At the age of 5, Dominique taught herself the important work of creative authorship. With a keen eye, she studied and drew the figures of those around her and invited these explorations to foster her current enthrallment and appreciation of art. Drawing offered her at the earliest stages of her life, the affirmation that she held a power to imagine and create something beautiful. Using visual arts as a guide and the foundation of her truth, Dominique navigated through challenges and several vocational changes, until she arrived at her life’s mission: to foster community healing, to encourage thriving populations, and share her love of art with the world.
Dominique continued her art education through high school, gaining experience in ceramics, darkroom photography, and theatrical set design. As a young art student, Dominique invested her time exploring every medium; as an artist, she explored the context of marginalized identity.
Her interest in art, social systems, and identity led her to obtain her BFA in Art Education and her B.S. in Cultural and Prehistoric Anthropology. Her Studies and imaginings culminated into a body of work that explores black storytelling and inherited identities, black transience, history, and conjure. After graduation Dominique stopped creating art. She was drawn into a creative lull, exasperated by the challenges of becoming an artist in a white male dominant space. She stopped making art for 4 years.
Dominique’s art education did not include extensive study of black and brown artists. She did not receive instruction from art professors who could help her conceptualize being a black creative. Noting that her 6-year art education was devoid of black and brown artist, she pondered the worth of an art space centering these creatives. This inquiry led to the production of Brushing Up On History, a series of paint parties exploring the works of black people, indigenous people, and people of color (BIPOC)
Brushing Up on History offers BIPOC the opportunity to learn painting techniques and a diverse history of artistic expression.
Learn more here.
As a teen, Dominique was weighted by the emotions and experiences endured through foster care. Adopted at 15 by her oldest sister, Dominique had to navigate her transition and trauma without the support of mental health services. After practicing yoga with her eldest sister, Dominique continued the practice noticing a change in her emotional well-being.
Dominique continued to grow through her yoga practice, always returning back to it to ground herself.
The summer of 2016, Dominique completed her yoga teacher training with Hotlanta yoga studio in Atlanta, GA. She continues her practice in hopes of offering a yoga space that encourages yogis ( seasoned and aspiring) to be curious, brave, and compassionate.
March 2018, a week after her birthday, Dominique recommitted herself to the grounding practices of art, yoga, creative writing, and cooking. Reconnecting with these forms of expression to nurture herself, her social justice commitments, and leadership.
Photo Credit: Ifeyinwa Arinze. http://www.eternityboundphoto.com
Akoma’s mission and vision are informed by Dominique’s journey to her current vision of promoting wellness and social justice.