2021 Art Kala Honored Artists
Demetri Broxton’s textile sculptures reflect his connection to the sacred art of the Yoruba people of Nigeria, the beading traditions of the New Orleans Mardi Gras Indians, and his love of hip hop and graffiti. He understands his work as an ongoing investigation of cultural continuities from Africa to America and is particularly interested in how these ancient cultural forms find their way into mainstream culture. Thus, elements of Nigerian royal regalia, sports equipment with significant ties to African American history, Southern voodoo/hoodoo traditions, and quotes from hip-hop artists are seamlessly blended with beaded patchwork employing the same techniques used by the New Orleans Mardi Gras Indians.
Demetri Broxton is a mixed media artist of Louisiana Creole and Filipino heritage. He was born and raised in Oakland, CA and earned a BFA with an emphasis in oil painting at UC Berkeley in 2002. He has an MFA in Museum Studies with a dual emphasis on education and curatorial practice from San Francisco State University. Demetri is influenced by craft and folk traditions and is passionate about infusing these traditions into fine art. He is represented by Patricia Sweetow Gallery.
“My work is often beautiful, masking ugly histories. I keep Indigenous textiles and pottery, Aboriginal paintings, and landscapes in my periphery when I make art. My work is the exploration of existence, time and space, woven from cultural memory and epiphany. The process is meticulous and meditative, often obsessive in mark and repetition. My culture, personality, quirks, history, and family are inevitable influences, all fundamental to how and what I create. I seek to balance the familiar and the mysterious, shared stories and secrets.”
Jordan Craig is a Northern Cheyenne artist born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her work includes painting, prints, collages, textile prints, and artist books. In 2019, Jordan was an artist-in-resident at the Institute of American Indian Arts (Santa Fe, NM), as well as the Roswell Artist-in-Residence Program. She graduated from Dartmouth College with a BA in 2015. Currently, she is painting and printing in Roswell, New Mexico.
Carissa Potter is a painter, printmaker, and illustrator based in the East Bay. She’s worked collaboratively with many artists on interdisciplinary projects and has a platform for classes and workshops that also sells editions, called If You Were Here now. Additionally she has a retail shop for her own work called People I’ve Loved.
Carissa Potter is a founding member of Colpa Press and since 2010, she has been an artist in residence at Kala Art Institute in Berkeley, where she teaches letterpress. Carissa has worked with the ICA in Boston, BAM/PFA, SFMOMA, De Young Museum, CCA, The Body Shop, Anthropologie, The Color Factory, Facebook, and Pinterest to name a few. Carissa finished her first book with Chronicle books in 2015 titled “I like you, I love you.” In 2016, Carissa was an artist in residence at Facebook. Currently she is working on being a better listener and just finished her second book with Chronicle books, titled “It’s Ok to Feel Things Deeply.”