This has been a remarkable year for Black Rock Senegal which opened its doors in May 2019, sharing Kehinde Wiley’s magnificent vision with friends from near and far. In August 2019, Black Rock launched the inaugural year of the artist residency, welcoming the first three artists to live and make work on the compound. As of today, Black Rock has hosted 15 artists working in literature, multimedia, painting, photography, sculpture and textiles.
In October 2019, Black Rock also launched a collaboration with Absolut Art, releasing a benefit print of Kehinde Wiley’s Head of a Young Girl Veiled (2019). In December 2019, Black Rock partnered with Creative Minds Talks to kick off Miami Art Week with a program featuring Kehinde Wiley and Swizz Beatz in an intimate discussion about art, philanthropy and creative evolution.
Black Rock first year artists include: Tunji Adeniyi-Jones (UK, Painting), Laurence Bonvin(Switzerland, Film), Sonya Clark (USA, Sculpture), Yagazie Emezi (Nigeria, Photography), Nona Faustine (USA, Photography), Devin B. Johnson (USA, Painting), Heather Jones (USA, Textiles), Grace Lynne (USA, Painting), Zanoxolo Sylvester Mqeku (South Africa, Sculpture), Kelechi Njoku (Nigeria, Writing), Kambui Olujimi (USA, Mixed Media), Zohra Opoku (Ghana, Mixed Media), Rafael RG (Brazil, Mixed Media), Tajh Rust (USA, Painting), Ytasha Womack (USA, Writing) and Chelsea Odufu (USA, Film).
The selection committee includes: Swizz Beatz, Artist; Thelma Golden, Director, Studio Museum in Harlem; Thomas Lax, Curator, The Museum of Modern Art; Christine Riding, Head of the Curatorial Department, The National Gallery; Mickalene Thomas, Artist; and Carrie Mae Weems, Artist.
Additionaly, Black Rock is proud to announce partnerships with Dr. Abdou Karim Diop, director of the Centre de Santé Philippe Senghor Yoff and head of the West Health District of Dakar, and with the Association des Femmes de la Cité Biagui et Toundourya (AFBET) for the donation of 700 masks to combat the spread of COVID-19 in Senegal. Partnering with artist Devin Johnson, Black Rock produced a series of custom-made masks that have been fabricated by local tailors Mbor N’diaye, Pape Seck and Djiby Gueye at their workshop based in Ker Massar, Dakar. These artist-designed masks have been donated to the AFBET for distribution to underserved women and children. Created in 1988, the AFBET is now composed of 90 members who organize bi-monthly events and initiatives throughout the city.
About Black Rock Senegal
Named for the volcanic rocks that blanket its shoreline, Black Rock is a residency program created by renowned artist Kehinde Wiley which seeks to incite change in the global discourse around West Africa in the context of creative evolution. The residency brings together international artists to live and work in Dakar, Senegal for 1-3 month stays. The Black Rock compound design was conceived by Senegalese architect Abib Djenne with interior collaboration between Wiley, Fatiya Djenne, and Aissa Dione. The complex includes a residence and studio space for Wiley along with three single-occupancy residency apartments with adjacent studio spaces.