Closeup of acrylic painting artwork shows two women harvesting rosehips
Kiona Callihoo Ligtvoet's acrylic on canvas piece "rosehip," shown in detail, is among the work displayed in the "Sharp Teeth" exhibition.

BGSU Fine Arts Center displaying ‘Sharp Teeth’

Estimated Reading Time:  

The exhibit brings relationships out of the margins and features the works of eight artists, including Toledo artist Faith Goodman

sharp teeth tear through skins of fruit
chip the mouths of our cups over time
with tea that flows freely between your lips and mine
rosehip breaks skin if not offered gently

—   Excerpt from Kiona Callihoo Ligtvoet’s “if not offered gently”

Presented with support from the BGSU College of Arts and Sciences Ethnic and Cultural Arts Program and the Canada Council for the Arts, the exhibition “Sharp Teeth” will inhabit the Dorothy Uber Bryan Gallery and highlight both the use of “whisper networks” among racialized women to build relationships and how feminine language is used to delegitimize the work done in those spaces.

The exhibition opens Monday, Jan. 8 with a free opening reception from 6-8 p.m. and it will close on Wednesday, Feb. 14 with a publication launch from 6-8 p.m.

“Sharp Teeth is rooted in relationality, joy and resistance. This exhibition features the work of eight racialized women, highlighting the ways we care for each other, the ways we can dismantle the systems of white supremacy that we exist in, and the ways that we learn from our families, friends, and elders to build pockets in which we thrive,” said curator Sanaa Humayun. “It’s an example of what exhibition spaces can look like when the conversation shifts away from stiff, colonial notions of white-walled prestige, and instead creates room for rest and playfulness.”

As a whole, the artists’ works satirize the use of traditionally feminine visual aesthetics in pop culture, with an eye toward how feminine-coded aesthetics often relegate feminine relationships to catty, gossipy, frivolous things, and how this package can be reclaimed for a body of work that is on the surface very bright, campy and mean, while also holding space for tender relationships.

Three wall hangings by artist Emily Riddle show Native American Thunderbird iconography
Emily Riddle's mixed textile artwork, titled "Okimâw Piyêsiw navigates a settler institution 1, 2, & 3," is part of the touring group show, "Sharp Teeth."

Exploring how to bring relationships out of the margins, the body of artwork from this touring group also leans into frivolity, while celebrating the deep and long-lasting nature of relationships, without giving away the secrets held within.

The exhibition in the BGSU Fine Arts Center features the works of artists Emily Riddle, Jasmine Piper, Kiona Callihoo Ligtvoet, Mizin Shin, Raneece Buddan and Rihab Essayh as well as Toledo-based artist Faith Goodman.

“Faith Goodman was chosen for the show as part of a collaborative effort between myself as the curator and the University’s Black Artist Coalition (BAC),” Humayun said. “Members of the BAC recommended Faith’s art practice to me after learning about the exhibition. As a Canadian curator, it was important to me to bring in local artists.

“Sharp Teeth centers the voices of racialized women, and relationships rooted in solidarity and trust. Because of this, it felt very important to build relationships very intentionally with emerging artists on campus.” 

Along with Ligtvoet, Humayun co-organizes Making Space, a peer mentorship group for early-career BIPOC artists.

More information is available at the BGSU Fine Arts Center Galleries.

Jasmine Piper is an emerging artist and arts administrator in Mohkinstsis, with family ties all across the prairies from Cold Lake First Nations to Peace River County. She is always aspiring to be a better drum maker, fisherwoman and beader. Her artwork includes researching decolonization, Indigenizing art and exploring reconnection to her Nehiyaw and Métis ancestors by connecting with the supernatural. Aliens, magic and medicine are common themes played with throughout her work. Her practice is intertwined with a passion to support fellow artists, curators and arts organizers by collaborating with them to create equitable programming and opportunities for people of marginalized identities. 

