New York University (NYU), MA
My work explores culture, identity and social justice in various media: sculpture, photography, video, installation and social projects. It consistently bridges diverse cultures, celebrating the unique beauty and genius of each as well as what we have in common. Cultural preservation is important to my work. My research takes the form of immersive field work. Annual visits to Mali provide inspiration. My social consciousness and my deep and continuing interest in African art and culture also fuel my work.
Social projects internationally and in the US include participation with diverse groups of artists and non-artists. I engage in long-term collaborations, particularly with Malian artists. We are all, at the same time, researcher and object of research producing dialogues and concrete works of art.
My life experiences play an integral part in the development of my work. A master welder, I work in three dimensions as well as on paper, on the floor, on walls, and suspended from the ceiling, indoors and outdoors. My work combines poetry, patterns, forms and African themes that engage in social discourse.
Born to a family of political activists, I grew up in Washington, D.C., immersed in the activism of the 1960's. The evolution of my sculpture traces my enduring exploration of sculptural form, my ongoing relationship with African culture, and my lifelong involvement in political activism.
I first traveled to West Africa as a college undergraduate. Since my 1995 Fulbright Fellowship, I have traveled to Mali every year. I have received two Fulbright Senior Specialist grants and grants from the Ford Foundation and the UN Special Committee Against Apartheid.
Exhibition highlights include Multiple Exposures and Global Africa Project at the Museum of Arts and Design; Women Facing AIDS at the New Museum, Have We Met?, a major installation at Colgate University. Permanent collections include the American Embassy in Mali, the city of Segou, Mali and the Islip Museum on Long Island, NY.
My work in the US and internationally includes cultural, educational and women's empowerment projects as well as commissions, exhibitions, collaborations, residencies, community art projects, public art projects. I have been working in Mali for more than two decades.