Soyara Jean Louis – McElroy is a Haitian born, Harlem and Brooklyn raised mixed media queer womynist artist currently living and loving in New Orleans. Her love of black womyn and families, motherhood, nature, Afrofuturism, comics/graphic novels and the African Diaspora are central themes in her work. Soraya’s work as an organizer, mentor, counselor, doula and medical anthropologist focusing on women’s health and African folklore strengthen her commitment to resisting oppression and facilitating healing through imaginative creative/art activism. Soraya has participated in several group exhibits in various New Orleans cultural institutions including the Mckenna Museum of African American Art, The JuJu Bag, Antenna Gallery, The Jazz and Heritage Gallery and a solo show at Café Rose NiCaud. Her works have been used in zines, books and promotional materials such as Secret Rivers : Domestic Violence Zine, Near Kin: A collection of Words and Art Inspired by Octavia Estelle Butler, and the Official poster for Audre Lorde Week at Tulane. She also served as make-up and costume designer for Monica McIntyre’s album It Soon Come . Soraya is the co-founder of Wildseeds: New Orleans Octavia Butler Emergent Strategy Collective. Wildseeds work, steeped in Black feminist traditions of survival and healing, engages Octavia Butler and other speculative/sci-fi and fantastical authors a resource for social change She is currently working with various community organizations and enjoying her beautiful family. Soraya is constantly imagining and creating new work and was awarded the Alternate Roots Visual Scholars grant in 2014. Most recently Soraya was the creative facilitator, curator and contributing artist for Wildseeds “Sacred Space”at ExhibitBE.
Black Magic: Afro Pasts/FuturesApril 24th- May 22nd, 2016
Curated by Niama Safia Sandy