Professor Adama Delphine Fawundu ’18 Exhibiting Work at the Newark Museum of Art

Mădălina Telea Borteș
May 09, 2023

From April 21, 2023 to March 10, 2024, Assistant Professor of Visual Arts Adama Delphine Fawundu ’18 is presenting In the Spirit of Àṣẹ at the Newark Museum of Art. 

The exhibition is part of the Museum’s Global Contemporary series, which fosters direct dialogue between contemporary artists and those within the Museum’s collections.

For In the Spirit of Àṣẹ, Fawundu is engaging the work of Sierra Leonean artist Olayinka Miranda Burney-Nicol (1927-1996), whose modernist paintings and drawings have been understudied and underrepresented in public collections. 

Àṣẹ, referenced in the title, has long been known to and used by the artist as a Pan-Africanist term that conjures up ancestral energy, but in 2022 while conducting research and creating work for this exhibition, Fawundu had a revelation about its significance to her artistic impulses,” the Museum’s press release notes. The revelation centers on “the intuitive nature of [Fawundu’s] artistic process,” which extended to her approach for this exhibition, namely, conceptualizing the Museum’s collection “as a repository of insightful and interconnected energies rather than African objects.”  

The resulting exhibition will include three of Burney-Nicol’s works on paper as well as several new works by Fawundu, such as a three-channel video projection, sculptures, photographs, screenprints, and woodcuts. 

Adama Delphine Fawundu is a visual artist born in Brooklyn to parents from Sierra Leone and Equatorial Guinea, West Africa. She has presented public installations at Prospect Park in Brooklyn and Federal Hall in New York City.  Solo show exhibitions and performances include Art@Bainbridge/Princeton University, The Penumbra Foundation, the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center, The Miller Theater at Columbia University, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Museum of the African Diaspora, San Francisco, African American Museum in Philadelphia and Granary Arts amongst others. Her works can be found in the collections at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Princeton University Museum, Bryn Mawr College, The Brooklyn Historical Society, The Norton Museum of Art, The David C. Driskell Center (University of Maryland), The Petrucci Family Foundation, The Museum of Contemporary Art at the University of São Paulo, Brazil, as well as private collections. Projects have been supported by Rema Hort Mann Artist Grant as well as the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, amongst other awards. She was featured in the critically acclaimed Netflix documentary, In Our Mother’s Garden, directed by Shantrelle P. Lewis. In 2022, Delphine Fawundu was awarded a CatchLight Fellowship.