Ramekon O’Arwisters’ exhibition, Sugar In Our Blood, is an autobiographical exploration of sexual stereotypes in the LGBTIQA and African-American communities. Folk-art traditions and techniques are physical stand-ins for race, sexuality, and spirituality in his work. Sugar In Our Blood is a collection of mixed-media installations including a collaborative, community-based art project that uses the folk-art tradition of rag-rug making to reference intertwined themes of domesticity, sexuality, and spirituality. Large rag-rug tapestries made from intimate apparel, nightgowns, and shirts are combined with church hats, family photographs, and other cultural icons. His community-based sculptures reference the American histories of gender, sexuality, and racial politics, creating a timely critique of our prevailing national anxieties.
Exhibition opens June 13, 2013
Opening Reception: Thu, 13 June 2013, 6 to 9 pm
Closing date: Thu., 12 September 2013
Panel Discussion Thursday June 20, 6pm : Sugar In Our Blood: Queer Art and Spirituality
Artist Talk: Sat., 20 July 2013, 1 to 3pm
Crochet Jam: Sat., 31 August 2013, 1 to 5 pm at AAACC
Cultural Equity Grant, San Francisco Arts Commission
African American Art and Culture Center
Ramekon O’Arwisters lives and works in San Francisco, California and was a recipient of a 2002 Artadia Award and has been nominated for the Eureka Awards, granted by the Fleischhacker Foundation and the SECA Art Award, administered through San Francisco Museum of Art (SFMOMA). He has exhibited at the Luggage Store, San Francisco, California and Kato Gallery, Tokyo, Japan. His numerous group exhibitions include Past Forward: African Spirituality in Contemporary Black Art at the African American Art & Cultural Complex (AAACC), San Francisco, California and Decoding Identity: I Do It For My People, Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD), San Francisco, California. O’Arwisters was honored with his second San Francisco Arts Commission Individual Artist Grant in 2011.
He has been actively involved in residences and guest lectures at Djerassi Resident Artists Program, Vermont Studio Center, and Sonoma State University. O’Arwisters was April 2012 artist-in-residence at the M. H. de Young Museum. His works are included in the public collections of the Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture at Duke University and the Haley Charitable Foundation, Point Richmond, California. He is currently working on an exhibition about art and spirituality, Sugar In Our Blood: The Spirit of Black and Queer Identity, for a one-person exhibition at the African American Art and Culture Center (AAACC) in June 2013.