Sanaa Humayun and Kiona Callihoo Ligtvoet started Making Space in the summer of 2020 and are hosting their first group exhibition at Latitude 53 called the soil between plants.
Making Space is a peer mentorship group for emerging BIPOC artists that hosts monthly speakers, workshops and studio hangouts. Humayun and Ligtvoet saw a need in the community for a space that supports BIPOC artists.
“We realized that a lot of the microaggressions that racialized artists face, they face in isolation,” says Humayun. “There’s not a lot of space to talk about these things, and talk about supporting each other and the ways that the institutions don’t.”
Humayun and Ligtvoet pitched their idea to local galleries and received funding for their pilot year from Latitude 53 and Mitchell Art Gallery. To close out their pilot year, they wanted to do something celebratory, so they curated the soil between plants. The exhibition features 20 artists from Making Space and over 25 pieces of art.
“We settled on a curatorial theme of ‘to tend.’ So, thinking about the ways that we tend to ourselves and to each other, and to the land,” says Humayun. “A lot of our conversations revolve around gardening and cooking and sharing food. So those themes have been really prominent throughout the community space that we’ve built.”
The title of the exhibit, the soil between plants, is derived from The Farmers’ Almanac. Ligtvoet had been flipping through a copy when she came across the phrase, and the pair felt it described the theme of the show perfectly.
The overall vibe of the exhibit is playful with the walls are painted hot pink and teal. Humayun and Ligtvoet hope that people will let loose, appreciate the fun aspect of the art and deconstruct whatever preconceived notions about art they may have.
“We talk a lot about not wanting to follow a really stiff way of showing art or not having to justify ourselves as racialized artists either, and to just be able to make art and be with people who appreciate and want to uplift what you’re doing,” says Ligtvoet. “I think that it would be great if people could take that aspect of care away from the show with them.”