DBFF Reception & Artist Talk: Ja'Tovia Gary & Lauren Kelley

Saturday, January 27, 2024
NOTICE: This event has expired.
2:00 PM - 5:00 PM

TWU Visual Arts is thrilled to announce our first exhibitions in 2024: Ja'Tovia Gary & Lauren Kelley!

In partnership with the Denton Black Film Festival and curated by Vicki Meek, TWU Visual Arts present video works by Ja'Tovia Gary & Lauren Kelley. The exhibition will be on view in the East & West Galleries from January 21 through February 9th, 2024.

Join us for the opening reception on Saturday, January 27th from 2:00 to 5:00pm, with an artist talk moderated by curator Vicki Meek from 3:00 to 4:30pm. The opening reception is in conjunction with the Denton Black Film Festival weekend.

Learn more about DBFF opening weekend events here: www.dentonbff.com


LAUREN KELLEY is an interdisciplinary artist who employs a wry wit when commenting on matters of innocence, race, and girlhood. At the core of her practice is a series of short, stop-motion animated videos that combine clay-mation with her brown, plastic dolls. Dolls are Kelley’s vehicle for navigating the space between luxuries and necessities; sweet and unsavory sentiments; Black and non-black worlds. Kelley’s work has been included in exhibitions at the Centre Pompidou, Paris, France and the New Museum, New York, NY. Reviews of her work have appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker and Art in America.

JA’TOVIA GARY is a filmmaker and multidisciplinary artist working across documentary, avant-garde video art, sculpture, and installation. The artist is deeply concerned with re-memory and employs a rigorous interrogation and apprehension of the archive in much of her work. She seeks to trouble notions of objectivity and neutrality in nonfiction storytelling by asserting a Black feminist subjectivity, and applies what scholar and cultural critic bell hooks terms “an oppositional gaze” as both maker and critical spectator of moving image works. Intimate, often personal, and politically charged, her works aim to unmask power and its influence on how we perceive and formulate reality. Gary’s films and installations serve as reparative gestures for the distorted histories through which Black life is often viewed. Black spiritual technologies, ancestral legacies, and the interiority of Black life often pull focus in Gary's multivalent works.

The artist has exhibited at the Hammer Museum, The Museum of Modern Art, The Whitney Museum, MoMA PS1, Dallas Museum of Art, Centre Pompidou, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Locarno Film Festival, New Orleans Film Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Anthology Film Archives, Film at Lincoln Center, and Harvard Film Archives, among other spaces. She has received generous support from the Ford Foundation, Cinereach, Sundance Documentary Institute, and Field of Vision. Gary has received fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Creative Capital, and Field of Vision, and is a 2022 Guggenheim Fellow. Ja'Tovia is represented by Paula Cooper Gallery in New York City, Galerie Frank Elbaz in Paris, and WME for Film & Television.

Event Type
Visual Arts
Open to the public
Contact Name
Kristina Smith
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