Update: The Friday reception for the artist has been canceled.
Caldwell, N.J., Jan. 19, 2016 – The Visceglia Gallery at Caldwell University will present, “I Can’t Sleep at Night: Selected Works by Kia Dyson.” This exciting solo exhibition will feature Dyson’s diverse creative works from her powerful digital collages and consciousness-raising posters to her fashion and portrait photography.
The exhibition opens Feb. 12 and runs through March 14. A reception will be held Friday, Feb.19, from 5 to 8 p.m. with a snow date of Friday, Feb. 26.
A Baltimore native, Dyson is a visual artist whose creative energies and vision take inspiration from multiple sources. Dyson began her career as a freelance commercial and fashion photographer for a wide range of clients. As her career grew and her life experiences expanded, so did her awareness of the relative position of women and people of color working in the creative fields. Both appeared to her to be underrepresented or even absent. She chose to incorporate more women of color in her freelance fashion work and also began a series of portraits that focused on men, women and children of color. Throughout her professional and personal work she has always been deeply committed to producing images of beauty and of African-American people.
Dyson says she was inspired to become a strong advocate for equal beauty standards for dark and light skin tones after often seeing gender and normative beauty biases in the commercial fashion world. Outside of the fashion world she found herself increasingly engaged with the continued oppression of people of color and has responded to it by creating drawings and digital collages. These became visual tools for discussions around the black body and the black experience. Dyson expresses her commitment to this work when she writes, “My concern for the history and future of black people is the fuel that drives much of my work. Black women, for example, with their various hairstyles and hero mentality and often standing on the front lines of social justice movements, are the inspiration behind most of my drawings.”
Included in the exhibition will be works from recent collections including, “Still Black, Black Gold” and her most recent, “Colors in My Mind,” an abstract digital art exploration based on the colors seen in the media’s recurring images of violence against African- Americans.
Her photography work has been on display at the Reginald Lewis Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago and the Aljira Center of Contemporary Art. She has also displayed her digital collage work at Scope in Miami during the Art Basel Miami Beach International Art Fair.