I am Derrick Beasley. Nashville, Tennessee born and Durham, North Carolina raised. I am a visual artist creating at the intersection of community and my imagination. My formal education includes a Bachelors in Sociology from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and a Masters in Public Administration and Policy Analysis from Georgia State University. My professional and civic background is in education, environmental and mobility justice. My artistic education includes lots of independent study, mentorship, practice and a class at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke. I am self taught artist that approaches my creative practice with the same rigor as I did my undergraduate and graduate studies.
I create out of a sense of responsibility to my community and a desire to answer three persisting questions. “What would make this world better?”, “How can I work to create it today?” and “what do I need to heal in myself to create it”. My work is informed by the intersection of my identities as a Black, Cisgendered, heterosexual male, my self proclaimed nerd-dom and obsession with science fiction and being from the American South.
I use installation, photography, graphic design, woodwork, cultural space-making, and community organizing as mediums for my creative work..Through these mediums I facilitate conversations between the individual and their own imagination. I take the familiar and abstract it enough to stretch our perception of what is possible. In doing this, I imagine new worlds where we are less concerned with validating our humanity than exploring its limitless potential within it. I want to show that the radical new world so many of us are fighting for is actually a basic human experience. My hope as an artist is for individuals experiencing my art to reflect on their existence and expand their conceptualization of what is possible.
Derrick Beasley is a multidisciplinary artist. He uses portraiture, public/cultural space making, relief wood carving and installation to abstract the familiar and stretch our perception of what is possible.
Selected Recent Exhibitions
2017 Woodwork - Truth to Power 5 at Pleiades Gallery, Durham, NC (Juried Exhibition)
2018 Photography - Tools of our Freedom, Durham, NC | www.blackgenius.com
2018 Woodwork - Bull Meets Beyu, New Orleans, LA (Group Exhibition)
2018 Photography - Young Gifted and Broke, Durham, NC (Group Exhibition)
2018 Photography - Truth to Power 6 at Pleiades Gallery, Durham, NC (Juried Exhibition)
2018 Photography - 64th Annual Exhibition at Durham Arts Guild, Durham, NC (Juried Exhibition)
2018 Photography - We Share the Sun, Durham, NC (Group Exhibition)
2019 Installation - The Black on Black Project 3, Raleigh, NC (Group Exhibition)
2019 Photography/ Collage - It’s Complicated, The Carrack, Durham, NC (Group Exhibition)
2019 Photography/ Collage - (S)eed the Future, Visual Art Exchange, Raleigh, NC ( Group Exhibition)
Creative Project Leadership
2015-19 Creative Director, Black August in the Park, Durham, NC
- Space Design, Installation Curation, Merchandise, Marketing & Branding
2016-17 Co-Directed Black Joy PopUp, public exhibition series, Durham, NC
2016-18 Black Genius Brand Ambassador, Village of Wisdom, Durham, NC
- Merchandise, Photography, Marketing & Branding
2018 Photo Documentary - ZooCrü in New Orleans, New Orleans, LA
2018 Director of Documentation - Buy It Call It trilogy, Durham, NC
2019 . 2020 Hayti Heritage Film Festival, Durham, NC
- Leadership Team, Spacial Design and Graphic Design
Leadership at the Intersection
2019 “Untokening Durham” 2019 - An annual convening on mobility justice
Grants & Awards
Ella Fountain Pratt Emerging Artists Grant - 2018-2019 (Photography)
3rd Place Prize - Durham Arts Guild Annual Juried Exhibition - September 2018 (Photography)
Awesome Foundation Grant - December 2018 (Installation)
The Bulls of Durham (A Living History Book)
- Primary Photographer