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Cultural Heritage | Creative Expression: Stormwater Residency Finalists

July 18, 2023 @ 11:00 am - July 30, 2023 @ 3:00 pm

Stormwater Announces Group Exhibition as part of BIPOC Residency Program 

Cultural Heritage | Creative Expression: Stormwater Residency Finalists

COLUMBIA, SC, July 5, 2023 – Stormwater Studios is thrilled to announce a group exhibition titled “Cultural Heritage | Creative Expression” which showcases the finalists of the inaugural Stormwater one-year Residency Program, designed to support and celebrate diverse voices within the artistic community. The program was made possible by the generous contribution of an anonymous donor with matching funds from One Columbia, to help foster an inclusive culture at Stormwater. The exhibition will be on display July 19-30th, with an Opening Reception on July 20th, from 5-8pm, and an Artist Talk and Closing Reception on July 30th, from 1-3pm. 

The Stormwater Residency aims to provide a professional working environment that welcomes all forms of visual creative expression. As part of this year-long residency, the selected artist will have the opportunity to step outside their usual creative settings, allowing for reflection, research, experimentation with various materials, and the creation of a comprehensive body of work, which will culminate in a solo exhibition.

To identify the resident artist, Stormwater engaged prominent leaders in the art community to form a dedicated committee. Drawing upon their extensive expertise, the committee thoughtfully nominated and meticulously narrowed down the selection, culminating in the final selection process at Stormwater.

In recognition of the exceptional talent among all the residency finalists, Stormwater will proudly host a two-week art exhibition that will serve as a platform to showcase their extraordinary work. The participating artists include Nakisa Beigi, Malik Greene, Raishad Glover, Lori Starnes Isom, Quincy Pugh, Maya Smith, and Cedric Umoja. Through a diverse range of artistic expressions, the artists comment on their respective cultures, the immigrant experience, and convey emotions through poignant and nostalgic narratives. The themes explored will revolve around identity, culture, and politics, facilitating a deeper connection between the viewers and the artwork.

The exhibition will be open to the public from July 19th to July 30th, providing an opportunity for art lovers and the wider community to experience the powerful and thought-provoking artworks created by these exceptional artists. To kick off the exhibition, an opening reception will be held on July 20th from 5-8pm, allowing attendees to engage with the artists and gain deeper insights into their creative processes. Furthermore, a closing reception and artist talk will take place on July 30th from 1-3pm. Art historian and critic, Frank C. Martin, II, Ph.D., a member of l’Association Internationale des Critiques d’Art (AICA – an international art critics’ association) will act as moderator. Dr. Martin will provide an opportunity for attendees to engage in meaningful conversations with the individuals whose works will be on display, intending to enhance their understanding of the artists’ visions.

This program is sponsored by South Carolina Humanities, a state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities; inspiring, engaging and enriching South Carolinians with programs on literature, history, culture, and heritage.

Artist Statements:

Nakisa Beigi: “I am a visual artist with a passion for exploring themes of identity, culture, and politics. I integrate traditional Persian motifs and contemporary elements into my artwork, exploring the intersection of my personal history and my experiences as an immigrant living in the United States.” 


Malik Greene: “My work depicts my personal history through intimate portraits of family, moments, and memories conveying my experience as a black man and artist. I create as an act of searching, investigating my cognition and the societal implications affecting those who look and feel as I do. I intend to use this studio residency for diving deeper into creating works that expand and supplement representation for my community at large. A particular goal of mine is to begin developing original stories that further the various facets of black life, capturing nuances often ostracized from figurative paintings and literature respectively.” 


Lori Starnes Isom: “My belief is that art has a positive effect on how we experience life. I’m humbled when people tell me that my art speaks to them on a visceral level. I try to convey my emotions through the mostly nostalgic stories I tell, so that the viewer feels that connection. Whenever I have the privilege to share that, it makes me happy.” 


Quincy Pugh Statement: “Although most of my work is figurative, I also tend to be inspired by mother nature and often explore such subjects in a representational and abstract manner. The pieces I’ve selected for this show are abstracts that reflect the colors and spirit of the season.”


Maya Smith: Maya Smith has been creating art since she was a child. “My work celebrates people of color and women with shape. Using pencils and paint, I create imagery that counters negative stereotypes and provokes conversation.” 


Cedric Umoja: Using a variety of mediums “allow me to critically explore a Black Speculative future while honoring and paying homage to a Black past. There is a focus on intersectional Blackness and the celebration of Black life in its totality, with emphasis on ancestral lineages, land preservation and African American contributions to Black Diasporic culture. I make work to amplify, preserve, and protect Blackness beyond the white gaze, but also to project us into a future free from systematic oppression.”


Raishad Glover: “My art process leads with the notion of diligence and simplicity applicable to innovative culture and traditional media. My objective is to facilitate the movement of art and design foundations by cherishing semantic aesthetics, including the praxis of structured productivity from conventional methods, algorithmic perception, and abstract concepts.”


About Stormwater

Stormwater is a nonprofit created to keep a place of permanence for the visual arts and keep a thriving working artist community in Columbia’s Vista district. Stormwater’s mission is to establish a consistent and supportive environment to foster the growth of artists and demonstrate the value and importance of visual art to the community at large. The organization envisions a creative vibrant hub of diverse visual artists fostering creative expression and forming the nucleus of Columbia’s thriving arts district. Visit stormwaterstudios.org to learn more.



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