One of BAIA Foundation’s 2022 initiatives is instituting marketing assistance for African American Museums and Cultural Centers.
“Paint where it ain’t” is Brandon “BMike” Odum’s motto. In 2016, Odum converted a 3,500-square foot warehouse into what’s now an art gallery in the Bywater neighborhood of New Orleans, Louisiana. You know when you’ve arrived because paintings adorn the exterior of the gallery as well as buildings across the street and on the neighboring corners. Vibrant and youthful are words that come to mind, as it’s become a landmark in and of itself—a space that appeals to millennials and Gen Z, telling stories of revolutionaries like Audre Lorde, Nina Simone, and James Baldwin, as well as everyday New Orleanians.
Yet another space for artists to BE and express themselves, Studio Be offers intentional programming, workshops, exhibition, and resource allocation as way to invite the local community and global visitors to recognize, honor, and contribute to past, present, and future cultural arts. They fulfill their mission with their offerings to highlight and inspire a brighter future by encouraging artists and visitors to express their creative imaginations.
Their nonprofit organization, Eternal Seeds, helps their ongoing mission of promoting the advancement of artists and the discussion of society’s concerns. Eternal seeds focuses their mission specifically on local artists and the history and culture of New Orleans. By providing space and programs for the youth, children and young adults are able to creatively express themselves in different mediums, while gaining the guidance and management needed to advance in the artistic field.
Born in 2019, out of the Eternal Seeds, the BeElite collective is a group of youth-led student artists who have taken part in this collective mission by creating murals, hosting workshops, and collaborating with organizations and prominent figures to not only highlight their own talents, but to gain experience and guidance and provide other aspiring young artists to do the same.
Studio Be’s tours allows visitors to explore the StudioBE Gallery as a group or self-guided. On Wednesdays, students, educators, and Louisiana residents can visit the center at no cost, exploring the gallery or shopping the Studio Be Shop for vibrant art, apparel, accessories, vinyl spray, cans, look books, and more.
What’s on view at Studio Be?
- “Ephemeral Eternal” is the first solo show of Brandan “BMike” Odums and a culmination of everything learned from Project BE and Exhibit BE as well as exploring truth as an artist.
“Radical Freedom Dream” is a group art exhibition born from a series of student workshops held during the spring of 2020 at #StudioBE. Lead artist Brandan bmike Odums curated an environment for youth ages 8-18 to engage with creatives and policy figures as they exercised their agency in finding solutions to the treatment of Black Lives throughout current society.
Each art piece is a direct reflection of the ideas brought about in the workshops. Those ideas were then assigned to artist within the Studio BE collective.
THE BLACK ART IN AMERICA (BAIA) FOUNDATION is a 501c3 organization that applies what we’ve learned over our 12 years as a multifaceted arts company to facilitate the growth of artists while cultivating the relationships and opportunities that bring Black artists and communities together.
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