The ADRSA is pleased to announce artist and educator Stephen Hamilton as the Featured Artist for our 8th conference, Wind and Fire: Honoring the Divine Feminine and Masculine in Africana Religions to be held at Xavier University in New Orleans on April 17, 2020.

Based in Boston Massachusetts, Stephen incorporates both Western and African techniques into his work, blending figurative painting and drawing with resist dyeing, weaving, and woodcarving. Each image is a marriage between the aesthetic perspectives and artistry of both traditions.

As a Black American trained in traditional west African art forms, he treats weaving, dyeing, and woodcarving as ritualized acts of reclamation. He uses traditional techniques and materials native to West Africa to reclaim ancestral knowledge dissociated from Africans in the Americas, during the transatlantic slave trade. Stephen's work explores and heavily references the Black body in pre-colonial African art history, creating visual connections between the past and the present. This forms a body of work, which serves as a conceptual and visual bridge between the ancient and modern worlds. Through this, he explores elements of black identity through time and space on its own terms.

His graphic novel, Itan, is based on the oral literature traditions of the Yoruba people of West Africa and combines traditional West African textile and sculpture traditions with western painting and illustration. Drawing directly from the verses of Ifa, the vast corpus of divination poetry used by the followers of the Yoruba Orisa traditions worldwide (as well as other Yoruba verbal arts) this relays important narratives rooted in African thought.

Find out more about Stephen at his website itanproject.com and join us at Wind and Fire in April! Early bird registration now open, click here to register now.