It is turning out to be quite an interesting year for visual artist Kurt Nahar. On July 9th,, 2016, he leaves for the USA where he will spend three weeks at the Joan Mitchell Center (on Facebook) in New Orleans as an artist-in-residence researching and creating work about a social issue that has, in past and present, held the whole world in its throes. In New Orleans Nahar will direct his energy towards the complex and multifaceted theme of various refugee crises.
The residency at the Joan Mitchell Center (on Facebook) was brought to the attention of Readytex Art Gallery by their good friend and trusted collaborator in the arts, Rosie Gordon-Wallace of DVCAI (Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator) (on Facebook) in Miami. In recent years Rosie has travelled to Suriname with a team of US/Caribbean artists twice and she has been a fan and supporter of the work of Kurt Nahar for even longer than that. On her recommendation the team of Readytex Art Gallery set to work with partner artist Kurt Nahar, to submit an application on his behalf for participation in this residency project in New Orleans. In February 2016 we were informed that the selection committee of the Joan Mitchell Center had granted Kurt Nahar a spot in her summer residency program.
The Joan Mitchell Center aims to be a place for creation, innovation and transformation, while supporting values of community, diversity and social equity. It will therefore undoubtedly serve as the perfect backdrop and environment for the work that Kurt plans to create during his residency. In his research Kurt Nahar will explore the various angles of the issue of forced displacement of large groups of people, focusing primarily on the victims of hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, the Maroons who fled their jungle villages after the war in the interior in Suriname in the 80’s, as well as the current refugee crises from the Middle East that affect so many countries around the world. He will focus especially on the aftermath, and the often-tragic consequences for all communities and individuals involved. What exactly his resulting artwork will end up being – although it is almost certain that it will be an installation made from locally found materials -, depends on that which he encounters during his research.
Nahar’s residency at the Joan Mitchell Center in New Orleans runs from July 11th until August 5th, 2016. From there the artist travels to Miami where he will spend several days as a guest of DVCAI (on Facebook) where Rosie Gordon-Wallace has arranged various opportunities for him to present his work in her lively art community there.
TEXT Press release Readytex Art Gallery, 2016