“NOULA” is a group exhibition celebrating Haitian Heritage Month. Curated by Yvena Despagne, the exhibition opened on May 6, 2022, at Buick Building (NE 2nd Avenue, Miami Design District) in Miami, Florida. Including featured artists: Claudia Apaid, Stephen Arboite, Josue Azor, Roudy Azor, Steven Baboun, Corine “Eniroker” Brezault, Ruth Burotte, Jhonny Cineus, Mirlande Constant, Xavier “SAMDI” Delatour, Woosler Delisfortt, Tasha Dougé, Edouard Duval-Carrié, Jean Emmanuel, Mark Fleuridor, Franck H Godefroy, Charles Jean-Pierre, Carl Juste, Dubreus Lherisson, Pascale Monnin, Vickie Pierre, Mwanel Pierre-Louis, Naderson Saint-Pierre, Michaëlle Sergile, Phaidra Sterlin, Jude Papaloko Thegenus, Natacha Thys, Olivier “Oski” Vilaire, Nico Vorbe, and Nadia Wolff, the show will be on view until May 28, 2022.
About the Exhibition: NOULA is an exhibition that challenges the idea of the Haitian experience and existence. This exhibition brings together contemporary Haitian artists from different parts of the world who disrupt and confront the negative notion about Haitian culture, societal standards, and the perceptions of self-identity in relation to imposed narratives.
NOULA addresses historical and contemporary systematic facts while using Haiti as an example and a beacon — a country and society often shielded from these profound historical topics and the significant contributions they have offered throughout history.
These artists address stereotypes that represent biases in their cultural context, impacting generalized misconceptions towards the self and their own country. NOULA broadens our understanding of Haitian heritage by focusing on the influence that contemporary artists from the region have had on arts, historical traditions, and methods.
The overall concept of this exhibition is to challenge society’s view of Haiti and Haitian culture, deconstructing the imposed narratives from external resources by amplifying Haitian’s perspective of who we are and where we come from. Unfortunately, due to the media’s perception, it has consistently shadowed the betterment of Haiti and what the country has done in this world. Therefore, we look to celebrate our significant accomplishments, including a timeline of events, aiming to alter society’s preconceived ideas on Haitian history and celebrate Haiti’s contribution throughout history.
About The Curator: Yvena Despagne (b.1984) is a Haitian-American artist and art curator based in Brooklyn, NY. She focuses on working with emerging to mid-way career artists and highlighting their stories. She aims to encourage and provide opportunities for artists interested in intercultural collaboration and dialogue and to indulge in culture. Yvena is also the Founder and Creative Director for Art x Ayiti, an online platform dedicated to highlighting and uplifting contemporary artists of Haitian descent and the Diaspora.
Yvena is currently an Associate Curator at Established Gallery in Park Slope, Brooklyn. She has curated one of her latest art exhibitions, Peel Off the Surface, a group exhibition in the New York City Meatpacking District. Her most recent projects include curating art for the SHOWTIME television series Flatbush Misdemeanor, The Iconic Project by artist Tanda Francis as an assistant to the artist (presented by The Dean Collection) and curating The Atlantic Avenue Art Walk (1.5-mile art walk) with Arts Gowanus, the non-profit organization in Gowanus, Brooklyn. Yvena has also been featured as a panelist for Black Women In Art: The Noir Perspective, hosted by The Haitian Heritage Museum and sponsored by Sugarcane Magazine.
Yvena continues to curate art exhibitions throughout New York City, where she works and resides.
Art x Ayiti is a platform dedicated to highlighting and uplifting Contemporary Artists of Haitian descent, the Diaspora, and their allies. Art x Ayiti is committed to providing quality art exhibitions and programming by local and international artists, supporting the development of Haitian art and culture.
NOULA WORLDWIDE is a cultural community and platform that unites the Haitian diaspora and allies through art, fashion, music, film, food, and most importantly, the passion for bringing about change.