Curated by Leslie Barlow

Featuring from the Studio 400 artist collective: Bris Carbajal, Jacqueline W Nuzzo, Leslie Barlow, Maiya Lea Hartman, Philipo Dyauli, Sara Nicole, and Taylan De Johnette 

Available now: Disquietude
Video Tour with Artist Interviews
Artist Panel Video
Downloadable Gallery Booklet
Facebook Album
Introduction & Artist Bios (below)

Please note WBCA’s Ford Family Gallery remains closed to the public due to health and safety concerns.


See the pieces on display in WBCA’s Ford Family Gallery in this video tour with the artists and WBCA’s Gallery Director Danielle Cézanne. Special thanks to C-Vision Productions for creating the video during installation. 


This thought-provoking conversation asks Disquietude artists to consider their artwork from new perspectives. Does art have to be made from a place of abundance? How does the scale and speed of their art reflect the turbulent summer of 2020? This discussion with Studio 400 artists, hosted by Keno Evol, took place as a live webinar on September 24.


This booklet includes Leslie Barlow’s introduction to Disquietude, as well as artist biographies and pricing information. Buying art is an important way to support artists: for sales, contact gallery@whitebeararts.org.  


WBCA is offering new ways of sharing and viewing the pieces through social media. Find an album of images from the show on WBCA’s Facebook page. Your likes, comments, and shares help more people enjoy this show than could ever fit safely inside the gallery!

Look forward to new artist spotlights coming every week and other features while the exhibition runs through November 20. Sign up for WBCA’s email newsletter to get the stories in your inbox. 


Curated by Leslie Barlow
Featuring the work of Bris Carbajal, Jacqueline W Nuzzo, Leslie Barlow, Maiya Lea Hartman, Philipo Dyauli, Sarah Nicole, and Taylan De Johnette

What happens in the places of unease and the unfamiliar? If we are able to take the risk and leap into the void, potentialities thicken, mistakes loom…expansion is promised. Often as artists we are asked to overcome obstacles and fear in service of the possibilities that lay just beyond the current state of our own practices. Often as people we navigate spaces of transition and unrest, clinging to the hope of what could be just on the other side. Over time in our own lives, and over generations, we have built up knowledge, skills, and patterns to navigate the unknown––yet we can still feel immobilized and defeated by new challenges and risks.

Curated by Leslie Barlow, this show is a collaboration between her and six artists from the artist collective and program Studio 400. Each artist approaches questions around fear, the unknown, growth and resilience in different ways that reflect both internal and external tensions with these concepts––concepts that feel increasingly poignant and unstable with each passing month of 2020.

Carefully built of inciting materials, Sarah Nicole’s sculptures represent abstract thoughts on existence and self-elasticity. Her work becomes a visual poem honoring the ephemeral, the beauty, and the darkness. Taylan De Johnette’s Alchemy series also explores the layers of our existence–past, present, and future–drawing inspiration from the book The Alchemist. Using hand-inked Tarot cards as a vessel to explore inner wisdom, guidance, and personal legends, the Alchemy series also serves as a reminder of three major internal anxieties: the complexities and vulnerabilities of Love, failing to see the Alchemy in negative occurrences, and the fear of failure in the face of pursuing one’s own personal aspirations. Philipo Dyauli’s work takes a different approach on anxiety and fear, acknowledging the power and weight access to water has in Black and African communities. Reflecting specifically on Black children and swimming and exploring the unknown, his bold, colorful paintings navigate both the freedom and fear that water represents, engaging us in conversation about the origin of these barriers to water, and how they still impact relationships with it today.

In the triptych Blue-Bodied TransparencyJacqueline W. Nuzzo references the physical tensions between civilians and the police during the Minneapolis protests in response to the murder of George Floyd. Through the process of layering colored vellum–the blue paper shows a lack of transparency, which mirrors the absence of transparency from “blue” bodies that exists within our police system. The figurative forms in each piece are actively engaged in struggle, mimicking the impact, weight, and instability of this time in our bodies. Similarly in response to embodied experiences in this moment, Maiya Lea Hartman’s work explores the possibilities of liberation, specifically related to the Black identity–from the beginning stages of pushing through one’s fear, to reaching a state of ungovernability through a collectively shared vision and action. These works have been influenced by her recent mural work and aims to bridge elements of her portraiture with elements of murals, which have historically been an act of revolution.

Leslie Barlow too was inspired by street and public art and her own recent shift to mural work as a means of processing, honoring, and amplifying recent experiences in her community. Her drawings in this show acknowledge with a layered sensitivity the emotional and physical labor of folks who expressed their grief and anger through this type of action, as well as the potential risk and sacredness of this act. Bringing us full circle to the ways in which we find strength in navigating our anger, fear, and the unknown, Bris Carbajal’s bean filled jacket creation symbolizes home and resilience during uncertain times. The jacket silhouette represents the home structure and its protection from outside elements, and the bean filling has personal cultural significance representing nourishment, comfort and security.

