Studio. Gallery. Nonprofit.
tes·sera : a small piece (as of marble, glass, or tile) used in mosaic work
Tessera Arts Collective is an arts nonprofit currently located in the Kensington neighborhood of North Philadelphia where it operates a storefront studio & gallery space on Frankford Avenue. Tessera’s mission is to support women (including queer, trans, femme and non-binary) artists of color in the Greater Philadelphia area by providing opportunities, resources, and programming that elevates their work and practice. Tessera propels women artists of color to take their rightful place in the art world by providing a refuge to incubate and nurture creativity.
About addyeB…and Addie B
I am A'Driane Nieves, but professionally, I go by addyeB, and my friends call me Addye. Funny story: My husband started calling me “Addye” as nickname for me when we first started dating, and it stuck…but I didn’t realize until much later that “Addie” is also a family name!
I'm a self-taught, multi-disciplinary artist with a vision to build upon the legacy of my family matriarch, Addie B Lilly. Addie B was an artist and entrepreneur who owned a candy store in North Philadelphia during the 1940's. My great-grandmother didn't just sell penny candy and treats though-she used her store as a community gathering space that provided assistance and resources to those in need and as small gallery space she could show off and sell her family's art from.
Tessera Arts Collective was born out of my frustration with the lack of opportunities for non-traditional and emerging visual artists of color, and the racial & gender disparities that have existed in the art world for too long. I believe Black and Brown women shouldn't have to rely on institutions and traditional models to have their creative work experienced by the public. I believe creating our own lanes affords us more control of our work, allows us to drive the narratives around it, and provides more outlets of access and engagement for artists and communities alike. Through community events (art making and professional development workshops, film screenings, exhibitions, salons, Open Studio tours, etc), a fellowship program, a future residency program, and space rental opportunities, TAC is a supportive resource for both local artists, and the neighborhood, embodying the ethos of my great grandmother's former candy shop.