NYC Solo Projects: Recess & Center for Book Arts

I am excited to share two new solo projects I am opening in New York City this month at Recess Art and Center for Book Arts. The two concurrent projects are a presentation of new interdisciplinary art across mediums. The projects are a part of my larger practice in archiving and amplifying the often overlooked labor of BIPOC femmes in activist histories.

Recess Art, Brooklyn, NY
May 9 - June 20, 2024 

"By Way of Revolution," Recess Art, Brooklyn, NY | May 11, 2024, 2-5pm | facilitated by Helina Metaferia
"The Future Is Present: Building Worlds with The Free Black Women's Library," Recess Art, Brooklyn, NY | May 24, 2024, 6-9pm | facilitated by OlaRonke Akinmowo, founder of The Free Black Women’s Library, Brooklyn
"Gathering Workshop: Collective Tools for Collective Movement," Recess Art, Brooklyn, NY | June 1, 2024, 2-5pm | facilitated by Samaa Wakim and Samar Haddad King of Yaa Samar! Dance Theater
"Juneteenth Closing Event: A Meditative Celebration of Liberation and Community," Recess Art, Brooklyn, NY | June 19, 2024, 6-9pm | facilitated by Wildcat Ebony Brown, Nour Batyne, Adelle Lin & Manushka Magloire of the Wide Awakes

Center for Book Arts, New York, NY
May 23 - August 17, 2024
Opening Reception: May 23, 6-8pm
Conversation with Studio Museum of Harlem curator Kiki Teshome, June 6, 6-8pm

"States of Becoming," Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, IA | February 10 - May 12, 2024 | curated by Fitsum Shebeshe
"Multiplicities: Blackness in Contemporary American Collage," Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX | February 18 - May 12, 2024 | curated by Katie Delmez
"It Will Go On," MoCA Westport, Westport, CT | March 21 - June 16, 2024 | curated by Victoria McCraven, Westport, CT
"A Woman You Thought You Knew," KADIST, San Francisco, CA | April 11 - August 3, 2024 | curated by Shona Mei Findlay, Lauren Pirritano, and Lindsay Albert
"Ethiopia at the Crossroads," Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts | April 13 - July 7, 2024 | curated by Christine Sciacca
"Connected Threads," Addis Fine Art Gallery @ NADA Space, New York, NY | May 8 - 31, 2024
"Collage Culture," Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago, IL | June 7 - July 27, 2024

Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago, IL | June 8, 1-3pm | panel discussion on the exhibition "Collage Culture" moderated by Lisa Wainwright, art historian at School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Raschenberg scholar.

The Willing,” KADIST, San Francisco, CA | July 13, 4pm-5pm | a newly commissioned live performance for the exhibition "A Woman You Thought You Knew."

"Responding to Marks," Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, IA | a newly commissioned live performance on April 12, 2024, as a part of the "States of Becoming" traveling group exhibition, curated by Fitsum Shebeshe, organized by Independent Curators International.
"Instructions for a White Cube," Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, IA | a newly commissioned live performance, on April 13, 2024, as a part of the "States of Becoming" traveling group exhibition, curated by Fitsum Shebeshe, organized by Independent Curators International.

Ethiopia at the Crossroads, exhibition catalog, edited by curator Christine Sciacca
Multiplicities: Blackness in Contemporary American Collage, exhibition catalog, edited by curator Katie Delmez

Cerebral Women podcast, interview by Phyllis Hollis
International Arrivals podcast, interview by Anna Khimasia and Emily Lutzker

Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, MA
MIT Museum, Cambridge, MA

Frieze London Solo + Fall News

Happy fall season! I'm writing to share some exciting news about exhibitions featuring my work, both on a national and international scale, as well as recent museum acquisitions and other professional activities.

Frieze London Solo Booth:

I will be having a solo presentation of my art at Frieze London on October 11-15, at The Regent Park's, with Addis Fine Art Gallery, at booth H33. The presentation includes all new tapestries, video art, and sculpture, including some made from archives from the Black Cultural Archives in the Brixton district of south London, which collects the histories of people of African and Caribbean descent in the UK.

A sneak preview of my solo booth at Frieze London can be found here.

In conjunction with the fair, I will be in conversation with Lisa Anderson, the director of the Black Cultural Archives, in an artist talk at Addis Fine Art Gallery on Friday, October 13, at 6pm. The gallery is located at 21 Eastcastle Street in London. If you are in town for the fair I hope to see you at the booth and for the talk at the gallery! 

Recent Museum Acquisitions:

I am excited to share that the Birmingham Museum of Art in Birmingham, AL has acquired my sculpture Crown (Zewditu) for their permanent collection. It's an honor to know the work will be preserved by the museum. I have made three crowns in this series, each one having been acquired by a different institution (including Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York City, and Sharjah Art Foundation in the United Arab Emirates). A new crown in this series will premiere during my exhibition at Frieze London.

Fall Group Exhibitions in USA, Europe, and Africa:  

  • "The Rose," Lumber Room, Portland, OR, curated by Justine Kurland, July 27 - October 27, 2023.