Artist Bios

Bris Carbajal is a garment designer and artist based in Minneapolis, MN. The purpose of her work is to heighten the value of human labor and address challenges in the fashion industry. She has been designing under her label Yessenya since 2017 and has developed a strong design signature of quality construction, vibrant colors, and voluminous silhouettes. Carbajal is beginning to evolve her work beyond commercial appeal and introducing garment installations to confront these topics. She is eager to alter the way fashion is consumed and encourage a deeper examination of its impact. In 2019, she released a capsule collection made of deadstock fabric at Sure Space Gallery and participated in the American Craft Council Show. She is a current artist at Studio 400. yessenya.com

Jacqueline W. Nuzzo is an artist based in Minneapolis, Minnesota working in illustration, printmaking, and collage. Her studio practice experiments with beauty ideals and body norms by highlighting and emphasizing specific characteristics of the body in her figurative drawings, bringing them into question and deconstructing why it is considered an ideal. Nuzzo attempts to convey a contorted emotional state through the figure by adding text, ensuring the viewer feels the ennui of day-to-day life through reading the textual mantras of dismay, coping, and perseverance. She was an artist for the 2019-2020 Studio 400 Program, and a 2018 artist-in-residence at Proof Public letterpress collective. Currently, she works as a Lead Producer at a Minneapolis-based animation studio. Nuzzo received her BA in Studio Art and Biology from St. Olaf College in 2017. jacquelinenuzzo.com

Leslie Barlow’s paintings share stories through portraiture that explore the politics of representation, identity, otherness, and race. Barlow’s work has been exhibited both locally and nationally, and been featured in Vice,
Huffington Post, Hyperallergic, and Shades of Noir (UK). She has received three Minnesota State Arts Board Grants, and is a recent McKnight Fellow and 20/20 Springboard Fellow. Barlow graduated in 2011 with a BFA from University of Wisconsin-Stout and in 2016 with an MFA from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Currently she works in a studio space in the Northrup King Building, in Minneapolis Minnesota. In addition to her studio practice, Barlow teaches at the University of Minnesota, Juxtaposition Arts, and collaborates with Public Functionary to lead the emerging artist project Studio 400. Barlow is also an active member on the leadership team of MidWest Mixed, an organization that works to expand our understanding of race and identity through educational outreach, arts
engagement, and a biennial conference. lesliebarlowartist.com

Maiya Lea Hartman is an acrylic painter and mixed-media artist living and working in Minneapolis, MN. She works in a diverse range of mediums–from pencil and pen drawing, to acrylic painting and watercolors, she pushes herself to expand the scope through which she creates. Hartman’s work is largely informed by observations she makes of the world around her and the exploration of human nature and the way we interact with our environment. Often examining how our environments affect our ability to express our needs and feelings as both individuals and communities, she explores complex narratives and draws on nostalgia. Hartman is one of the 9 emerging artists in residence at Studio 400 in the NE Arts District Northrup King Building. Recently she displayed her body of work titled At Home at Rosedale Center in Roseville, MN as part of their fall/winter exhibit Who You Are. Earlier this spring some of Hartman’s pen drawings were also included in The Beginning of Everything group exhibition at the Katherine E. Nash Gallery in Minneapolis, MN. instagram @maiyaleaart

Philipo Dyauli is a self-taught painter, illustrator and draftsman from Tanzania. His work primarily consists of acrylic paintings inspired by favorite painters, African music, films, and nature. His childhood consisted of road trips, family reunions and visiting National Parks in Tanzania. Dyauli incorporates his Tanzanian roots and personal experiences to create artwork that reflects life in the United States and East Africa. This often involves depictions of favorite family traditions, friends and personal heroes. Dyauli currently works in the Northrup King Building, as part of the Studio 400 Artist program with full support of mentors and artists from multiple disciplines. philipodyauli.com

Sarah Nicole is a Mpls / St. Paul-based artist specializing in quiet contemporary watercolor painting and bodily sculpture. The intimacy of her work invites closeness with the viewer that reveals an inventive complexity. Her emphasis on an overall beautiful but poignant aesthetic seduces a sense of empathy or thoughtfulness for a suggested human presence. Sarah received a BFA from the Minneapolis College of Art & Design in 2018. She currently works at the Minneapolis based gallery, Public Functionary, and maintains a studio practice in Studio 400 as an artist and space manager. Sarah produces exhibition opportunities and community events at various pop-up locations, taking inspiration from her contemporary research through an east coast lens. She participates as an artist and curator annually during Miami art week in conjunction with Art Basel. sarahnicolestudio.com

Taylan De Johnette is a Minneapolis Based Designer who originally hailed from the crowded lands of Southern California. She earned her BFA in Design from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in May of 2019. In 2019, she joined the Studio 400 inaugural cohort ran and led by Leslie Barlow and Public Functionary members. She had a short run as a design intern under Target Co. and has since developed a deep passion for the socially innovative side of Art and Design. She hopes to bring awareness to larger social, racial and political affairs all while being relentlessly passionate about strengthening the voices of the unheard through her work. De Johnette’s love for Minimal Design, tiny type, color, and socially provoking art all play significant roles in her creation process. tdejohnette.com

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