We are an artist collective who examine contemporary events, historical narratives and the materiality around religion and its impact on global issues such as environment, gender, race, education and class. By use of myriad, creative mediums, we hope to foster complicated dialogues which inspire action for a more harmonious community.
Clifford B. Chambliss, III
Founder + Head Artist
Cliff is a multidisciplinary visual artist, scholar, and seminary student. Through the mediums of photography, performance, fiber, and glass, his works are informed by the narratives of the African diaspora, along with the environment and nature. His works employ both direct messaging and nuanced imagery to foster a dialogue around the history of Black social inequities and eco-spirituality. A native of Central Virginia, his practice is informed by place, archival material and geospatial data.
One of the focal points of Cliff’s works is nature, drawing a thread with Black culture and offering counter-narratives to stereotypes. For five years, he served as an Assistant Scoutmaster of a Boy Scout troop in Washington. D.C. where he made photographs of many of the Scout undertakings to show an alternative side to American themes, outdoorsmanship, and patriotism. Another focal point of his practice is social justice, creating bold and challenging art installations that target cultural and political institutions – using art as activism. He has worked with the arts activist group, Guerrilla Girls, and the Creative Justice Institute (sponsored by the Ford Foundation). During the racial reckoning summer of 2020, Cliff engaged with performance art at the Robert E. Lee monument in Richmond where he incorporated a sign that read “RUMORS OF WAR WASN’T A RUMOR,” offering commentary on the recently unveiled Rumors of War statue by Kehinde Wiley. He performed and protested shirtless, allowing his Black skin to complement the work and represent a host of meanings. That piece was subsequently acquired in July 2020 by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Artists and individuals who inspire his practice are Gordon Parks, Howardena Pindell, Pete Souza, and Frederick Douglass.
Cliff is based in New Haven, CT, pursuing a Master of Divinity degree from Yale Divinity School with a focus in the visual arts, material cultures, and environmental justice. He is a dual-graduate of Hampton University (B.S. and M.B.A.) and received his J.D. from The Catholic University of America. Cliff is a member of the Kuumba African-American Quilters Guild, U.S. Copyright Society, and American Glass Guild.