Hi! I’m Naomi Stewart, co-curator for the InBreak Residency. Before I fully introduce myself, I encourage you to meditate briefly on the stanza below:
Rest and healing.
Joy and Restoration.
For the marginalized soul. The tired soul.
My mission has been to give voice to people's stories and to help cultivate their passions in meaningful and culture-defining ways. I have done so while obtaining my B.A. in Anthropology at Hawaii Pacific University (2018), in my ethnographic research of the culture of Honolulu’s Chinatown, exhuming questions surrounding justice, human persistence, and the impact of the arts across socioeconomic and sociopolitical backgrounds.
2020 has shaped the focus of my practice as a thinker, poet, curator, and musician. Starting and stopping projects, failing, escaping, overworking, feeling scatter-brained, saying yes, saying no, the list goes on. I am effectively exhausted after this year.
My faith, my purpose, and my strength to maintain these faltered in many ways. So my practice has shifted to understand rest, holistically heal, to experience joy, to seek restoration, and to experience peace.
My recent and current projects have embodied these pursuits: I founded the @doxa_exhibit where I curate online exhibitions including Creatives in Pandemic (Instagram @doxa_exhibit, 2020) and Black Joy (Instagram @doxa_exhibit, 2020). I have also co-curated recent virtual/physical exhibitions including The Emergent (Supercollider Art Gallery, 2020); and Borderline (Angel’s Gate Cultural Center, coming January 2021). I share my personal poetry on my blog The Wandress.
Now, I have the privilege to serve as a co-curator for the InBreak Residency. I believe this Residency is my permission slip to workshop and embrace these ideals in my work: Rest, healing, joy, restoration, peace--for the marginalized and tired soul. This is what I believe is to be pursued in Inbreak through art, faith, and racial healing. As a Black, queer, woman of faith finding her way, I am appreciative of a space like this and look forward to co-create public programming and documentation for this Residency. My approach to this experience begins with the posture of the psalmist in chapter 131, a calm and quiet spirit. I am a vessel, ready to listen and hopefully cultivate impactful and holistic programming.