Joy Yamusangie shares the process of creating a fictional jazz club

Like many of us, the final speaker of the Nicer Tuesdays August evening, Joy Yamusangie, has discovered a few new hobbies during the confinement. Along with running and making banana bread, they also decided to take up saxophone, having spent much of their childhood idolizing Lisa Simpson for her skills. Joy explained to audiences that within a short time this new creative outlet had begun to fuel their primary practice of drawing and painting – creating works featuring saxophonists and trumpeters and spectators watching them perform. For a time, Joy was enveloped in the world of both sonic and visual jazz and this immersion gave them another ambition: to open their own jazz club.

“NOW Gallery approached me and said ‘Hey, we want to give you an exhibition space and you can do whatever you want there’, and I thought ‘Maybe I should move in in this jazz club [idea] and make a jazz club [themed] exhibition instead…”, they recall. Taking the audience through the process of creating the exhibit, Joy explained that even the fictional jazz club they set up in the gallery (which they named Feel good after the Nina Simone song) involved a lot of work – finding the right layout, finding the furniture for the space, finding a real band to play on opening night. They concluded by saying that while the exhibit ended up being a huge success and they “had a great time” creating it, for now they would “stick to the art.”

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