Architect and historian Mabel O. Wilson joined New Museum artists-in-residence the Black School and Kameelah Janan Rasheed for a panel discussion considering the role of visual culture, art, and architecture in the creation of spaces centering black teachers, learners, and knowledge within conditions of systemic and institutionalized racism.
Throughout US history, from slavery to Jim Crow segregation to present-day inequities and marginalization, people of color have created space for learning through diverse strategies that encompass mobile, temporary, domestic, and built forms. What might present and future spaces for education gain from engaging these often-suppressed histories?
For the New Museum’s annual summer art and social justice residency and exhibition, artists and educators the Black School and Kameelah Janan Rasheed reimagined learning spaces in the Fifth Floor Gallery and Resource Room, respectively, as well as the use of these environments for workshops and classes. They discussed their choices for these spaces and their approaches to teaching and learning, as well as the histories of black education in the US. Mabel O. Wilson drew from her transdisciplinary design practice and historical research, which investigates space, politics, and cultural memory in black America and respond to the exhibition and residency.