Jeremy R. Brooks: Looking Back / Being Forward & Dogon Krigga: Omphalos – The Converging of Antique Futures


The Sumter County Gallery of Art is excited to present two challenging, contemporary
artists with unique practices, Dogon Krigga and Jeremy Brooks, September 1st –
October 28th. Opening reception September 1 st , 5:30-7:30. Both artists will be in
attendance.

Dogon Krigga expresses magick with the use of pixel and paper. Dogon incorporates
divine mysteries, transcribed over time throughout their ancestors’ experiences to
connect Black people to the future and the past. They immortalize modern and ancient
traditions, wisdom, and theory into majestic and whimsical digital and mixed media
collages that venerate those that came before, those that will come, and those that exist
outside of time.  Dogon Krigga uses their experiences, techniques, knowledge and
training from over a decade as a graphic designer and practitioner of Afrofuturism, along
with other African diasporic traditional religions to illuminate the spiritual paths and
possibilities for all who receive their creations. Krigga is also a serious practitioner of
root (herbal) medicine.

Dogon Krigga currently resides where they grew up, in Columbia, SC. They are
primarily a self-taught artist whose visionary aspect is an amalgamation of culture and
esoteric references through Afrofuturism. Their creative lineage connected to legends
like Romare Bearden and Tom Feelings. Their background in creative writing,
journalism, and music production also lends to their creative perspective. Krigga has
exhibited extensively in Columbia, SC including the Columbia Museum of Art, Tapp’s
Art venue, Richland County Public Library and the Sumter County Gallery of Art. They
have participated as a panelist in several important conversations on Black creativity at
the Columbia Museum of Art and Trustus Theatre.

The Omphalos is a demarcation of center. In the ancient world, the Omphalos was a
stone that represented the navel of the planet. Here, the Omphalos represents the
convergence of two points of time, and of perspective. It is here that I share two
collections of works that offer my perspectives of the past and the future. My intention is
to close the gap between those points and celebrate the timeless beauty of Black
thought and Black form in this ever-present now. We see so many images of Black
people under duress, especially in art. So much of Black history is the chronicling of
suffering. I’m trying to get back to a place where Blackness isn’t under attack but is
thriving. Our gifts and abilities and how we interact with each other are acts of rebellion
and revolution. We are masters of this domain but living in a reality where that can be
forgotten, so we address this with Afrofuturism to remind us. I’m attempting to liberate
people mentally by reminding them who they are outside of what society tells them they
are. Life can be serious but we have to step back, laugh and marvel at how intricate yet
how simple the universe can be.

Jeremy Brooks Looking Back / Being Forward, a retrospective exhibition, brings
together a variety of artworks produced over the past 15 years. The work is largely
conceptual and craft based. Brooks investigates a wide range of subjects including ceramic decals, traditional, slightly modified figurines, vessels and pottery forms such as knot pots “knitted” with elasticized porcelain – in a multi-faceted way. His work is often
characterized by the use and alteration of found materials, many of which become
augmented with details of the odd, queer, and/or eccentric. Brooks examines aspects of
language, materiality, and sexual identity in his creative practice by questioning: What
forms and concepts are particular to the field of ceramics? What nuances are lost and
gained in the translation across boundaries of materiality? What makes something
queer?

Jeremy R. Brooks (b. 1979) received a BFA in art and design from Grand Valley State
University in 2001, and a MFA in ceramic art from Alfred University in 2007. He has
balanced his career between working as an artist and teaching at the university level.
Brooks has exhibited work in over 100 exhibitions and is currently an Assistant
Professor of Ceramics at Coastal Carolina University. Some of his honors include a
residency at The Clay Studio in Philadelphia, PA, receiving the emerging artist award by
the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA), and being selected as
a guest of honor at the XXI International Biennial of Vallauris, France. Jeremy currently
resides in Conway, South Carolina where he surrounds himself with copious amounts of
ceramic figurines punctuated between piles upon stacks of ceramic decals. He identifies
as an amiable ceramophile who is afflicted with occasional bouts of decalcomania (the
process of transferring designs from paper on to glass or porcelain). He is also gay.

Eric Lachance, SCGA curator notes, “In the discipline of ceramic art, Jeremy R. Brooks
weaves clay into recognizable items which code-switch everyday, otherwise innocuous
items like socks, fine china, and collectible figurines into playful objects loaded with
metaphor and humor. Dogon Krigga utilizes the everyday as well, creating Afro-futuristic
scenes which merge studio photography, digital collage, and vinyl applique to
surround the viewer. Krigga’s work invites the viewer to participate and absorb
the worlds they create. Please join us at the Sumter County Gallery of Art for these two
immersive exhibitions.”


Dogon Krigga will be in conversation with artist Thomas the Younger (who recently
exhibited at the Sumter gallery) Thursday, September 15 th , 5:30-7:30 pm.
Jeremy Brooks will be in conversation with SCGA curator Eric Lachance Thursday,
October 20 th , 5:30-7:30.

Karen Watson observes that these thought-provoking exhibitions would not be possible
without the generous support of our sponsors – Andrea Williams and Clay Goss, The
Deane and Roger Ackerman Family Fund and Sumter County Government, and the Cultural
Commission which receives support from the John and Susan/Bennett Memorial Arts
Fund of the Coastal Community Foundation of SC, the SC Arts Commission and the
National Endowment for the Arts. Flowers courtesy of Poinsett Garden Club, and the
Council of Garden Clubs of Sumter.

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