I'm Mahari. I'm an artist, curator, writer and art coordinator. I was born in DC in 1995. My family and I lived in Forestville, Maryland for a few years before moving to Newport News, Virginia where I grew up. Raised primarily by my mom, I lived 10 minutes from my great-grandparents and 15 from my grandparents.
In 2017 I got my BFA in painting and printmaking from VCU with a minor in Art History. While there, my love for Black literature swelled,
& was wed to a study of spirituality that was fostered by my fathers own seeking and teaching. Soon I started making tapestry paintings that embody a womanist well-being, rooted in self-reflection and self-determination. Now I study personal practices of liberation, and Black Women's wisdom traditions, and think about my work as myth-making and ancestor reverence. By blood or by imagination.
The beads and glass I work with turn my practice into a kind of meditation. I self- soothe through making these tapestries :
sweet salves for Shange's metaphysical dilemma of being.
It's self-definition through re-creation.
I read writers like Toni Cade Bambara, Tananarive Due, Octavia Butler, Iyanla Vanzant, Alice Walker, & Ntozake Shange as sustenance in centering the luminousness of Black femininity.
Their words are gospel and prophecy to me.
In October 2021 I moved to Baltimore City, Maryland for my self- directed residency. While here, I'll be working to complete a series of large scale tapestry paintings that give form to seven attributes of spiritual energy, along with coordinating a satellite residency with The Contemporary Arts Network. I've exhibited work in the Amuse Gallery at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Eleanor & Hopps Gallery at The CAN, The Museum of Contemporary Art in Virginia Beach and 1708 Gallery in Richmond. I was the 2019 - 2020 recipient of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Professional Fellowship, and the 2020 recipient of the Visual Arts Center Emerging Artist Award. I've curated shared projects like In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens, We Made Armor in 2019, and Primordial Emanations, that which is brought forth follows the womb: a surrender to her luminous blackness in 2020. These are embodiments of Black space for Black people to share and receive recognition for our cultural and intellectual contributions.