African American artist Dalila Brooks: My ‘Frame of Mind’ art exhibition in September in Washington, D.C. will leave people with ‘a sense of wonder’

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Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.

African American artist Dalila Brooks will be hosting her first solo art exhibition next month in Washington D.C., and she wants people who attend it to leave with ‘a sense of wonder about the fantastical mysteries of life.’

“I would like people to walk away from this exhibition with a sense of wonder about the fantastical mysteries of life and appreciate the magic we see every day from mother nature, and appreciate our own individual and unique history as it relates to identity and success,” Ms. Brooks told Today News Africa‘s Simon Ateba in an interview on Sunday.

‘Frame of Mind’ art exhibition is “a mixed media series focused on the ethereal quality of forms as it pertains to identity,” she said. “Using primarily reclaimed materials, ‘repurposed purpose’ is a prominent theme throughout my work. I seek to find a balance between refinement and natural elements and in doing so, I am able to stretch expectations and begin to tell new stories.”

  

“We often look for people to model ourselves after, whether they are in our family circles, in our communities or in the public sector to offer us a frame of reference by which to create meaning around events that take place in our own lives. Our choices can become the catalyst for developing our perspectives for how we see the world and the way in which we engage in it,” Ms. Brooks added.

The images featured in her ‘Frame of Mind’ exhibition, pose the question of duality as it pertains to reality and spirituality.

  

“Jewelry elements are interspersed throughout to revalue identities outside of the popular roles we play, giving us the opportunity to invest in the roles we would like to define ourselves,” she said.

Dalila Brooks is a native of Washington, D.C., who attended Hampton University with an undergraduate degree in psychology. From there, she went on to complete her Masters in Digital Art from Maryland Institute College of Art before completing her Director’s Certification for Theatrical Production at the New York Film Academy.

She has been a peace and meditation practitioner and is currently a full-time artist, designer and storyteller with NoWords.Space, an initiative she developed to introduce art and gardening to communities.

“We believe that being artful, creative and communicative are values that assist in enriching one’s life,” she said.

  

Tell us about your background or journey into art

My art journey began when my mother would take me to free art workshops and classes around the Washington, D.C. area. It didn’t dawn on me until later that both she and my father heavily influenced me because they were both creative people. She dabbled in dance, textiles, sculpture and painting and my father was always taking photos (because he was a photographer) and had a beautiful voice (and would sing to us occasionally). DC Public Schools had an excellent art classes at that time which included music fine arts, textiles (which was an after school program in knitting) and writing. After I completed my BA in Psychology, I decided to go to Maryland Institue, College of Art and recieved a degree in Digital Art. My first job was at Emerge Magazine (an African Amercian news publication) owned by Black Entertainment Televsion at the time. Since, I’ve been a filmmaker, graphic designer in various fields for more than twenty years and now a fine artist specializing in repurposed materials.

Tell us about this particular exhibition, what can people expect to see there

You’ll see a few variations of portraits with interlaced stories. Each image allowed me to stretch my graphic design skills to make graphic illustrations and composits while incorporating elements of sculpture to add dimention and texture.

What would you like people to take from the exhibition?

I would like people to walk away from this exhibition with a sense of wonder about the fantastical mysteries of life and appreciate the magic we see every day from mother nature and appreciate our own individual and unique history as it relates to identity and success.

Where can people find you and your artwork?

Some of my artwork can be found at www.NoWords.space where my social media links are present there as well.

Is this exhibition about African culture, African American culture or any culture? Why?

Because I’m African American, this exhibition has a link to African culture. My parents were in the Pan-African movement in the 1970’s around the time I was born. It was about bridging the cultural gap between Africans and African Americans, to offer us, Black Americans, a richer historical perspective other than just being born out of slavery. Many of us do not know our links to Africa. My parents gave me an African name (of Swahili and Tanzanian origin) so that I could always feel connected to my universal ancestors.

How many people do you expect to see at the exhibition?

I would love as many people to see the exhibition as possible. The space is small so being comfortable in the room is important for me so that each person to spend as much time with each story derived from the images presented. It will take place over the course of a month so there are many opportunities to view my work.

I would like to thank GW ArtReach for this wonderful opportunity to exhibit my artwork.

(Where and when is the exhibition?: The ArtReach GW at Community Gallery presents “Frame of Mind” by Dalila Brooks. Exhibition Dates: Saturday, September 4 – Thursday, September 30, 2021 In-Person Reception: Thursday, September 9th 5-8PM, RSVP Virtual Artist Talk: Wednesday, September 15th 6-7PM (Zoom Meeting ID: 815 2175 2440). contact: Aselin Flowers, Director of ArtReach GW, artreach@gwu.edu, 202- 819-5490)

Simon Ateba

Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.

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