Celebrating B-Girl Be

Celebrating B-Girl Be
Minnesota Daily


The exhibit “Space and Time” reunites B-Girl Be artists after Intermedia Arts’ first festival ten years ago.

Joy Spika, left, and Leilani Mendoza paint the outer walls of Intermedia Arts in Uptown Minneapolis on Monday afternoon. The mural is part of the B-Girl Be exhibit, which opens on Saturday. PHOTO BY JAMES HEALY

Though artists Krista Franklin and Gloria Talamantes-Data (aka Gloe) both live in Chicago, they first met at Intermedia Arts’ B-Girl Be Festival. 
Now the two will collaborate as featured artists for an upcoming reunion exhibit titled “Space & Time.” 
The exhibit opens on Thursday and will run through August 22. The all-night opening reception on June 13 will double as a B-Girl Be reunion. The event will feature live art and hip-hop artists. Michelle Spaise and Katrina Knutson curated the exhibit. 
The first B-Girl Be festival drew international attention in 2005 as the world’s first celebration of women in hip-hop. DJs, graffiti artists, rappers and artists gathered from all over the world to perform. 
“It was a very incredible experience, particularly if you’re a woman in the arts,” Franklin said. “It’s going into a space where you see several women working on a high level … whether it’s graffiti art, whether that be dance, whether that be DJ-ing, rapping, singing. It’s an opportunity … as a woman to be around other women who are working as hard as you are to do their craft.”
The next year drew a similar buzz, and three more annual events occurred through 2010, except for 2008. Spaise said this year’s event will not replicate the scale of past festivals but will act as another B-Girl Be celebration.
“It’s more of a ‘why not?’ We’re all doing so many things, I think it’s just the [right] time,” Spaise said.
Though many of the performing and visual artists are returning from previous B-Girl Be festivals, new artists will join this year, too.
“It’s recognizing that B-Girl Be did inspire a younger generation of women,” Knutson said. 
The reception will feature pop-up performances in the gallery, food trucks and vendors, and live painting on the front and side walls of the building, Spaise said.
There will also be live performances from artists like Maria Isa, Bloody Black Eyes and Maddie Fresh.  
As featured artists, Franklin and Gloe will work on a mural for the exhibit, which they said will play with the ideas of space, time and rebirth. Franklin said she plans it to be a large-scale collage with some graffiti elements.  
“Think Star Wars and science-fiction movies,” Franklin said. 
The B-Girl Be gatherings offer an opportunity to establish professional and personal relationships for the artists.
“It’s a great experience because many of these women are just as open and friendly and warm and generous as everyone else, so you begin to build relationships over the years,” Franklin said. 
After first attending B-Girl Be in its second year, Franklin said she met Alice Mizrachi and Maria “Toofly” Castillo. When they started their own collective Younity and organized art shows, they included Franklin, too. 
“B-Girl Be … opened a lot of doors for a lot of female artists in Minneapolis and in the country and in the world,” Knutson said. “It’s fun for all of us to reconnect with each other and see where other artists are at.”
Where  Intermedia Arts, 2822 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis
When June 11 – August 22

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