For the New Museum’s annual summer art and social justice residency and exhibition, the Black School (Joseph Cuillier and Shani Peters) and Kameelah Janan Rasheed explore the pasts and futures of critical black pedagogies.
Looking to examples of pit schools and other covert learning structures in the United States, as well as the Freedom Schools of 1964, the Oakland Community School, and early twentieth-century black literary societies, the artists will realize two interconnected projects in an installation on the Fifth Floor. The Black School will reimagine a traditional classroom space for art-making workshops rooted in creative activist tactics. Meanwhile, drawing from the local histories of her hometown of East Palo Alto, CA, Kameelah Janan Rasheed will build a kinesthetic learning environment containing an installation with text, objects, and video, as well as a resource library equipped with a Xerox machine, to consider black traditions of independent schools, publishing, and radical imagination. Working with the Teen Apprentice Program, the artists will facilitate a newly developed curriculum through public and private workshops, programs, and classes for youth and adults throughout the residency.
The Black School is an experimental art school that uses black history to educate black and POC students and allies on how to become radical agents of social and political change. Co-administrators Cuillier and Peters are university professors and teaching artists, as well as individual artists actively working in the intersection of object-based making and social practice.
Kameelah Janan Rasheed is a visual artist and writer exploring language and narration through an interdisciplinary practice that includes installation, poetry, publications, performance-lectures, and learning environments. Rasheed is a former high school history reacher now working as a curriculum writer, teaching artist, and MFA professor focused on research-based art practices.
The exhibition is curated by Emily Mello, Associate Director of Education, and Johanna Burton, Keith Haring Director and Curator of Education and Public Engagement.