[B.A.R.]’s history dates back to 2013 when the project began as The Black Artists Retreat, a collaboration between Eliza Myrie and Theaster Gates. The pair convened The Black Artists Retreat annually in Chicago, IL through 2016. 

As an artist-led initiative, The Black Artists Retreat was guided by the tenets of fellowship, rejuvenation, and intellectual rigor, and created space for an intergenerational group of black visual artists outside of traditional art institution formations.

2017 marks the beginning of Myrie’s own venture [B.A.R.]. Building on past work and fundamental goals [B.A.R.] will continue to ask who is the black artist and what the term means while fore-fronting concerns of labor and value; specifically delving into the ways black artists can assert their agency collectively and singly.

To that end [B.A.R.] will experiment with new organizational structures. Unmoored from a rigid annual assembly model that reinforces institutional limitations towards a series of small roving associations and platforms that work to raise artist’s voices on their terms, [B.A.R.] will continue to promote a deeply connected and cooperative network of working black artists.

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