  • "Clear Views from 28," NYC Culture Club, New York, NY, curated by Silver Art Projects, September 5 - October 6, 2023.

  • "Portrait as Place / Place as Portrait," Tufts University Art Gallery, Medford, MA, September 5 - December 11, 2023.

  • "Various Flowers," Hirschl & Adler, New York, NY, curated by Dylan Gauthier for Lighthouse Works, now through September 14 - October 6, 2023.

  • "States of Becoming," University of Maryland Baltimore County Art Gallery, Baltimore, MD, curated by Fitsum Shebeshe and Independent Curators International (ICA), September 22, 2023 - December 31, 2023.

    ** traveling exhibition

  • "Multiplicities: Blackness in American Collage," Frist Art Museum, Nashville, TN, curated by Katie Delmez, September 22, 2023 - December 15, 2022

    ** traveling exhibition, exhibition catalog available

  • Group show @ Fisk University's Carl Van Vechten Gallery, Nashville TN, curated by Jamaal Sheetz, October 11 - March 8, 2024.

  • "Future. Forward. Freedom.", Ed.Varie Gallery, New York, NY, curated by Wide Awake Andrew Lockhart, Michelle Pred, and Wildcat Ebony Brown, October 3 - November 6, 2022.

  • "Convening of Poets," Kadist, Paris, France, curated by Hoor Al Qasimi and Julia Morandeira Arrizabalaga, October 6, 2023 to February 4, 2024.

  • Group show @ Galleria Anna Marra, Rome, Italy, November - December 2023.

  • "The Upshot of Trans-Affective Solidarity," Institut Français of Casablanca, Casablanca, Morocco, video screening curated by Kisito Assangi, November 9, 2023.

  • "Ethiopia at the Crossroads," Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, MD, curated by Christine Sciacca, December 3, 2023 - March 3, 2024.

    ** traveling exhibition, exhibition catalog available

Upcoming Artist Talks:

Here are some in person talks that I will be giving in the next couple of months.

  • Artist Talk at Addis Fine Art Gallery, London, UK, 6pm-6:45pm. A conversation with Black Cultural Archives director Lisa Anderson and myself, on the occasion of my solo presentation at Frieze London.

  • Artist Panel at Printed Matter, New York NY, October 27, 6pm-8pm. A conversation with artists Pouya Ahmadi, Kameelah Janan Rasheed, Paul Soulellis, and myself, for the launch of Amalgam #4 publication.

  • Keynote Speaker at Ohio Art Education Association Conference, Toledo, Ohio, November 10, 1pm-2pm.

Recent Artist Talks:

Here are some video recordings of recent talks I gave with museums this fall.

  • "Behold: Symposium" at Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY on September 16.

    A live panel with artists Carrie Mae Weems, Carlos Martiel, and myself, moderated by Dr. Nikki Greene, was held on the legacy of artist and 2023 MacArthur Genius Award winner Maria Magdalena Campos Pons for the opening weekend of her retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum. I also performed with Maria Magdalena that day at the museum in her new piece A Mother's Tears, marking my fifth performance with her nationally and internationally. Curated by Carmen Hermo, the exhibition is on view through January 14, 2024.

  • "In the Studio" at Frist Art Museum, Nashville, TN.

    This video recording of studio conversations with artists Lester Merriweather, Jamea Richmond-Edwards, Paul Anthony Smith, and myself is in conjunction with the traveling group exhibition "Multiplicities: Blackness in American Collage." Here we discuss our collage process and the inspiration behind our work. I also participated in a live panel during the opening of the show at the museum. 

Fall Art Benefits:

Please consider supporting the following non-profit organizations, where I have donated art for their fall auction fundraisers.

Museum Acquisitions + Summer News

Happy summer! It’s been a while since my last update, here's some news from the studio.

Museum Acquisitions:

I'm pleased to share that all of my sculptures, tapestries, and video artworks that were included in the 2023 Sharjah Biennial have been acquired by two institutions, the Sharjah Art Foundation (located in United Arab Emirates) and Kadist (located in Paris, France, and San Francisco, CA), for their permanent collections. I am thrilled that my artwork, which amplifies the legacies of Black women's contribution to social justice histories, can be preserved by these two incredible international institutions.

In addition, one of my collages, Headdress 38, which was featured in my 2022 solo exhibition at Praise Shadows Art Gallery, has recently joined the Rose Art Museum's permanent collection in Waltham, MA. Many thanks to the acquisitions committees of all these organizations for supporting my work.

Summer Artist Residency:

I am currently a mentoring artist at Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, alongside curator Larry Ossei-Mensah and painter Alteronce Gumby. The three of us have selected twenty emerging artists who are working with us for three weeks under the theme of "Forums for Storytelling." I feel honored to have access to this beautiful campus to make my art, and to support the work of other artist’s practices within creative community.

