Juneteenth Past Event Gem: Black Lives Matter 3-D Exhibit by Legacy Designs Studio

Aisha Abdul Rahman, Artist & Curator, Founder of Legacy Designs Studio. Source: Legacy Designs Studio

Aisha Abdul Rahman did it again! For the second year in a row, she curated a virtual Black Lives Matter exhibit on the platform known as Second Life. She arranged for this second edition to coincide with and celebrate Juneteenth, a feat that is even more meaningful in light of that historical date, June 19, being voted a federal holiday. Tune in to listen to Aisha share about the creation of her organization, Legacy Designs Studio, her transformative trip to Ghana, on the African continent, and her non-profit work with the Elmina School for Girls. See below for a written account of the journey that led her to her path as a creator and art curator centering Black voices and healing, and for a video interview about the current exhibit, which will end on June 30, 2021.

WHAT IS LEGACY DESIGNS STUDIO?

Legacy Designs Studio is a leading innovative, virtual art gallery highlighting some of the most amazing and talented, but often overlooked or hidden women and artists of color from around the world. Legacy Designs Studio specializes in the research and education of the public on Afrofuturism and the impact that artists of color are making around the world, through creative expression. 

Source: Legacy Designs Studio (logo)

WHAT INSPIRED THE GALLERY?

Inspired by Black Lives Matter Protests and the implementation of the COVID stay-at-home order, founder and Sacramento native, Aisha Abdul Rahman, set out to highlight the beautiful artwork and the artists that were not really being seen. After her first trip to the African continent, she wanted to find a way to bring Africans living on the continent as well as the diaspora together in a creative space: one to know one another and share the different but equally valuable experiences, and two, to learn from one another and reconnect through their shared values through art.

SUPPORTING ELMINA BASIC SCHOOL, IN GHANA, VIA A JUNETEENTH & BLM VIRTUAL ART EXHIBIT

The 2021 summer exhibition not only highlights talents of artists from around the globe, but is also a way for Aisha to raise funds for the Elmina Basic School in Elmina, Ghana. During her trip Aisha visited the school where girls were learning sewing and textiles… without sewing machines. Due to a lack of funding, the class was only taught in theory. It is Aisha’s goal to raise one to two thousand dollars via the option of VIP event tickets, to purchase 15-20 machines for the classroom, so the girls can learn to sew and use the machines vs just the theory of it. 

Aisha Abdul Rahman in Elmina Basic School, in Ghana, in the winter of 2021. Source: Legacy Designs Studio

HOW AISHA WORKS WITH ARTISTS

Aisha Abdul Rahman has personally experienced existential depression and, as a woman of color, has dealt with the insecurities of being a woman of African descent with little knowledge of her African ancestry. The visit to Ghana really inspired her to not only do as much as she can for the creative artists that inspire and empower her through their art, but to also support creative expressions on the continent of Africa as well. 

With regular themed events, Aisha seeks to curate artwork from lesser-known artists from around the globe and help them fully show up and share their gifts and talents with the world. Through these virtual events, Legacy Designs Studio shares the work of the artists in the virtual world of Second Life, as well as its social media platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Legacy Designs Studio also produces a podcast that highlights these artists through interviews about their creative journey as well as the stories behind the works that they have created. 

Legacy Studios Design’s Juneteenth Festival Virtual Tour (2021) Source: Legacy Designs Studio

LEGACY DESIGNS STUDIO UPCOMING GOALS

Legacy Designs Studio’s goals are to include ongoing workshops that assist artists in marketing their work, to design and develop artwork in the 3D virtual world of Second Life, and to help other creative organizations design and host their own virtual events in Second Life. 

COVID has shown us that embracing technology is not only a necessity, but that technology can also provide opportunities and access that was once unimaginable. In the podcast Manifest Your Brilliance, Aisha repeatedly hears artists expressing that COVID provided them the time to really help them to embrace technology and empower themselves. 

Video Interview: A Conversation with Aisha Abdul Rahman, June 2021.

UPDATES
– Legacy Designs Studio’s Juneteenth event was attended by over 2,000 visitors;
– The fundraising goals for Elmina School for Girls was met.

CONTACT INFORMATION
Connect with Aisha Abdul Rahman for information on upcoming events, and to partner with Legacy Designs Studios. Visit the organization’s:
* Website
* Second Life’s Land
* Podcast
* Follow Legacy Designs Studio on Instagram
* Follow Aisha Abdul Rahman on Instagram
* Twitter
* Pinterest

Juneteenth Spotlight: Through The Fire: Embracing Setbacks, by Loni Matthew

Loni Matthew, author of THROUGH THE FIRE: EMBRACING SETBACKS

Loni Matthew is a 22-year-old budding author from Hayward, California, and one of the creators who accepted to collaborate on the Virtual Yolo Juneteenth Celebration. I had a chance to speak with her months before the event and, along with everyone in attendance, quickly became fascinated by her journey both as a Black woman in STEM and as someone who deeply cares for our youth’s wellness and success. At the time of the writing of this post, she is currently in pursuit of her Bachelor’s of Science in Marine Biology. Different forms of writing, such as narratives and poetry have always appealed to her from a young age. This intrigue grew into a skill that was developed and sharpened over the years. Expressing her artistry in the form of articles and poems, she enters the world of publishing with bright eyes and an open mind. 

A testimony to her entrepreneurial spirit, her first book publication, Through the Fire: Embracing Setbacks, details the stages and outcomes of growing pains when faced with personal adversity. Her ultimate goal for this book is to touch the minds and hearts of those facing hardship, or to simply be used for introspection. As a student of life, she is constantly learning from both successors and students alike.

To learn more about Loni Matthew, visit her website.
Purchase Loni’s book via our Bookstore, Bookshop, Barnes & Noble or Amazon.