"a way outta no way"
by Ricky Weaver

March 29 - May 5, 2023
Institute for the Humanities Gallery, 202 S. Thayer
Gallery hours: M-F 9am-5pm
free and open to the public


Opening Reception
March 29, 6:30-8pm
Institute for the Humanities Gallery, 202 S. Thayer

As part of the artist's vision for this project, the installation will activated on opening night with a collective response to the objects, the space, and the archives within. Facilitated by: Ricky Weaver, Viktor Givens, Bryce Detroit, Andrew Wilson, and Efe Bes.

Don't Swipe: An Immersive Exploration of Memories and Imaginings
April 4, 7-8:30pm
Institute for the Humanities Gallery & Lobby, 202 S. Thayer

We’re inviting students (individuals and/or groups of friends) to come to the Institute for the Humanities Gallery and explore how art can be the catalyst for recalling memories and imaginings. Learn more and register.

A “way” can imply a method or a course of travel. Freedom is temporal. It is a method and a route. Ways to freedom were not always seen but they have always been and are known. They were sang, they were danced, they were braided, they were drummed, they were weaved and they were breathed—folded into the creases of the black everyday as subtle refusals and fugitivity, written in our faces and hands. They were embodied as ones of “necessary undersight.”

Inspired by Sojourner Truth’s use of image and archive, this exhibition continues to privilege the fugitive material of the image as a method and a route. Through the looking glass, we resurrect the knowing without the telling. Image, scripture, colloquialisms, and sound index an archive of escape, an archive of free. This body of work honors the way-making and the way-makers in a prayer of deep gratitude for a way outta no way.

–Ricky Weaver

Ricky Weaver is an image-based artist, theorist, and mother, born in Ypsilanti, MI. Her art and theory are centered around the lexicon generated through black women's everyday practices, dark sousveillance, and images as objects that alchemize the archive on a quantum level. She is currently teaching at ArtCenter College of Art and Design in Pasadena, CA as a fellow for the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design. Weaver is represented by David Klein Gallery and has shown work at Art Miami, the Havana Biennale, Sofa Expo, and more. Her work has been acquired by institutions like the Wedge Collection and published in Aperture’s As We Rise: Photography from the Black Atlantic.

Weaver was named one of LensCulture's Critics Choice Artists of 2020, selected by Susan Thompson, associate curator at the Guggenheim Museum. She also participated in the Independent Scholar Fellowship at The Carr Center where she was mentored by Carrie Mae Weems. She earned an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art and a BFA from Eastern Michigan University, with a concentration in photography. 

Weaver recently presented a paper titled “How I Got Over: The Meta-Archive and other registers” at Black Portraitures VII hosted by Rutgers University. Most recently she has taken on the role of lead visual consultant, specializing in image theory and photography, for the Global Institute for Black Girls in Film and Media.

This project is made possible by a grant from the Mellon Foundation as part of the Institute for the Humanities' multi-year High Stakes Art initiative.