Professor Adama Delphine Fawundu '18 and Priscilla Aleman '19 Featured in Current Shows

BY Catherine Fisher, December 1, 2021

Professor and alumna Adama Delphine Fawundu '18 is featured in two shows, one as part of the Newark Artist Collaboration and another alongside alumna Priscilla Aleman ‘19. 


As part of the Newark Artist Collaboration, Fawandu and twelve other artists and collectives present work. This newly founded organization is funded by Audible, a preeminent creator of audio storytelling. It offers opportunities to Newark based artists to create large-scale installations and public artworks at Audible’s newly renovated 1 Washington Park headquarters and in the surrounding downtown neighborhood.


In this commission, Fawundu, primarily a photo-based visual artist, created an approximately 50-foot immersive digital artwork in the lobby of Audible’s new building.


Fawundu’s work also appears in an online exhibition She Can Cook a Potato in Her Hand and Make it Taste Like Chocolate. This formally inventive show begins with an introduction which situates the exhibition within the thought of Lithuanian archeologist Marija Gimbutas who, in her later work, studied how Western society became misogynistic. The curator announces the impetus for the exhibition, writing, “to help me work through the gaps in my own thoughts, ideas and research, I sought out other artists, academics, philosophers and writers who might be interested in investigating the influence of goddess mythology on contemporary culture, in discovering the ways in which The Goddess manifests herself in everyday life, in experimenting with forms that might represent a contemporary goddess, should there be one.”


For this exhibition, Fawundu shows four pieces, "Wata Bodi I, II, III" and "IIII." Each was made in 2021 and explores the place of water in Black culture, from the horrors of the slave ships, to the joy of regeneration. In her artist's statement Fawundu writes, “she is the goddess who dies / and rises again."


Aleman’s work in this show is entitled "The Ocean Within." These images include a plaster sculpture of a human form painted blue and set within different environments. Sometimes floating in water, sometimes covered in a sheet with bananas and other plant matter, the sculpture is imagined in many different ways. In the artist’s statement Aleman writes, “by creating new instantiations using the human figure, I investigate ancestral relationships to the body and social ecosystem.”


Aleman is a visual artist based in Miami and New York. She graduated from The Cooper Union with a BFA in sculpture and received an MFA from Columbia University. Aleman has exhibited in group shows at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, The Margulies Collection, National YoungArts Foundation, among others. 


Fawundu received her MFA from Columbia University. Her work includes experimentation with photography, video, sound, and printmaking. She is interested in decolonization, memory, language making, transnationality, Afrofuturism and radicalization of the imagination. She is currently an artist-in-residence at Project for Empty Space in Newark, NJ. Her works can be found in the collections of the Brooklyn Museum of Art, The Brooklyn Historical Society, The Norton Museum of Art, The David C. Driskell Center (University of Maryland), and The Petrucci Family Foundation.


Wata Bodi II by Adama Delphine Fawundu

The Ocean Within by Priscilla Aleman