Nya Lewis’ interdisciplinary practice is a culmination of centuries of African resistance, love, questions, actions, study and embrace rooted in the theorization of the conditions of Black cultural production. The artist sees her practice as a continuation of a long lineage of work undertaken by Black artists, curators, writers, activists and thinkers who blaze(d) a trail of critical discourse surrounding the Black experience. Lewis’ creative practice reflects upon the diversity of Black diasporic experiences and its many forms of expression. As such, she works across the disciplines of art-making, curating and writing. Her work is multivalent in form and expression but is always driven by the reimagining and reclaiming of community.
Nya Lewis is an MFA student at OCAD University, the year-round programmer at the Vancouver Queer Film Festival, a Research Assitant at the center for the study of Black Canadian Diaspora and an Independent curator currently serving as Guest curator at UBC Museum of Anthropology.
-Written by Quammie Williams (father)
Which ‘hood are you in?
I am a born and raised Torontonian, but I moved to BC in 2016. I have apartment hopped all over the DTES and East Van like every struggling artist (lol) but now have a wonderful home in Burnaby.
What do you do?
I like to say I have a hybrid curatorial practice. I am an independent curator that works in public programming, a graphic artist, a writer, researcher, community advocate/ organizer and a cat mom who loves cooking (eating)Trinidadian food.
What are you currently working on?
My thesis! I am an MFA candidate at OCAD, and my research focuses on the possibilities of decolonizing lens-based media. I am currently programming the upcoming season on Vancouver Queer Film Festival; the curator in residence at Grunt Gallery and working as a research assistant at the Center for Study of Black Canadian Diaspora.
Where can we find your work?
I am super proud of the co-curated exhibit currently on at UBC Museum of Anthropology, Sankofa: African Routes Canadian Roots. I also have a vinyl public art installation up at Burrard Arts Foundation, In Excess of Representation.