We had the good fortune of connecting with Daricia Mia + Lauren DeMarr + Jackson Harris and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Daricia Mia + Lauren, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Black Women in Visual Art is the result of creating a resource that we wished existed growing up in the art world and as a student. It was an idea brewing in Lauren’s head to have a place that supported Black women arts workers from students to veteran leaders.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Black Women in Visual Art (BWVA) is an organization for women, visual art and culture professionals of the African Diaspora. BWVA aims to foster networks, share resources and develop programs with the goal of increasing visibility for Black women arts workers. BWVA was created to steward and nurture enduring representation and leadership in the visual arts and cultural sector. BWVA is most proud of the community of brilliant, hard-working women striving and thriving in the art world. They are excited to offer women in the field the opportunity to be celebrated, nurtured and supported by BWVA programs and initiatives. Their origin stories overlap having both attended HBCU’s. Lauren attended Howard University and Daricia Mia attended Clark Atlanta University. Lauren went to graduate school at SCAD and Daricia Mia at NYU. They both spent time working in NYC galleries. Lauren struggled to find her footing without the support of a network. Mia’s experience was easier because she connected with a strong network. Years later they met at Zucot Gallery and other ATL art events. Lauren presented big idea that would soon become BWVA and Daricia Mia was on board to make it happen. The BWVA mission is to promote and celebrate the contributions of black women impacting the art world past, present and future. Being the change we want to see is how BWVA emerged from idea to reality. It is an organization we would want to be part of; a community that nurtures the growth of Black women arts workers by providing opportunities, resources and insights for thriving careers.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Atlanta has lots to offer visitors from spectacular city sights to stunning natural beauty. We suggest visiting The Spelman Museum of Art, Atlanta Contemporary, The High, September Gray Gallery, Arnika Dawson Gallery, Zucot Gallery, Whitespace, Kai Lin and Mint Gallery. Visit as much of the Atlanta Beltline as possible. Westside and Sweetwater Creek State Parks. Eat at Tassili’s Raw Reality Cafe, Gocha’s Breakfast Bar, Gypsy Kitchen, Gokul Indian Sweets at Patel and a sandwich at Publix.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
BWVA wants to shoutout local Atlanta women arts workers that paved the way for us. There are many more but to name a few: Karen Comer Lowe, Tina Dunkley, Andrea Barnwell Brownlee, September Gray, Arnika Dawson, Lisa Tuttle and Cathy Byrd.
Linkedin: Black Women in Visual Art
Twitter: Black Women in Visual Art
Facebook: Black Women in Visual Art
Melissa Alexander Natrice Miller