Summer Exhibitions:

  • "Perpetual Portrait," group exhibition, Vielmetter Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, July 8 through August 18, 2023
  • "The Rose," group exhibition, Lumber Room, Portland, OR, curated by Justine Kurland, July 29 through October 28, 2023
  • "We've Been Here Before," solo public art project, RISD Art Museum, Providence, RI, curated by Domonic Molon and Ahmari Benton, July 2, 2022 through August 27, 2023

Selected Recent Artist Talks:

  • "In The Studio" - Here I lead a 20 minute instructional video on collage art with a sneak peek into my practice for The Museum of Modern Art.

  • "Open Air" - A conversation with between Dexter Wimberly and myself for Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture in Charlotte, North Carolina.  

Selected Recent Press and Interviews:

Thank you for your continued support of my practice. May you find relief from scorching summer heat, and some joyful moments within lengthened summer days!

Participation in Sharjah Biennial + Winter Shows
I'm excited to share that I will be exhibiting my work at Sharjah Biennial 15: Thinking Historically In the Present, in the United Arab Emirates, from February 7 through June 11, 2023. I will be presenting video, sculpture, and installation art in the historic Bait Al Serkal building throughout the duration of the exhibition. On Saturday, February 11, I will be performing live during the opening week of the biennial, accompanied by singers ArinMaya and Abby Dobson. Conceived of by the late Okwui Enwezor and curated by Sharjah Art Foundation director Hoor Al Qasimi, this biennial takes place across several regions in Sharjah, and includes over 150 artists from around the world.

In addition to the Sharjah Biennial, I currently have five other exhibitions on view this winter across the nation. Here they are, as well as recent press: 

New Exhibitions:
  • "Sharjah Biennial 15: Thinking Historically in the Present," Bait Al Sakar Serkal Heritage Building, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. Conceived by Okwui Enwezor and curated by Hoor Al Qasimi. February 7 to June 11, 2023, live performance on February 11, 11:00am.
  • "Tennessee Triennial," public art project at Fisk University, in partnership with Frist Art Museum and Engine for Art, Democracy, and Justice, Nashville, TN, January 27 to May 7, 2023.
  • "Resting Our Eyes," Institute of Contemporary Art San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, curated by Autumn Breon and Tahirah Rasheed, January 21 - June 25, 2023.
  • "Let Love Quiet Fear," Praise Shadows Art Gallery, Brooklyn, MA, a For Freedoms organized group show in conjunction with the unveiling of Hank Willis Thomas' The Embrace public sculpture, January 12 to February 12, 2023.
Continued Exhibitions:
  • "We've Been Here Before," public art project at RISD Art Museum, Providence, RI, curated by Dominic Molon, July 2, 2022 through June 25, 2023.
  • "States of Becoming," The Africa Center, traveling exhibition in collaboration with Independent Curators International, curated by Fitsum Shebeshe, New York, NY, October 14, 2022 through April 2, 2023.
Recent Press:
  • Artnet News: "How Do You Judge the Value of Social Practice Art? Artist Helina Metaferia Developed Metrics to Determine if a Project is Successful."
  • Vanity Fair: "Leisure, Adornment, and Beauty Are Radical Acts in 'Resting Our Eyes.'"
  • The Cut: "Women At Rest: Ten Black artists imagine the freedom of leisure at ICA San Francisco's 'Resting Our Eyes' exhibition."
  • Cultured Magazine: "Making a Big Investment? Fairchain is The Art World's Prenup."
  • Boston Art Review: "Our Favorite Art Moments of 2022."

Solo Presentation @ The Armory Show + Fall 2022 Exhibitions
I am excited to share that I will be having a solo presentation of my art at The Armory Show with Addis Fine Art Gallery. The exhibition is on view from September 8 to 11 in New York City. I will be showing a selection of new collage, sculpture, textile, and video work from my By Way of Revolution series, which celebrates the often overlooked histories of Black women/femmes in activism. My first monograph book, Generations, created in conjunction with my recent solo exhibition at Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, will also be available at the booth.

Below is a list of the exhibitions that I am participating in this fall season. If you happen to be in these cities during this time, I hope you can visit them.

Solo Projects:
  • The Armory Show, solo presentation with Addis Fine Art Gallery, New York, NY, September 8 through 11, 2022
  • "We've Been Here Before," public art project, RISD Art Museum, Providence, RI, curated by Domonic Molon and Ahmari Benton, July 2, 2022 through June 25, 2023
Fall Group Exhibitions:
  • "Sound, Stories," Locust Projects, Miami, FL, curated by Heiki Dempster, September 10 through November 5, 2022
  • "Perplexity," Kreeger Museum, Washington, DC, curated by Tomora Wright, September 17 through December 10, 2022
  • "States of Becoming," The Africa Center, traveling exhibition in collaboration with Independent Curators International, New York, NY, curated by Fitsum Shebeshe, October 14, 2022 through February 23, 2023
  • "Resilience," Eastville Museum, Sag Harbor, NY, curated by Storm Ascher of Superposition Gallery, July 5 through September 30, 2022
Summer 2022 Museum Exhibitions, Acquisitions + more

It's been a while since my last update -- in fact this is the first one of 2022! So much has happened in the studio. I am writing to share with you a few exciting projects from the summer, and a recap of the spring.

