Exhibit to Feature Work of Critical Race Studies Artist-in-Residence

Headshot of woman with black hair standing in front of a brick wall

An exhibition featuring the work of Helina Metaferia, Visiting Assistant Professor and Artist-in-Residence: Critical Race Studies, will appear at MSU’s (SCENE) Metrospace, 110 Charles St., East Lansing, February 8-March 29.

This solo, interdisciplinary exhibit, titled By Way of Revolution, engages collage, assemblage, performance, video, and participation/social practice to resurrect the spirit of social justice movements of the past in order to inform our present social-political movement.

Metaferia has been working on the exhibit during her time at MSU as part of the Department of Art, Art History, and Design’s Critical Race Studies Residency program and has focused her time in the MSU Library’s special collections radicalism archives as well as collaborating among students and faculty women of color groups on campus.

An opening reception for the exhibition will take place Friday, February 8, from 6 to 8 p.m. at (SCENE) Metrospace, with an artist talk scheduled for Wednesday, February 20, at 7 p.m. at Eli & Edythe Broad Art Museum.

Woman sitting in circle of sand holds something in her hand
“Slow Dirt,” Helina Metaferia, 2016, live performance at Five
Myles Gallery, Brooklyn, NY, photo by Terrence C. Jennings 

As part of her (SCENE) Metrospace exhibition, Metaferia will perform at Eli & Edythe Broad Art Museum on Wednesday, March 27, at 7 p.m. A schedule of programs also will take place at (SCENE) Metrospace throughout the duration of Metaferia’s exhibition. These programs are being organized by Metaferia in conjunction with MSU and community groups such as Black Lives Matter of Michigan, Women of Color Initiatives, Sister Circle, Black Student Union, Women of Color Embodied Knowledge Forum, and the creators of the MSU Blackbook. 

Metaferia’s interdisciplinary art and research is devoted to asserting the black body into sites of systemic oppression, including institutional spaces, art history, gentrified communities, or land marked by historic trauma. She constantly reflects on the notions of “home” and how our racial and gendered body complicates this. She often uses her own body in her practice and will be working with the bodies of others for this exhibition through participatory practices, expanding upon her background in painting and drawing to include process-based performative actions.

Woman wearing headdress made of collage pieces
“Headdress 1,” Helina Metaferia, 2019,
collaged paper, courtesy of the artist

Metaferia received her M.F.A. from Tufts University’s School of the Museum of Fine Arts in 2015 and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. She is one of two dynamic artists invited to MSU’s campus for the 2018-2019 academic year as part of the Department of Art, Art History, and Design’s Critical Race Studies Residency program.

Established in 2017 thanks to a $750,000 gift from the Michigan State University Federal Credit Union (MSUFCU), the Critical Race Studies Residency Program empowers artistic creativity that drives cultural transformation through shared engagement with creative practice. The MSUFCU gift is being spread out over a five-year period (2018-2022) in annual installments of $150,00. As part of the Department of Art, Art History, and Design, this residency program enriches the life of the greater Lansing community by creating opportunities for shared experiences that cultivate diversity and facilitate practices of inclusion through art and design.