Installation Organized by Project Uplift Intern
and Student Curator Samaria Jones
August 11, 2023–July 20, 2024
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (August 7, 2023)—The Frist Art Museum presents Afrofuturistic Visions: Dreamscapes of Sicasso, an installation celebrating African American culture and history through the AI-generated works of Nashville artist Sicasso. On view at the museum from August 11, 2023, through July 20, 2024, the exhibition is the second iteration of Project Uplift.
Installed in the Frist’s Grand Lobby Elevator, Afrofuturistic Visions offers an immersive experience within a common, accessible space. The elevator’s interior walls will feature vinyl prints derived from five of Sicasso’s dreamscape environments.
Under the direction of student curator Samaria Jones, Afrofuturistic Visions is the second installation conceived through Project Uplift, an internship designed to offer a student or recent graduate from a historically Black college or university in Nashville an opportunity to curate, design, market, and develop a program for an installation featuring a local artist of color.
“As guests step into the elevator, they will be taken on a visual journey through African American figures representing power, resilience, and grace,” says Jones. “In this retro-futuristic world, powerful Black characters take center stage, embodying strength, resilience, and creativity, exuding confidence and grace. Inspired by the vibrancy of the 1970s, each character is meticulously crafted to reflect the rich history and diverse heritage of Black culture, paying homage to icons such as Angela Davis while envisioning a future where Black excellence thrives.”
Jones explains that the surreal landscapes within Sicasso’s dreamscapes are an amalgamation of fantasy and reality. “Utilizing Midjourney via Discord, an AI image generator, Sicasso creates her stunning visuals by inputting descriptive phrases such as ‘70s African American couple in a groovy rainbow room.’ She seamlessly blends the resulting psychedelic AI art with Afrofuturist elements, creating an otherworldly experience that stimulates the senses.”
The Project Uplift internship was conceived to distill the curatorial process into a short period of time so students can gain exposure to all aspects of exhibition planning. While typical museum exhibitions may take years of planning, a Project Uplift installation is condensed into three months.
As an abstract artist, Sicasso has always been drawn to the world of color and form. Growing up in a small town, she spent her days creating art in any medium she could find, never fully realizing the potential of her passion until 2020. That year, she took the leap and turned her love for art into a journey of entrepreneurship, leading to numerous opportunities such as being featured on the local news and creating murals all over Nashville. Through her art and her creative talent agency, Siiik Agency – Captured by Sicasso, she has had the pleasure of networking with a diverse group of business owners, spreading light and love through her unique form of self-expression. Her abstract work reflects her dedication to capturing the beauty of the world around her, and her agency serves as a platform to help other creatives shine their lights and take their talents to the next level.
About Samaria Jones
Samaria Jones is from Gary, Indiana. Her passion for art started at a young age, when she would spend hours drawing and painting characters in her free time. As she got older, she realized that art was not just a hobby but something she wanted to pursue as a career. She chose to study studio art at Tennessee State University because of its program’s reputation for producing talented artists. Throughout her time at TSU, Samaria has worked to strengthen her skills in portraiture, focusing on capturing the emotions and expressions of her subjects. She believes that every person has a unique story to tell, and she wants to use her art to help them share it with the world. In addition to pursuing a career as a freelance artist, Samaria also hopes to become an art therapist. She believes that art can be a powerful tool for healing and self-expression, and she wants to use her talents to help others in need.
Thursday, August 17
Artist Talk: Sicasso
Free; First come, first seated
Join us for the opening of Afrofuturistic Visions: Dreamscapes of Sicasso. Learn more about the elevator installation from artist Sicasso, as well as enjoying music from local DJ Filthy Haje.
Schedule of Events
6:00 p.m.–6:25 p.m. DJ Filthy Haje
6:30–7:30 p.m. Artist’s Talk with Sicasso
7:30–7:55 p.m. DJ Filthy Haje
Organized by the Frist Art Museum with student curator Samaria Jones
1. Sicasso. Green Room 5, 2023. Courtesy of the artist. © Sicasso
2. Sicasso. Split Worlds, 2023. Courtesy of the artist. © Sicasso
Lead Sponsor: Amazon
The Frist Art Museum is supported in part by The Frist Foundation, Metro Arts, the Tennessee Arts Commission, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Connect with us @FristArtMuseum #TheFrist