I recently opened a solo public art exhibition, We've Been Here Before, on the interior and exterior of the RISD Art Museum in Providence, RI, which is now on view through June 25, 2023. The Project is a commission of four new collages as vinyl murals, and an acquisition of the original hand made collages for the museum's permanent collection. We've Been Here Before is a year long collaboration with the museum, the RISD & Brown University BIPOC femme community, and their library archives of protest history.

In addition, my solo exhibition, All Put Together, is on view at the Bolinas Art Museum in Bolinas, CA through August 6, 2022. The exhibition traveled from Praise Shadows Gallery in Boston, where it was on view last spring. The works in the show includes collage, video, and installation inspired by matrilineal legacies of activism. The original show at Praise Shadows Gallery premiered concurrently with my recent solo exhibition, Generations, at Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, which was on view from November 2021 to April 2022.

The first monograph book of my work has been released in conjunction with the recent Museum of Fine Arts exhibition, featuring an essay by Aruna D'Souza and an interview between myself and curators Michelle Miller Fisher and Chenoa Baker. You may learn more about this publication here.

I am also honored and thrilled to share that my artwork has been acquired for the permanent collection of the following institutions. I'm grateful to know that my work will be preserved and on public display here:

  • Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA

  • RISD Art Museum, Providence, RI

  • Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York, NY

  • Tufts University Art Gallery, Medford, MA

If you happen to be in Minneapolis in the next few months, please check out Come Celebrate with Me, my current public art project at the George Floyd Memorial, as part of the Social Justice Billboard Project in conjunction with Northeast Sculpture Gallery, sponsored by the National Academy of Design. It’s such an honor to share my art, inspired by the spirit of activism that propels this country into equitable progress, at a site that commemorates the life of George Floyd, and the renewed global attention to Black lives that his death brought on.

And finally, check out these recent reviews and publications from 2022 that feature my work:

Thank you for your continued support!


Helina Metaferia
Interdisciplinary Artist

Solo Exhibition @ Museum of Fine Arts, Boston + LACMA Acquisition 
I am pleased to announce that my solo exhibition, "Generations," opens at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston this Saturday, November 6, and will be up through April 3, 2022. The exhibition was two years in the making, pushed back a year because of COVID-19, and I am so happy it has all finally come together. Curated by Michelle Fisher and Dina Dietsch, this exhibition features all new collages, installation art, and video art. A catalog accompanying the show will be available in early 2022, with an essay by Aruna D'Souza, an interview between myself and curators Michelle Fisher and Chenoa Baker, and designed by Ramon Tejada. 

I am also very excited to share that my collage, "Headdress 18," has recently been acquired by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, as a promised gift of Mark Dinner and Nana Quagraine. The collage depicts Black Lives Matter co-founder Opal Tometi, who I photographed in Los Angeles earlier this year, juxtaposed with images of women leaders of the Black Panther movement sourced from university library archives. I am thrilled that this artwork, which interrogates the lack of representation of Black women activists within social justice histories, can now form a new archive within this institution, documenting our present moment.

In addition, I have recently completed two public murals in NYC as part of the "Not A Monolith" series, commissioned through a partnership with Artbridge and Facebook Open Arts. The first collage debut was on Juneteenth at MoCADA's new sculpture garden (48 Lafayette Ave), and it's unveiling was commemorated with a block party celebration in conjunction with MoCADA and the Wide Awakes artist-activist community. The second collage was installed on the side of DreamYard Project (1085 Washington Ave), an arts organization in the Bronx, just a couple of weeks ago. Please check out these images below, and of course please view the works in person if you get a chance.

Below is a list of recent and upcoming exhibitions, press, and residencies.


  • "Generations," solo show curated by Dina Dietsch and Michelle Fisher, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA November 6, 2021 - April 3, 2022
  • "Designing Motherhood," group show at Center for Architecture, Philadelphia, PA, September 10 - November 13, 2021
  • Untitled Art Fair, group show presented by Praise Shadows Gallery, November 29 - December 5, 2021
  • "House of Crowns," pop up group show curated by Storm Ascher of Superposition Gallery and Anwarii Musa of Artmatic Art Advisory, Phillips first floor and mezzanine galleries, New York, NY, December 15-20, 2021
  • "NI DE AQUI, NI DE ALLA," group show at Charlie James Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, August 28 - September 20, 2021
  • 1:54 London Art Fair, group show presented by Addis Fine Art, London, UK, October 14-17, 2021
  • "Not A Monolith," Two Public Art Projects commissioned by Facebook Open Arts and Artbridge, at MoCADA's sculpture garden in Brooklyn and Dreamyard Projects in The Bronx, NY, Unveiled Summer & Fall 2021



Summer 2021 News




Solo Show at Frieze NYC Viewing Program + Spring 2021 News

I am excited to share that I currently have a solo presentation of my work at Frieze NYC Online Viewing Program, open now until May 14. This is my debut feature with my new gallery, Addis Fine Art, a London and Addis Ababa based gallery which now represents me in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. You may view a selection of my collage and video artwork for the virtual exhibition through either Frieze's website or Addis Fine Art's website. I'll also be giving a virtual artist talk, in conversation with artist-scholar Dr. Ayanna Dozier on May 8, 4pm EST, in conjunction with Frieze's Vision and Justice series of programs, curated by Professor Sarah Elizabeth Lewis. Please RSVP for this online talk at this link.

