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Mar 5, 2022May 5, 2022

Let Them Roam Freely

Darryl DeAngelo Terrell, 279°W 42°21’39″ N 83°2’20″ W Detroit, MI, 2020. Digital photography, 24″ x 36″

Opening: March 5, 1 – 6 PM
Conversation with the Artists:
Saturday, March 5, 3-4 PM
Free and open to the public

Curated by NXTHVN Fellows Marissa Del Toro and Jamillah Hinson

Let Them Roam Freely is a two-person exhibition presenting newly commissioned projects and recent work by Hong Hong and Darryl DeAngelo Terrell that focus on the creation of portals through physical movement. A portal is a bridge, a gateway, a tunnel to a different time and space. Hong’s and Terrell’s respective practices evoke gateways linked to personal, communal, and cultural histories. They use performance-based methods to embody and document their passage, resulting in large-scale work on paper for Hong and photography and sound for Terrell.

The commissioned projects were formed on-site in the Dixwell neighborhood of New Haven. In January 2022, Hong enacted an experimental approach different from her traditional method of papermaking, which is usually conducted outdoors in the spring and summer months. She used NXTHVN’s gallery as her studio to make the paper indoors and employed a more tactile process that required her hands to layer the surface of the work. In February 2022, Terrell performed and composed new portals throughout Dixwell and its surrounding areas. Focused initially on the presence of Black history attached to specific locations and events throughout Detroit, such as Belle Isle, Terrell shifted to seeking out broader landscapes with Black leisure, life, and existence embedded into the environment.

Within Hong’s work, we witness the impressions left by her physical application of materials as an expression of relocation, specifically in terms of distance, time, and cultural shift from a place of origin. At the same time, Terrell presents the cultural aftermath of living in a Detroit shaped by the Great Migration by aligning the visible and absent presence of these histories in their search and documentation of portals. Through such different lived experiences, these two perspectives present the audience with nuanced personal expressions of the impact human dispersion has across land and through generations.

This exhibition centers on restorative and joyful practices rooted within the discovery and creation of thresholds to alternate worlds. The artists look towards portals as gateways, vessels, or entries (seen or unseen) to escape from or emerge into different realities. This exhibition initiates a visual conversation between Hong and Terrell that aims to restore new possibilities for the body’s position within conflicted systems of labor, globalization, and migration that have shaped the contemporary experience of time and space.

Let Them Roam Freely and NXTHVN’s curatorial fellowship program are made possible with generous funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.



Born in 1989 in Hefei, Anhui, China, Hong Hong earned her BFA from State University of New York at Potsdam and MFA from University of Georgia. Since 2015, she has travelled to faraway and distinct locations to create site-responsive, monumental paperworks. In this nomadic practice, traditional methods of Chinese papermaking coalesces with painting, monastic rituals and feminist performances. Hong’s research investigates the voyages of bodies, both plant and human, across borders and between continents. Recent projects map interstitial relationships between globalization, climate, exile, time-passing and the Chinese Diaspora through cartographic, symbolic and material languages.

Hong’s work has been included in numerous exhibitions, including solo and group shows at Real Art Ways, Hartford, CT; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR; Asia Society Texas Center, Houston, TX; Georgia Museum of Art, Athens, GA; Penland School of Crafts, Penland, NC; Lawndale Art Center, Houston, TX; and Jewett Art Center, Boston, MA. She has been invited to create public projects by Center for the Arts at Wesleyan University (Middletown, CT), Art League Houston (Houston, TX) and Artspace New Haven (New Haven, CT). Hong has been awarded residencies and fellowships at MacDowell, Yaddo, Vermont Studio Center, I-Park (2019) and Houston Center for Contemporary Craft.



Courtesy of Black Rock Senegal

Darryl DeAngelo Terrell is a Detroit Based artist who primarily works within lens based media (i.e. photography, video), performance and writing. They arealso a curator, DJ, organizer and educator. They received an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where they studied with Xaviera Simmons, Ayanah Moor, Roberto Sifuentes and Faheem Majeed. They work under the philosophy of F.U.B.U (This Shit Is For Us*) and aims to aid a larger conversation about Blackness, and its many intersectionalities. Their work explores the displacement of Black and Brown people, femme identity and strength, the Black family structure, sexuality, gender, safe spaces for all Black bodies and personal stories, all while keeping in mind the accessibility of art.

Terrell is a 2021 Black Rock Senegal Resident, 2021 Redbull House of Art Resident, 2019/2020 Document Detroit Fellow, 2019 Kresge Arts In Detroit Fellow of Visual Arts, 2019 Artist in Resident at Northeastern Illinois University, 2018 Luminarts Fellow in Visual Arts, 2017/18 Hatch Project Artist in Resident at Chicago Artist Coalition, 2017 Artist in Resident at ACRE and 2017 semifinalist for the Edes Fellowship. They have performed and exhibited work at The Museums of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA), Chicago IL, The Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts, Brooklyn, NYC NY, The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, IL, Xpace Cultural Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, The Hunter Museum of American Art in Chattanooga, TN, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art in Scottsdale, AZ and The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC.