“I Wanna Hug You” – Dave Eassa

Fiberglass, steel, enamel
6’h x 6’4″w x 2’2″d

From the artist:

In the age of Covid-19, everything has been exacerbated and brought to the surface, the veil of comfort taken down, from larger systems to smaller moments in how families, friends and individuals operated. It has allowed for a period of deep reflection and questioning of how we used to operate, and also allowed for a visioning and commitment to a different future. It has created a global shift, where government, organizations, institutions, neighborhoods, families; everyone has had to evolve and adapt to a new social contract, a new way of existing. It has asked us to cut the fat, to identify what is truly important.

Artist bio:

Dave Eassa is a visual artist and cultural worker living and working in Baltimore, MD. Recent solo exhibitions include “I Wanna Hug You” at The Shed Space in Baltimore, MD and “Preserve” at Sistered in Portland, ME. He has shown regionally in solo exhibitions at SPACE Gallery (Portland, ME.), School 33 (Baltimore, MD.), Little Berlin (Philadelphia, PA), Vox Populi (Philadelphia, PA.), Big Law Country Club (Brooklyn, NY.) and (e)merge Art Fair (Washington D.C.) He has shown nationally and internationally in group exhibitions most notably at Good Mother Gallery (Oakland, CA.), Carrol Square Gallery (Washington D.C.), Signal (Brooklyn, NY), LVL3 (Chicago, IL.) Sophiajacob (Baltimore, MD.), Artisphere (Roslyn, VA.), Marianne Boesky Gallery (New York, NY.), artSTRAND (Provincetown, MA), Reh Kunst (Berlin, Germany), and Current Space (Baltimore, MD.) His work has been published in New American Paintings No. 112 and No. 136, and The Pinch Journal. In 2014 he was awarded an Individual Artist Grant in Sculpture from the Maryland State Arts Council. In addition to Founder’s Park, he currently has public sculpture on view at Zika Farm, the Coldstream Homestead Montebello Sculpture Park and the Harwood Community Garden, all in Baltimore, MD. He has been an artist in residence at Space Gallery in Portland, ME and ACRE in Steuben, WI.

He was an Open Society Institute Baltimore Community Fellow from 2015 through 2017 supporting the program Free Space, a program Eassa founded which brought the arts to the Maryland Prison system, teaching in men and women’s correctional facilities. He has received grants from the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts, the Contemporary, the Gutierrez Memorial Fund, and the Maryland State Arts Council to support Free Space. He serves on the Board of Advisors for Baltimore Youth Arts, and the Programs Committee for the Baltimore Museum of Industry. He currently is the Manager of Community Engagement at the Baltimore Museum of Art working on a range of initiatives that challenge and question what it means to be a museum in present day Baltimore. Through this he established the BMA Lexington Market, a branch of the Baltimore Museum of Art in Lexington Market, the nation’s oldest continuously operating public market. In 2018, he was selected as one of 50 Young Cultural Innovators from across the globe for the YCI Fellowship at the Salzburg Global Seminar in Salzburg, Austria. In the coming year, he is serving as a Salzburg Global Fellow as part of the recently launched Global Innovations on Youth Violence, Safety, and Justice cross-national collaboration.

Artist Instagram: @daveeassa