The work in the Frieze show is an expansion of my ongoing By Way of Revolution series, which I began in 2018. The interdisciplinary project is a celebration of the overlooked histories of BIPOC women's labor within activism, and the generational impact of civil rights eras of the past on today's social justice movements. Over the last year while living in New York and Los Angeles, I have had the pleasure of photographing Black Lives Matter co-founders and chapter leaders, as well as members of newly founded artist-activist groups, including the Wide Awakes and Revival Resistance Chorus. The photographs then become collaged with Black liberation archives from previous civil rights eras that I source through extensive research at university libraries around the country.

In June 2021, two of my large scale collages from the By Way of Revolution series will be reproduced as wheat paste murals in Brooklyn and the Bronx, New York, through a commission with Facebook Open Arts and Artbridge for the public art series "Not A Monolith." That month I'll also be in two group exhibitions at CF Hill in Stockholm, Sweden, and the Art and Culture Center in Hollywood, FL. I'm also currently an artist in residence with Residency Unlimited, and a selected artist for The Drawing Center's Viewing Program, both in New York City.

Current Exhibitions:

Artist Talk:

Current Artist Residencies and Programs:

Solo Show @ NYU Gallatin Galleries + Winter 2021 News

If you are in New York City, please visit my first solo exhibition in New York, "Helina Metaferia: (Middle) Passage for Dreams," at New York University's The Gallatin Galleries, which has been extended through April 7. The exhibition is a six channel video installation that explores Black bodies at rest in benevolent landscapes while discussing assorted contemporary topics, including notions of empowerment, existentialism, and what it means to be Black in America at this time.

Because of gallery restrictions due to COVID-19, the exhibition can be viewed in person from the windows of the gallery as a sidewalk show. Speakers are installed into the gallery windows and the sound from the video is audible from the street. Subtitles are displayed on all the screens for accessibility.

An online screening of the video will occur on March 4 at 7pm EST, followed by a conversation between myself and New York City based artist Steve Locke on the themes of love, the body, and the potential for self-actualization.

More of this season's in person exhibitions, virtual talks, and studio news can be found below.


“Helina Metaferia: (Middle) Passage for Dreams,” Solo exhibition, curated by Keith Miller, New York University’s The Gallatin Galleries, New York, NY, January 25 - April 7, 2021

"Against A Sharp White Background," Solo exhibition, curated by Sarah Odens, Auburn University's Biggin Gallery, Auburn, AL, November 16, 2020 - January 15, 2021 (traveling show from Northeastern University's Gallery 360, curated by Amy Halliday)


“2021 A.I.R. Biennial: An Ahistorical Daydream,” Group exhibition, curated by Jasmine Wahi, February 12 - March 14, 2021

“We Make The Marks,” Group exhibition, with catalogue text by curator Brittany Webb, Pentimenti Gallery, Philadelphia, PA, February 6 - April 3, 2021

"Bring it home," Group exhibition, curated by Ann Thompson and Ramon Tejada, Bennington College's Usdan Gallery, March 2 - May 5, 2021


College Art Association Conference, "Decanonizing the Gallery: Case Studies form the Museums," presentation with curator Amy Halliday on my recent solo exhibition, , February 11, 2021, 2pm EST

Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, "VCCA Fireplace Series: Moira Linehan and Helina Metaferia," February 18, 2021, 7:30pm EST

Pratt Institute's Black Futures & Utopias Conference: "Radical Spectacle and Joy Featuring The Wide Awakes," February 19, 2021, 3:30pm

Pentimenti Gallery, "Artist Talk with Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts Curator Brittany Webb," February 26, 5:30pm EST

Brown University, "What I'm Thinking About Now: Helina Metaferia's (Middle) Passage for Dreams Screening and Artist Talk," March 4, 12pm EST

NYU The Gallatin Galleries, "Artists Conversation: Helina Metaferia and Steve Locke," March 4, 2021, 7pm EST


Catalogue for "Against A Sharp White Background" with contributions from curator Amy Halliday and artist/scholar Sarah Stefana Smith


2021 Lighthouse Works Legacy Grant

Solo Show @ Northeastern University + Winter 2020 exhibitions 

I'm pleased to announce the opening of my solo exhibition, Against A Sharp White Background, at Northeastern University's Gallery 360 in Boston, MA. This interdisciplinary exhibition utilizes performance, video, assemblage, collage, and social engagement to interrogate the exclusionary narratives found within western (art) history while reimagining institutional spaces. The exhibition runs from January 29 through April 5, 2020, and the opening reception takes place on Thursday, January 30, from 5pm-7pm. I hope to see those who live in the New England area there!

