To my Studio Museum Family,
I’m writing to let you know what an important place The Studio Museum in Harlem is and has been and describe the phenomenal imprint that it has left on me and so many artists. I feel it is critical for us to now join together in support of the next magnificent step in the Museum’s future.
My experiences at the Studio Museum reach back to the early nineties when I first arrived in New York City from Nairobi to pursue my art education. I have distinct memories of the impressive shows and the exuberant exhibition openings that I went to and how relevant and alive they made me feel.
New York is a place of such vast diversity and massive creativity and the Studio Museum has always been a necessary and unique epicenter, with its dedication and investment in black, African American, and diaspora artists. It is this commitment that has elevated its profile to be a leading cultural institution that produces compelling exhibitions and nurtures artists’ careers. The Museum’s projects over the years have brought such depth to the City’s cultural landscape, and to my art life in particular; giving us all a sense of belonging.
The turning point for me was in 2003 when I applied and was accepted into the Museum’s Artist-in-Residence program. I produced a distinct body of collage-paintings and met incredible art world people. I spent many hours in the most tranquil and respectful environment of thinkers, makers, and art appreciators. I worked knowing that my ideas and my work were being valued, listened to, and would be carefully exhibited in our final show.
The Studio Museum, with the guidance of its leadership, has played a significant role in shaping the global conversation about how crucial art is to us all through the dedication it has shown to artists like myself and its consistent search for ways to enhance and uplift us all. I feel such a deep connection to the Museum’s mission, its vision, and wellbeing. I want nothing more than to see it thriving and continuing to empower new generations of artists and art-lovers throughout the years.
Supporting the continued growth of this Museum that stands by me wholeheartedly is not an obligation, but a pleasure. I hope that you too will gladly join me in lifting this beloved institution towards an exciting future by contributing to the Studio Museum fund.
I know you have endless options of which arts organizations to support. I hope you can see how the Studio Museum impacts the field at large and how your investment can make a difference in championing artists of African descent for their ideas, insights, and creativity. Together, we are permanently transforming the cultural canon.
Peace and Love,