Welcome Home is a mixed media art exhibition which shares with viewers the intimate perspectives of artists Kasem Kydd and Brendon Hawkins. Brendon Hawkins’ photography pays tribute to significant male relationships he's had throughout his life, that have influenced who he is, while Kasem Kydd’s multidisciplinary practice explores the displacement of his West Indian ancestry.
Brendon and Kasem’s work, though vastly different, finds a middle ground in their representation of young black men. Through this presentation of individual works that complement each other’s, the pair engage in a back and forth, having a dialogue about their experiences, their similarities and their differences.
This exhibition, curated by Sean Beauford, showcases the two artists working together for the first time, in an effort to have a multidimensional conversation on topics such as culture, race, and sexuality, lead by a younger generation.
Brendon’s body of work explores relationship and gender roles, with an honest portrayal of his experiences with men. “MY BOYS by Brendon Hawkins for The14-40” is an ongoing photo series featuring the different men he encounters. With his photography and installation, he aims to shine a new light on the multi-faceted life of the gay black man in America.
Kasem’s work focuses on the presence of his blackness and the black diaspora in 21st Century America. Blackness as a color, a metaphor, and black under surveillance. Imagined and created potential futures of the black diaspora through movement, power manifestation, and cultural artifacts that have evaded, conquered, and subjugated white supremacy.
This exhibit is open to the public September 15th through November 26th, with a free opening reception to be held from 7pm to 10pm on September 15th. The reception will feature complimentary food and beverages by Future Tenant’s generous sponsors, Point Brugge Cafe and Straub Beer.
ABOUT THE CURATOR
SEAN BEAUFORD is an independent curator, using art to tell stories, present different perspectives, and promote diversity. Sean has worked with various organizations in Pittsburgh, including the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, the Pittsburgh International Airport, and has recently served as a juror for CSA PGH and the Sprout Fund.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
KASEM KYDD was born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in Jamaica, Queens. He lives by this quote by Assata Shakur, "It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains." Kasem Kydd is an interdisciplinary artist whose work is about his specific identity and also its relationship to a larger whole, firstly his West Indian and indigenous heritage from the island of Bequia, and his ancestors before him, and then his identity as a black male. Currently it is his belief that blackness and whiteness are inseparable and have been linked regardless of how far back you go. It isn't his only intention to be critical of this link, because it has always existed, but it is his intention to imagine potential futures, and re-imagine histories, and ways of looking that are reflective of his experience in the black diaspora.
BRENDON HAWKINS is a fine art and fashion photographer from Washington, D.C. Brendon’s work is centered around highlighting the marginalized sub-groups of gay black culture in America. Bringing these groups into focus to portray an honest story of what it means to be gay and black in America. He is currently based in Pittsburgh, PA and available for work throughout the US.
ABOUT THE SPONSORS
POINT BRUGGE CAFE opened in the Point Breeze neighborhood of Pittsburgh’s East End in January 2005. Its Belgian-inspired cuisine, fresh ingredients and reasonable pricing made it an instant hit with the neighborhood and beyond. Point Brugge is consistently rated one of the top restaurants in the area by major publications and social media sites.
STRAUB BEER has been brewing since 1872, and has established a legacy of being a family owned and operated brewery, committed to handcrafting quality beer that can proudly carry the family name. Straub Brewery brews Straub American Lager, Straub American Light Lager and Straub American Amber Lager.