In addition, I have four upcoming group exhibitions within the month, including at Ortega y Gasset Projects (Brooklyn, NY), Penn State's HUB-Robeson Gallery (University Park, PA), Brentwood Arts Exchange (Brentwood, MD), and Urban Institute for Contemporary Art (Grand Rapids, Michigan). All of the exhibition information is listed below.

I am also currently serving as an artist in residence at Triangle Arts Association in the DUMBO neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY. The residency provides free studio space, as well as studio visits with curators and arts organizations. Please save the date for our Triangle Arts Associations open studios on Thursday, February 6, from 6pm-8pm. I'd love to see you there!


Upcoming Solo Exhibition:

"Against A Sharp White Background,"

Northeastern University's Gallery 360

Boston, MA

Curated by Amy Halliday

January 29 - April 5, 2020

Opening Reception: January 30, 5:00-7:00pm


Upcoming Group Exhibitions:

"Cold Hands, Warm Heart,"

Brentwood Arts Exchange

Brentwood, MD

Curated by Dierdre Darden

January 13 - February 29, 2020

Opening Reception: January 18, 5:00-8:00pm

"Still Here,"

Penn State's HUB-Robeson Galleries

University Park, PA

Curated by Larry Ossei-Mensah, Kiara Ventura, and Dexter Wimberly

January 21 - March 22, 2020

Opening Reception: January 21, 4:00-6:00pm


Ortega y Gasset Projects

Brooklyn, NY

Curated by Zahar Vaks

January 25 - February 23, 2020

Opening Reception: January 25, 6:00-9:00pm

"A Beautiful Struggle,"

Urban Institute for Contemporary Art

Grand Rapids, MI

Curated by Juana Williams

February 21 - June 14, 2020

Opening Reception: February 21, 5:30pm-9:00pm


Upcoming Open Studios:

Artist in Residence Open Studios

Triangle Arts Association

Brooklyn, New York

February 6, 6:00-8:00pm

Fall 2019 Updates
I am pleased to announce the first showing of my collage work in Europe in a two person exhibition alongside artist Alexandria Robinson titled "Counting On You, Counting On Me." The exhibition opens at NOMAD Gallery in Brussels, Belgium on October 7 through 14, and will travel to the Also Known As Africa (AKAA) fair in Paris on November 8-11. The traveling show was curate by artist Lavar Munroe in partnership with NOMAD Gallery. I will be at the opening preview reception in Brussels, which is on October 6 from 2pm-6pm. Please feel free to stop through if you happen to be in the area at the time, or forward this invitation to those who will be.

If you are in New York City, I will be presenting on a panel at the Black Portraitures Conference at New York University in October, and will have work in a group exhibition at Smack Mellon in November. Hope to see you there.


Two person exhibition featuring Helina Metaferia & Alexandria Robinson
Curated by Lavar Munroe
October 7 - 14, 2019
Preview Reception: October 6, 2pm-6pm
NOMAD Gallery
Brussels, Belgium

Panelist for "Call and Response: Poetics, Visuality, and Artist-Writers on the Archive," alongside Natasha Oladokun, Lauren Russell, and Sarah Stefana Smith
Panel details: October 17, 9:00am-10:30am
New York University
New York, NY

November 8 - 11, 2019
Paris, France

Group exhibition
Curated by Emily Colucci
November 16 - December 29, 2019
Opening Reception: November 16
Smack Mellon
New York, NY


Summer 2019 News
I am excited to share that I have accepted an Andrew W. Mellon Gateway Fellowship / Assistant Professor position at Brown University. The first two years of my appointment is a Post-MFA fellowship, where I will work on my art anywhere I choose without the responsibilities of teaching (except for one course each spring semester). After two years the position automatically turns into a tenure track assistant professor position. I will be teaching Social Practice, Performance, and Sculpture in the Visual Art Department. I'm incredibly excited to join the faculty at Brown University. I will continue to maintain workspace and residence in NYC and commute to Providence, Rhode Island as needed for the position.

Here are some other additional highlights this summer:

Summer Exhibitions:
"Look Us Over," Bernice Steinbaum Gallery, Miami, FL, June 8 - August 17, 2019

"Still Here," Museum of African Diaspora, San Francisco, CA, June 12 - July 14, 2019

"Overlooked," Greater Reston Arts Center, Reston, VA July 13 - August 31, 2019

"Unboxing: Doublespeak," Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit, MI, July 17 - August 18, 2019; w/ live performance July 18 6pm-9pm

"Artscape Performance Series," Baltimore Office of Promotion and Arts -- Street Theater Stage, July 21, 2019, 2:30pm

Summer Residency:
New York Artist Residency Studio Program (NARS) Foundation, Brooklyn, NY, July 1 - September 20, 2019 (Session III)

Recent Press:

Solo Exhibition: "By Way of Revolution" at Michigan State University

I am excited to share that my solo exhibition, By Way of Revolution, opens Friday, February 8, 2019 at Michigan State University's (SCENE) Metrospace Gallery, and will be on view through March 29, 2019. I will be giving an artist talk for the exhibition on Wednesday, February 20 at 7pm at the MSU Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, as well as a performance on Wednesday, March 27 at 7pm at the MSU Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum.
This exhibition is the culmination of my 2018-2019 Visiting Professor/Artist in Residence of Critical Race Studies position at MSU. The exhibition features all new interdisciplinary work in collage, installation, video, performance, and social engagement. The work utilizes oral and literary archives to interrogate the histories of social justice movements that inform our current social-policial moment. More information about this exhbition can be found here.

