizes inclusivity, ensuring everyone has a voice in the artistic process. The project aims will bring together community members, artists, and visitors to reflect on the impact of microaggressions and celebrate the power of collective creativity.

Join Us in Transforming Spaces

The “Free Your Mind” project at the Touchstone Center for Crafts and The Delaware Contemporary offers an exciting opportunity to experience the power of placemaking through monumental art. By engaging with this project, community members can contribute to meaningful transformation that reflect their collective identity and aspirations.

I invite you to join this artistic journey, whether by participating in a talk or simply visiting to witness the transformative power of community-driven art. Together, we can create spaces that resonate with beauty, unity, and a deep sense of belonging.

Mark your calendars and be part of the “Free Your Mind” project as it brings communities together and transforms our collective consciousness.

Crafting Community Through Monumental Art: The Power of Placemaking

In the heart of every community lies a unique tapestry of stories, histories, and shared experiences. These elements, woven together, form the vibrant fabric of communal identity. As an artist deeply committed to fostering this sense of belonging, I believe in the transformative power of placemaking through monumental, artist-guided community artwork.

Placemaking: The Art of Belonging

Placemaking is an action-oriented approach that brings people together to shape their public spaces. It turns physical environments into communal havens, fostering social interaction and engagement. Through monumental art, placemaking becomes an immersive experience where each community member has a role to play.

Monumental Art: A Canvas for Community

Monumental art transcends the ordinary, capturing the essence of a community on a grand scale. These projects are not just about creating impressive visuals; they are about embedding collective narratives into the landscape. Each element of the artwork, reflects the voices and visions of the community it represents.

Artist-Guided Collaboration: Uniting Voices

Guiding a community through the creation of an artwork is an enriching journey. As an artist, my role is to facilitate this process, ensuring every participant feels heard and valued. This collaboration infuses the artwork with diverse perspectives, transforming it into a mosaic of collective identity.

Impact Beyond Aesthetics

The impact of artist-guided community artwork extends far beyond aesthetics. It strengthens social bonds, fosters pride, and ignites a sense of ownership among community members. These creations become landmarks, both physically and emotionally, standing as testaments to the power of collective effort and shared vision.

Join the Journey & Free Your Mind

I invite you to join me on this incredible journey of placemaking through “Free Your Mind”. Free Your Mind is a public textile art project aiming to collect, exhibit, embed and release personal narratives about Microaggressions in a multi-sensory installation. 

This year, Free Your Mind is engaging audiences at Touchstone Center for Crafts in PA from May 17- September 20 and the Delaware Contemporary June 7- August 30th.

Together, we can create work that resonates with meaning, vibrancy, and a deep sense of community. Let’s turn our shared spaces into living canvases, where every member of our community sees themselves reflected and celebrated. In the spirit of collaboration and creativity, let’s craft artwork that enriches our collective spirit.

June & Beyond Blog

OPENING THIS MONTH

Free Your Mind @ 2024 Summer Discovery

Exhibition Dates: June 7 – August 30

Opening Reception: June 7, 5:00-9:00 pm

Location: Delaware Contemporary; 200 S Madison St, Wilmington, DE

ONGOING

Free Your Mind @ Touchstone

Dates: May 17 – September 20

Location: Touchstone Center for Crafts; 1049 Sr2003, Farmington, PA 

Uncontained: Reimagining Basketry

Opening Reception: May 19th 2:00-4:00pm

Exhibition Dates: May 19, 2024 – September 2, 2024

Location: Hunterdon Art Museum, 7 Lower Center St, Clinton, NJ

Ponytails and Door Knocker Earring Installation

Dates: January 17-  July 17

Location: Time Equities Lobby 55 5th Avenue, New York NY

NEXT 

American Tapestry Association’s Beyond: Tapestry Expanded

Exhibition Dates: August 1- December 15

Location: Peeler Art Center at DePauw University; 204 E. Seminary St., Greencastle IN  

Uncontained: Reimagining Basketry Opens Sun. May 19

Please join me for the Opening Reception of Uncontained: Reimagining Basketry on Sunday May 19th at the Hunderdon Art Museum in Clinton NJ. There are scheduled artists talks, a block party on the terrace and I will be driving up from residency at Touchstone just to attend.

Come see me and The Great Resignation Emotional Baggage Cart at the opening

Uncontained: Reimagining Basketry

Opening Reception: May 19th, 2:00-4:00pm

Exhibition Dates: May 19, 2024 – September 2, 2024

Location: Hunterdon Art Museum, 7 Lower Center St, Clinton, NJ

Liquid Ice with Kate-Ferri Projects at 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair


Liquid Ice was the first work I completed after relocating to St. Croix last Fall. Begun in May 2023 and completed by September of the same year, this piece embodies the dynamic energy of the island and the tumultuous beauty of its environment.

Crafted from a unique blend of materials, including recovered marine tow line, delicate cowrie shells, macrame cord, acrylic yarns, and shimmering metallic rayon fabric, Liquid Ice is a multi-dimensional exploration of texture and form. These elements are meticulously knotted, crocheted, wrapped, and draped upon three-ply cotton rope, employing techniques that blend textile traditions with innovative recycling and reimagining.

Central to Liquid Ice’s narrative is the symbolism of loc-ed hair cascading like waves in the wind during a storm—a poignant reflection of the resilience and adaptability inherent in both nature and human experience. Liquid Ice invites viewers to contemplate the interplay between beauty and adversity, strength and vulnerability.

1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair

Dates: May 2-5

Gallery: KATES-FERRI PROJECTS, Booth #7, KATES-FERRI PROJECTS presents MATERIALISTIC, a three-person presentation of artworks from Turiya Magadlela, Samuel Nnorom and Theda Sandiford at 1-54NY Contemporary African Art Fair, Booth #7, 601 West 26th Street, NY, 10001 on view Thursday, May 2 until Saturday, May 5, 2024.

