Talley Dunn Gallery: Equity in the Arts Fellowship Updates

Talley Dunn Gallery announced the first cohort of the Talley Dunn Gallery Equity in the Arts Fellowship last October. Over the past six months, Jer’Lisa Devezin, Nitashia Johnson, and Kevin Owens have met with the gallery team in monthly professional development sessions, quarterly individual check-ins, and studio visits. The fellows are currently working with the team to prepare for a group exhibition of their work, which will be on view at the gallery June 5 –⁠ July 31. Learn more about each fellow’s recent work below.
Jer’Lisa Devezin Jer’Lisa Devezin | Makin’ Groceries March 27 –⁠ April 25, 2021
500X “Makin’ Groceries is a phrase I use which means to buy groceries. Inspired by a nostalgic memory, this work explores the phrase as an act of resourcefulness by using found objects and discarded materials to create something out of nothing.” Learn More and Make an Appointment to View the Exhibition Jer’Lisa Devezin 

is an interdisciplinary artist who creates mixed media works using ceramics, metal, fibers, video and performance. Her work addresses stereotypes projected onto Black women, while exploring the intersection of Black womanhood and the effects of social constructs that uphold white ideas of gender and patriarchy. She received her BA from Dillard University in 2011 and earned her MFA from Southern Methodist University in 2019. Devezi currently lives and works in Dallas.
Nitashia Johnson Nitashia Johnson | The Beauty of South Dallas

2021 Juanita Craft House Artist Residency, South Dallas Cultural Center “Both the people and the land of South Dallas are beautiful. Many of the older buildings represent the struggles some people have faced growing up here, and, to me, that defines strength. Many areas within South Dallas are being developed, and I fear gentrification. My goal was to capture the current South Dallas before the future arrives because the people and places of today’s South Dallas are quite beautiful and unique indeed.” View Project Website
Nitashia Johnson  is a multimedia artist from Dallas, Texas. Her photographic series The Self Publication endeavors to uplift the Black community in showcasing the beauty of her subjects and their stories. Johnson attended Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, received her BFA from Texas Woman’s University in 2012, and received a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) in Art & Design Education from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2015.
Kevin Owens Kevin Owens | Extraordinary Vertical
July 6 –⁠ Sept 25, 2020
Mesquite Arts Center “Extraordinary Vertical is a body of work that centers around ‘restoration’ as it reflects the current events of ongoing turmoil resurfacing in our society. Using traditional painting techniques, drawing media and gestalt principles, the work looks into the destructive nature of what is going on in our society on a subconscious level.” View the Exhibition Video
Kevin Owens is a Dallas-based painter and arts educator invested in questions of representation and abstraction. In his work, the artist explores how the world is seen through the eyes of others. His practice reflects on the subconsciously destructive effects of instability on society through the use of traditional painting techniques, drawing media, and gestalt principles. He received his BFA in painting and drawing from Stephen F. Austin University.  Talley Dunn Gallery strongly believes in creating opportunities for racial equity in the Texas arts community. The Talley Dunn Gallery Equity in the Arts Fellowship strives to foster the development of emerging Black and Indigenous artists and other artists of color in North Texas, whose artmaking forms the backbone of our cultural landscape. In line with Talley Dunn Gallery’s ongoing commitment to anti-racism in our community, the gallery pledges to provide the fellowship with $15,000 of funding over the next five years with the hope that it continues indefinitely. This fellowship will be just one component of a larger vision for programming and resources the gallery will invest in supporting Black and Indigenous artists and other artists of color.

Art institutions are complicit in the conscious and unconscious ways artists of color have been denied equal access to resources for success in the arts. These social inequalities can only be remedied with explicit actions to structurally change our unspoken norms. Talley Dunn Gallery acknowledges the social and economic injustices artists of color face and is committed to advancing racial equity through the support of those whose voices are vital in our communities.

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