Ghislaine Sabiti: Our Unfinished Journey


Curated by Atim Annette Oton, Calabar Gallery


August 31, 2023 to November 2, 2023


This exhibition is at The Yard at Columbus Circle, 33 W. 60th Street, 2nd Floor NY, NY 10023

Ghislaine Sabiti developed a new series of weavings, braiding, and deconstructed paintings examining issues around immigrants, refugees, and asylum in the greater New Brunswick, New Jersey area during her Calabar Gallery Art Residency in social justice at coLAB Arts (September 2022 – March 2023). Part of the residency included a workshop with Interfaith-RISE refugee community in Highland Park. The participants in the workshop had drawing lessons alongside their weekly English lessons. Through speaking and creating art, refugee students from Afghanistan, Ukraine, and Colombia reflected on their journeys and experiences. In this way, Sabiti’s workshop empowered refugee and immigrant women and men to tell their stories through visual means. An artist who lives in three different continents (the U.S., Europe, and Africa), Sabiti constructed a  cultural identity through weaving and braiding. As a multidisciplinary artist, she is deeply invested in a range of materials, how those materials work together, and the processes inherent in each.  Individual materials speak to her and help her to work with a variety of processes including constructing and deconstructing the materials, weaving and braiding canvas and mediums, and mixing painting media to create bold color and gestural surfaces, often made with a palette knife. Sabiti’s interest in questions of community across cultures and languages extend to cross-community communication inside national boundaries and across national, racial, and linguistic barriers. Her work with the people of I-RISE gave her a deeper understanding of the refugee community in Highland Park, where mutual trust and affection is the standard, equity is implicit, and all people find joy and meaning in daily life. – Donna Gustafson, PhD, Chief Curator, Zimmerli Museum of Art

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