I am an East African sculptor and writer based on the traditional land of the Lenape People in New York. My creative work weaves together many influences and processes, all with the intention of connecting to a larger flow. I collaborate with folks who support that flow and are actively committed to minimizing harm in the art world and environments at large.
A portion of book sales donated to LGBTIA+ programming for budding writers to speak their truth
Plastic-free, curbside recyclable packaging
Self-published book acquired by alma mater the Maryland Institute College of Art.
A portion of books sales on July 4th donated to the American Indian Community House, serving the health, social and cultural needs of Native Americans residing in New York City.
Every project encompasses decision-making and is an opportunity to create more positivity or more harm. We all have countless opportunities each day to create more good in the world. I’m looking to team up with people who are of the same mindset and make choices for good on a day-to-day level.
An example where I have put that type of choice in action in my own creative work is prioritizing hiring people who have been historically marginalized. Another example is minimizing travel, shipping, and short-term exhibitions in order to reduce the carbon footprint of my studio practice.
Yes! For a current list of artwork available to exhibit click here.
All artworks are available for the same loan fee, regardless of size, complexity, valuation, age, etc., allowing curators to make choices based on their vision and not be hampered by an overly complicated hierarchical pay scale.
Loan fees are also a convenient way for folks and institutions who have not budgeted for parity, supporting black businesses, closing the wage gap, rapidly rising inequity, etc. to participate.
No, I do not work for free. I do not believe that anyone should work for free. Everyone deserves fair pay that allows them to live their lives. To not pay proportionate compensation for someone’s labor is demeaning and unnecessarily contributes to inequality.
As an African woman I choose to reject the colonial legacy that the art world actively upholds, including working terms that perpetuate marginalization and division, financial trauma, cultural appropriation, theft, and sexual abuse. For more information click here.
See previous answer.
The “standard” amount of pay has not changed since I’ve been a professional artist for the last 18 years, not even accounting for standard inflation of 2% per year. Artists were one of the hardest hit demographics during the pandemic, when day jobs and side hustles disappeared. It’s still acceptable to pay artists a few hundred dollars for multi-month exhibitions. In some cases, that adds up to $27/week.
This economic stasis is in direct contrast to growing artists’ costs. In my own studio I’ve experienced a 55% increase in one of my primary materials in the last five years. Tuition has doubled at Columbia University in the time since I received my graduate degree there and is now $80,000. A growing need for economic justice for a growing population of artists is met by shrinking cultural institutions still depending on funding sources from the last century. This behavior is damaging to the mental, emotional, physical, financial, creative and spiritual health of artists.
“According to the UN, at the world’s current rate of carbon emissions, we will use up our “carbon budget” by 2030 – 7 years from now. This means that we are at risk of causing irreversible damage to the earth. By 2030, emissions need to be reduced by 45% to keep global warming at no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius. Going beyond the 1.5-degree risks climate catastrophes and irrevocable consequences. Currently, global emissions are still rising. If temperatures reach a 3-degree warming, scientists believe we would face unlivable conditions in the world. We are the last generations that can stop this from happening.”
How are we going to spend our precious time? Are curators and the like going to continue to ask more of artists? For more disproportionally underpaid labor? For more free art work for fundraisers? For more monetary donations to museums and alma maters? For more damage to our health and spirit? For more free content? For more excellence despite more limitations? For more physical and financial ableism? For more emotional and mental resilience? For more free solutions to systemic problems? For more expectations for artists to soothe your spirit in times of trouble? For more hope that maybe institutions will change?
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