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In the Making: Demond Melancon

Demond Melancon

Thursday, February 3, 2021 from 4:00 - 5:00 pm ET
Live streamed from NBSS
Free event

Working solely with a needle and thread, self-taught artist Demond Melancon dedicates the hours and months leading up to Mardi Gras hand-building massive, beaded full-body suits. He then wears them as a Black Masker in ceremonial battles on Mardi Gras. He began this art form in 1992 when he first became part of a 200+ year-old culture known as the Black Masking Culture of New Orleans. Celebrated today as a Big Chief, Melancon is well known for creating monumental suits, which are sculptural forms based on the size of his body, and are composed of intricately beaded patches revealing a collective visual narrative.

Many of Melancon's works honor Black subjects historically excluded from the artistic canon, often reflecting untold stories from bygone pasts to remind viewers of their interwoven shared ancestries and diasporic histories.

His work has been exhibited at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, Art Miami, the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Art in Brooklyn, the Arthur Roger Gallery in New Orleans and currently at The Quin House in Boston.

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This conversation is part of In the Making, a public programs series where we connect with a range of new voices, fields, and perspectives. Learn more about In the Making, and view a full list of participants, at the series homepage here.