February 4 – April 3, 2023

MARN is pleased to present “HOOPS”, a solo exhibition by local multidisciplinary artist Nicole Acosta running February 4 to April 3, 2023 in the MARN ART + CULTURE HUB. 

A showcase of Acosta’s ‘HOOPS Portrait Project’, the exhibition features portraits, visual interviews, and personal anecdotes of over 60 individuals from Milwaukee, Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles who have a deep and sacred connection to hoop earrings. They are teachers, artists, doulas, creators, healers, healthcare workers, musicians, poets, advocates, mothers, DJs, hair stylists, dancers, and much more.

Hoop earrings are more than a piece of jewelry. Dating back nearly 5,000 years, the earrings have signified visibility, liberation, and a way of claiming space, particularly for Black, Brown, Indigenous, Asian, and other communities in the global majority.

The HOOPS Project documents and archives the voices and stories of these powerful groups, exhibiting the evolving culture of hoop earrings. These stories mark the intersection of where culture, art, hair, identity, politics, history, power, home, belonging, love, and liberation meet.

“When I began the HOOPS Project, it had no name, and it had no actual goal, except to share personal stories and to document what HOOP earrings mean to so many. During this process, I realized that adorning oneself with HOOP earrings is something deeply personal, ritualistic, and revolutionary. And when we wear HOOPS, we return home to ourselves. We’re reminded that we don’t have to reduce or change who we are in any space we occupy.”

Nicole Acosta

Read more about Acosta and the ‘HOOPS Portrait Project’ here.

Nicole Acosta extends special thanks to exhibition sponsors MiVoz, Kelly McBain, Your Move MKE, SapSap, Shary Tran, Jenny Lee (Perilla Kitchen), Lucky Ginger, and Rodolfo and Martha Acosta.

The HOOPS exhibition at MARN coincides with the Milwaukee Chamber Theatre’s (MCT’s) production by the same name. “HOOPS”, adapted from Acosta’s portrait project by playwright Eliana Pipes with original music by B~Free, runs at MCT’s Studio Theatre March 10 to April 2, 2023. For more info or to purchase tickets visit MCT’s website here.

Join us for exhibition related programming: 

HERE2PLAY: HOOPS: Wednesday, February 8, 2023 (5:30-8PM) The evening will include a sneak peek into the “HOOPS” play with live scene readings from MCT HOOPS actors and a special panel discussion with HOOPS Director Patrice Amon, HOOPS Playwright Eliana Pipes, and HOOPS Project Originator Nicole Acosta. Enjoy free food by Trouble Makers Cocina and live music provided by DJ Quilla. Learn more and RSVP here.

MARN hosted an Opening Reception on Saturday, February 4, 2023 (5:30-8PM)
The event program included live music by DJ Quilla and poetry readings by Melissa Mursch-Rodriguez, and Brit Nicole.

Visit our Calendar for more details & upcoming events!

Past Exhibitions: 

MARN is humbled to support and host exhibitions in our state-of-the-art Gallery and Exhibition Hall within the MARN ART + CULTURE HUB. Browse the ARCHIVE to learn more about past exhibitions and programs.