I’m Mahari Kathleen Chabwera, an artist-organizer, and writer living and working between Maryland and Virginia. I research practices of liberation, spiritual teachings, myths, and Black Women's wisdom traditions. This inspires the work I make, and motivates the way I move in the world. My interest is in serving the energy of my soul, and developing my character through my practice.
I earned my BFA in painting and printmaking from VCU in 2017, then lived and worked in Richmond, VA for the next 3 years growing as an artist. In 2019 I was awarded the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Professional Fellowship, and used part of the funds to support my first major curatorial project, In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens, We Made Armor. As a curator and artist throughout that project, I experienced the challenging position of being both a facilitator and an artist. I learned about care, communion, communication and intention. My friend Ricky Weaver who exhibited with us in the show, needed support for her next project so I founded Salt Eaters. Salt Eaters is a fellowship that assists black women in their creative work and experimentation.
In 2020 I received the Visual Arts Center Emerging artist award. After that I moved home to Newport News, VA becoming the Contemporary Arts Network’s inaugural First Patron Artist in residence. At the close of my residency with The CAN, I moved to Baltimore and through a partnership with The CAN Foundation, founded an artist community in a shared live/ work building called Studio House. We're able to host 6 to 8 artists for varying lengths of stay. Studio House is an extension of my practice, and a space where I can wholeheartedly cultivate communion rooted in mutual upliftment and well being. While in residence at Studio House, I’m working to complete a series of 7 tapestry paintings, developing the Salt Eaters fellowship, and facilitating our community.