The Nicholson Project Presents A.J. McCLenon Notes from VEGA

By Editorial Team on April 5, 2021
Notes from VEGA. Courtesy of Nicholson Project and the artist.

Black Hole Programming: Saturday, April 24 from 12pm to 5pm

On View: April 10 – 25, 2021

The Nicholson Project is proud to announce the opening of Notes from VEGA featuring new works of Artist-in-Resident A.J. McClenon, and curated by Nicholson’s Guest Curator and Curatorial Advisor Oshun Layne of Dashboard. The exhibition will be on view at The Nicholson Project, 2310 Nicholson Street SE, Washington, DC 20020.

Notes from VEGA, a new body of work from A.J. McClenon, derives from McClenon’s ongoing VEGA project and is presented as the stage of a dystopian future. Set in the year 2112, 63 years after the “Post-Post-Post Movement,” the government is executing its Universal Relocation Project, (URP) and leaving Earth in a large machine fast enough to orbit a black hole. Three leading Black physicists, Vega, Dr. Kramoris (aka D’Ram), and Dr. Dahnara Bekti (aka Nara), work undercover with the Futurist Freedom Party (FFP) to help those left behind by securing technology for life to survive in Earth’s deep oceans.

An interdisciplinary artist, McClenon weaves together performances, writing, video, and mixed-media drawings, collages and objects to share this story. In Notes from VEGA, we are invited to take a glimpse at the resilience of Black people, and their ability to adapt and evolve in any circumstance. When the earth is no longer able to sustain their livelihoods and options are limited, they return to water — the source of life.

McClenon’s choice of mixed media collage for this series encompass the idea of reshaping the self. The use of calming blues and black silhouettes breathe life into modified souls. McClenon asks the viewers to step into this familiar yet abstract future. You are present in the artist’s vision but also encouraged to create and share your own.

ABOUT
A.J. McClenon is a multi-disciplinary artist born and raised in Washington, DC and currently residing in Chicago. She is deeply invested in leveling the hierarchies of truth and using personal narrative to speak on political and cultural amnesia and their absurdities. For more information about A.J. McClenon, visit www.thenicholsonproject.org/2021-aj.

During McClenon’s residency at The Nicholson Project, McClenon has worked with Nicholson’s Guest Curator, Oshun Layne of Dashboard, a lab co-founded in 2010 by Courtney Hammond and Beth Malone for redefining space with art and imagination. For more information on Dashboard, visit www.dashboard.us.

The Nicholson Project is a paid artist residency program and neighborhood garden in Washington, DC’s Fairlawn neighborhood. Our mission is to support, provide opportunities, engage, and amplify artists and creatives from our community and the local artist community—particularly artists of color and those from Ward 7 and 8—while engaging our neighbors through community-based programming. We are located at 2310 Nicholson Street SE, Washington, DC. Our gallery is open Saturdays April 10th, 17th, 24th, and Sunday, April 25th, from 12-4pm. For more information about The Nicholson Project, visit www.thenicholsonproject.org.