Joyce Award Winners

Kameelah Janan Rasheed with FRONT International

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Kameelah Janan Rasheed and FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art are one of four winners of the 2021 Joyce Awards, which honor collaborations between artists of color and arts and community organizations throughout the Great Lakes region.

“This work explores the possibilities of an unanswered question, and its potential for prompting radical collaboration and cross-cultural conversations. While the end result is yet to be seen, my focus lies in the facilitation process and in fostering an environment that gives space for young people to share problems and incubate solutions.” -Kameelah Janan Rasheed

FRONT International will commission multidisciplinary artist and educator Kameelah Janan Rasheed to create What would happen if this sentence never ended?, an ambitious civic mural project designed to create space for diverse narratives about lived Black experiences. Rasheed will collaborate with high school students in a teen-led community program at Cleveland Public Library to design a mural that will be anchored by a generative prompt. Rasheed will translate the collected responses from the students into unique correlating typefaces, creating a mural that is a visual showcase of communal voice and authorship. The completed mural will center FRONT International’s 2022 triennial squarely within the diverse histories and narratives of Cleveland.

Kameelah Janan Rasheed (b. 1985, East Palo Alto, CA; lives and works in Brooklyn, NY) is a learner grappling with the poetics, politics, and pleasures of the unfinished. Engaging primarily with text, Rasheed works on the page, on walls, and in public spaces to create associative arrangements of letters and words that invite an embodied and iterative reading processes.

Rasheed is invested in Black storytelling technologies that ask us to consider ways of [un]learning that are interdisciplinary, interspecies, and interstellar. Rasheed’s work has been exhibited nationally at the Brooklyn Museum; The New Museum, New York; MASS MoCA; Queens Museum; Bronx Museum; Studio Museum in Harlem; Portland Institute for Contemporary Art; Institute of Contemporary Art Philadelphia; Jack Shainman Gallery, New York; Brooklyn Public Library; and the Brooklyn Historical Society, among others. Her work has been exhibited internationally at NOME Gallery; Transmission Gallery; Kunsthalle Wien; Bétonsalon - Centre d'art et de recherche; Haus der Architektur; Contemporary Art Gallery Vancouver; Artspace Peterborough; 2017 Venice Biennale; and National Gallery of Zimbabwe, among others. Her public installations include Ballroom Marfa; Brooklyn Museum; For Freedoms x Times Square Art; Public Art Fund; Rice University, Moody Center for the Arts, Houston; The California Air Resources Board, and several others. She is the author of two artist’s books, An Alphabetical Accumulation of Approximate Observations (Endless Editions, 2019) and No New Theories (Printed Matter, 2019). Her writing has appeared in Triple Canopy, The New Inquiry, Shift Space, and others. She is a 2021 Guggenheim Fellow in Fine Arts.

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