In honor of … Kara Walker

By Lindsey Hayakawa

Feb. 17, 2021

In honor of Black History Month, Sojourner House will highlight inspirational female roles from black history, each week in February.  Kara Walker is the third woman to be highlighted.

Kara Walker is an American contemporary painter, silhouettist, print-maker, filmmaker, and installation artist.  Walker was born in Stockton, CA, in 1969, but was raised in Atlanta, GA, starting at age 13.  Walker received her BFA from the Atlanta College of Art in 1991, and received her MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1994. 

The New York-based artist has shown her work in numerous exhibitions worldwide.  Walker is acclaimed for her candid explorations of race, sexuality, gender, violence, and identity in her work.  She is best known for her room-size installations of black cut-paper to create silhouette figures, referencing the history of slavery and the antebellum South in the United States through provocative and elaborate installations.  Walker’s art explores the intersection between fact, fiction and fantasy, thus exposing the darker aspects of human behavior and the continuing power struggles at play.

Walker is the recipient of many awards, notably the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Achievement Award in 1997, and the United States Artists Eileen Harris Norton Fellowship in 2008.  In 2012, Walker became a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.  In 2015, she was named the Tepper Chair in Visual Arts at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University.  Her work can be found in museums and public collections throughout the United States and Europe including: The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Tate Gallery, London; the Museo Nazionale delle Arti del XXI Secolo (MAXXI), Rome; and Deutsche Bank, Frankfurt.

Sources: Wikipedia and karawalkerstudio.com