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601 Turner Blvd. Savannah, GA 31401

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Inspired by vernacular movement traditions, Khari Johnson-Ricks’ assemblages of dynamic, energy-filled figurative scenes give depth to intimate social engagements. Honoring the simultaneously grounding and transcending qualities of House dance, he considers the geographic and time-based aspects of the genre that generate a communal, physical, and bodily encoded language.  

In Sermon I: Every Place Is a Context, Johnson-Ricks reveals how movement — dance, migration, escape — reverberates inward and reveals a sacred interiority. Joining Joël Díaz, director of SCAD MOA’s Evans Center for African American Studies, the artist discusses the importance of place in shaping and transforming how people move to organize, resist, and transform their lives.

Free and open to the public, this event is the first installment in a programmatic mini-series titled Sermons, presented with the exhibition Aaron Douglas: Sermons. Combining both secular and spiritual affiliations, the Sermons series focuses on sites of inquiry that provide upliftment and/or passageways toward liberation.

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About the artist
Khari Johnson-Ricks (b. 1994, Montclair, N.J.) is a multimedia artist whose practice extends across painting, performance, murals, zines, and nightlife spaces. His work has been featured in group exhibitions at Night Gallery, Los Angeles; Catinca Tabacaru Gallery, New York; Jeffrey Deitch Los Angeles; Special Special, New York; and the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, New York, among others. He has created public murals for the city of Newark as part of Mayor Ras Baraka’s Model Neighborhood Initiative and Gateways to Newark projects. His zines are featured in the collections of the Thomas J. Watson Library at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Frances Mulhall Achilles Library at The Whitney Museum of American Art, and The Museum of Modern Art Library. He lives and works in New Jersey.

Established in 2011, SCAD MOA’s Walter and Linda Evans Center for African American Studies celebrates the imaginative breadth and expressive legacy of African American art and culture. Through experimental public programs, immersive workshops, riveting lectures, and topical symposia, the Evans Center immerses students and community members in the rich tapestry of Black expression.

  • Shamika Mahendra Patil Patil
  • Kiya Rossel Rossel
  • Ziyue Tang Tang
  • Qingrui Liu Liu

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