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  • Writer's pictureTILA Studios

A prelude to the Art Basel: The Official Kick-off at Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce

Our Official Kickoff Event was a remarkable moment for TILA Studios and Black Women in the Arts in Atlanta. TILA’s goal is to see black female artistry thrive, and with our plan to attend Art Basel in Miami Beach, we will increase that visibility and representation ten-fold, literally.

L-R: Christa David, Grace Kisa, Jasmine Nicole Williams, Ayanna Smith, Evelyn Quinones, Shon Pittman, Sachi Rome, Ariel Dannielle, Angela Davis Johnson and Ebony Black

We introduced our 2018 Garden Fellows: Christa David, Jasmine Williams, Shon Pittman, Evelyn Quinones, Ebony Black, Ariel Dannielle, Ayanna Smith, Angela Davis Johnson, Grace Kisa and Sachi Rome.

These are the ten talented women selected to travel on an all-inclusive paid trip to the premier art show and convention. We believe that they will be successful in Basel because of the commitment to their practice, the beauty in their works and the clear determination to be successful working artists.

And Basel will give them unsurpassed access to art exhibiting, networking and firmly amplifying their stories within the high-end arts industry.

This would have not been possible without the sponsors who believe in us. The Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce graciously provided the space for us to gather. We heard from Simeon Spearman, Director of Digital Product, on championing entrepreneurship. He also announced we would be having our own channel on Atlanta’s own THEA video streaming service! And we felt all the love from the Atlanta creative and startup community with ChooseATL and Mailchimp in the house, as well. Sponsor Essentia Water came through to keep us hydrated. And between sips we ate the winning tacos from Appetize Atlanta while grooving to the smooth sounds of DJ D Lashae. It was the perfect mix! And guests also had a chance to purchase some printwork from Artist Diyah Najah or our special TILA swag.

Altogether, with this being our final stop on the #RoadtoArtBasel, the people and companies really holding us up showed up and showed out! Also on this night, a moment that we have been waiting for finally came to fruition… we were able to share visually what “Tila Will Go With You” means. It is the artist making a way for herself and coming together with others in the community.

Truly, a catalyst for spinning the industry on its head because you cannot deny that we are here and you cannot deny that we are brilliant. It is a disservice that only four percent of major artwork in museums is by black women. We have been vocal that that’s not the complete picture and it certainly won’t do through our #MoreThanFour campaign. There’s “More Than Four” Black Women Artist in the arts industry, making the work and making moves that pushes the canon forward.

In looking for these dope creators, we know that they can be found at TILA. But we also know they exist outside of TILA, all around the country like Mashonda Tifere, Mickalene Thomas, Amy Sherald and more! Hence the major move to unite in Basel and take this narrative from the local level here in Atlanta and make it national.

Ultimately, we plan to not only showcase The Garden Fellows at Basel, but also gather 250+ Black female artists, art collectors, curators and the like to discuss equity, access, and secrets to success. We uphold the women artist that have come before us and we uphold the museums and institutions that have been advocates and treasure keepers of our work. We must continue to support these crucial art galleries and archives while pushing for inclusivity in bigger institutions. The art world is changing y’all, and centering black women’s stories is at the forefront of it. The Kickoff was just the prelude as we pack our bags and hit The Road to Art Basel real soon!

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