• A Message from Kehinde Wiley

    Date posted: December 7, 2014 Author: jolanta
    Kehinde Wiley

    Dear Friend,

    I was fortunate enough to be a 2001–02 artist in residence at The Studio Museum in Harlem. The Studio Museum is a home base for artists—a space for mentorship, growth, community and collaboration. Today’s trailblazers, innovators and risk-takers have all called the studios and galleries in the former bank building on 125th Street home at one time or another, and many of those voices have helped blaze a path for the next generation.

    In 2001, just out of school, I was searching for a clarity in my work that I had yet to capture being in the classroom. Through the Artist-in-Residence program, the Museum gave me exactly what I needed: the freedom to dedicate myself exclusively to my practice and a neighborhood with the energy and subject matter I craved. Looking back, I can see how my practice can be traced to those pivotal months at the Museum—not just to my explorations in my studio space there, but to my walks in Harlem. I was profoundly affected by the neighborhood’s sights, the smells, and especially moved by the people I met on the street, who would ultimately become my first models. The Museum opened a door for me to discover a creative process that remains the foundation of what I do today.

    I am proud of my affiliation with The Studio Museum in Harlem. Along with nourishing new ideas, the Museum provides a place where visitors from around the world can explore beauty and meaning through art. I hope you will join me in supporting the Studio Museum. It gave this artist his first taste of freedom.

    Support the Studio Museum by visiting www.studiomuseum.org/support/donate and making a contribution today.

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