Images courtesy of tessamars.com.
Haitian artist Tessa Mars makes her first significant visit to the United States as part of Visionary Aponte: Art & Black Freedom, an event series paired with an art exhibit at the Power Plant Gallery (on view through mid-November).
Tessa Mars is a Haitian visual artist living and working in Port-au-Prince. She completed her bachelor in Visual Arts in France, at Rennes 2 University in 2006. From 2006 to 2013 she worked as a Cultural projects coordinator at Fondation AfricAméricA. Since 2013 she has been solely focused on developing her career as an artist. Her work has been exhibited in Haïti, Canada, France, Italy and the United States.
In Fall 2018, Duke University’s Power Plant Gallery and Forum for Scholars and Publics, in collaboration with a number of campus and community partners, are presenting a series of events exploring the histories and stories behind the Visionary Aponte exhibition and its timely meditations on slavery, Black incarceration, revolution, and artistic expression.
During her Rubenstein Art Center residency—her first opportunity to spend time in the United States making artwork—Mars will collaborate with local artists and visiting artist Édouard Duval-Carrié to create new works for the larger Visionary Aponte project. Students from various classes at Duke—including Laurent Dubois’s graduate-level Public Scholarship course, undergraduate classes dealing with Caribbean history, literature, and art, as well as students in dance and studio art classes—will be able to visit the Ruby’s painting studio and see the works-in-progress.
The residency will culminate in an unveiling of the new works and an event during which the artists will discuss what they have produced and how it relates to Aponte’s book and to the work already in the exhibit.
Visionary Aponte: Art & Black Freedom is a nine-week art exhibit and accompanying series of conversations, screenings, performances, residencies, and workshops at Duke University organized by the Power Plant Gallery and the Forum for Scholars and Publics. The exhibit is curated by Édouard Duval-Carrié and Ada Ferrer and is based on a digital humanities project called Digital Aponte.