What Have We Stopped Hiding?: Expanding the Walls 2021

NEW YORK, NY, July 1, 2021—The Studio Museum in Harlem today announced the online photography exhibition What Have We Stopped Hiding?: Expanding the Walls 2021, featuring work by the seventeen artists in the 2020–21 cohort of the Museum’s annual program, Expanding the Walls: Making Connections Between Photography, History, and Community.

The annual exhibition will be accessible at www.expandingthewalls.studiomuseum.org beginning July 27.

Throughout the eight-month program, Expanding the Walls participants from New York City–area high schools explore digital photography, artistic practice, and community. This year’s cycle of the program welcomed students who live or receive their education in Harlem and upper Manhattan neighborhoods, as well as the South Bronx. For the second consecutive year, the teens connected virtually with mentors, museum staff, artists, and one another.

“This year, the Expanding the Walls program challenged its seventeen students to explore the depths of creative thought and practice while working remotely and, now, presenting their exhibition online,” said Thelma Golden, Director and Chief Curator of The Studio Museum in Harlem. “Through introspection, these extraordinary students honed their skills and discovered new ways to envision interior and exterior worlds, a theme that figures prominently in their works.”

Established in 2001, Expanding the Walls encourages participants to explore and define their artistic practices while building community through workshops, gallery visits, intensive darkroom training, and discussions led by contemporary artists. The program continues to be a source and site for critical and creative skill-building through photography and the creative process.


What Have We Stopped Hiding?: Expanding the Walls 2021 is organized by Zuna Maza, Curatorial Fellow, Permanent Collection; and Angelique Rosales Salgado, Curatorial Fellow, Exhibitions; with Gi (Ginny) Huo, Senior Coordinator, Teen Programs; and the 2020–2021 Expanding the Walls participants.



Support for Expanding the Walls

Expanding the Walls is made possible with support from The Keith Haring Foundation Education Fund; Joy of Giving Something; Conscious Kids; New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; and Colgate-Palmolive. Studio Museum education programs are supported by the Thompson Foundation Education Fund; Llewellyn Family Foundation; Sony Music; Gray Foundation; Con Edison; May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation; and Joseph and Joan Cullman Foundation for the Arts. The Studio Museum in Harlem is deeply grateful for Donna Mussenden Van Der Zee’s continued support of Expanding the Walls. Support for The Studio Museum in Harlem’s digital programs has been provided by the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation’s Frankenthaler Digital Initiative, and the Open Society Foundations. Additional funding is generously provided by The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.



About The Studio Museum in Harlem

Founded in 1968 by a diverse group of artists, community activists, and philanthropists, The Studio Museum in Harlem is internationally known for its catalytic role in promoting the work of artists of African descent. The Studio Museum is preparing to construct a new home at its longtime location on Manhattan’s West 125th Street. Designed by Adjaye Associates in collaboration with Cooper Robertson, the 82,000-square foot facility will be the first created expressly for the Museum’s program. The new building will enable the Studio Museum to better serve a growing and diverse audience, provide additional educational opportunities for people of all ages, expand its program of world-renowned exhibitions, effectively display its singular collection, and strengthen its trailblazing Artist-in-Residence program.

For more information on the Studio Museum, its collection, and a wide range of online resources for audiences of all ages, visit studiomuseum.org or follow us @studiomuseum on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.


Hours and Admission

The Studio Museum in Harlem’s top priority is guaranteeing the safety of each member of our community, our audiences, our committed team, and their families. As a proud citizen of Harlem and a public institution, we also are mindful of our responsibilities as a leader in the promotion of best public health practices. For these reasons, as we continue to monitor the challenges posed by the spread of COVID-19, we have closed our programming space, Studio Museum 127. We do so out of an abundance of caution and in the best interest of our staff and our community.



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Yume Murphy 

The Studio Museum in Harlem


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