Residency Unlimited


2017 | NYC | Artist

Tessa Mars

Dream of freedom, dream of death I, 2016. Acrylic on canvas, 127 cm x 101.6 cm
Artist Name: Tessa Mars
Residency Dates: September - November
Born: 1985
Hometown: Port-au-prince, Haiti
Lives & Works: Pétion-Ville, Haïti

Education: Bachelor's degree in Visual Arts, Université Rennes II Haute Bretagne. Rennes, France. Rennes, France.

Bio / Statement:

Tessa Mars is the 2017  Davidoff Art  Initiative awardee. She is a painter whose  on-going body of work explores identity, first through the lens of language and gender and more recently by questioning geography and history. She is interested in how Haitian history, customs and rituals inform our identity as a people and how we express it collectively and individually.  Her work investigates notions of patriotism, sovereignty and confronts them to the reality of Haitian daily life.  It raises questions about how the legacy of Haiti’s revolutionary past shapes our society, about the transmission and loss of memory, about strategies individuals come up with to reconcile past and present. It also raises questions about womanhood, freedom and the fight for it.

Solo exhibits include: 2016- « Tessalines and I», French Institute, Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Selected collective exhibits 2016- «Afrotopia», Art Africa Miami Arts Fair during Art Basel, Miami, USA. 2016- Caribbean Linked IV, Ateliers ’89, Oranjestad, Aruba. 2014- «Rencontre», Musée du Panthéon National Haïtien, Port-au-Prince, Haïti. 2012- «30th International Symposium of Contemporary Art of Baie-Saint-Paul», Baie-Saint-Paul, Canada. 2011- « Haïti Kingdom of This World », 54th Venice Biennale, 1st Haitian Pavillon Residencies 2016- Caribben Linked IV, Ateliers ’89, Oranjestad, Aruba. 2015- Alice Yard, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. 2012- «30th International Symposium of Contemporary Art of Baie-Saint-Paul», Baie-Saint-Paul, Canada. 2011- «Cité international des arts» – Paris, France

Select Permanent Collections: Musée d'art contemporain de Baie-Saint-Paul, Haiti

Support: Tessa Mars's residency is made possible with support from Davidoff Art Initiative.


Haiti, Brooklyn, Harlem: An Artist's Perspective