The Crenshaw Dairy Mart is kicking off their “Black August” event this month with the debut of the 2017 Damon Davis documentary Whose Streets? on PBS’s educational platform, POV on August 7. “Black August” is set to run through August 9.
The Crenshaw Dairy Mart is the home to an artistic collective and art gallery that is dedicated to shifting the trauma-induced conditions of poverty and economic injustice, bridging cultural work and advocacy, and investigating ancestries through the lens of Inglewood and its community.
As the Black Lives Matters movement continues to slowly push the needle for civic and social progress, “Black August” sets to champion artists, support the community and further amplify voices fighting for change.
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Directed by Sabaah Folayan and co-directed by Damon Davis, Whose Streets? premiered at Sundance in 2017 before being acquired by Magnolia Pictures.. The docu follows the killing of Michael Brown and the Ferguson uprising that followed. The docu was released theatrically in August 2017, for the anniversary of Brown’s death. The feature shines a spotlight on police brutality and the injustice against the Black community, a problem that was evident then, now and countless decades before. Crenshaw Dairy Mart co-founder and Black Lives Matter co-founder will have a chat with Davis in a pre-taped interview that will be released on August 6.
The Ferguson rebellion archived in Davis’ film follows in the footsteps a history of Black resistances and rebellions which have come to light in the month of August, hence the name “Black August”. Amongst those – from the Haitian Revolution, the Nat Turner Rebellion, to the March on Washington – the Watts Uprising remains the closest in proximal history to the Crenshaw Dairy Mart of Inglewood.
In addition, Davis has curated the works of contemporary Black revolutionary artists, Lola Ogbara, Jen Everett, and Adrian Walker for Crenshaw Dairy Mart’s Instagram as well as conducting an IG Live interview with each artist during the three-day premiere.
Read the bios of the artists below.
Damon Davis is an award-winning, post-disciplinary artist who works and resides in St. Louis, Missouri. His work spans across illustration, painting, printmaking, music, film, and public art. His solo exhibition, “Darker Gods in the Garden of Low Hanging Heavens” premiered in St. Louis in 2018, traveling to Art Basel Miami later that same year. Davis has work in the permanent collection at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture and has exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts and the San Diego Contemporary Museum of Art.
For the documentary short “A Story To Tell” (2013), which profiled Davis, his work, and the creative process, Davis won an Emmy Award Mid-America for Best Short Form Program. His work has been nominated for Critics’ Choice Award, Gotham Award, and NAACP Image Award; Filmmaker Magazine selected him and Director Sabaah Folayan for their “25 New Faces of Independent Film 2016” for their work on critically acclaimed documentary “Whose Streets?”, chronicling the Ferguson rebellion of 2014. Davis is a 2015 Firelight Media Fellow, a 2016 Sundance Music and Sound Design Lab Fellow, a TED Fellow (2017), and a Root100 Honoree (2017).
Lola Ayisha Ogbara (interdisciplinary artist/ sculptor / arts administrator) born and raised in Chicago, Illinois holds many talents under her belt, i.e.; painting, design, mixed media, sculpture, photography and illustration. “My practice explores the multifaceted implications and ramifications of sexuality in regards to the Black experience. I work with clay as a material in order to emphasize a necessary fragility which symbolize an essential contradiction implicit in empowerments”. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Arts Entertainment & Media Management that she received at Columbia College Chicago in 2013.
In 2017, Ogbara co-founded Artists in the Room, a collective of artists and scholars who host artists, emerging and well-known, in hopes of serving as a catalyst for artist development and networking. Ogbara has received numerous honors and awards, including the Multicultural Fellowship sponsored by the NCECA 52nd Annual Conference.
Ogbara has exhibited in galleries and museums across the country including and currently based in St. Louis, Missouri, working as a visual artist. Ogbara is a graduate student at Washington University Sam Fox School of Art & Design and will receive her MFA in the year 2020.
Jen Everett is an artist from Southfield, Michigan currently working in Saint Louis, Missouri. She is interested in the myriad ways Black people produce and transmit knowledge.
Her practice encompasses lens based media, installation and writing. Jen’s recent work considers the relationship between rupture and Black interiority through an investigation of the materials we collect, the information we hold in our bodies and where the two may converge.
Adrian Octavius Walker is a mixed-media artist based in Chicago, IL by way of St. Louis Missouri.
His work is inspired by the Black body, dynamics of the Black family and archival work related to the African American experience and the untold stories they share. Working in both film and digital-format photography, Walker creates penetrating portraits influenced by his deep awareness of the nuances that pervade the human experience. His greatest milestone to date is being one of the prize-winning artists in The Outwin 2019: American Portraiture Today Competition currently on display at the National Portrait Gallery Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. Walker is currently represented by pt.2 Gallery Oakland, Ca. You can find him curating artist talks and creating dynamic installation work. He enjoys collecting photobooks, some commercial photography, and discovering artists on the web.
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