ARTNOIR is proud to be a partner to the 50 State Initiative and For Freedoms, a platform for civic engagement, discourse and direct action for artists in the United States. Aligned with their values that art, and artists, play an important role in galvanizing our society toward a more representative and transparent government, ARTNOIR will be hosting a special community event in NY this fall to celebrate this incredible initiative in its launch year.

For Freedoms started in 2016 as a platform for civic engagement, discourse, and direct action for artists in the United States. Inspired by Norman Rockwell’s 1943 paintings of the four universal freedoms articulated by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1941—freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear—For Freedoms seeks to use art to deepen public discussions of civic issues and core values, and to clarify that citizenship in American society is deepened by participation, not by ideology. For Freedoms is part of a rich history of artists employing means of mass communication to provoke political discourse. For Freedoms believes art, and artists, play an important role in galvanizing our society towards a more representative and transparent government.

Since 2016, For Freedoms has produced special exhibitions, town hall meetings, billboards, and lawn sign installations to spur greater participation in civic life. This year, For Freedoms launched its 50 State Initiative, a new phase of programming to encourage broad participation and inspire conversation around November’s midterm elections. Building off of the existing artistic infrastructure in the United States, For Freedoms has developed a network of over 300 artists and 200 institutional partners who will produce nationwide public art installations, exhibitions and local community dialogues in order to inject nuanced, artistic thinking into public discourse. Centered around the vital work of artists, For Freedoms hopes that these exhibitions and related projects will model how arts institutions can become civic forums for action and discussion of values, place, and patriotism.


MFA Fine Arts and ARTNOIR presented Critical Sound Boarding, an intimate conversation between artists Elia Alba, Firelei Báez and Saya Woolfalk. In this dialogue, Báez – who primarily creates works on paper – and multimedia artists Alba and Woolfalk discussed their individual practice, social commentary, as well as how their education and relationships with other artists and each other have shaped their work and propelled it forward. The conversation was moderated by Larry Ossei-Mensah, indepdent curator and co-founder of ARTNOIR.

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The winter months is our favorite time of the year because that means there are a plethora of amazing exhibitions to see all over the globe. Here are some of our top exhibitions that you can’t miss!

Adiós Utopia: Dreams and Deceptions in Cuban Art Since 1950.,  Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Adiós Utopia: Dreams and Deceptions in Cuban Art Since 1950 looks at how Cuba’s revolutionary epoch shaped 65 years of Cuban art. The exhibition brings together more than 100 important works of painting, graphic design, photography, video, installation, and performance created by more than 50 Cuban artists and designers.

Prospect 4,  New Orleans, Louisiana
Prospect.4: The Lotus in Spite of the Swamp brings together 73 artists from North America, Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia and the European powers that colonized New Orleans, addressing issues of identity, displacement and cultural hybridity within the context of the celebration of the city’s Tricentennial. 

For Those in Peril on the Sea by Hew Locke,  PAMM, Miami, Florida
This exhibition presents the second iteration of For Those in Peril on the Sea (2011), an installation by Hew Locke (b. 1959, Edinburgh; lives in London) first shown in 2013 during PAMM’s inaugural programming. Consisting of dozens of scaled-down replicas of ships suspended from the ceiling, the installation creates the impression of a massive exodus taking place throughout the architectural space above the viewer. 

To Wander Determined by Toyin Ojih Odutola,  Whitney Museum, New York, NY
For her first solo museum exhibition in New York, Toyin Ojih Odutola presents an interconnected series of fictional portraits, chronicling the lives of two aristocratic Nigerian families. Ojih Odutola (b. 1985) creates intimate drawings that explore the complexity and malleability of identity. Depicted in her distinctive style of intricate mark-making, her sumptuous compositions reimagine the genre and traditions of portraiture.


Summer is here and we are looking for that perfect book to bring along for all our vacation adventures. As always we’ve got you covered! ARTNOIR has collaborated with, Nicole Counts, Assistant Editor at One World, who shares her top 5 books to read this summer! Happy Reading.

The Changeling by Victor LaValle
A retelling of a classic fairy tale imaginatively explores parental obsession, spousal love, and the secrets that make strangers out of the people we love the most.

WHEREAS by Layli Long Soldier
WHEREAS uses short lyrics, prose poems and much more to confronts the coercive language of the United States government in its responses, treaties, and apologies to Native American peoples and tribes.

Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel
A beautiful novel that tell the tale of family life in turn-of-the-century Mexico using a mix of romance, wit and recipes and remedies…

Three Plays by August Wilson
Tip from Nicole: Any and all of August Wilson’s plays are brilliant, funny, moving, and layered. This book includes three and is a good starter set!


LaRose by Louise Erdrich
A powerful exploration of loss, justice, and the reparation of the human heart!

