On the first Tuesday of each month The News, presented by SOMArts Cultural Center, features new, queer work by Bay Area artists. The News is a monthly cabaret evening that spotlights 10-minute or less performance pieces, experiments, and works in progress by pre-selected solo artists, groups, or troupes. On Tuesday, September 1, The News is guest curated by Jackie Clay and features AH-Mer-AH-Su, Jade Ariana Fair, Edgar Fabián Frías, Titiana Kumeh, and Justin Young.
“Tonight we’ll survey singleness. At it’s most obvious, one could explore being uncoupled, but there are additional, if not a bit tangential, connections: being alone, being in a group of folks but being seen as singular, isolation. Part of this conversation around singleness for me is about blackness—being the single black person in a space.” – guest curator, Jackie Clay
New: admission is FREE! SOMArts is offering free admission in hopes that if you can afford to donate, you will support the artists onstage when the hat passes. RSVP on EventBrite to guarantee a seat.
The nature of The News is to give artists access to critical space for risk-taking in performance. In addition to artists selected by a guest curator, a “wild card” performer or two appears in each line-up at The News. “Wild cards” are artists who may not have been selected by the guest curators, but join in the evening to share new work. Artists interested in performing as a “wild card” at The News can find more information here.
AH-Mer-AH-Su is a multidisciplinary artist. She showcases the spiritual and physical evolution of what it means to be human. Her ancestral connection is strong. She is a Siren Witch Poptronic Princess.
Jackie Clay is a San Francisco-based arts writer/curator and an Alabama native. She graduated from California College of the Arts with dual-interdisciplinary degrees; sadly she’ll be paying Navient née Sallie Mae for the rest of her days. Her intellectual work centers on the body and concepts of blackness, but she also writes about white Italian contemporary artist Vanessa Beecroft and American artist Larry Rivers. She follows hip hop beef closely. She reads.
Jade Ariana Fair is a painter, performance artist and community herbalist. Originally from Los Angeles, California, she is a self-taught artist working in the media of installation, performance art, and painting. Through the use of organic matter, found objects and capitalist detritus, she explores the body as a site of prophecy and portent. She paints what she sees in visions and uses visionary making to communicate across dimensions of space and time. Her interests as an artist include cellular memory, non-linear time, self-recovery and the bright Black future. She is making her artistic debut at The News, but has been an activist and cultural worker for many years. She has devoted her energies to the freedom of queer Black and brown peoples as a community organizer, herbalist, and writer. She is the founder of Honey & Blackbone, a healing practice that takes the form of plant based holistic therapies, tarot readings and the facilitation of ritual and practical magic. For more information about Jade’s art and healing practice, visit www.jadearianaart.tumblr.com and www.honeyandblackbone.com
Edgar Fabián Frías is a 32 year old interdisciplinary artist, performer, healer, brujo bendito, community organizer, visionary, and leader. He sees deep connections between his social justice and healing work and the sacred power found within shared creative processes. He offers his interdimensional body as vessel for magic, music, art, and energy work in the name of transformation, transmutation, integration, and meaning-making. His newest project, Galaxias Eternas, began in May 2015 with inspiration from the Divine Goddess. Acting as a medium/conduit, Edgar’s songs act as spells; conjuring up a reality waiting to be experienced. Somewhere in-between.
Titania Kumeh works as an artist model, journalist, and performance artist in California. She studied acting at NYU and the Lee Strasberg Film & Theatre Institute, as well as journalism at San Francisco State University and UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. She is an artist model at the California College of the Arts, the San Francisco Art Institute, the Art Institute of California in San Francisco, as well as for artist groups around the Bay Area. As a journalist, she has reported on communities of color and different transgressive topics for a variety of publications, including the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Mother Jones magazine, SF Weekly, the Ghanaian Times, and the Spectator (Ghana). In 2015, she performed in the production of “If I John Henry…” with The Brontez Purnell Dance Company at the Black Choreographers Festival. She can also be seen with the BPDC in the 8mm black and white short doc “Free Jazz.”
Justin Young is a multidisciplinary performer versed in the arts of movement and vocal-ism. They originate from their bedroom of small city-town Slidell, LA. You may have seen them appear previously as one of many talented artists of SOMArts Nightlight under the name of “Aten.” Their piece, “On Loss and Singularity,” is set to explore their relationship with loss; “paleocentric” death, misnamed Death. Loss begetting singularity and integrating into wholeness.
Pictured: Justin Young, courtesy of the artist; Titania Kumeh by Sonya Deters; AH-Mer-AH-Su by Orchid Bakla Photography