Pictured above is a detail view of: Headdress 1, Helina Metaferia, collaged paper, 2019.

Solo Exhibition at Hamiltonian Gallery, August 11-September 15, 2018

My solo exhibition at Hamiltonian Gallery opens Saturday, August 11, 2018. Information for the show is as follows:

"Refiguring the Canon"
New work by Helina Metaferia 
August 11 - September 15, 2018
Hamiltonian Gallery 
1353 U Street, NW
Washington, DC
Opening Reception: August 11, 7pm-9pm
Artist Talk: August 28, 7pm

About the Exhiibtion:
In "Refiguring the Canon," artist Helina Metaferia creates a hybrid environment where performance art and collage are used to interrogate racism, sexism, and notions of western exceptionalism within art historical narratives and institutional spaces. Metaferia displays documentation from performances at the National Gallery of Art and Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, in which she asserts her body using simple gestures in contrast to historic artworks, challenging their conceptual meaning. In other works, Metaferia uses found magazines, including Art News, Art Forum, and Art in America, published in the 1980's (the decade of her birth). Combining the images of artwork featured in the magazines with photographic stills from her recent performances, Metaferia creates an avatar persona who reclaims a space in art history for under-recognized and marginalized women and artists of color. Playing with the 1980's trending re-interest in "primitivism," Metaferia uses her Ethiopian-American female body as a way to reclaim that gaze and decolonize the appropriation of black culture. Revisiting Hannah Höch's "From An Ethnographic Museum" series from a black woman's perspective, and addressing the Guerrilla Girls' timeless questioning of "greatness" in art history, Metaferia examines how these dated issues remain relevant today.

Artist Paolo Morales will also be opening his exhibtion, "Memphis Tulips" simultaneously at the gallery.

Above Image Caption: "Mythological Quest 1," Helina Metaferia, 2018, 22" x 28, magazine paper, digital print, colored pencils on paper 

Upcoming Performances

Hope to see you at some of my following upcoming performances in Baltimore, Washington, DC, and Miami:

"Inalienable Truths" 
Performance: November 16, 2017, 6:00pm
Gallery 102, George Washington University, Washington, DC

Performance: November 17, 2017, 8:00pm
Curated by Labbodies 
Space Camp Gallery, Baltimore, MD

"Universal Belonging"
Performance: December 7, 6pm
Prizm Art Fair, Miami, FL

"Performance is Alive"
Performance: December 9, 8pm
Satellite Art Fair, Miami, FL

Black Portraiture[s] III Conference Panel Chair/Presenter

I am looking forward to presenting at the Black Portraiture[s] III Conference in Johannesburg, South Africa on November 19, 2016 at 10:30am. I am chairing and presenting on the panel "Performing the Continent: Re-Imagining African Identities through Multidisciplinary Art Practices," along with Rashayla Marie Brown, Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle, and Tiffany Smith, and moderated by Nikki A. Greene. The conference is put together by New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, Harvard University's Hutchins Center for African & African American Research, and Goodman Gallery. You can find more details about Black Portraiture[s] III here. Hope to see you at the conference. 

Solo Exhibition at Museum of African Diaspora in San Francisco

The Museum of African Diaspora (MoAD) in San Francisco, CA just announced my solo exhibition at the museum as a winner of the Emerging Artist Program. The exhibition will take place January 25, 2017 to April 2, 2017 and will consist of installation, performance, and video. Here is the announcement on MoAD's website. Hope to see you at the opening!  

Art & Education Announces AICAD Post-MFA Fellows for 2016-2017

I will be renewing my full time AICAD Post-MFA Teaching Fellowship for another academic year at San Francisco Art Institute, where I will continue teaching in the New Genres and Graduate departments. The fellowship includes full time teaching experience, an art studio, a professional development grant, monetary support and benefits, plus participation in the annual fellows conference. Here is the announcement about the fellowship in Art & Education

Upcoming Artist Residencies in 2016

I will be participating in the following artist residencies in 2016:

Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture
Skowhegan, Maine
Vermont Studio Center
Johnston, VT
Saratoga Spring, NY

May 2016 Exhibitions

I will be showing work at the following venues in May 2016:
International Video Art House Madrid Festival
La Neomudejar Arts Center
Madrid, Spain
May 7, 2016
There will be a screening of my video The Newest Flower in the video art from Ethiopia segment by Addis Video Art Festival. More info on the festival at
Identify: Performance as Portraiture
National Portrait Gallery
Washington, DC
May 14, 2016
I will assist Maria Magdalena Campos Pons and Neil Leonard in a live performance at the National Portrait Gallery on this date. More info on the performance here.
#BlackGirlLit -- Between Performance and Memory
Five Myles Gallery
Brooklyn, NY 
May 21, 2016
6:30pm - 11:00pm
I will be performing a new piece, titled "Slow Dirt," that investigates the intersections between literature and activism. More info on #BlackGirlLit here.