Nicole Counts is an Assistant Editor at One World, an imprint of Random House, a freelance writer, documentary film producer, and a facilitator and mentor with Girls Write Now, New York’s first and only writing and mentoring organizations for girls. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.


ARTNOIR is excited to be collaborating with Black Lives Matter on their Black Futures Month project during Black History Month. This project is designed to inspire people in this challenging social & political climate through art and the written word to dream about tomorrow today. By utilizing this platform as a deliberate reinterpretation of the resistance and resilience, Black Futures Month is able to engage a variety of topics from education to voter rights.

As part of our collaboration, ARTNOIR is presenting a specially commissioned piece by visual artist Delano Dunn whose work explores the theme of Revolution and is coupled with a beautiful essay by Dr. Barbara Ransby . Go here to see more information!


SVA MFA Fine Arts and ARTNOIR presented an intimate conversation with world-renowned artist and pioneer in video and performance Joan Jonas and jazz pianist, musician and composer Jason Moran. This tête-à-têt examined the potency of the collaborative process. The symbiotic journey of these two artists, whose 10-year working relationship has generated a series of acclaimed collaborations, provided a critical discourse that exemplifies the power of creative intersectionality. Check out the full conversation.


Open House New York and ARTNOIR are collaborating to present ten sites that illustrate how the built environment is a catalyst for cultural exchange during the 14th Annual Open House New York Weekend.

On Saturday and Sunday, October 15 and 16, 2016ARTNOIR: City of Cultural Exchange sites will highlight narratives that reflect on the relationship between identity and place.

Every New York City building carries the DNA of those that have built, rebuilt and reclaimed them over time," says ARTNOIR co-founder Sherlen Archibald. "By mapping out the historical legacies of these sacred spaces, we aim to highlight and explore how the built environment serves as an essential catalyst for cultural exchange in both the present and future." 

For more information on sites and activities for OHNY Weekend check out the full list here. You can also follow the conversation via hashtag #CityofCulturalExchange for highlights!


Mexican designer, Carla Fernandez, takes cultural actions to positively impact the development of society in Mexico. Carla’s work creates a cultural narrative that honors Mexico’s rich fashion legacy that historically has been victim to negative stereotypes. Using the traditional woven square and triangle patterns found in Mexican indigenous clothing, Carla has developed a deconstructive system of design that is redefining contemporary fashion while also creating employment opportunities for many of the indigenous women of Mexico who collaborate on her stunning collections. Today, her garments are some of the most sought after contemporary designs that are created in partnership with local artisans to weave, handloom, and naturally dye all of her pieces to support and sustain their tradition and trade.  

As part of an ongoing partnership with Summit Series, ARTNOIR was tasked with inviting several international artists to gather at the ancient ruins of Tulum, Mexico – to return to our roots and relearn the wisdom of the past, so that we may build the future on these shared, multi-generational values. 

ARTNOIR was elated to invite Carla Fernandez to join 300 of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs, innovators, artists, activists and pioneers for change. She shared with the group her creative  process and articulated why contemporary fashion and design needs to pay homage to the traditional handcrafted methods. Following her presentation, Carla invited 40 people to create their own beautiful pieces, using the folding methods that she has gained such notoriety for globally.

ARTNOIR continues to build unique experiences alongside Summit to highlight the cultural inclusion and shine a light on the artistic risk takers redefining how we see ourselves and the world around us. 


ARTNOIR is pleased to announce a partnership with Summit Artist in Residency Program (Summit AIR) and Nina Chanel Abney, our first artist to be placed within the program.  

One part incubator and one part residency, The Summit AIR program supports and champions artistic expression and creative entrepreneurialism in the heart of the Wasatch Mountains, Utah, on Summit Powder Mountain, a locus of global inspiration and progressive change. We selected Nina as she offers a perspective and storytelling ability that we feel will encourage discourse to a community dedicated to applying creative solutions to real-world challenges. 

Wish you were here, past artist in residency on Powder Mountain, Erik Abel

Mountain sanctuary hosting group dialogs overlooking Power Mountain slopes

"The Summit AIR program is extremely pleased to announce future collaborations with NYC based creative organization ARTNOIR. This joint effort will create fantastic opportunities for a diverse group of contemporary artists to experience the Summit AIR program located atop Powder Mountain, UT. In addition to the creative-entrepreneur focused residency opportunities, the joint collaboration will also result in a series of inspiring talks and workshops focused on social practice and site-specific artworks." - Marshall Birnbaum, Director of Artist Residencies, Summit Series.

This partnership marks the beginning of powerful things to come from both the ARTNOIR and Summit communities. Moreover, we are excited to share how Nina’s work investigates the intersection of art and social practice as a catalyst for discussion and cultural change.

Simon Beck snow mandala, past artist in residency on Power Mountain