KUTUNZA KILA MMOJA (Taking Care of Each Other)
KUTUNZA KILA MMOJA Taking Care of Each Other, located in the Soul N’ Vinegar café space, celebrates artist Bukuru Nyandwi and the important resources Milk River Arts provides to artists in Richmond. The wallpaper, banner, prints, and community bulletin board that make up this project are a testament to Milk River Arts’ dedication and care for their community of neurodiverse artists. In addition to Bukuru, artists Barry O’Keefe, Aimee Joyaux, and Kate Fowler contributed their creative and technical expertise to make this project possible.
Through this partnership, the ICA seeks to share Richmond’s creative culture and provide comfort from the isolation and anxiety brought upon by the COVID-19 pandemic. Bukuru’s colorful paintings and precise line drawings revel in the tactile and draw us into his personal history. His collaborators are each rooted in practices that foreground the multiple. Together, they have devised ways to expand on and share Bukuru’s way of attending to and rendering the world around him. During this time when we must continuously scrub and sanitize our hands, physically distance from one another, and mask our joys and sorrows, this collaboration–this evidence of closeness–helps remind us that by taking care of each other, we also take care of ourselves.
KUTUNZA KILA MMOJA Taking Care of Each Other was organized by ICA Director of Facilities and Experience Design Michael Lease with production support from the artists and activists at Studio Two Three.
About Milk River Arts
Milk River Arts is a working studio designed to support a neurodiverse community of artists. inside the studio is a magical world of images and ideas from artists who have different ways of experiencing daily life. Each artist is dedicated to creating what they feel is most important, offering viewers an invitation into spaces open for reflection and wonder.
About Studio Two Three
Studio Two Three’s mission is to empower artists to make art & make change. The organization strives for a future where the power of the art is willingly and joyfully harnessed for personal, social and systemic growth.
About Bukuru Nyandwi
Bukuru Nyandwi is known for his expressive linework and patterning. His drawings of meaningful spaces trace a story of his life. Born in the Congo in 1993, Bukuru first took refuge in Tanzania, and came to the United States with his family when he was 15. He sings in the choir at Richmond Free Methodist Church and works in the studio at Milk River Arts.
About Barry O’Keefe
Barry O’Keefe works in printmaking, painting, and public art and has been an artist mentor with Milk River Arts since 2018. Thematically, Barry’s work engages with cultural amnesia, neglected public spaces, and the design of the contemporary landscape. In 2017, Open Inbox, his series of functional public sculptures was installed in Richmond’s parks in partnership with Richmond’s Public Arts Commission.
About Aimee Joyaux
Aimee Joyaux’s work is grounded in the visceral response to current events, be they personal, political, cultural, or imagined. The creative process helps Aimee examine contradiction and bias sometimes through formal relationships and sometimes through literal juxtapositions. By situating a personal experience within a grand narrative through language, iconography, and gestural fields of color, Aimee engages with cultural memory to explore ideas of power and place.