From left, Sable Elyse Smith, Allison Janae Hamilton, and Tschabalala Self.


THREE WOMEN ARTISTS will be in residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem during its 50th anniversary year. The museum announced Allison Janae Hamilton, Tschabalala Self, and Sable Elyse Smith are its 2018 artists in residence. Their residency begins in early April 2018.

“Our Artist-in-Residence program has been at the heart of this institution’s mission since our founding in 1968. It is the embodiment of our commitment to supporting emerging artists of African descent, and is at the center of our work to bring artists together with the Harlem community,” Director and Chief Curator Thelma Golden said in a statement. “I am thrilled that Allison, Tschabalala, and Sable—three outstanding artists, each of whom has already developed her own distinctive practice—will be with us during our anniversary year, at the beginning of an exciting transition.”

    About the Artists:

    Allison Janae Hamilton (b. 1984, Lexington, Kentucky) is an interdisciplinary artist working in sculpture, installation, photography, video, and taxidermy. Using plant matter, layered imagery, sounds, and animal remains, Hamilton creates immersive spaces that consider the role of the American landscape in concepts of “Americana” and social constructions of space, particularly within the rural South. Hamilton was a 2013–14 fellow in the Whitney Independent Study Program and a finalist in the National Portrait Gallery’s Outwin 2016 portrait competition. She received her Ph.D. in American Studies from New York University and her MFA in Visual Arts from Columbia University. She lives and works in New York.

    Tschabalala Self (b. 1990, Harlem) makes syncretic use of painting, printmaking, and assemblage to explore ideas surrounding the black female body. Constructed with a combination of sewn, printed, and painted materials, Self’s exaggerated depictions of bodies traverse a variety of artistic and craft traditions. The physiological and psychological characteristics of her figures also reflect Self’s personal desire to articulate cultural attitudes and realities as they relate to race and gender. She received her BA from Bard College and her MFA from Yale University. A 2017 recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters & Sculptors Grant, Self lives and works in New York and New Haven, Conn.

    Sable Elyse Smith (b. 1986, Los Angeles) is an interdisciplinary artist, writer, and educator whose practice considers memory and trauma, working from the archive of her own body to mark the difference between witnessing and watching. Her work has been seen through Artist Television Access in San Francisco and at Birkbeck Cinema in collaboration with the Serpentine Galleries. A published writer, she is working on her first book and is currently a visiting artist in at Virginia Commonwealth University. Smith has B.A. in studio art and film from Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, and earned her MFA in Design & Technology from Parsons the New School for Design. She lives and works in Richmond, Va.

Compared with previous artists in residence, the latest cohort has relatively established practices and exhibition histories. Smith currently has a solo exhibition at the Queens Museum. “Trigger: Gender as a Tool and a Weapon,” a group show now on view at the New Museum features Smith and Shelf.

Their work has also been shown at the Studio Museum. Self was included in “A Constellation” (2015-16), which traced connections between 20th century figures represented in the museum’s collection and younger contemporary artists whose works were being shown for the first time at the Harlem institution. Works by Hamilton and Smith are currently on view in “Fictions,” a major exhibition surveying the work of 19 emerging artists. In addition, Smith also works in the Studio Museum’s education department.

A group of artists, activists, and philanthropists established the Studio Museum in 1968 and from the beginning its residency program was a central part of its mission. Over the past half century, it has consistently identified and supported some of the most critically recognized artists working today—from David Hammons and Kerry James Marshall, to Julie Mehretu, Mickalene Thomas, and more recently Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Kevin Beasley, and Jordan Casteel. CT


TOP IMAGES: Allison Janae Hamilton. Photo by Darcy Rogers; Sable Elyse Smith. Photo by Rodolfo Diaz; Tschabalala Self. Photo via Forbes


Allison Janae Hamilton talks about her multidisciplinary practice. Visit her website to view her work. | Video by Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation


Tschabalala Self discusses her practice at VOLTA NY 2016. Visit her website to view her work. | Video by GalleryLOG


Sable Elyse Smith shares how identity has influenced her work. Visit her website to view her work. | Video by Parsons Scholars


Do you enjoy and value Culture Type? Please consider supporting its ongoing production by making a donation. Culture Type is an independent editorial project that requires countless hours and expense to research, report, write, and produce. To help sustain it, make a one-time donation or sign up for a recurring monthly contribution. It only takes a minute. Many Thanks for Your Support.