Headshot of Deanna Bowen, Rachelle Dickenson and Angela Bates

Photos: Courtesy of Deanna Bowen, André Rozon and Angela Bates

Screening of Deanna Bowen’s We Are From Nicodemus

Thursday, February 22, 2024
6:00 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. EST
National Gallery of Canada Auditorium
380 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, ON K1N 9N4

Join us for a screening of artist Deanna Bowen’s We Are From Nicodemus (2017).

In the video, Bowen travels to Nicodemus, Kansas, to trace her family’s history and migration from the “All-Black” towns of the American Midwest to the Canadian Prairies.

The screening will be followed by a conversation between Deanna Bowen, historian Angela Bates, and curator Rachelle Dickenson.

Screening in English. Conversation in English with simultaneous French interpretation.

Free admission. Please note that this is a hybrid event. Attend onsite at the Gallery, or watch the live broadcast from home via Zoom. 

Zoom Registration

Deanna Bowen

Photo: Courtesy of the Artist

Deanna Bowen is the descendant of two Black pioneer families who moved from Alabama and Kentucky to settle in Amber Valley and Campsie on the Alberta prairie.

Born in 1969 in Oakland, California, the artist is currently based in Montreal. In recent years, her work has focused on a close examination of her family’s migration and their connections to Vancouver’s Hogan’s Alley and Black Strathcona, the “All-Black” towns of Oklahoma, the Exoduster migration and the Ku Klux Klan.  Her photo mural, The Black Canadians (after Cooke) covers the south façade of The National Gallery of Canada and is one of the largest installations in the Gallery’s history.

Bowen has received numerous prizes and awards, including the Scotiabank Photography Award (2021) and a Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts (2020). She is an Assistant Professor of Intersectional Feminist and Decolonial 2D-4D Image Making, Studio Arts and Co-Director of the Post Image research cluster at Concordia University.

Rachelle Dickenson

Photo: Courtesy of André Rozon

Rachelle Dickenson is British, Irish and, through her paternal grandfather, Red River Métis. She has a PhD from the School of Indigenous and Canadian Studies at Carleton University, and has taught courses in curatorial studies and Indigenous and white settler art histories. She is guided in her work by decolonial and Indigenous methodologies, as well as the arts and academic communities of which she is part.

Along with Greg Hill and Christine Lalonde, she co-curated Àbadakone/Continuous Fire/Feu continuel (2019) at the National Gallery of Canada, and more recently co-curated the Ottawa Art Gallery exhibition 83 Til Infinity: 40 Years of Hip-Hop in the Ottawa Gatineau Region, with Kevin Bourne of SHIFTER Magazine.

Dickenson is Senior Curator at the Ottawa Art Gallery, and works in support of respectful and reciprocal BIPOC and white settler arts collaborations. 

Angela Bates

Photo: Courtesy of the Angela Bates

Angela Bates is a historian and fourth-generation descendant of Nicodemus settlers. She is the founder, past-President, and current Executive Director of the Nicodemus Historical Society and Museum, which was established in 1988. 

Bates has received numerous awards for her preservation efforts, including an African American Preservation Hero award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation (1996), a We Can Preservation award from the Kansas Sampler Foundation (1992), and a Lifetime Achievement Award from Round Table Associates (2002). 

Most recently, Bates completed the documentary, The Ellis Trail to Nicodemus: The Last Trek on the Journey to the Promise Land. It highlights the arrival of the first settlers to Nicodemus in 1877, and tells the story of her great-grandmother, who was pregnant when she made the trip. The film is scheduled to premiere on February 17, 2024. 

Thursday, February 22, 2024, 6:00 p.m. 7:45 p.m.
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