Born and raised in Detroit, Bakpak Durden is a “self-taught” multi-hyphenate antidisciplinary artist and alchemist. Pulling from various figurative art techniques, including hyperrealism, baroque, and veristic surrealism, Durden employs a wide range of mediums—oil and acrylic paint, graphite, film photography, and the written word —to construct their hyper-surrealistic and conceptual works of art. Bakpak is focused on continuing its position within the community, highlighting black trans and queer resiliency in addition to mental health, neurodiversity, and disability advocacy/accessibility.
Parisa Ghaderi is a visual artist, curator, educator, and filmmaker. She earned her BA in Visual Communications from Art & Architecture University (Tehran, Iran) and her MFA in Art and Design from the University of Michigan. She has made four short films and two animations and recently directed a performance about the border situation in the U.S. for Iranian immigrants. In addition, she co-curated Inner Fragments: Contemporary Iranian Women Artists, an exhibition of original artwork from Iran that traveled to the University of Michigan, University of Maine, Fitton Center in Ohio, Norwest Gallery in Detroit, and Michigan State University. Ghaderi is an Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at Michigan State University.
Levon Kafafian is a Detroit-based Armenian-American weaver working the narrative threads of costume, artifact, ritual, and installation into stories about possible worlds and potential futures. They infuse their stories and cloth with future ancestral practice, hybridity, and magic. Together with Nick Szydlo, they run Shaded Knot, a science fiction/fantasy storytelling project, weaving portals to other dimensions. Levon teaches weaving and creative writing nationally and beyond. In 2022, they taught a seven-week public weaving program in Denmark with Rosa Tolnov Clausen and published a small book about their experiences.