The Studio Museum in Harlem

In 2001, an exhibition at the Studio Museum in Harlem called “Freestyle” helped usher into the limelight a new generation of artists whose approaches to art making “challenged the art world and questioned conventional thinking about art made by artists of color,” says Leslie Hewitt, an assistant professor of professional practice in the visual arts concentration. Students in her class, “Freestyle and Displacement in Contemporary Art Practices,” explored their own subjectivities in ways that intersected with the concepts examined by the artists in the “Freestyle” exhibition, along with their contemporaries. The students met with some of the museum’s former artists-in-residence, art historians, and curators. The museum, founded in 1968, was created by a diverse group of artists, community activists, and philanthropists to support practicing artists and provide arts education.

(from left) Thelma Golden, director and chief curator of the Studio Museum; Professor Leslie Hewitt; and Nico Wheadon, director