A new exhibit highlights 10 creatives of color who are ‘Unapologetically Here’

Marisa Kalil-Barrino (Brooklyn Magazine) writes about “Unapologetically Here”—a collective exhibition curated by Bianca Jean-Pierre, and on view until January 8, 2023, at ChaShaMa (1 Brooklyn Bridge Park, Brooklyn, New York). The show features artists Carmen DaneshmandiTalisa AlmonteNeha KapilBriana MoreiraNabila WirakusumahJenny DesrosiersVanezza CruzMia OhkiAmara Ramdhanny, and Efiba Kyiamah. [Many thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this item to our attention.]

As a Black artist from East Flatbush, Bianca Jean-Pierre often found herself as one of the only women who looked like her in the workspace. Despite having had prestigious internships at publications like Harper’s Bazaar and with designers like Alexander Wang, she never felt fully heard when trying to give her perspective. Today, the Bed-Stuy-based creative is reclaiming her and other artists’ narratives to build a new multicultural media site, Sheer.

Launched in 2019, Sheer — the name is a play on the ideas of transparency and being seen — brings attention to artists, especially women of color, across the board, through videos, photos, and events. Jean-Pierre has herself interviewed artists across disciplines, including musicians DoechiiJordyn Davis, and Ogi, with a focus on an array of social issues, including cultural identity, colorism, racism, and gentrification.

Because she grew up with immigrant parents, Jean-Pierre says she was urged to pursue a more “practical” career. And because she grew up with the twin pressures of finding that career and a lack of diversity in the workplace, she found her own way through collaboration.

For the first time, Sheer is holding their first art exhibition “Unapologetically Here” at art organization Chashama’s Brooklyn Bridge Park waterfront gallery until January 8.

“The name of the exhibition is an affirmation empowering our community to pursue their true calling and choice of expression and confidently take up space,” Jean-Pierre says. “There is enough pressure to mold ourselves into who society believes we should be, while Sheer encourages freedom of expression and celebrating ourselves unapologetically … You’re free to exist in all your nuance, and complexities and explore the identity that resonates best with you.”

The exhibition, nestled between Piers 5 and 6 at 1 Brooklyn Bridge Park, tells the stories of 10 Black, indigenous, Latinx, and Asian artists through their work. Artists from Iran, Dominican Republic, Indonesia, India, and Haiti, work in photography, paintings, illustrations, and more, exploring themes of empowerment, feminism, and creative expression through their cultural identities.

One of them, Jenny Desrosiers, is a Brooklyn-based cinematographer and photographer from Boston. Their “Pou Reverans Matriyach La” — “For the Reverence of the Matriarch” in Haitian creole — is a series of portraits, shot during a summer in Miami, of matriarchal figures in Caribbean culture. [. . .]

For full review, see https://www.bkmag.com/2022/12/29/unapologetically-here

“Unapologetically Here”
Curated by Bianca Jean-Pierre
Until January 8, 2023
Chashama, 1 Brooklyn Bridge Park (135 Bridge Park Dr), Brooklyn, NY 11201

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