Author Profile
Chenoa Baker

Chenoa Baker is a curator, wordsmith, and descendant of self-emancipators. She empowers a range of clientele to elevate their publication and exhibition projects. In addition to her associate curator role at Beacon Gallery, she has worked on Gio Swaby: Fresh Up at the Peabody Essex Museum; Simone Leigh at ICA/Boston; Simone Leigh: Sovereignty at the 59th La Biennale di Venezia; and Touching Roots: Black Ancestral Legacies in the Americas at MFA/Boston. Her autobiographical-style art criticism appears in Public Parking, Material Intelligence (June 2023), Boston Art Review, Sixty Inches From Center, Helena Metaferia: Generations, Art For This Moment, and Burnaway.


Simone Leigh, "Jug," 2014. Photo courtesy Tilton Gallery, New York.
What I learned while centering the clay and obsessing over the clay-to-water ratio in class for weeks is that clay particles are like platelets; water and earth dance around and are compressed in the process of sculpting. While the goal is cohesion, it starts as a suspension. White supremacist capitalist patriarchy, not to oversimplify it, is in suspension, as it is multiple different ideologies pulling apart rather than binding together. I learned this profound lesson from Simone Leigh’s "Jug" (2014).