By Chloe McNeill
Baltimore School for Arts has recently welcomed BSA alum Nicoletta Daríta de la Brown as their new “Artist In Residence” for the Visual Arts department.
Daríta de la Brown is a chamána (shaman) who has won numerous awards and comes from a long line of healers. She is an interdisciplinary artist, sculptor, filmmaker, and performer.
She identifies as Black Latinx and is proud to be a first-generation American-born Panamanian. Brown has had many performances across her career that have taken place at The National Aquarium, The Walters Art Museum, The Phillips Collection, The Smithsonian and much more.
This residency will establish new connections with established artists, foster emerging partnerships with various organizations, and provide opportunities for students of visual art to study business and administration in the arts.
The work Brown has begun for her students is one she is very committed to continue. At BSA, Brown will have the opportunity to mentor and teach students by guiding them through their own creative processes.
Brown works in her new office and studio area on the sixth floor. Students are always welcome to come in for whatever they need, whether it be advice, a critique, or simply a hug.
And her door is always wide open—it even has a very inviting cat-shaped doormat. For her scheduled studio hours, she is in her office on Mondays and Fridays, but she is always accessible to her students whenever and wherever they may need her.
This residency is a testament to her creative prowess and highlights her expertise as an educator and mentor.
Additionally, Brown is a Hopkins Public Humanities fellow. Currently, her sixth floor studio is occupied by the work she is producing for this residency. She accesses the archives and conducts research as a fellow, and she uses her art practice to reflect on her discoveries.
As she transitioned into her BSA residency, this fellowship was extended through this year. In her artistic pursuit, she is free to create anything she desires.
In her current practice, through performance art, self portrait photography and videography, Brown plans to study and respond to Special Collections objects that center black women.
Brown continues to ask herself and her audience “What would I say to the women of these times? How can I make their memories bigger than life? How do I make sure that these women are not erased or lost in the archives?”
In order to give viewers a glimpse into the daily life of Black women of the past and to share her own personal narrative of inspiration from her family line, Brown combines her spiritual practice with the dynamic art of storytelling by analyzing archives in her work.
The BSA community is delighted to welcome Brown back to the school and looks forward to seeing the new works she will create during her residency.
Her presence at the school will undoubtedly be a major highlight of the year and will serve as an inspiration to the students.
To contact this writer, email Muse Newspaper at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Featured photo of Nicoletta Daríta de la Brown, by Chloe McNeill for the BSA Muse