Location: 601 W. 26th St. NYC, Kates-Ferri Projects Booth #7

and on Artsy.

May & Beyond Blog

OPENING THIS MONTH

1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair with KATES-FERRI PROJECTS

Dates: May 1-4

Location: 1:54NY 601 W. 26th St. NY 10001 Booth #7

Free Your Mind @ Touchstone

Dates: May 17 – September 20

Location: Touchstone Center for Crafts; 1049 Sr2003, Farmington, PA 

Uncontained: Reimagining Basketry

Exhibition Dates: May 19, 2024 – September 2, 2024

Location: Hunterdon Art Museum, 7 Lower Center St, Clinton, NJ

ARTIST RESIDENCY

Touchstone Artist Residency

Dates: May 10-24

Location: Touchstone Center for Crafts; 1049 Sr2003, Farmington, PA 

ONGOING

Ponytails and Door Knocker Earring Installation

Dates: January 17-  July 17

Location: Time Equities Lobby 55 5th Avenue, New York NY

NEXT 

Free Your Mind @ 2024 Summer Discovery

Exhibition Dates: June 7 – August 30

Opening Reception: June 7, 5:00-9:00 pm

Location: Delaware Contemporary; 200 S Madison St, Wilmington, DE

American Tapestry Association’s Beyond: Tapestry Expanded

Exhibition Dates: August 1- December 15

Location: Peeler Art Center at DePauw University; 204 E. Seminary St., Greencastle IN  

Theda’s Stateside Art Tour Schedule This Month


Im touching down in New Jersey on Sunday, April 28th and swiftly immerse myself in the installation process, with Kates-Ferri’s for the 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair on April 29th. The fair, a vibrant celebration of African artistry, runs from May 1st to 5th. Look for me at booth #7.

My eyes are set on attending Amref’s Art Ball on Saturday, May 4th, 2024, at 7:30 pm in Brooklyn—an event I hope to score tickets for. Following this, I anticipate delving into the creative haven of Touchstone Center For Crafts, where I’ll undergo a two-week Artist Residency from May 10th to 24th, eagerly anticipating the chance to meet fellow textile artists. Im also giving an artist talk on “Free Your Mind” on May 22 at Touchstone.

On May 19th, I’ll make a 5 hour drive to the Hunterdon Art Museum for the unveiling of “Uncontained: Reimagining Basketry,” featuring my work The Great Resignation Emotional Baggage Cart. Please join me at the Opening Reception from 2-4pm in Clinton NJ.

With free days between engagements from May 25th to June 4th, I’m keen to connect over drinks, gallery shows, or even studio visits. Please let me know, if you want to meet up in NYC, NJ, PA or DE while I’m stateside.

My tour culminates with the installation of “Free Your Mind” at the Delaware Contemporary on June 5th, followed by their season opening on June 7th from 5-9pm.

I’ll bid farewell to the States and return home to St. Croix on June 9th.

Bottle Cap Pearls

Amref ArtBall Benefit Auction | Hosted by Sotheby’s

I’m thrilled to announce my participation in Amref Health Africa’s 2024 ArtBall, featuring a Contemporary African and Black art auction hosted by Sotheby’s. A heartfelt thank you to Natalie Kates for inviting me to be a part of this event for a second year.

This year, Amref will pay tribute to the esteemed Artist Kehinde Wiley with The Rees Visionary Award. Named after Amref’s founder, Dr. Thomas Rees, the Rees Visionary Award recognizes individuals who have significantly impacted the conversation surrounding African and Black art.

Amref’s ArtBall, a hallmark event centered around a premier contemporary African, Pan-African, and Black art auction, aims to support Amref’s vital work. Set to take place in Brooklyn on May 4th, 2024, the online auction is now open and closes on May 6th, 2024, at 12 pm EST. You can access the auction link now at Sothebys.com/artball.

The lineup of donating artists for 2024 is nothing short of extraordinary! It includes Adama Delphine Fawundu, Lewinale Havette, Megan Gabrielle Harris, Maya Beverly, Nicolas Lambert Coleman, Hank Willis Thomas, Roscoè B. Thické III, Jamel Robinson, Rudy Shepherd, Theda Sandiford, Samuel Nnorom, Turiya Magadlela, Pamela Sneed, Dana Robinson, Dapo Davinci, Cavier Coleman, Ferguson Amo, Troy Jones, Damien Davis, Kevin Claiborne, Katarra Peterson, Kenrick McFarlane, Larissa De Jesus Negron, Haleigh Nickerson, Myles Loftin, Genevieve Gaignard, Adrienne Elise Tarver, Ronald Robinson, Jacob Mason-Macklin, Crystal Yayra Anthony, Layo Bright, Diana Eusebio, Ousmane Ba, Jazmine Hayes, Audrey Lyall, Naïla Opiangah, Devin B. Johnson, Satchel Lee, Anthony Akinbola, Alex Anderson, Auudi Dorsey, and Kalif Tahir Thompson.

Golden Serenity Tresses; African print fabrics, acrylic yarn, upcycled textiles, knotted and wrapped on 6 three ply cotton ropes

Ponytails and Door Knocker Earrings Installation

Dates: January 17-  July 17

Location: Time Equities Lobby 55 5th Avenue, New York NY

Elaborate strands of rope, meticulously wrapped, woven, tied, and adorned with recycled beads, zip ties, ribbon, lace, tape, and bells beckon you towards a vibrant installation that serves as a visual representation of natural hair. These daring and playful sculptures delicately encourage viewers to engage in unconventional dialogues surrounding microaggressions, stereotypes, and implicit bias specifically faced by black women embracing their natural hair.