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FREEQUENCY Exhibition Focuses on Afrofuturism and Community

May 13, 2024

FREEQUENCY Exhibition Focuses on Afrofuturism and Community

Freequency next to an image of a Black figure with two faces in a robe

FREEQUENCY, an exhibition at Urban Arts Space curated by Iyana Hill and April Sunami, features Black artists whose work incorporates elements of the Black aesthetic as envisioned by the AfriCOBRA collective. The show will run from May 21–June 29, 2024 and will also include a dozen community programming events, as listed on the FREEQUENCY website.

Following last year’s Irrepressible Soul, the FREEQUENCY exhibition once again brings the Black experience to light, this time through the lens of Afrofuturism. Afrofuturism imagines realities for the Black community that do not exist today. For co-curator Iyana Hill, it represents a key part of Black culture. 

“When it comes to Afrofuturism, it's truly the nature of being Black. You have to innovate, you have to create your own world inside the world we live in. You're acknowledging the past, future, and the present, taking all of that frequency,” Hill shared.

FREEQUENCY is meant to bring together the Black experience from all aspects, intertwining current stories with those of ancestors and future generations. Featuring several mediums, the exhibition aims to share not only the current stories of Black artists, but also their hopes for the future. Through the work she curated, Hill wants to showcase this cyclical aspect of Afrofuturism.

“How do we honor and create our own narratives, our own lives, while acknowledging the past, the present, and the future? It’s not linear. It is continuous throughout space and time. And when thinking about this work and what it looks like … what feeling is being born from it?” Hill said. 

Many events will take place concurrently with the exhibition. Highlights include The Ball, which incorporates Afrofuturism into fashion, and the Hale Center Panel Event for Juneteenth with local Black artists and community members, including UAS Artists-in-Residence Arris' J. Cohen and Ajanaé Dawkins. The Irrepressible Soul Collective will also be partnering with the Columbus Museum of Art to bring an Afrofuturism-centered Bar, Art, and Music (BAM) event, which will feature live music and spoken-word performances as well as Black vendors.

The exhibition opens May 21 at Urban Arts Space, spotlighting various works from Black artists across Columbus. Urban Arts Space aims to advance its mission to elevate marginalized voices in the community through this exhibition and continued collaboration with the Irrepressible Soul Collective.

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