Saint Heron, the digital community and cultural institution founded by Solange Knowles in 2013, has evolved to new heights. The online platform has developed into a multidisciplinary platform, studio, and creative agency with “an urgent mission to preserve, collect and uplift the stories, works, and archives that amplify vital voices within communities,” according to the announcement received by VIBE.
The company has created a plan to build spaces that engage radical conversation and conceptual imagining across art, design, architecture, fashion, and literature. It will soon launch its dossier “with literary and visual retrospectives of radical family and artist’ lineages” on its official website for a limited time of 7 to 10 days. Up first, a digital installation sharing the story of Saint Heron as told by Solange herself.
“Worldmaking has been a huge part of my practice,” remarked Knowles, the founder and creative director. “The idea of leaving behind cities, meccas, and universes that were occupied and celebrated by bodies, voices, celebrations, and rituals to be discovered down the line.
“As we transition to an institution, the answer and the vision become abundantly clear. We are creating a legacy where we not only continue the work we have already built, but preserve collections of creators with the urgency they deserve. Together we want to create an archive of stories, and works we deem valuable. We want to open up these works publicly, and make them accessible to students, and our communities for research, engagement, and consumption so that the works are integrated into our collective story and belong and grow with us.”
Saint Heron will showcase literary exhibitions that explore narratives relating to familial lineage, returning home, physical exodus and personal reclamation. Readers can anticipate works from bestselling novelist, and award-winning poet Barbara Chase-Riboud in conversation with award-winning author and educator, Ilyasah Shabazz, Shala Monroque and artist Cassi Namoda, a conversation between Helga Davis and Okwui Okpokwasili, and archives from Womack & Womack and Composer Charles Stepney.
“Saint Heron is a process. It is a moving, living and breathing evolution. It is a spirit. Like most of my projects, it started with a question. A need. A call. A cry turned celebration,” the “Cranes In The Sky” singer added on Instagram. “Our community is a living testament to the glory of expression, and how that recharges and reaffirms what we hold for our own cultural and artistic worth.”
Saint Heron will also build out their Gallery, Small Matter, exploring futurism design as a form of cultural expression, as well as continue its activism work with the Saint Heron Holism Project. The expansion also includes an artist in residence program, a permanent art and design collection, a non-profit library offering free access to Saint Heron’s archived collection, an in-house line of home and fashion collectibles, unique brand collaborations, special music projects via Saint Records and experimental art film releases.