Black Art WKND is back June 10-12, 2022, for its much anticipated second annual event! Attendants can expect to experience a 3 day celebration of art with this year’s theme being All Kinds of Black.
7 curators will be featuring art focusing on different themes, altogether showcasing 40+ Black artists. _OfColor, a local arts alliance organization, is the parent of Black Art WKND. I spoke with RuDi Devino, a founding member, for more details.
A working musician for almost 12 years, Devino loves helping the creative community. He stated that creators of color don’t receive the benefits and opportunities they should from the city of Austin. “Austin can be a culture shock to some because they don’t feel welcome or can feel like an outsider.” He wants to help make the change for these people to feel like they have a place to belong.
Being Black isn’t a monolith. Different art styles, foods, vendors, performers, etc., will be present or represented. It’s not just about promoting but also providing opportunities for Black people
_OfColor, which was founded 3 years ago by RuDi DeVino, Steven Hatchery, and Anita Berry, noticed a lack of Black people, as well as other people of color, being seen in the arts. So they decided to find a way to bring opportunities to this group to keep them in Austin.
Then, Chris Tobar Rodriguez, an _OfColor member, had an idea for a Juneteenth event that became Black Art WKND. The event started with a handful of people and now has 20 or more volunteers.
What you can expect is diverse art from a variety of artists. “Being Black isn’t a monolith. Different art styles, foods, vendors, performers, etc., will be present or represented. It’s not just about promoting but also providing opportunities for Black people,.” saidDevino. _OfColor decided to have the event the weekend before Juneteenth, starting this year, to be able to spotlight and support other Juneteenth events the weekend of.
On the simplest of levels, celebrating all kinds of Black as it builds confidence, self-love, and instills pride
I also spoke with one of the featured curators and a fellow Soulciti contributor, Keyheira Keys, for insight from the curator’s side.
“ ‘All Kinds of Black’ is the overall theme this year. We want to showcase how being ANY kind of Black is enough. I think in a city that’s become a melting pot for many cultures and seems not always to celebrate, embrace, or understand our culture, it’s essential to show that Black people aren’t monolithic. On the simplest of levels, celebrating all kinds of Black as it builds confidence, self-love, and instills pride.”
Her showcase is All Kinds of Black Fashion, which will feature the various styles we have (Black people) inspired, made trend, and may not have received credit for.
When asked how she started curating art, she stated that she first began curating music events and festivals. She then branched out and began working with visual artists after falling in love with Austin’s Black Arts scene.
“Since, it’s been my goal to highlight, amplify, and help tell the stories of Black creatives all over but particularly in my hometown, Austin.” I asked Ms. Keys about her curating process.
“It depends on the project, but honestly, my process starts with inspiration. Once the work inspires me, everything else becomes about amplifying that story or emotion that the artwork provokes.
Everything is art to me. Especially for Black people. The way we talk, move, dress, and feel have been the wave for as long as I can remember. I don’t have to agree with it but good art makes you feel…something. And that’s where I start, with the feeling.”
Black Art WKND is June 10-12, at the Distribution Hall, located at 1500 E 4th St. More daily info and times can be found at Eventbrite .