The Story of Melpomene • February 10 – March 17, 2023
Opening Reception Friday, February 10, 6:00 pm. • Free and Open to the Public.
Opening reception for solo exhibition of photographer, Stevia Ndoe. Drinks and light refreshments will be served.
My art answers the questions my younger self was too scared to ask. Growing up in an immigrant’s household, I felt as though there were certain topics I was not allowed to ask, let alone think about. I grew up with the idea that I was lucky to be growing up in the “land of the free” and questioning anything about my position in society was basically forbidden. Now as a creative, I use my artistic tools and skills to investigate issues I am passionate about. Whether it be about black liberation, ableism, or the dynamic within my immigrant household, I use my art as a means for exploration and my artwork is a visualization of the questions I have been exploring since childhood. I am traditionally a fine arts photographer and I draw inspiration from artists Dawoud Bey, La Toya Ruby Fraiser, and Gordon Parks. Parks’s usage of photography as a means to expose the realities of life resonates deeply with me and I try to practice that through my art. I draw a lot of inspiration from Fraiser’s composition style, especially from her series “The Notion of Family.” Bey’s composition and the connection he makes with his subjects is the root of much of my work and encourages me to get more familiar to the people I take photos of. I aim for the viewers of my work to feel a part of my pieces, not just spectators. Much of my work is very personal and all-encompassing–it is meant to be immersive, not just seen. In a key minimalist approach with my photos, therefore they are not abstract at first glance, but are conceptually intriguing and philosophical. My goal for my work is to make my viewer ask more questions about themselves and their position in society. I want my artwork to not only be a statement of self-reflection but a call to action for those engaging with it. I started my trajectory into the arts as a film photographer and the skills I’ve learned from the medium (and continue to learn from it) are practices I use in my work every day. Because of the cost of film and film development, there is little room for error with the pictures I take. I only have so many frames to get the image I want and because of that, I am very meticulous when it comes to planning my personal projects. I create a scene in my mind, plan it out, and in one shot, I capture it the best I can. As I expand my artwork into other mediums and forms of photography, such as digital photography, I keep that same work ethic with me. Additionally, I love film because of how personal the film developing process is. I shoot, develop, scan, and print my own work and through this process, I feel a special sort of connection between mean the photos I take. I see them from the point they are an idea/sketch to their physical conception and because of that, it makes the process of creating all the more special and unique.