Raneece Buddan is a Jamaican visual artist who resides in Treaty 6 territory, Amiswaciwâskahikan (Edmonton). She immigrated to Canada in 2015 and completed her BFA in Art and Design with Distinction at the University of Alberta in 2020. Buddan’s artwork has been exhibited throughout Alberta and internationally through Artsy and in New York and Vermont. She has completed artist residencies in Edmonton, Alberta, Salem, New York, and most recently in Mandelieu-La-Napoule, France.

Rihab Essayh was born in Morocco and raised in Tiohtià:ke/Montreal. She is an interdisciplinary artist whose large-scale, immersive installations create spaces of slowing down and softening. Her practice is informed by her ethos of soft futurism, a sensibility that uncompromisingly imagines new and equitable futures that identifies vulnerability and interdependence as pillars of collective liberation and wellbeing. She completed her MFA at the University of Guelph in 2022.

Emily Riddle (Okimâw Pipikwan Iskwêw) is Nehiyaw and a member of the Alexander First Nation (Kipohtakaw). She is a writer and textile artist based in Amisko Waciw Wâskahikan (Edmonton, Canada). In 2022, she released her first full-length poetry collection, The Big Melt, which won the Griffin Poetry Prize Canadian First Book Award. Her textile work is about the intersection of the expansive ecosystem of Nehiyaw worldview, navigating institutions in the "age of reconciliation" and Indigenous histories of the prairies. Riddle is a dedicated Treaty 6 descendant and a semi-dedicated Edmonton Oilers fan.

Faith Goodman is a mixed-media artist from Toledo. Her work dissects the definition of race within American society through the lens of stereotypes, caricature, and Western European imagery. Juxtaposing the Black minstrel figure with Western iconography, Goodman sets out to create unusual and sensual pieces that tackle the feeling of being caught between two races. Her work deals with themes of isolation, religion, and ingrained identity. Goodman obtained her BFA at the University of Toledo and completed her MFA at the Columbus College of Art & Design. Her work has been exhibited in Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. 

Mizin Shin is a U.S.-based visual artist born and raised in South Korea. Regularly leading printmaking workshops with a number of art organizations, Shin focuses on both traditional and contemporary printmaking practices to promote a multidisciplinary approach to the medium. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally at institutions across the United States, Belgium, Spain, the UK, India, and South Korea. She was a juror for the 2021 Southern Tier Biennial and the 2022 Screenprint Biennial. Shin is an assistant professor in the Department of Art & Art History at the University of Rochester, as well as a co-founder of Mirabo Press in Buffalo, New York. She graduated from Hong-ik University with a BFA in Printmaking and received her MFA from the State University of New York at Buffalo. She is a 2022 fellow of the Civitella Ranieri artist residency in Italy. Shin has served as a board member of the Mid America Print Council and vice president of the Print Club of Rochester from 2020–2022. She is currently a board member of Visual Studies Workshop.

Kiona Callihoo Ligtvoet is a multidisciplinary artist practicing in amiskwaciwâskahikan on Treaty 6 Territory. She grew up West of the city near the hamlet of Calahoo where she lived with her relatives on scrip land. Her family lines are Cree and Métis descending from Michel First Nation, as well as Dutch and mixed European. Callihoo Ligtvoet works in painting, printmaking, and drawing, recollecting personal stories of grief and tenderness. Her practice uses a non-linear telling of her memories through narrative work as a form of diaristic archiving. It draws from feelings of loss and enfranchisement, but also from deep belly laughter, and a gentle fondness for where the histories between herself and her family overlap and disperse. Working alongside other artists in initiatives of community care, Callihoo Ligtvoet co-organizes Making Space in partnership with Sanaa Humayun. She likes visiting her moshom on the farm, and gossiping with her mom, relatives, and friends on the prairies.

Sanaa Humayun is an artist, writer, and curator, living and working in Hamilton, Ontario. Her practice thinks about non-narrative storytelling, secret-keeping, and play and joy as acts of resistance. She primarily works in textile and paint, and is an avid weaver. Her curatorial practice considers how curatorial frameworks can be reconsidered to prioritize care and reciprocity. She is passionate about fostering community, through means of food, laughter, and an unapologetic love of gossip.

Related Stories

Media Contact | Michael Bratton | | 419-372-6349

Updated: 01/08/2024 02:25PM