Following the call for applications launched last August for its second edition, Black Rock has announced the official selection of artists for this year’s artist residency program. They come from Africa, Europe and North America. The artists selected for the 2021 edition of this special program are young, talented and will represent fields as varied as their origins.

Multimedia Artists

Tyna Adebowale from Nigeria has a background in painting but has extended her work to installations and videos. Her work explores issues of gender, sexual orientation and politics in contemporary Nigerian society. Using art as a powerful tool for social change, she currently lives in Amsterdam where she arrived in 2017 for a residency program.

Mbali Dhlamini from South Africa is a multidisciplinary artist, artistic researcher and coordinator. She conducts visual, tactile and discursive investigations into current indigenous cultural practices. Living and working in Johannesburg, her process recognizes language as a receptacle of knowledge and a medium for understanding.

Curtis Tawlst Santiago, a Canadian and former apprentice of Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun, has exhibited internationally at renowned venues in New York, Richmond, Miami, Toronto and Santa Fe among others. His work is part of the permanent collection of the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York. He currently lives and works in Munich.

Stephanie J. Woods, American, creates projects in textile, photography, video and community engagement. Her work examines the performative behavior and cognitive effects of forced cultural assimilation through symbolic imagery and materials related to Black American culture and the South American experience. She lives and works in Richmond, USA.

Artist Writers

Ghanaian and American writer Délali Ayivor writes through the complex entanglements of our increasingly globalized world. Winner of the US Presidential Arts Fellowship in 2011 and a Tin House Summer Institute Fellowship in 2020 and 2021, she is very involved in the artistic and literary world in the United States. She lives and works between the United States and Ghana.

Arinze Ifeakandu is a young Nigerian writer who recently graduated from the Iowa Writers Workshop where he won the Richard Yates short story competition in 2018. A Public Space Books will publish in 2022 a collection of stories of which he is the author. He is currently working in Iowa City where he is preparing a short story about love, race, dislocation and OnlyFans.

Painting Artists

The Congolese painter Hilary Balu focuses his work on the transformation of African society, using the history of the continent to visualize the consequences of globalization and the consumer society. Her work has recently been presented on numerous international exhibitions including the AKAA fair in Paris in 2020, the fair of contemporary African art 1.54 in Marrakech in 2019 and “Kinshasa Chronicle” in 2018.

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Abdi Farah, an American painter, is a graduate of Tulane University in New Orleans where he lives and works. He has exhibited his work in institutions such as the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum in New York; the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Institute of American Universities in Aix-en-Provence, France and the Contemporary Art Center in New Orleans.

Moses Hamborg, American, was born in California, USA. A graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence where he learned the techniques of the ancient masters, he continued his classical training at the Charles H. Cecil Studios. He received a Certificate of Excellence from the Portrait Society of America in 2019 and exhibited in 2020 at the National Portrait Gallery in London at the BP Portrait Award.

Katherina Olschbaur is an Austrian painter who uses the body as a place of repressed desire to illuminate her own narratives about gender, power and sexuality, revealing a new understanding of female body language that questions, disrupts and dismantles the stereotypes and prejudices perpetuated by society’s expectations of women. A graduate of the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, she lives and works in the United States.

Photography and Direction

Nigerian and American, Abbesi Akhamie is a writer, director and producer. With a Master’s degree in Film from New York University, her first short film, Still Water Runs Deep, and her latest, The Couple Next Door, won awards at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2017 and the Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival in 2020. She is currently developing her first feature film, In My Father’s House.

Irene Antonia Diane Reece identifies herself as a contemporary artist and visual activist. An American photographer, she lives and works between Europe and the United States. Reece’s goals are to continue to take up space, to speak openly about the white-centered art world and to create forms of racial equity in the arts.

Darryl DeAngelo Terrell, American, is an artist who works primarily in lens-based media (i.e. photography, video), performance and writing. He is also a curator, DJ, organizer and educator. His work explores black and brown displacement, women’s identity and strength, black family structure, sexuality, gender, safe spaces for all black bodies and personal stories, while keeping in mind the accessibility of art.

Sculpture, Installation and Performance

Christiano Mangovo, an Angolan painter, graduated in painting from the Faculty of Fine Arts in Kinshasa, DRC. His work is characterized by distorted bodies and objects, representing a social commentary with strong elements of psychoanalysis. His work is multifaceted, ranging from impressionism to surrealism, through installation and performance, in which he shows great skill and total confidence in a firm line.

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Esmaa Mohamoud is an Afro-Canadian artist. Evolving in sculpture and installation, she is represented by the Georgia Scherman projects.

The Selection Committee

Created by the famous artist Kehinde Wiley, Black Rock Senegal wishes to encourage new artistic creation through collaborative exchanges and encourage a change in the global discourse on Africa. This year’s residents were selected by a distinguished committee of professional creators. It included :

  • Sir David Adjaye OBE, an Anglo-Ghanaian architect who worked on the National Museum of African-American History and Culture which opened in 2016 in Washington ;
  • Amoako Boafo, a young Ghanaian painter considered one of the most notable voices in the art of the African Diaspora whose works have recently been acquired by institutions such as the Blenheim Art Foundation, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Albertina Museum in Vienna and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum;
  • Naomi Campbell, world-renowned model, actress, philanthropist and activist;
  • Yagazie Emezi, a self-taught Nigerian artist and photojournalist who is widely known in the international press and who in 2019 became the first black African woman to photograph for National Geographic Magazine, she was also a resident of the first edition of the Black Rock ;
  • Christine Y. Kim, an experienced curator who is currently working on Julie Mehretu’s exhibition co-organized with the Whitney Museum of American Art ;
  • Anne Pasternak, director of the Brooklyn Museum of Art and curator of the exhibition.

The “lucky ones” will meet at Black Rock’s headquarters in Dakar, Senegal from February to December 2021. Black Rock is also reassuring about the measures taken to ensure effective and adequate measures given the global health situation, providing a safe place for artists who will have to live and create in such unprecedented times.

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