2023-2024 VISITING FELLOWS
Nour Ballout (b. 1993, Beirut) is a Detroit & Chicago based interdisciplinary artist and curator. They received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Wayne State University and a Master of Fine Art at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). Nour Ballout’s practice grapples with the ways looking can manifest as both resistance and violence while negotiating the tensions among visibility, documentation and surveillance. Through photography, archive and space making, their work interrogates the ways the naturalization of structures of power manifest within bodies, built environments, and communities.
They are the recipient of many awards, fellowships and grants that include the 2023 ICI EXPO Curatorial Research Fellowship, the 2022 Michigan Arts and Cultural Council Grant, the 2021 Transforming Power Fund Grant, the 2019 Knight Arts Challenge Award, Kresge Arts in Detroit Gilda Award, the Applebaum Photography Fellowship and many more. Nour has exhibited their work nationally and participated in several artist residencies including the Ghana Think Tank in Detroit and Flux Factory in New York. Nour’s solo exhibitions with Wayne State Collections and The University Of Michigan Ann Arbor are scheduled to open September 2023 and October 2023.
"I am thrilled and honored to have been selected to be a Modern Ancient Brown Visiting Fellow. This program is going to give me space to conduct research, explore, and develop a long term experimental project that fuses my visual and curatorial practice."
Rikki Byrd is a writer, educator and curator who works across the academy, arts and fashion industries. She holds a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Missouri, a Master of Arts in Fashion Studies from Parsons School of Design and a Master of Arts in Black Studies from Northwestern University, where she is also currently pursuing her PhD in Black Studies. She has lectured at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Washington University in St. Louis, where she created new courses on fashion and race. She has written for Hyperallergic, Cultured and Teen Vogue, and has participated in speaking engagements with the Council of the Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), Google, Museum of the African Diaspora - San Francisco, and Studio Museum in Harlem, among several other arts and cultural institutions. In her writing and public speaking capacity, she has interviewed formidable fashion professionals and artists such as the late André Leon Talley, Amy Sherald and Mickalene Thomas. Rikki is currently an editorial board member for Bloomsbury Fashion Publishing and a recipient of the Presidential Fellowship at Northwestern University, a Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Residency, and a Chicago Critic's Table Fellowship from the University of Chicago's Arts + Public Life. She is the founder and editor of the Fashion and Race Syllabus and Black Fashion Archive.
"I am thrilled to be accepted as a Visiting Fellow for Modern Ancient Brown Foundation's Core Fellowship Program! With its location in Detroit, this residency is quite special given my upbringing and current residence in the Midwest – a historic site for Black cultural production that continues to birth and nurture talent young and old. During my fellowship, I am excited to continue my work on a book project titled Notes on Black Fashioning, which explores the intersections of Black life, performance and getting dressed. I am looking forward to the many ways this project will be informed by the archives, locations and creative communities in the city."
Scheherazade Washington Parrish
Scheherazade Washington Parrish is an interdisciplinary artist and creator of “Tools of Redaction” a multimedia interactive installation. Her practice weaves poetry, visual, and performance art into wry, unapologetic narratives that challenge the arc of western humanity by offering new paradigms centering Black women within historical narratives. Her work has appeared on large scale murals, Detroit Public Television, as well as galleries including Womxnhouse Detroit. She has published and exhibited work on with Driftwood 9, Detroit Metro Times, Obsidian Literature and Arts in the African Diaspora, Detroit Artist Market and M Contemporary Art. Scheherazade lives and works in her native Detroit, with her son.
"I am thrilled and excited to connect with other thinkers and makers, and the opportunities to further explore and develop my practice."
Amaris Diana Brown is an Assistant Professor of English at Tufts University. Her work examines the intersections of disability and black feminist political philosophy in 20th and 21st African diasporic literature and art.
As a fellow, she will work on a piece of experimental writing on shelter informed by third world cosmologist Beverly Buchanan’s sculptural practice.
This work is informed by a set of questions about what is means to have a home or to lose a home in the context of unpropertied and unstable structural realities.