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First Black artist in Vancouver given city’s Studio Award hosts zero-proof event

First Black artist in Vancouver given city's Studio Award hosts zero-proof event

Since 1995, the City of Vancouver’s Artist Studio Award Program has supported local artists by providing studio spaces and one of this year’s recipients is the first Black artist to receive the award. 

Naomi Grace is a multisensory artist and entrepreneur who’s work is “centered around reclaiming sacred medicine in its many forms, which she expresses through painting, mixed media, music, text, culinary arts and sculpture,” reads Grace’s biography on the city’s award recipients page.

“I’m really grateful to have access to this space,” Grace tells Vancouver Is Awesome via phone. 

She plans on using the space for an large scale art installation, community arts integrated workshops, pop-ups and events, and intimate concerts and talks. The space will also serve as an order pickup location for her brand Melanin Rising

To celebrate, Grace is hosting a zero-proof open studio event on Saturday, Aug. 20.

Grace wanted to create a sober social event for several reasons, partially inspired by her own transition to an alcohol-free lifestyle. 

“People don’t drink for a number of different reasons. Sometimes it’s because people are pregnant. Sometimes they have friends who just don’t like the feeling of alcohol. Some people are allergic to alcohol. For some people, it’s for religious or cultural reasons. Sometimes people are in recovery,” she tells VIA.

Aside from the non-alcoholic lemonade cocktail bar, she will also be setting up a Melanin Rising pop-up sale.

Zero-Proof Open Studio Pop-Up

When: August 20 and 21 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Where: Naomi Grace Studio – 1573 West 6th Ave

Cost: Free