The Owner's Story
Click to OpenClose
South East Market is currently in the process of empowering a cooperative kitchen + event space that will bring local food businesses together to create and thrive together. The event space will be a community hub for education, pop-up markets, MLK Freedom School instruction and a rental space for networking events, art shows, etc. The driving force of the space is to be for us, by us (FUBU).
We’re super stoked to see this area activated with some new energy around food and the community that food brings. So many people have fond memories of a food culture in Boston Square that was alive and well decades ago. We’re so grateful to have our corner on Earth continue to bloom with a project like this. It adds to the spirit of all the beautiful things that are going to be created in the space whether it be tacos, friendships, kinships, leaders…hopefully, all of the above.
Owner's Connection To GR, Thoughts on Liberation, Reclamation
What the word “Liberation” and “Reclamation” mean to you- Liberation for us means those who experience the most oppression have the freedom to explore their creativity, dreams, hopes and identity. It’s important to us to be unapologetic about speaking into what we need to be liberated and that looks like access to high quality education, food and land that is for us and by us. When we’re speaking about “us”, we are referring to a beloved community, a vision in which all people can share the wealth of the Earth.
When we think of reclamation, we think of all of the land that was tended to by our ancestors and how little of it is owned by Black, brown and indigenous people today. We know our souls won’t ever be satisfied until we get our land. That might look like a business, a farm, art in public spaces, home ownership, etc.
When Martin Luther King Jr. summoned the prophet Amos and asked that justice roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream, he was calling for a love-driven justice so powerful that it could fundamentally reshape the land itself.
About the Artist
Click to OpenClose
Octavia Thorns is a local illustrator, printmaker, and graphic designer. Originally from Chicago, Octavia graduated from DePaul University with a BFA in graphic design.
Now located in Grand Rapids and also a local activist, Octavia uses her artwork as a fundraiser for marginalized groups around the city. By hosting art giveaways, she gives away pieces of artwork in return for a donation to various local causes that aid those in our community. She believes in art as a form of expression, using her art to represent those who are underrepresented while bringing social justice issues to the forefront. As an illustrator, Octavia is driven and inspired by Black women. She’s set out to push forward those who are severely underrepresented and even excluded from the art industry. She wants to see women that look like her at the helm and she reflects that in her art.
ARTIST'S CONNECTION TO GR, THOUGHTS ON LIBERATION, RECLAMATION
Liberation: Liberation and reclamation go hand in hand for me. When I think of “Liberation” I think of finding your place and peace, I think of freedom. We aren’t free until we’re all free.
Reclamation: Reclamation means reclaiming what was once ours. Reclamation means standing in what you believe in, being rooted in your stance.