NSENGA KNIGHT in the 2019 Southern Constellations Exhibition

Make Safe, Make Space featured in the 2019 Southern Constellations Exhibition

at NC A&T University

Jan. 10th – Jan. 28th.

MSMS_Smith082314 (date)_2
Make Safe, Make Space, 2014 lithograph print series with sewn muslin and fabric bricks , Photo courtesy of Justin Perry and Smith Gallery

Make Safe, Make Space is featured at NC A&T University in the 2019 Southern Constellations Exhibition— a multi-media show highlighting the work of the Southern Constellations (SoCo) Fellowship program and curatorial initiative to extend experimental arts practices, networks, and dialogues in the South. Curated by Elsewhere in collaboration with past SoCo Fellow Jessica Gaynelle Moss, the show at A&T profiles selected works from the curatorial initiative.

Artists include Fellows Nikita Gale, Stacy Lynn Waddell, Maria Molteni, Charisse Weston, Cosmo WhyteAntoine WilliamsRachel DebuqueJana HarperMictlan Studios – izelvargas.com, Magsamen and Stephen Hillerbrand, Martha WhittingtonNsenga KnightNick Szuberla, Melissa Vanderburg, John Q, Andrew Raffo Dewar

The SoCo Exhibition opens on Jan. 10th and runs through Jan. 28th.






AUG. 17 – OCT 11, 2018



OCT. 9, 2018 6 pm


Nsenga Knight, Other Stars Don’t Behave So, 2013  ink and wax drawing, 20 x 30 in. Courtesy of the artist.


THOUSAND OAKS, CA, September 25, 2018Nsenga Knight: Other Stars, an exhibition of geometric drawings, text paintings, photographs and oral history recordings by Nsenga Knight will be on view at the Kwan Fong Gallery at California Lutheran University from August 17 – October 11, 2018. In conjunction with the Other Stars exhibition, art historian Halima Taha will present on the work of Knight in the context of the canon of African American artwork, with a focus on the overlapping influences of Western and Islamic abstraction in her work Tuesday, October 9, 2018 at 6:00pm at the Ullman Conference Center 100/101 at CLU.

The exhibition includes a survey of Knight’s works from as early as 2007 such as As the Veil Turns her photography, video and oral history project on Black women in her hometown Brooklyn Muslim community who converted to Islam prior to 1975 and pioneered some of New York’s earliest still-existing mosques; and more recent works that place Malcolm X and Ali Shariati’s pilgrimage memoirs in sociological and formal conversation with Abū Rayḥān Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad Al-Bīrūnī’s 10th-century astronomical renderings.

Shameela copy.jpg

Nsenga Knight As the Veil Turns (Shameelah), 2007 Archival Inkjet Print, 30 x 20 in. Courtesy of the artist.


Each of my artistic projects is responding to my self-reflexive question: Who am I and what is my place in this world? My artworks exist as invitations to examine new possibilities that broaden our collective imaginations and challenge traditional boundaries of race, nationhood and religion. —Nsenga Knight

On October 9, 2018  Taha will present a discussion about Knight as a contemporary artist working in film, photography, paint,   and printmaking, exploring her place as an interdisciplinary artist whose visual statements are universal, yet part of the visual culture of the African Diaspora. Given the meteoric growth of art by artists of African descent in the worldwide market, Taha will discuss Knight’s presence within it and will highlight the market interest in work that provides insight into the global experience while ultimately provoking self-reflection.

Knight (b. 1981, Brooklyn, NY) has exhibited work at the Drawing Center, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Art, the New Museum for Contemporary Art and MoMA PS1. She received her MFA from the University of Pennsylvania and BA in Film from Howard University. She lives and works in Cairo, Egypt and New York.

Taha is a best-selling author, curator, appraiser and independent scholar. Taha is most well-known for her groundbreaking bestseller, Collecting African American Art: Works on Paper and Canvas (Crown), the first book to validate African American art as a viable asset and commodity within the international marketplace; which created a new market for publications and exhibitions on African American art. Her work advocates the importance and value of collecting art made by American artists of African descent. She has degrees in Liberal Arts, Arts Management & Cultural Policy from Sarah Lawrence College and New York University. Currently, Taha is the President of TahaThinks,LLC, a company that provides art advisory, appraisal, collection management, and speaker services.

The Kwan Fong Gallery is located in Soiland Humanities Center at the California Lutheran University. Admission is free. The gallery is open to the public 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Street parking is by permit 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Parking lots are located on Mountclef Boulevard north and south of Olsen Road.

For more information, visit https://blogs.callutheran.edu/kwanfong/ and https://nsengaknight.com/


Nsenga Knight  




Rachel T. Schmid





Drawing: Tawhid and Right Brain Thinking

I was talking to a friend yesterday about my new and enhanced love for drawing.

In this Oprah Winfrey interview with neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor, she talks about her realizations during and after having a stroke on the left side of her brain. Without the full functionality of her left brain, her right brain was no longer checked by language and the ability to name and differentiate things. She experienced a great sense of connection and oneness.

Oprah’s interview with Dr. Taylor helped me to understand what was going on when my teacher demonstrated drawing a still-life of two apples. I realized that my teacher was not naming things as she was drawing. The apples were just curves that appeared before her. Not two separate apples, but curves who’s relationship to one another allowed for each of them to appear to be apples. When I realized this- that she was not deciding to draw two apples by naming them as such and then drawing them,  I had a real breakthrough. What I was witnessing was another reality of Tawhid (Oneness) and I no longer needed to give a name to what I was seeing, but just accept it and draw it. I didn’t have to finish one object before beginning another – because I was no longer seeing them as separate objects. Drawing on this new realization, I was in a sort of euphoria and you couldn’t take the silly smile off my face as I drew the new still life. I was getting it!  I moved my charcoal all over my paper as I made lines, curves, and other marks appear as renderings of objects.

I’m making some new still-life drawings and I love it. I’ll probably exhibit some of my new drawings at my next solo exhibition at Room 100 at Goldenbelt Studios this September. I love love love experimenting and challenging myself in new mediums. My new thing these days is taking classes on everything I do not know well but would like to be skilled in. This includes things like waterless lithography (learned that earlier in the year), Arabic (I’m a beginner and my husband is teaching me more), and swimming (I’ve started an Aqua Tots class with my baby boy and I’m going to learn how to swim for real this summer inshaAllah).

Every medium I work with teaches me something new about life. The first big lesson I recall learning from art was integrity – I learned that as a dancer. Drawing teaches me not to name things; at least not before I really look, accept and connect.