BlackRock Center for the Arts | Jessica Valoris Echoes of the Unmappable

By East City Art Editorial Team on July 10, 2024

Sat, July 13 2024 — Sun, August 25 2024

Reference Drawing for Echoes of the Unmappable, Jessica Valoris, 2024
Opening Reception: Saturday, July 13 from 2-5pm
Talk: Saturday, July 13 at 4pm

Echoes of the Unmappable
Jessica Valoris
An immersive testament to the sacred & courageous resistance of Black freedom-seeking ancestors

In a world where narratives of Juneteenth are often diluted or distorted, this installation seeks to re-center the practices of Black ancestors who reconceptualized what freedom meant in words, action, and in ways of being.

Echoes of the Unmappable honors the myriad ways that fugitive, maroon, and freedom-seeking Black ancestors activated practices of land stewardship, mutual aid organizing, re-wilding, and kinship to subvert the algorithms of empire.

The exhibition pulls from Jessica Valoris’ research into these legacies in Maryland (and beyond) for the How We Be Free: Black Fugitive Study Kit, a project she is currently cultivating within her community. The study kit contains a set of playing cards, dice, and booklet with quotes, prompts, and historical context. The study kit and the installation highlight the freedom-seeking practices of Black people during slavery and its aftermath.

Through Echoes of the Unmappable, visitors are encouraged to actively engage with ongoing legacies of Black liberation and consider their own place in the narrative of freedom and justice. Reflecting on how they can contribute to movements for liberation in their own communities (ie. abolition, reparations, land back, mutual aid, ceasefire, etc.) they are urged to let these histories inspire them to challenge oppressive systems, embody collective solidarity, and work towards creating a world of peace, justice, and care.

BlackRock Center for the Arts
12901 Town Commons Drive Germantown, MD