Expanding The Walls

Prosperity of Perspective

  • Expanding the Walls participants shooting in Harlem with Devin Allen

    Photo: SaVonne Anderson

This month, Expanding the Walls (ETW)—an eight-month photography-based program at the Studio Museum—participants had the opportunity to work with Baltimore-based photographer Devin Allen.

Devin Allen’s most recognizable work, the series "A Beautiful Ghetto" (2015)—documenting the Baltimore uprising following the death of Freddie Gray—demonstrates how an image can have the power to unify a community and promote social justice. After presenting his work at the Museum and discussing the impact that his community has had on his life, ETW participants had the chance to walk the streets of Harlem and take photos with Allen.

Expanding the Walls Gets Digital

  • Donnell, 2017 Expanding the Walls Participant

    Say Cheese to the Camera!, 2017

    Courtesy the artist


During the second month of Expanding the Walls (ETW)—an eight-month photography-based program at the Studio Museum—participants received the digital cameras that they’ll use for the remainder of the program.

Receiving my digital camera in ETW last week was an amazing experience. Not only was it fun to have my camera, it finally gave me the tools to transfer my ideas into reality. This means a lot to me because you can only grow to love something by doing it more and more. Getting the camera highlighted my main goal during this program, which is to learn how to work with digital photography. Alvaro, a friend who is also in the program, said, "Getting our cameras was like getting a new pair of eyes, we now see the world from a different perspective." 

2016–17 Artists in Residence

Autumn Knight, Julia Phillips and Andy Robert

1 of
  • Autumn Knight

    Auditive Chamber (performance view), 2014

    Courtesy the artist

    Photo: Robert Pruitt

  • Julia Phillips

    Positioner, 2016

    Courtesy the artist and Campoli Presti

  • Andy Robert

    Aiyana (Flower Arrangement), 2015

    Courtesy the artist and Hannah Hoffman Gallery, Los Angeles

A core component of The Studio Museum in Harlem's mission and history, the Artist-in-Residence program provides each artist with studio space, a stipend and the opportunity to exhibit at the end of the eleven-month residency. Here, 2016–17 artists in residence Autumn Knight, Julia Phillips and Andy Robert share a little bit about their practices and what inspires them.

Autumn Knight

Well, there was that time that I fell off a basket at a grocery store and blacked out. When I was revived, I told the doctor that I was reaching for the pink cookies. The ones with the frosting and sprinkles. And the time I called a mechanical puppet a “motherfucker” for his poor performance skills at my fifth birthday party. Or the moment I had to respond quickly to why my elementary classmate told me she didn’t like black people. Oh, and the fire.

Studio Visit

Santiago Mostyn

1 of
  • Santiago Mostyn

    Finley in the Mist (from "All Most Heaven" series), 2008


    40 x 50 in.

    Courtesy the artist

  • Santiago Mostyn

    Delay (video still), 2014

    Single-channel HD video projection

    4:00 min.

    Courtesy the artist and Slow Wave

  • Santiago Mostyn

    Mirakel, 2016

    Neon, aluminum, concrete

    Courtesy the artist and Public Art Agency Sweden

  • Santiago Mostyn

    The Repetition, 2016

    Single-channel HD video projection

    32:00 min.

    Courtesy the artist and Public Art Agency Sweden

  • Santiago Mostyn

    Jimmie's Tango, 2016

    Photogravure on Hahnemühle Cotton Rag

    19 x 13 in.

    Courtesy the artist

  • Santiago Mostyn

    Citizen (work in progress)

    Two-channel HD video projection

    Each channel 05:13:00 min.

    Courtesy the artist

I first came across multidisciplinary artist Santiago Mostyn’s work on a visit to Moderna Museet in Stockholm. His video performance Delay (2014) followed the artist through the streets of the Swedish capital as he encountered affluent white men and addressed each racially charged interaction with the simple touch of his hand. It is in this way that Mostyn approaches his experiences, by becoming a character through which social forces are reflected, that drew me to his work.

Eric Booker: When we first spoke you brought up this idea of the American diaspora, which is an interesting point to start with, given your international upbringing.

Glenn Ligon

One Black Day (II)

  • Glenn Ligon (b. 1960, Bronx, NY)
    One Black Day (II), 2017
    Neon and paint
    Courtesy the artist

The Studio Museum in Harlem believes that the radical voices of artists telling the truths of the moment are essential to democracy. The Museum has long been committed to giving artists a space to share their provocations and insight—artist Glenn Ligon’s One Black Day (II) (2017), currently on display in the Museum’s window, is the most recent example of this.

Welcome Expanding the Walls Class of 2017!

  • Expanding the Walls 2017
    Photo: Ginny Huo

Expanding the Walls 2017 has officially begun! Congratulations to the sixteen participants from all over New York City that have been selected to participate in the Museum's after-school teen photography program. Every Tuesday and Saturday for the next eight months, we will meet to create art, engage in discussion groups and embark on excursions all while learning the basics of digital photography!

What will this year bring for Expanding the Walls? We are looking forward to a lot of exciting experiences this year, including visiting artists, learning film photography though a partnership at the School of Visual arts, exchanges with other cultural institutions, artmaking and time capsules. We hope you will follow us on our journey!

Congratulations again to the Expanding the Walls class of 2017! I’m proud of you all and excited to see what we create together.

Happy New Year from the Studio Museum

2016 was a fantastic year for The Studio Museum in Harlem. We launched inHarlem with sculptural installations in four of Harlem’s Historic Parks, presented trailblazing exhibitions, and confirmed the vital place our Artist-in-Residence program holds within the community and art world at large. Help us continue the exciting work of the Studio Museum and participate in the Annual Fund. We wish you the very best in the New Year.

Donate today!

inHarlem in Motion

An exciting new chapter in the Studio Museum’s nearly fifty-year history of dynamic arts programming, inHarlem is an expanded way of thinking about the Museum’s relationship to its surrounding community.

Kerry James Marshall


1 of
  • Kerry James Marshall
    Silence is Golden, 1986
    Acrylic on panel, 49 × 48 × 2 in.
    The Studio Museum in Harlem; gift of the artist  1987.8
    Photo: Marc Bernier

  • Kerry James Marshall
    Scout (Girl), 1995
    Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; gift of the Susan and Lewis Manilow Collection of Chicago Artists
    © 1995 Kerry James Marshall
    Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago

There is no doubt that Kerry James Marshall, a 1985–86 Studio Museum artist in residence, has made a name for himself in the contemporary art world as an inspired and imaginative chronicler of the African-American experience via his paintings, drawings, sculptural installations and photography. This season, the largest museum retrospective of his works to date will be the cornerstone of the season at the Met Breuer.

Mastry is a survey of almost eighty of Marshall’s works made over the last thirty-five years, in which he explores conceptions of blackness, and critiques western art history and its exclusion of people of color in canonical painting forms such as historical tableau, landscape and portraiture.

Devin Kenny

Love, The Sinner

  • Photo: Sable Elyse Smith

“The violence associated with [public] art is inseparable from its publicness, especially its exploitation of and by the apparatus of publicity, reproduction, and commercial distribution. The […] obtrusive theatricality of these images hold up a mirror to the nature of the commodified image.” —W. J. T. Mitchell, "The Violence of Public Art: Do The Right Thing"