Black (they/them), formerly known as Black Venus, is a renaissance, drawing inspiration from artists like Josephine Baker and Ntozake Shange, who were unapologetic and unbound in their creative expression. Born and raised in Boston, MA, they grew up surrounded by a family and community of artists and educators. From a young age, Black inherited a reverence for creativity and its historic influence on the evolution of society and culture. The quickly recognized the disparities in having access to the arts, which ignited their mission to become a leader in communities seeking liberation + healing through creative expression.
Black has been a youth worker, community artist and organizer since Sunday School days. They are passionate about cultivating community spaces and programming that nurture healing and liberation through creativity. After graduating from Boston College with a B.A. in Communication and double-minor in theater and African diaspora studies, Black became serious about working, teaching and organizing around the arts and liberatory practice. In 2016, they co-organized and hosted their first community event, “BYOB (Bring Your Own Blanket): A Black Arts Picnic.” Following BYOB, Black co-organized and led a discussion and healing space for BIPOC women and femme-identified folks in Boston called “Queens Talk.” Meanwhile, in 2016, Black wrote and self-published their first poetry chapbook titled Constellations*, a collection of poetry and haiku that captures personal reflections on love, self-image and the many ways we are divinely connected to the world around us.
As a freelance working and teaching artist Black held a director’s position for two years at The Theater Offensive for their True Colors OUT Youth Theater Troupe. In 2017, Black landed a major grant through the OUT’Hood Artist Residency at The Theater Offensive where they had the opportunity and full artistic control to create, direct and perform in their multimedia performance project, SPECULUM. Black was also nominated to be a Luminary Neighborhood Salon Artist at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, MA. At the Gardner, Black engaged in community conversations with the Luminary Cohort, held creative workshops, performed + deejayed in the iconic courtyard.
Through anti/interdisciplinary creative practice, Black transcends boundaries between art and form to create space for discovery and transformation. At the center of their work is decolonizing & exploring the ways we understand and connect to our lived experiences. In this way, they hope to uncover our collective histories, memories and traumas to open pathways towards healing. They create within the realms of Afrofuturism & spirituality, conjuring through imaginative worldmaking in order to connect to a deeper sense of collectivity, wholeness & embodied wisdom. Through this work, Black cultivates cultural & social transformation.
Black is currently a freelance artist, educator, and organizer based in New Orleans, LA. In May 2022, they earned a master’s degree from Lesley University in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, specializing in Expressive Arts Therapy.