We Can Be podcast - The Heinz Endowments

Artist & cultural agitator D.S. Kinsel protests w/art & leads w/heart (SE0309)

September 2, 2020

D.S. Kinsel is – in his own words – a “multidisciplinary artist and cultural agitator” who in 2014 co-founded BOOM Concepts, an art collective “dedicated to the advancement of Black and brown artists from marginalized communities across America.”


D.S.’s art – and his work in mentoring and promoting other artists – is more vital now than ever. It is no secret that COVID-19 has hit the creative community with particular force, causing canceled exhibits and fundraisers, closing venues, and putting many arts education programs in jeopardy.


This, of course, is happening at the exact time when we need the unflinching honesty and beauty of art more than ever, and as the Black Lives Matter movement gains momentum and makes crystal-clear the inequities faced by Black and brown communities.


D.S. is the curator of #ACTIVISTprint, a collaborative public art program of The Andy Warhol Museum, and presents an ongoing digital assemblage of his own work through his #KINSELCOLLECTION on Instagram.


He brings a deep devotion to family and equity to his art, concentrating in the mediums of painting, public installations, and performance. A book about his work, Totems, Shrines, & Sacraments: Street Sculptures by D.S. Kinsel,” was published earlier this year.



In this podcast episode, D.S. shares with host Grant Oliphant about whether he considers his work to be protest art, his connection to his hometown’s considerable art legacy, and why agitating with art is a vital part of society’s progression.


“How can people evolve,” D.S. asks, “without a bit of agitation?”


“We Can Be” is hosted by Heinz Endowments President Grant Oliphant, and produced by the Endowments, Josh Franzos and Tim Murray. Theme music by Josh Slifkin. Photo credit: Josh Franzos. Guest inquiries can be made to Scott Roller at sroller@heinz.org.

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