Trained 2 Go by Jazzmen Lee-Johnson

Artist in the Archive: Contraband

Jazzmen Lee-Johnson

Thursday, March 3, 2022, at 7:00 PM ET

Cosponsored by the Worcester Black History Project

Approx. 60 minutes

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This online event is free, but registration is required. You will be sent an email with a link and instructions on how to join the event upon registration.

Closed captioning is available as an option for this program via Zoom’s live transcription.

Join artist Jazzmen Lee-Johnson as she discusses her project Contraband, an ongoing body of work drawn from her research as a Creative Artist Fellow at the American Antiquarian Society (Jay and Deborah Last Fellowship, 2019). Contraband examines ephemera and manuscripts to visualize the economics of the transatlantic slave trade, making connections to the ways in which the industry of slavery laid the blueprint for drug crimes, illicit economies, substance use disorder and mass incarceration in Black communities. Lee-Johnson interpolates archival research in her creative practices utilizing a remix methodology. REMIX is a sampling of a primary source, manipulated, recycled, repositioned, and transformed into a new material reality, a form of discourse, an endless possibility. She will discuss her use of AAS collections material with Lauren B. Hewes, Vice President for Collections and Andrew W. Mellon Curator of Graphic Arts at the American Antiquarian Society.



Headshot of Jazzmen Lee-JohnsonJazzmen Lee-Johnson is a visual artist, scholar, composer, and curator. Her practice centers on the interplay of animation, printmaking, music, and dance, informed by a yearning to understand how our current circumstance is tethered to the trauma of the past. Through her visual, sonic, and movement investigations across time and technology she disrupts and asserts ideas of history, body, liberation, and otherness. Lee-Johnson received her BFA in Film, Animation, and Video at RISD, her MA in Public Humanities at Brown University, and a heavy dose of education working with youth in Baltimore, South Africa, New York City and Providence. She was the 2019 inaugural Artist in Residence at the Rhode Island Department of Health where she utilized the arts to confront health disparities. In 2020, she was an Artist Fellow at the RISD Museum and created work in response to the museum’s collection. Currently, Lee-Johnson is the Fitt Artist-in-Residence at the John Nicholas Brown Center for Humanities and Cultural Heritage at Brown, where she will be remixing the historic wallpaper Les Vues d’Amérique du Nord.


Headshot of Lauren B. HewesLauren B. Hewes is the Vice President for Collections and Andrew W. Mellon Curator of Graphic Arts at AAS. She builds and cares for the Society's collections of prints, broadsides, ephemera, and photographs and works with the curatorial team, the Center for Historic American Visual Culture (CHAViC), our fellows, and outside scholars to make connections between American history and the visual resources of the Society.

Artist in the Archive
Worcester Black History Project

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