Join us as Desmond Beach discusses his work, Saturday, May 6th, 5-6 pm.
The writer James Baldwin described: “To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all the time.” This quote has always resonated with Desmond Beach as a Black man whose lifelong pursuit is, as he states: “… to genuinely and honestly express my lived experience through art-making.”
The African storytelling tradition is a thread that runs through Beach’s series of fiber and mixed media artworks. Honoring his immediate ancestors, as well as those of the African Diaspora, is a priority. Beach’s highest goal is to turn the terrible into the beautiful. His work is inspired by recent and historical developments in the African American experience as well as anti-Blackness. Inspired by images of Black people during the Middle Passage, in the Jim Crow South, and by their representation in today’s mass media, his artwork frequently addresses the racial stereotypes that affect Black people. The work’s deliberateness remixes, reclaims, and reexamines the Black struggle. The works of art serve as a forum for illuminating the existence of the nameless, grief, celebration, and resistance.
Desmond Beach is an artist and educator based in New York City. He earned his MFA from the Rinehart School of Sculpture at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) and his BFA from MICA. Beach is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Plymouth in the UK. He has been a visiting lecturer/artist at institutions such as Coppin State University and Emerson College. Beach has been a fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and Skidmore College, an artist-in-residence at Pyramid Atlantic Art Center in Silver Spring, MD, and the 2021-22 Bayard Rustin Residency Fellow in New York City, to name a few.
Beach is an interdisciplinary artist, the middle son of three boys born in Baltimore, MD. He is a project artist, meaning his work takes its point of departure from specific problems or tragedies. Beach finds inspiration for his work from growing up in Baltimore during the 1980s and 90s and his lived experience as a Black man. He creates sacred spaces for the spirits of his immediate ancestors and those of the African Diaspora to rest. Beach is also interested in sharing the reflective moments of everyday life. He connects with the viewer through various mediums, including sculpture, costume, fiber arts, installations, performances, and mixed media. He believes that his work as an artist is a calling.
The activities of the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance are made possible in part by a grant from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support from the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.