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Open Studio Visit: Xenobia Bailey with Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts

Sat, Dec 16, 2017

Xenobia Bailey

Receiving critical feedback from trusted peers and professionals is essential to any artist’s studio practice. For this program, historian and author Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts will lead an hour-long public discussion in the gallery-situated studio of Xenobia Bailey, currently featured as an artist-in-residence in Cycle 2 of Studio Views: Craft in the Expanded Field.

Working on site to complete a variety of new projects inspired by the aesthetics of funk music and culture, Bailey has invited Rhodes-Pitts as a trusted advisor to the Museum to discuss her work. Their conversation will cover the conceptual and historical underpinnings of Bailey’s work, while also exploring the work’s formal, technical, and material dimensions. Visitors are invited to observe the conversation, after which they will have the opportunity to take part in a short Q&A.  

About the Panelists

Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts is the author of Harlem Is Nowhere: A Journey to the Mecca of Black America. The first volume in a planned trilogy on African-Americans and utopia (Harlem, Haiti, and the Black Belt of the American South), it was a New York Times Notable Book of 2011, a National Book Critics Circle Finalist, and cited by BOOKFORUM as the "Best New York Book" written in the twenty years since the magazine's founding. Her work has appeared in The New York TimesThe Nation, Chimurenga, Bidoun, A Public Space, Creative Time Reports, Harper's, Essence, and Vogue, among many others. She has received grants and awards from Creative Capital, the Whiting Foundation, the Rona Jaffe Foundation and the Lannan Foundation. Her 2015 book for young readers Jake Makes a World: Jacob Lawrence, a Young Artist in Harlem (commissioned by MoMA and illustrated by Christopher Myers) was named by Booklist among the year's top books about art for children. Rhodes-Pitts organizes projects through The Freedwomen's Bureau, gathering collaborators across the fields of visual art, music, theater, film, and education to produce events at venues like Harlem Stage, The Studio Museum in Harlem, The New Museum, PS 1 / MoMA, and public spaces in Harlem.

Xenobia Bailey is best known for eclectic crocheted hats, large-scale mandalas, and tents consisting of colorful concentric circles and repeating patterns. Her designs draw influences from the African American homemaker and the vanishing multicultural African American, Asian, and Native American community of her birthplace, Seattle, and of the 1960s funk aesthetic. Bailey has exhibited at venues including the Studio Museum in Harlem, the New Museum, the High Museum of Art, and the Museum of Arts and Design. Her work is in the permanent collections at MAD, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and Allentown Art Museum. Bailey has been an artist-in-residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Society for Contemporary Craft, and the Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation, and was recently Fellow for Socially Engaged Art at A Blade of Grass. In 2015, a large-scale mosaic installation of her work opened at the NYC MTA subway station at 34th Street/Hudson Yards. Bailey was an artist-in-residence at the Museum of Arts and Design in 2013.

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