Studio Visit: Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum

1 of
  • Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum
    I imagined it infinite, 2009
    Courtesy the artist

  • Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum
    (having lost), 2009
    Courtesy the artist

Born in Mochudi, Botswana, multidisciplinary artist Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum has at times called various parts of Africa, Southeast Asia and the United States home. Motivated by her experiences in these diverse locales, Sunstrum explores how one’s sense of identity develops within geographic and cultural contexts. Her investigation takes various forms, including large-scale installations, stop-motion films, performances, and works on paper. Her work has been exhibited internationally, and she currently lives and works in Baltimore, Maryland.

Your work chronicles the journeys of “Asme,” your alter ego. What led you to develop this character?

Abdi on the Rise

1 of
  • Abdi Farah
    Libation, 2010
    Courtesy the artist

  • Abdi Farah
    Baptism, 2010
    Courtesy the artist

Raised by his art-loving mom, Abdi Farah (b. 1987) was introduced to the arts at an early age. Growing up in Baltimore, a city with a rich artistic and cultural presence, he recalls being around art all the time. Farah remembers visiting art galleries and institutions such as the Walters Art Museum (formerly the Walters Art Gallery) and the Baltimore Museum of Art. His earliest memories of making art are when he went to work with his mom, a college professor and sat in a quiet corner to draw with markers and crayons. “I grew up always drawing,” he says. “That’s kind of who I was.” This love of drawing manifested into a skill and passion that led him to attend the George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology High School, where he focused on studio art. It wasn’t until he won the NAACP ACT-SO Gold Medal in painting that he realized how much artistic talent he had, and that he could be an artist for a living. Prior to this realization, Farah was certain he was going to play professional basketball, a huge part of his adolescence. “My buddies and I worshipped it,” he says.

Studio Reprint:

Processing Stephen Burks

  • "Processing Stephen Burks" in the Summer 2007 issue of Studio magazine

Back in 2007, long before Stephen Burks: Man Made was even an inkling in our minds, we featured a profile of the internationally acclaimed industrial designer in our magazine, Studio. Not only that, but the profile was illustrated with an image of his Part Occasional Tables, 2007, which are currently on view in the Museum of Arts & Design Global Africa Project exhibition. A prescient profile? Perhaps! 

Dance Q&A: Trajal Harrell Brings Voguing Downtown

Ariel Scott interviews dancer Trajal Harrell

  • Trajal Harrell
    Twenty Looks (Performance Still), 2009
    Photo: Miana Jun

Ariel Osterweis Scott, Ph.D. candidate in Performance Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, speaks with noted choreographer Trajal Harrell. Harrell’s works have been seen at institutions including The New Museum, ICA Boston, The Kitchen, and numerous international venues. Here, Harrell discusses his latest work.

This interview is an extended version of the interview that appeared in Studio magazine.


A- How did your piece Twenty Looks or Paris is Burning at The Judson Church (S) come about?

We Made a Zine!

AIR Kamau Amu Patton Collaborates with ETW Students

1 of
  • Images from the zine produced by the 2011 Expanding the Walls students in collaboration with current artist in residence Kamau Amu Patton

  • Images from the zine produced by the 2011 Expanding the Walls students in collaboration with current artist in residence Kamau Amu Patton

  • Images from the zine produced by the 2011 Expanding the Walls students in collaboration with current artist in residence Kamau Amu Patton

  • Images from the zine produced by the 2011 Expanding the Walls students in collaboration with current artist in residence Kamau Amu Patton

Recently, I facilitated a workshop with the museum’s Expanding the Walls Youth Program. Totally fun! Thank you to all the students who participated. Gerald Leavell and I had a few conversations prior the workshop about what that afternoon could look like. After continued discussion about themes, we decided on “building creative communities” as the idea that would inform our activity. We presented the group with a variety of underground artists produced zines and videos from my collection. The discussion that followed focused on the power of such objects to voice the spirit of a creative community. Then, we made a zine!

Historical Birthdays of Note

Augusta Savage

  • Augusta Savage
    ca. 1930
    Hand-painted plaster, 9 ¼ x 6 x 4 inches
    Collection of The Mint Museum.
    Photo by David Ramsey.

Augusta Savage was born on  February 29, 1892

The Sounds behind StudioSound

Matana Roberts's Playlist

  • Matana Roberts
    Papa Joe (from COIN COIN Happenings), 2010
    Photocollage, charcoal and pastel on cardboard
    Courtesy the artist

This week guest blogger Matana Roberts, our current StudioSound artist, shares some of her favorite music!

My thirst for sound knowledge spirals from the traditions of the jazz alto saxophone, which is my main tool of reference, or "weapon of choice," as it was recently described to me. But it is heavily combined at this point with other sound aspects that intrigue me and filter through my work right now, such as language, repetition and trance. Below are items on my current playlist, chosen completely randomly. There's so much sound to explore out there, that I can barely keep track myself. By the time this posts, I will be onwards to completely different soundscapes most likely, but here are a few that I thought might pique any sound-seeker's interest:

Harlem, USA 35 Years Later

A Guest Blog Post by Dawoud Bey

  • Dawoud Bey
    Mr. Moore's Bar-B-Que, 125 Street, 1976
    Silver print
    Gift of the artist 79.1.8

A writer once wrote that every place is simultaneously the place that it was and the place that it is. It is the combination of the two that constitutes the deeper meaning and experience of a place. And so it is with Harlem.


Noah Davis

1 of
  • Noah Davis (b. 1983)
    The Gardener, 2009
    Oil on canvas, 48 1/2 x 48 1/2 in.
    The Studio Museum in Harlem; Museum purchase with funds provided by the Acquisition Committee  09.10.1

  • Noah Davis
    Courtesy the artist

Studio Museum Assistant Curator Lauren Haynes and artist Noah Davis in conversation:

Tell us about The Gardener (2009). Is it based on a real person?
The Gardener is Osiris, who ruled Egypt in a time of great cultural and agricultural prosperity. After being hoaxed by his brother Seth and seventy-two conspirators, he was made to enter a chest. The chest was then sealed shut and tossed into the Nile, where it became his coffin. It later washes up in Byblos and drifts ashore into the roots of a sapling. Strengthened by Osiris, the sapling grows in a single night into a tall and graceful tree. Osiris became the Egyptian God of the afterlife.

Office Hours

Ronak K. Kapadia

  • Ronak K. Kapadia
    Photo: Suzette Lee

Office Hours is a new feature in Studio magazine and on the web that engages artists, scholars and organizers on the application of critical knowledge and theory.

Ronak K. Kapadia is a PhD candidate in NYU’s American Studies program. He is currently writing his dissertation on creative responses to state security, immigrant detention, surveillance, and the U.S. empire since the late 1970s.