Janae Sumter


Paradigmatic Archetypes, Mixed Medium, 2021, Hair, cowrie shells, rope, From "STORIES OF CONNECTION: A JOURNEY THROUGH THE INDIGO SEA COMMUNITY-SOLO EXHIBITION," Chongqing, China




Statement

As an artist, educator and community weaver, my artistic-communal practice flows within the realms of self understanding, story sharing and community healing. My work explores forms of identity, ancestry and environmental transformation, as well as conceptual and practical manifestations of connection. These connections can be with self, each other, Mother Earth and beyond.

Through curated creative spaces, my purpose allows room for communities of color to explore molecules of connection developed by one's environment and that can form into diverse levels of understanding. Connection can be expressed through people, synchronicity, research, history, reflection, movement, materials, legacy and communal depth through interaction and integration of cultures. The ways we evolve can change based on our environment (space), from there our circumstances can open portals to the ways we exist beyond our hopes.

This presents itself through material assemblages, collective energy based installations, healing circles, herbal medicine, arts based workshops and community activations. My work welcomes both internal and external realizations to reflections through interactive activities, meaningful conversations and creations that encourage interconnectedness.


Bio

Pronouns: they/them

Janae’ Sumter (they/them) is a queer Brooklyn based community artist, youth educator, artistic storyteller, curator, community weaver and energy practitioner from New Orleans, LA.

Janae’ works with a multitude of creative healing modalities that curates intentional space for identity, connection, liberation, knowledge sharing, personal reflection and collective empowerment.Their practice cultivates a middle ground for integration that honors space for learning and understanding.This actualizes through hair braiding, curated creative spaces, community centered installations, reflective conversations, performance work, herbal medicine and material assemblages made with accessible materials like natural dyes, hair, cowrie shells, and cardboard.

Janae’ is the founder of Sweet Herbal Honey Apothecary LLC, a community-led social media platform and herbal business that centers healing, personal awareness, creative programming and community support for emerging communities of color. They are also a Certified Creative Life Coach and Reiki Practitioner who works passionately within their community to help inspire the importance of affirmed collaboration. They’ve been recognized by the National Geographic Magazine November 2019 Issue, Sugarcane Magazine, Recess Art, Lichtundfire Gallery, Visual Aids and more...