New York Times Write-Up on Havana Biennial Performance

I recently was fortunate to have traveled with School of the Museum of Fine Arts professor Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons to Cuba for the 12th Havana Biennial for a performance in Casablanca. A few MFA graduate students from her installation class helped design and participate in a public performance that involved engaging Cuban citizens in a park with questions about current U.S. and Cuban relations. The performance, titled "Conversando," was mentioned by Holland Cotter in the New York Times in an article discussing this year's biennial. Here is a link to the article:

This is the second performance that I have participated in with Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons. The first performance, titled "Habla La Madre," was for the Carrie Mae Weems Retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum in 2014.

Art & Education Announces AICAD Post Graduate Teaching Fellow

I am happy to be selected as an AICAD Post-Graduate Teaching Fellow for the San Francisco Art Institute for the 2015-2016 academic year. The fellowship includes full-time teaching experience, a professional development grant, monetary support and other fun perks. Art & Education (a joint venture between e-flux and Art Forum) just announced the nine fellows who will be placed at seven art institutions. Read here for more:

SMFA Graduate Student Commencement Speaker 2015

I was honored to be selected as the 2015 School of the Museum of Fine Arts Graduate Student Commencement Speaker. Here is a video recording of my commencement speech below. The speech transcript has also been published on the SMFA website:


Selected as one of the "Top MFA Students to Watch" by Boston Globe

I am happy to be featured in the Boston Globe today in an article on top MFA candidates in Boston, written by art critic Cate McQuaid. It was a good overview to my work and my upcoming thesis exhibition/performance on May 14 at the Boston Center for the Art's Cyclorama. 


Upcoming Spring 2015 Exhibition Schedule

Friday, April 10, 2015

The Great Americas Performance Art Festival
Grace Exhibition Space
840 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY
Artists: Helina Metaferia, Marita Isobel Solberg, Matthew Gioia, Maria F. Hubeaut, Coralee Lynn Rose
The Great American Performance Art Festival is a series of performance art events curated around the question of American identity and its implications, most specifically the notion of borders and barriers. 
Exhibition: April 22 - June 20, 2015
Reception: Saturday, May 16, 5pm - 7:30pm
Performance: Saturday, May 16, 7pm
Mapping the Dorchesterway Part Two
Medicine Wheel Productions
110 K St. - Second Floor, South Boston, MA
Artists: Ekua Holmes, Maddu Huacuja, Lana Jackson, Carolyn Lewenberg, Derek Lumpkins, Cagen Luse, Helina Metaferia, Hakim Raquib, Kristen Belton Willis
This exhibition features artists from Mattapan and Roxbury and is part of Medicine Wheel Productions' multi-year Brooch project "that is engaging the communities along the unfinished line of Olmsted's Emerald Necklace."

Saturday, April 25, 2015
Transient Vessels: Bodies through Boston and
Washington D.C. 
Performance Art @ Massachusetts College of Art and Design - Pozen Center
621 Huntington Ave. Boston, MA
Curator: Elaine Thap
Artists: Eames Armstrong, Hayley Cutler, Jane Claire Remick, Helina Metaferia, Bryana Siobhan, and Nabeela Vega
Boston/DC transplant artists work through the nature of living in transient communities through performative works.  
Thursday, April 30, 2015
5:30pm - 7pm
END RECORDINGS: Graduate Student Thesis Screenings
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Alfond Auditorium 
465 Huntington Ave. Boston, MA
Artists: Aparna Agrawal, Alexandra Borovski, Dana Caroll, Allison Cekala, Kaitlyn Clark, Holden Holcombe, Yin Liu, Yushan Liu, Helina Metaferia, Nick Procopi. 
END RECORDINGS will feature works in time-based media by eight graduating Master’s candidates. Their works highlight the complexities of transnational identity, expose a transgender man’s struggle to transition, instruct us in the art of communication, sensitively deal with loss, and explore landscapes which are lush, artificial, surreal, and dystopian. The show will present a vast array of perspectives from Boston’s emerging moving image artists.
Exhibition: May 11-14, 2015
Opening Reception: May 14, 7:30pm - 10pm
Masters of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibition, SMFA, Boston
The Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts
539 Tremont St. Boston, MA
Artists: The Graduating MFA Class of 2015
Featuring film/video, painting, performance, sculpture, photography, drawing and more, this dynamic, group exhibition will feature graduating students of the 2015 MFA class.