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Sista Creatives Rising opens call for artists

Celina Colby
Celina Colby is an arts and travel reporter with a fondness for Russian novels.... VIEW BIO
Sista Creatives Rising opens call for artists
Mother-daughter duo Claire Jones and Amaranthia Sepia of Sista Creatives Rising. COURTESY PHOTO

Sista Creatives Rising has put out a global call for artists for their “Art & Mind: I Know Who I Am!” exhibition. The exhibition will center the impact art can have on healing trauma and BIPOC women-identifying and femme-expressing artists are encouraged to apply.

Run by Black and invisibly disabled mother-daughter duo Claire Jones and Amaranthia Sepia, Sista Creatives Rising develops and hosts disability-accessible virtual events focused on marginalized groups. The latest event in the “Art & Mind” series will explore how women of color and femme expressing people of color use art as a tool for solace and healing.

COURTESY Sista Creatives Rising

“We came together to do this mission because of the lack of representation we were seeing in the arts, the lack of accessibility in the arts for people who are a woman of color, marginalized women, disabled folks,” says Sepia. “It’s also used to raise awareness about mental health, disability and health disparities.”

Jones and Sepia have experienced the healing power of art firsthand. In fact, the Art & Mind events series grew directly out of Sepia’s history with racial bullying in school. Her comic and manga inspired artworks provided a space for her to heal and start dialogues about mental illness and racial trauma. Jones’ writing has been an outlet to deal with her childhood domestic violence trauma and her ongoing battle with cancer.

“Using art to advocate was a way for me to heal and find ways to connect with people and find my voice as a really shy kid who was very traumatized,” says Sepia. “Even when I couldn’t find doctors who would understand me, especially the racial experience of racial trauma, I used my art to be like ‘This is what I’m going through.’”

The virtual event will be hosted on October 5 and will feature documentary-style videos about the five artists selected to participate. The artists will speak about their experiences with race, gender, disability and sexuality and how their art has been healing during their journey. Social worker Journee LaFond and disability activist Heather Watkins will also speak during the event.

Sepia and Jones found video to be an extremely accessible medium, which is what led them to the documentary style of the Art & Mind events. Video is an overall engaging medium, more interactive than looking at paintings in a virtual gallery. There are also options to add closed captioning and sign language into the video to make it more accessible. This medium additionally allows for dance performances, panel discussions and other art forms.

Boston-based Brain Arts Org and Dancing Queerly Boston are sponsoring the event and all participating artists will be compensated $200. Artists can apply on the Sista Creatives Rising website. Proceeds from the event will be put into a mutual aid fund for marginalized artists; the distribution process is still being determined by Sista Creatives Rising. 

“The idea is to help marginalized women, marginalized genders, gain accessibility, and visibility and arts to facilitate their personal healing,” Sepia says. “We deserve to be seen and heard.”

accessibility, arts, disability, Sista Creatives Rising