Ancestral Nourishment - Learn About the Latest JCAL Exhibition

  • November 13, 2023

Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning has announced the opening of Ancestral Nourishment, the latest exhibition in its three-year visual arts initiative Visual Voices, which spotlights emerging BIIPOC curators. Conceived and curated by Queens-based artist Seema Shakti Choudhary, Ancestral Nourishment opens in the Miller and Community galleries at JCAL (161-04 Jamaica Avenue) on Friday, November 17th, with a 6pm reception that is free to the public. Featuring more than 20 emerging and established contemporary artists—mostly Queens-based, predominantly BIIPOC—Ancestral Nourishment will remain on view until Saturday, January 6, 2024, with a closing 6pm reception, also free to the public.

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Ancestral Nourishment honors the source of energy that is created through celebrating our roots, our past, our ancestors, and the nourishment and inspiration they provide us to continue creating and telling our stories through art. The exhibition will also feature two artist talks free to the community— on Saturday, December 9 and Saturday, December 16—both at 3pm at JCAL.

Ancestral Nourishment follows the inaugural exhibition Free Your Mind, curated by Shenna Vaughn, and the innovative and interactive exhibition You Feel Me?, curated by Juliet James. Two other curators in the five-member Visual Voices cohort—Wanda Best and Adrian Bermeo—will produce exhibitions in 2024.

"Ancestral Nourishment began as a series of work that I’ve been creating as a visual artist and I wanted it to be more than a series,” says curator Seema Shakti Choudhary. “I wanted to build community around it and that’s when I decided to make it the theme of this group exhibit.

So much of our daily responsibilities and the heaviness of current events in our world deplete and weigh on us. Through this exhibit, I want people to tune into the power of our ancestors and to leave the space feeling collectively energized and nourished. This show reminds us that we’re not alone and that we have a whole community around us—of neighbors, friends, family, and ancestors."