Works by Brandan "B-Mike" Odums.

Afrofuturism finds a new home with an African American Museum exhibit

Last year, in the historically Black neighborhood of Overtown in Miami, artists exploring themes of Afrofuturism — an art style that draws inspiration from the intersection of African diaspora cultures and technology — found a place to exhibit their work at Art Basel Miami through the debut of the “Welcome to the Afrofuture” exhibit. Now, in 2019, Black artists will see this exhibit return, with W2TAF: Ground Zero coming to the New Orleans African American Museum. Fittingly, the Museum is located in New Orleans’ historically Black neighborhood, Tremé.

The exhibition is set to open on Thursday, September 12, 2019 at 6 p.m., and it will remain at the museum through December 15. W2TAF will showcase the work of many artists, creatives and designers whose work spans from explorations of Black spatial realities, imaginary spaces and Black meccas. 

Gia Hamilton, applied anthropologist and founder of the Afrofuture Society, will curate the exhibit. Hamilton is a board member for Tulane University’s Newcomb Museum, the Alliance for Artist Communities and the New Orleans Video Access Center. She recently received the 2018 Next City Vanguard fellowship.

While promoting the Art Basel Miami installation of Welcome to the Afrofuture, Hamilton said in an interview with Miami New Times, “Afrofuture is rooted in African cosmologies which look at the time-space continuum and imagine new spaces, tribes, and aesthetics. It incorporates — but also pushes past — traditional cultural iconography to pull from nontraditional sources. When people from the diaspora engage in Afrofuturistic projects, they are committed to examining the past, investigating present-day life, and projecting new imagery into the future.” The exhibition included work by New Orleans artist Brandan “B-Mike” Odums of Studio Be.

Before W2TAF, the New Orleans Africnan American Museum showcased exhibits on the chronology of African Americans in New Orleans and, then, the contemporary response to monuments. With this latest exhibit the museum will explore new forms of art for those of African descent. The New Orleans African American Museum was founded in 1996 and is dedicated to preserving the cultures of the African diaspora through education.

The museum is located at 1417-1418 Governor Nicholls St. For more information visit the museum’s website, here.