Summer 2022 Exhibitions at Hamilton Artists Inc.

Born Celestial
Kaya Joan, Natalie King, Nicole Neidhardt, Celeste Pedri-Spade
Performances by Danielle Boissoneau and Chyler Sewell

Curated by Alex Jacobs-Blum

June 10 – August 13, 2022
Opening Reception: Thursday, June 23 from 7:00-9:00 pm
Performance Night: Wednesday, July 20 from 7:00-9:00 pm

Hamilton Artists Inc. is pleased to present Born Celestial, an exhibition curated by our Indigenous Curator in Residence, Alex Jacobs-Blum. Featured artists include Kaya Joan, Natalie King, Nicole Neidhardt and Celeste Pedri-Spade, as well as performances by Danielle Boissoneau and Chyler Sewell on July 20th.

The deep impact of colonial harms on Indigenous communities necessitates the emergence of new potentialities.

By using storytelling to collapse the future into the present, Born Celestial imagines unearthed futures beyond settler colonialism where Indigenous knowledge systems thrive. Born Celestial embodies futurities, drawing from human and other-than-human relations, community and familial knowledge, star systems, and Creation stories. Empowering a (re)connection to self and an uplifting of community, Born Celestial inspires healing and hopeful pathways for the seven generations to come.

Artists Danielle Boissoneau, Kaya Joan, Natalie King, Nicole Neidhardt, Celeste Pedri-Spade, and Chyler Sewell access love, memory and knowledge from ancestor relatives unbound by material form and linear notions of space and time. Navigating between worlds and constellations, the artists activate the dreams of ancestors, contemporary kin, and future relatives in a present temporality.

Learn more about Born Celestial

Destabilization: The Colour of Our Skin
Heidi McKenzie and Shantel Miller

June 10 – July 16, 2022

Heidi McKenzie and Shantel Miller come together to present gestures of resistance and depict acts of survival as two women of colour who navigate their lived experiences on the margins of white-dominant patriarchal culture.

McKenzie interrogates her mixed-race identity, as well as the fragility of her body and that of her immigrant father. The works are a testament to the hidden legacies of Indo-Caribbean indentureship; in the mid 19th and early 20th centuries her paternal ancestors were among those shipped from British India to replace and displace the emancipated Africans as the “new slaves.” These works graphically recount the stories of racialized intergenerational trauma.

Miller pulls from personal narrative as a departure point for exploring notions of interiority and spectatorship in Black female subjectivity. Through an acute sense of touch, her paintings employ color symbolically to suggest a psychological space the figures inhabit and uses body language as a tool for distinguishing hierarchies between self and others by depicting the Black body confronting the viewer in varying skin tones of browns and greys.

Each artists’ aesthetic narratives operate on both the deeply personal – through self-portraiture, abstract or figurative – as well as the universal, by validating brown bodies through archival practices of touching and whispering wisdom through familial legacy.

Learn more about Destabilization: The Colour of Our Skin

Exhibitions Reception

Join us on Thursday, June 23 from 7:00–9:00 pm for an opening reception celebrating both Born Celestial and Destabilization: The Colour of Our Skin.

As an artist-run centre, Hamilton Artists Inc. (the Inc.) empowers artists of all career levels to take risks with their contemporary visual arts practices and present their work in a critical context.

We are open to the public Wednesdays-Saturdays 12-5pm, and Fridays 12-6pm. Admission is free. Private viewing appointments are also available. Read our COVID-19 visitor guidelines.

Accessibility: The Inc. is a physically accessible venue. Click here for detailed information.


155 James Street North
Hamilton, ON L8R 2K9 | 905.529.3355

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Abedar Kamgari, Programming Director

The Inc. gratefully acknowledges the support of the Ontario Arts Council, City of Hamilton, Canada Council for the Arts, Incite Foundation for the Arts, and all of its members, donors, sponsors, and programming partners.

Images (top to bottom):
Natalie King, Like a Hawk silently souring over the Don Valley, 2022. Acrylic, ink and aerosol paint on canvas. Courtesy of the artist.

Heidi McKenzie, Boxed-In, 2020. Slip cast, porcelain, iron-oxide ceramic decal. Courtesy of the artist.