words | amiri baraka

“the word “art” is something the west has never understood. art is supposed to be a part of a community. 
like, scholars are supposed to be a part of a community… 
art is to decorate people’s houses, their skin, their clothes, to make them expand their minds, and it’s supposed to be right in the community, where they can have it when they want it… 
it's supposed to be as essential as a grocery store… that’s the only way art can function naturally.” - amiri baraka // 

many thanks to artist giselle buchanan @vishuddha for digesting in the goodness that is @nomadyard. a new york resident, she listed  #nomadyard as a must visit while in dc. and what was to be a quick visit became a 3 hour holistic experience. we talked ownership of self, i drooled at her amazing textile art, and we sipped tea + coconut water as she explored our space. hers is the affirmation we need to know that we are a needed. that we fill a void - people are whole and the businesses that support them must be holistic. as we continue to fight to remain a part of the noma/ivy city #northeast #dc community- we will continue to define art for those who lack true innerstanding + understanding. for those who don't know the value of spaces like ours, we will reiterate. reiterate. reiterate. we are much more than another retail store, we are inspired by and shaped by the community in which we exist. we feed and receive. a space where the lost value of reciprocation is intrinsic. and we will not be moved. 


Desirée Venn Frederic is a Sierra Leonean born writer and installation artist of Geeche and Maroon ancestry. Her work pulls heavily from her transnational experiences and understandings. The artist and thought leader explores identity, ownership and contemporary ideas in aesthetics. As the founder of Nomad Yard, a globally minded vintage shop in Washington, D.C., Venn Frederic creates a playground for those who love culture, history and rare antiques steeped in stories. She uses her work to negotiate multiple strata of marginalization being both undocumented and an aboriginal indigenous woman. She is an interior designer creating experiential spaces and interiors. She is a community organizer and founding member of Artist Union DC, with a keen interest in cultural studies and artistic expression. She is particurlarly interested in the ways in which fashion, visual culture and critical theory inform, shape and encourage discourses surrounding the socio-economic, political and cultural. Venn Frederic has shared her creative interests as an exhibiting artist with the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center drawing parallels of her own personal immigration detention in 2013 to the criminalization of human existence throughout history. She holds degrees in Fashion Merchandising, Business Management and a certificate in Community Advocacy and is fluent in French and Krio. As a speaker, she has engaged TED Talks as well as audiences at University of Maryland’s Smith School of Business, The National Endowment for the Arts National Maker Faire, Ted Talks, Made in DC Maker Summit, General Assembly, and Creative World’s Creative Economy Summit. As an ambassador with Define American, the activist shares her personal journey to expand the narrative of immigrants. She exists via the internet sphere simply as @xoDVF. She is a mentor to 2 college aged creative entrepreneurs and loves vintage kimonos.