Acrylic painted mural on Gallery Wall at the Mills. There is bright red painted text that reads: The sun sees all the things you try to mask and still thinks you are worth illuminating. It is enclosed by tendrils of yellow.Mithsuca Berry, Site-Specific Mural Detail, 2021 (installation view) | Photo by Melissa Blackall

"The Sun Knows No Impostor"

Mithsuca Berry: The Sun Knows No Impostor
Curated by Sienna Kwami

“And for ourselves, the intrinsic “Purpose” is to reach, and to remember, and to declare our commitment to all the living, without deceit, and without fear, and without reservation. We do what we can. And by doing it we keep ourselves trusting, which is to say, vulnerable, and more than that, what can anyone ask?” — June Jordan in a personal letter to Alice Walker

“Mithsuca Berry: The Sun Knows No Impostor” declares a commitment to all the living, without deceit, without fear, and without reservation.¹ The multicolor universe artist Mithsuca Berry builds during the process of unbinding the rope of their inner pain “to exorcise the demon that resides in each one of us”² as Haitian author Frankétienne writes, welcomes everyone to release what diminishes them.

Two people are viewing Mithsuca Berry's "Tell Me Your Story" acrylic painting during the opening night of the exhibition, The Sun Knows No Impostor.

Photo: Melissa Blackall

Berry is a keen storyteller composing a new narrative with the imperative to expand the collective toolbox for healing at its center. In their paintings, Black figures adorned with a rainbow of overtones appear as afro-futuristic visions as much as folkloric characters of the past. In their digital illustrations, the ask to turn inward is often directed by hand-drawn text akin to ancient proverbs and fables that instill important life-lessons. Their vulnerability cuts through generations of trauma and empowers their work to give form to the alternative: necessary transformation fundamentally rooted in play, joy, kindness, and compassion.

Berry commits to the task of confronting the complexities of life and exploring the dark, unsavory, and unsettling to retrieve that which is often comfortably hidden from the conscious—held lovingly by the knowledge that the sun knows no impostor.

“Mithsuca Berry: The Sun Knows No Impostor” is organized by curator Sienna Kwami, an independent curator whose curatorial path includes mache trip-nou (in english: walk our gut): a show focusing on the revolutionary spirit of Ayiti in the work of non-binary and trans Haitian artists, presented at Waller Gallery in Baltimore, summer 2021.

This is the second exhibition in the new “1:1 Curatorial Initiative” series presented in the Mills Gallery at Boston Center for the Arts. Each exhibition in this series presents a collaborative project between one curator and one artist, and either introduces a new artist or highlights a new aspect of a more experienced artist.

  1. Alice Walker, “Revolutionary Petunias & Other Poems,” Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1970
  2. Frankétienne, “Mûr à Crever,” translated from French by Kaiama L. Glover, Archipelago Books, 2014

Watch the Gallery Walk and Opening Conversation artist Mithsuca Berry and exhibition curator Sienna Kwami conducted in the Mills Gallery and in the BCA Cyclorama on the opening evening of the exhibition.

Exhibition Catalogue by Zoë Pulley

About the Artist

Mithsuca Berry

Mithsuca Berry (they/them) nurtures a practice that is much like the ocean: beckoning play and child-like wonder in tandem with alchemizing introspection that can only be found by exploring the darkest depths of life. Berry is a storyteller, narrativizing new pathways to healing and liberation and creating a new set of tools for all to confidently walk these paths. Their work currently spans the mediums of painting, digital illustration, fiber, and art education. As an avid world-builder, their storytelling is expressed in many forms.

Instagram: @mythsooka

About the Curator

Sienna Kwami

Sienna Kwami (they/them) is an independent curator and curious person in love with the little things. Their curatorial interests include Haitian aesthetics and human evolution through spiritual processes. Their curatorial path includes mache trip-nou (in English: walk our gut): a show focusing on the revolutionary spirit of Ayiti in the work of non-binary and trans Haitian artists.


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