LAB36 and Yurbban Tragalgar are hosting the BAAR Art Journey & Residency

BERLIN FILES – UNAPOLOGETIC is a traveling art exhibition by the BAAR Art Journey and Residency program that took place in Berlin, Germany, from October to November 2022. The works will be exhibited in the city of Barcelona from February 15 to March 30, 2023, at The Cover club, and at Yurbban Trafalgar in collaboration with the Lab36 gallery.

Among the exhibited works are those of American artists who resided in Stiftung Starke during their residency, as well as other visual artists who participated in the BAAR Art Journey and Residency program. The exhibition presents a hybrid showcase of artists from across Europe and Africa.

Out of 180 applications received from artists of African, Latin, Asian, and German diaspora from around the world, BiTHOUSE GROUP, the creators of BAAR Art Journey and Residency, selected seven participants for the in-person and hybrid residency, and five for BAAR+. Artists were asked to identify two artworks they had created during and/or after the pandemic and to create two more works over a period of six to eight weeks.

BAAR Art Journey and Residency was founded by Wilhelmina Jewell Sparks with the aim of protecting, fostering, and amplifying the talent of underrepresented emerging and established artists of African and Latin diaspora, who have traditionally had limited access to major art markets, gallery representation, and/or integration into institutional collections.

The program was created to challenge the dynamics of the traditional art market, with the purpose of increasing equity for creators, generating wealth, and redefining attitudes and mindsets related to what is considered good art, quality art, and conventional contemporary art. According to studies, psychological safety allows for varying degrees of risk-taking, creativity, and courage. These elements lead to advances in the market (Harvard Business Review), and this was the motivation behind the creation of BAAR Art Journey and Residency.

The curator of this exhibition, Jewell Sparks, challenges viewers to look beyond what meets the eye and imagine the transformative state that each artist experienced during their stay in Berlin, their transformation during the pandemic, their exploration of themselves, and their heritage as unapologetic creators. Artists were challenged to ask themselves the following questions while creating works over a period of six to eight weeks: What would you create if you reflected the impacts of the pandemic and the exploration of your personal journey as a creative? How much does one’s environment affect their creativity?

These questions were answered and embedded in the artists’ canvases that are part of the traveling art exhibition currently on display in Barcelona: The Cover club, Lab36, and Yurbban Trafalgar.

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