A painter’s currency are the secrets and tricks they gather over time. Black Painters Academy founder and Alumni Resident Azikiwe Mohammed wants to help Black people find their secrets. Mohammed will create a space for experimentation while developing a language that decenters whiteness from art historical examples and draws from the pre-existing wealth of the Black visual vocabulary.

In this outdoor class at Pioneer Works on Governors Island, housed at Nolan Park 8B, Mohammed will lead participants in looking at the history of seeing thru being seen while creating paintings that mirror that process. Participants will be asked to bring three physical photos that we will integrate into the unique landscape of Governors Island by the end of class.

This event will take place off-site at Governors Island, Nolan Park 8B, which is accessible via ferry from Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Date: This in-person class will meet once on Saturday, May 15 from 1-3pm. Social distancing will be in effect.

Price: Free. Any donations will support future Black Painters Academy programming.

Audience: Priority admission to BIPOC participants, but classes are open to adults from all levels of painting experience and ethnic backgrounds.

Materials: Participants will be supplied with materials including one 11 x 14 in. or 16 x 20 in. Black canvas, a set of brushes, paints, an example painting from Black painters, and a “I am a Black Painter” pin.

Azikiwe Mohammed’s artwork has been shown in galleries both nationally and internationally. A 2005 graduate of Bard College, where he studied photography and fine arts, Mohammed received the Art Matters Grant in 2015 and the Rema Hort Mann Emerging Artist Grant in 2016. Mohammed is an alumnus of Pioneer Works in Brooklyn, New York, and Mana Contemporary in Jersey City, New Jersey. His work has been featured extensively in magazines, including VICE, I-D, Artforum, Forbes, BOMB, and Hyperallergic. Mohammed has presented a number of solo exhibitions in venues including the Knockdown Center, Maspeth, New York; SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah, GA; Ace Hotel Chicago, Illinois; as well as multiple solo offerings at Spring Break Art Show, New York. He has participated in group exhibitions at MoMa PS1, Queens, New York; Antenna Gallery, New Orleans, Louisiana; Charlie James Gallery, Los Angeles, California; and the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, among others. He lives in New York and currently has his studio at Mana Contemporary as part of the Mana BSMT program.

For questions, please contact education@pioneerworks.org

This program is supported in part by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.