Bio

Bio

Short: Miatta Kawinzi (she/they) is a multi-disciplinary artist, writer, and educator of Liberian and Kenyan heritage. Raised in the US South and based in NYC and Tulsa, OK, she explores hybridity within the African Diaspora and the re-imagining of the self, identity, and culture through abstraction and poetics. She received an MFA in Studio Art from Hunter College. Her work has been presented in spaces including the Museum of the Moving Image, Red Bull Arts Detroit, the Studio Museum in Harlem, MoMA PopRally, BRIC, Maysles Cinema, and IFC Center. She is a 2020 - 2021 Tulsa Artist Fellow and has been awarded artist residencies in spaces including POV Spark in partnership with the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History & Culture (NYC, DC, and Venice, Italy), Red Bull Arts Detroit (Detroit, MI), the Cité internationale des arts (Paris, France, with LMCC), SOMA Summer (Mexico City, Mexico), Beta-Local (San Juan, Puerto Rico), the Bemis Center (Omaha, NE), and the Bag Factory (Johannesburg, South Africa). Additional awards include the 2019 Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts Alumni Award and the 2018 Barbara Hammer Lesbian Experimental Filmmaking Grant administered by Queer|Art.

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Long: Miatta Kawinzi (she/they) is a multi-disciplinary artist, writer, and educator. She explores the figure, the inner & outer landscape, and culture as sites of re-imagination & possibility. She works with images, objects, sound, space, the body, and language.

She was born in 1987 in Nashville, TN to a Liberian mother and Kenyan father & received an MFA in Studio Art from Hunter College in 2016 and a BA in Interdisciplinary Art & Cultural Theory from Hampshire College in 2010. Based in NYC and Tulsa, OK, she has exhibited and/or performed her work in the US, Mexico, South Africa, France, Switzerland, Trinidad & Tobago, and Liberia, where her work is included in the Art-in-Embassies public collection in Monrovia.

She is a 2020 - 2021 Tulsa Artist Fellow and has been awarded artist residencies at the Integrated Digital Media Program at NYU Tandon School of Engineering (Brooklyn, NY), POV Spark in partnership with the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History & Culture (NYC, DC, and Venice, Italy), Red Bull Arts Detroit (Detroit, MI), Alfred University's Institute for Electronic Arts (Alfred, NY), the Cité internationale des arts (Paris, France, with Lower Manhattan Cultural Council), the Bag Factory (Johannesburg, South Africa), the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts (Omaha, NE), Beta-Local (San Juan, Puerto Rico), Greatmore Studios (Cape Town, South Africa), IAAB (Basel, Switzerland), Flux Factory (NYC), and the SOMA Summer program (Mexico City, Mexico). Additional awards include the 2019 Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts Alumni Award, 2018 Barbara Hammer Lesbian Experimental Filmmaking Grant administered by Queer|Art, a NY Community Trust Foundation Fellowship, the Kossak Travel Grant, and a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant. Her work has been presented in spaces including the Museum of the Moving Image, Red Bull Arts Detroit, the Studio Museum in Harlem, MoMA PopRally, BRIC, Maysles Cinema, and IFC Center.

Her work has appeared in publications including the Studio Museum in Harlem’s Studio Magazine, Dancing While Black Journal, Femmescapes Magazine, and Apogee Journal.

Exploring the intersections of social engagement and creative practice, Kawinzi also works as a professor of art, museum educator, and community-based teaching artist/workshop facilitator in spaces such as the Brooklyn Museum, the Studio Museum in Harlem, and the Octavia Project. She has held professorial teaching appointments at Hampshire College and the University of Richmond.


Photo: Colin Conces. Include credit with any use.