Reshaping the Black Experience: Exploring Climate Gentrification through Art
Morel Doucet, born in 1990 in Pilate, Haiti, is a Miami-based multidisciplinary artist and arts educator.
Drawing from his Haitian roots, Doucet explores climate gentrification, migration, and displacement within Black diaspora communities using ceramics, illustrations, and prints.
His artwork presents narratives that delve into the contemporary reshaping of the Black experience, capturing the degradation of the environment where economic inequality, the commodification of industry, personal labor, and race intersect.
Doucet earned his BFA in Ceramics from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in 2013.
His work gained recognition in the 59th Venice Biennale exhibition titled "The Afro-Futurist Manifesto: Blackness Reimagined," curated by Myrtis Bedolla, Director of Galerie Myrtis.
Join us for the Artist Talk on Saturday, July 8th, from 5:00 – 7:00 pm. The event is free and open to the public, and no appointment is required.
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Exhibition Statements In Haitian American Morel Doucet's first solo exhibition at Galerie Myrtis, "Water Grieves in the Six Shades of Death," the multidisciplinary artist investigates critical issues of environmental racism and displacement of Black and Brown people from their homes, particularly those living in Miami's Little Haiti neighborhood.
Doucet deploys ceramics, colorful silhouettes of Little Haiti residents, indigenous birds, impressions of native flora and fauna, and decorative ironwork salvaged from demolished dwellings to explore the impact of climate change and developers on this marginalized community. – Myrtis Bedolla, Curator Doucet, through his work, sees Black people in the environment placing them in direct conversation with nature and the beauty of their neighborhoods before the places they grew up in were stamped with “for sale” signs.
The result is an image that reclaims the land and people who made it a neighborhood before it was considered “up and coming.” Across this country and globally, environmental racism plagues Black communities.
In the process what Black folks planted—roots, family, fruit trees, medical plants, love, hard work, tradition, ways of being and knowing— is under constant threat.
Doucet’s work mourns what has been lost; invites a conversation on what can be saved and finally, imagines a Black future of environmental safety and liberation. - Nadege Green, Miami community historian, and essayist My studies of climate change inspired a phrase I wrote in my journal: “Water grieves in the six shades of death.”
This statement is an allegory for understanding those truths that may make us uncomfortable but are necessary for growth, change, and spiritual transformation. Water has been a primary element since the formation of the universe. Water has been continuous within each earth cycle and during the six great extinctions.
Water quenches the thirst, sustains life, and has displaced entire civilizations. Today, water grieves, as we’ve caused more harm than good.
We pollute our drinking waters and dump trash and human detritus into streams, rivers, and waterways. As an artist and educator, I started to envision ways of sharing insight with Miami’s most vulnerable communities while navigating the changing landscape around me.
I want residents to understand the reality of climate gentrification and potential displacement due to climate change and rising sea levels.
This internal search led me to create a series of mixed-media illustrations exploring the phrase “water grieves in the six shades of death.” -Morel Doucet, Artist Statement
About Galerie Myrtis Galerie Myrtis is an emerging blue-chip gallery and art advisory specializing in twentieth and twenty-first-century American art with a focus on work created by African American and African Diasporic artists.
The gallery opened its doors in 2006 to utilize the visual arts to raise awareness for artists who deserve recognition for their contributions in artistically portraying our cultural, social, historical, and political landscapes; and to recognize art movements that paved the way for freedom of artistic expression.
Represented is a diverse roster of mid-career to established artists who have achieved regional, national, and international acclaim. Represented artists include Lavett Ballard, Tawny Chatmon, Wesley Clark, Alfred Conteh, Morel Doucet, Ya La’Ford, Susan Goldman, Michael Gross, Monica Ikegwu, Ronald Jackson, Fabiola Jean-Louis, M. Scott Johnson, Megan Lewis, Delita Martin, Felandus Thames, and Nelson Stevens. Gallery Location and Exhibit Details Galerie Myrtis is located at 2224 North Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21218 The exhibit runs from May 20 – July 8, 2023. Gallery hours: Tuesday – Saturday by appointment, 11:00 am – 6:00 pm. Hours are extended during special events.