Haitian American Recording Artist Sasa Juste and Photographer Zion Mohammed curated an impactful, culturally oriented exhibit that featured Haitian Food, refreshments, a medley of Haitian music, a photo exhibition and musical performances. The event’s headlining photo exhibit is a tribute to Haiti and served as a fundraising opportunity to raise money for Haitians considering the governmental, societal and health conflicts currently taking place in Haiti. Each 1 of 1 photograph on display is available for purchase and every buyer will be the owner of the only version of that unique print, which will be integrated with a free NFT for authenticity verification. 50% of the proceeds will be allocated to Haiti and helping Haitian families.
Hosted at Ketchup Gallery in Brooklyn NY, the welcoming atmosphere enabled creatives, the art-curious, and friends to connect over powerful art. Ketchup Gallery, owned by artist Extra Ketchup is an intimate and visually rich event space that presents culturally relevant experiences including but not limited to contemporary and experimental art, photography, music, film and fashion. A handful of recent events at the Ketchup Factory, located along Nicholas Ave include a Valentine’s Day "Smoke & Sketch" class, “People of The Sun” Exhibition, Risqué Exhibition, La Placita Bushwick Pop Up Market and Kids For The Culture.
Dedicated recording artist, Sasa Juste is one of three members of Vesica Recordz, a label established in 2017 in a Brooklyn basement home studio. NY native’s Krys Denard & Sasa Juste teamed up with Zion Otis, who transitioned from Massachusetts to NYC circa 2013. The photos exhibited during Libations will be available for purchase on www.vesicarecordz.com.
“I was inspired to create this event after I did a photo shoot in honor of Haitian Independence Day. New Year’s Eve into New Year’s, Zion Otis, photographer and my business partner were taking pictures and eating soup joumou, the traditional Haitian soup, and celebrating new years the Haitian way. After we took the photos Zion urged me not to post them on Instagram. I initially just wanted to take the photos for myself and post them but after we saw the photos I agreed with him. He said that the photos needed to be taken in and consumed differently. Social media can easily gloss over the experience of the art and artist. So we decided to put a fundraiser together for Haitian families and make it the second fundraiser we would curate for Haiti. The first was in Aug 2021 and that was a concert. We wanted people to get a taste of Haitian culture and a taste of my perspective of my culture through these photos and it was a great way to showcase Zion Otis as a multidisciplinary Artist.” - Sasa Juste
While social media remains a popular platform for sharing photos and experiences, the way in which people consume photos is changing. People are beginning to realize that experiences can leave a more powerful impact than photos shared on social media. For instance, activities such as visiting an art gallery or a creative panel can be far more enriching than a quick scroll through an online platform. Experiences provide tangible memories, whereas social media can often be a source of fleeting satisfaction. Therefore, although social media remains a great way to share photos and experiences, it is important to remember that engaging in physical experiences can provide a more profound and unique affair.
What influences the majority of your work and how would you describe your style?
“I would have to say my work is influenced by my black and Haitian culture, the traditions that I want to preserve and the awareness I want to bring to my community about my culture. I also feel like healing, spirituality, hip hop and being a black girl from the hood is what has influenced my style and really sitting in has given me that authenticity and freedom to be myself. My story and my experiences are where I pull from to create.” - Sasa Juste
What are your creative plans moving forward for the rest of the year?
“I have so many plans for the rest of the year. I can't wait to drop new music especially since we are approaching the 50th anniversary of Hip Hop. I have new exhibits I'm planning on hosting but for my sculpture/ resin and crystal work I do with my healing art. I’m so excited to continue to collaborate with Zion Otis musically and visually. Ultimately I am looking forward to hosting the next upcoming ‘Libations’ Pop up exhibits fundraisers we are calling for sponsors this time and support from the community. We plan on holding more exhibits in NY and also venturing to LA and Miami and continue this series.” - Sasa Juste
It is important to celebrate young artists who preserve heritage that are integrating their roots into whatever they release into the world. Sasa and Zion are fine examples of prominent figures in the space moving the needle forward by inspiring other artists and people to create passionately and thoughtfully.
Over the years we have observed billions in funds curated from art sales benefit charities, essentially proving the industry can be used as a fundraising platform. Using art as a form of healing takes on a new meaning when it benefits a good cause - it becomes even more symbolic. Haiti has been severely impacted by a multitude of turmoil in recent years. Their political unrest has been rampant, with the government struggling to maintain order and stability. Gang violence is prevalent, with a lack of trust in authority and its ability to protect the citizens. Health concerns are a major problem, as a lack of access to healthcare and clean water have caused a rise in diseases and malnourishment. Movements like Sasa’s are amongst the most impactful with the current state of things. This use of a creative medium to change the world is not only grand but truly inspiring. You can listen to Sasa’s latest EP, “Keys To The Throne” on Spotify, Apple Music and Tidal.
If you’re looking to immerse yourself in Blockchain, Crypto, NFTs, Metaverse, entertainment and more - the biggest multi-day Web3 social convention on the West Coast is returning to LA March 20-23, 2023 as Outer Edge(formerly NFT | LA). The highly anticipated festival for creators, technologists, artists and entrepreneurs indulges in the spirit of freedom, creativity, hope, and empowering those who are passionate about building. Thousands of participants gather from all over the world to delve in well curated education during the substance packed week. Witness art activations, panels and moderations from esteemed creators and power houses, live performances, inclusive events, high-level networking and the very best Los Angeles night life has to offer. Outer Edge is an experiential event like no other - immerse yourself in LA's new role as a global conduit for the adoption of Web3 in sports, music, art, and entertainment.
This year’s event includes heavy hitting participants like actor and producer William Shatner, investor and 10x NYT best-selling author Neil Strauss, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Animoca Brands Yat Siu, LA Rams CCO Jennifer Prince, 2-time NBA all-star Baron Davis, IBM Web3 & Blockchain Services Lead Shyam Nagarajan, Founder of What’s Trending and Co-Founder of Peace Inside Live Shira Lazar.. just to name a few.
About The Author:
Joshua Sauceda is a highly-active NJ/NYC based creative director with a focus on progressive photojournalism, documentary, art curation, cinematography, writing and filmmaking. Joshua's recent endeavors include community building, public relations and investing within the web3 space. By telling culturally important stories through media capture and a plethora of other creative solutions, Josh has a goal of empowering motivated creators and entrepreneurs.