Ma’s House & BIPOC Art Studio is led by Indigenous artist Jeremy Dennis. The house will serve as a communal art space based on the Shinnecock Indian Reservation in Southampton, New York. The family house, built in the 1960s, will serve as Dennis’ house to manage the project that includes a residency program for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), art studio, library, along with hosting an array of art and history-based programs for tribe members and the broader local community.
Since June 2020, Indigenous visual artist and photographer Jeremy Dennis has endeavored to restore the Silva family home he grew up in to make Ma’s House & BIPOC Art Studio (hereinafter referred to as “Ma’s House”) a communal and safe space for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) artists to create work, participate in artist residencies and be offered a place to exhibit their contemporary work on the Shinnecock Indian Reservation.
The idea for the Ma’s House project came to Dennis after many of his anticipated residencies and exhibitions were cut short or canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Lacking space to create work, Dennis reflected on his circumstances and that of other BIPOC artists in minority communities with compounded health disparities and economic injustices during this crisis who also lost opportunities and felt blows to their livelihoods and artistic practices. Inspired by the rise of social justice activism against police brutality, bigotry, and systemic racism and considering the unprecedented challenges artists who identify as BIPOC now face to follow their passions and have their work supported, Dennis hopes that Ma’s House will be a space for creativity, healing, imagining, and liberation.