AFRICAN DIASPORA ARTIST SERIES
Reconstruction-era politics have removed Black from cultural categories of beauty and value, a practice that enabled the Western art world to consume Black cultural products without canonizing them or an acting equitable politics for Black artists. The African Diasporic Artist Series works to undo anti-Black injustice still in place today. Over the next year, a range of African Diasporic Artists will come to The Pennsylvania State University School of Visual Arts to share their practices and extensive knowledge of craft, art world identity politics, and performance.
Visiting Dates: 9/10/18 - 9/19/18
The first artist we have invited is Ato Ribeiro, a mixed media artist based out of Atlanta, by way of Ghana. After earning his MFA in Print Media at Cranbrook Academy of Art Ribeiro received the Mercedes-Benz Financial Services Emerging Artist Award and has recently completed the Equal Justice Residency at the Santa Fe Art Institute. Ribeiro will spend his summer at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture where he plans to sustain his practice crafting repurposed materials communicating the entangled state of being uprooted, fractured, or in between identities. Using traditional West African textile techniques like stripweaving, Ribeiro focuses on methods people of the African diaspora have used to connect and intervene societal boundaries. Implicating viewers in their own comfortable apathy Ribeiro’s treatment of African diasporic epistemologies and geographically available materials questions the overlooked exploitation of the Black aesthetic. While acting to dismantle the fictions that plague the population he represents, Ribeiro reinforces the axiom that a whole is more than a sum of its parts.
Stereotypes; in bell hooks’ parlance, “abound when there is distance”, Ribeiro’s mission is to collapse that distance, whether we like it or not.
Visiting Dates: TBD