Gallery 1

Derrick Beasley

Artist in Residence
Residency: July 1 – August 31, 2020
Exhibition opens September 4

Durham-based artist, Derrick Beasley uses the lens of Afro Futurism to explore the intersection of our highest technological accomplishments and what it means to be human and of this organic world. Derrick will be in residence in Gallery 1, July 1 through August 31. His solo exhibition will open to the public September 4.


Work by Derrick Beasley

“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.”