ArtBall 2016

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Event Info

June 8, 2016
159 Bleecker Street

Dress Code: Cocktail Attire

Hosted by award-winning writer, producer and news anchor Carol Jenkins, and curated by Atim Annette Oton, the Amref Health Africa ArtBall will honor acclaimed artist Wangechi Mutu with The Rees Humanitarian Award for her work celebrating and empowering African communities.




Artist List:

George LilangaImo Nse ImehIbou NdoyeAnne Ntinyari MwitiFrederic Bruly Bouabre, Soly CisseMederic TurayBurns EffiomDoba AfolabiTahir Carl KarmaliWanja KimaniPaa JoeMichael SoiIfy ChiejinaWiz KudoworNowinde Vivien SawadogoTAFAArmand BouaEto OtitigbeClaude GomisSaidou DickoEsther Mahlangu,Tessa TeixeiraErikan EkefreyIbrahim AhmedTabitha WA ThukuKgalalelo GaitateRichard KetleyAlioum MoussaChriss Aghana Nwobu, and Sapin Makengele.


Patrons: El Anatsui and Dr. Massimiliano del Ninno, Kyo Noir Gallery, Viterbo, Italy


Honorary Committee: Liya Kebede and Jack Shainman







About Our Honoree: Wangechi Mutu 


Wangechi Mutu was born and raised in Kenya and has made Art in New York for almost twenty years.  Her work in multi-mediums has peeled into the deep layers that define gender and racial identity. At the center of her work she often places a performing or posed figure and uses this as a means of focal point and to unlock the dialogue about perception in both personal and political realms. She's primarily interested in how identity pivots around a kind social contract that can only be broken through personal and political re-invention and a re-writing of the codes that have been used to represent us. Her work proposes the need for a multiple-consciousness and an awareness of identity as performance, to be able to re-make the rules that bind our imagination. In order to re-organize the reality that serves us unsavory images of ourselves Mutu creatively dismantles old tropes and intricately pieces together new ones. Through performance, collage-paintings, video and sculpture she continues to think about the complicatedness of being and how essentially one's physical body plays such a huge role in determining their experiences, their survival and ability to understand what that is. 


Wangechi Mutu is the recipient of the United States Artist Grant (2014), the Brooklyn Museum’s Asher B. Durand Artist of the Year Award (2013), and was honored as Deutsche Bank’s first Artist of the Year (2010). She has had solo exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia; Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin; the Brooklyn Museum of Art; Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Staatlichen Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, Germany; Wiels Contemporary Art Center, Brussels; the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, North Carolina; the Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University, Illinois; and Miami Art Museum.  Mutu recently participated in the Venice Biennale: All the World’s Futures (2015), the Dak’Art Biennial, the Kochi-Muziris Biennial, the Paris Triennial: Intense Proximity, the International Center of Photography's Triennial and the Moscow Biennale.   


Her work is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Whitney Museum of American Art; The Studio Museum in Harlem; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University; the Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art; the Brooklyn Museum; and Tate Modern in London. 


About Our Curator : Atim Annette Oton


Atim Annette Oton is a Nigerian-born, American and British educated designer turned curator who grew up in Nigeria with her mother collecting and buying contemporary art in Lagos, Ibadan, Enugu and Calabar. She is the African Art Curator for the 2016 Amref Health Africa ArtBall and Curator for Community Engagement for the Bronx:Africa exhibition at Longwood Gallery.  A co-owner of Calabar Imports, a 11 year old Brooklyn based retail business and co-founder of Experience Africa, she was a Huffington Post Black Voices Blogger who created the series, The Pulse of Africa, where she wrote about Global Africans working in Africa and across the Diaspora. She spent her formative years in Calabar, Nigeria before studying architecture at the City College of New York under the most influential African American architect and dean of the architecture school, J. Max Bond (who she later worked for) and took design and history courses with Labelle Prussin, a female architect and author of African Nomadic Architecture: Space, Place and Gender.

She did her graduate studies at the Architectural Association (AA) in London, England and returned to New York to work in several architecture firms. In 1997, she created and curated a ground breaking exhibition on women architects and designers entitled Toward the New Millennium: Women in Architecture at the Aaron Davis Hall Gallery of City College of New York. By 2000, she spearheaded the design team that won the African Burial Ground Interpretive Center in New York. Her design work has been published in Architectural Record, Design Build Magazine, Design, Oculus and Blacklines Magazine. Her work has been exhibited at the Architectural Association in London, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the Institute for the Research on the African Diaspora in the Americas and the Caribbean (IRADAC), the Bronx Museum of Art and the City College of New York.

She later worked as an executive producer on the Underground Railroad Experience, a cultural education website on the Underground Railroad and won an Independent Grant from the NYSCA for her work, the Black Hair Salon. As a founder of Blacklines Magazine, a quarterly magazine featuring black designers and artists, she served as its executive vice president before joining Parsons School of Design as the Associate Chair of Product Design for 6 critical years under Tony Whitfield to assist restructure the deparment dynamically into an award winning and widely published program focused on "A Good Life”, a broad pedagogical base of collaborations with the nonprofit community, fostering direct student involvement with the mission of vital organizations, from local to international in scope. Her time at Parsons critically focused on product design student exhibitions and installations at Parsons Galleries in New York, ICFF Show in New York, Salone del Mobile in Milan, Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Étienne in St. Ettienne, France, House of Design, Hallefors, Sweden and Altos de Chavon in the Dominican Republic. She left in 2006 to launch Calabar Magazine as a brand extension of her store Calabar Imports in Brooklyn where she curated small shows of emerging local Brooklyn black artists for 5 years, and suspended both to focus on growing her single store to four stores in New York City by 2015.

In 2016, she launched The Gallery at Calabar in Harlem focused on contemporary African Artists and African Diaspora artists globally whose work is inspired and influenced by black and global  African culture globally investigating dynamic ideas about art, culture and society. She has been profiled in and for articles on Blacklines Magazine. She has been featured for Calabar Imports on CNN, MSNBC, The Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC, BCAT’s NeighborhoodBeat and CUNY TV.  She is a Board Member, a Vice President and Chair of Economic Development Committee of Community Board 8 in Brooklyn, and was member of the City College of New York’s Architecture Alumni Group, the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) and member of the National Association of Minorities in Communications (NAMIC).



Host Committee

Tooni Akanni

Nelson Aluya 

Kirubell Arya

Arteisa Balthrop

Marvin Bing

Marion Boteju

Daria Brit Greene

Amanda Cassiday

Liat Cohen

Mackenzie Colgan

Caitlin Coyle

Phil Delbourgo

Omar Dubois

Lawrence Dunlap

Eric Edwards

Chase Freeman

Lemi Ghariokwu

Alexandra Giniger

Rachel P. Goldstein

Samia Grand-Pierre

Ian Holder

April Hunt

Carol Jenkins

Natalie Kates

Mariama C. Keita

Liza Kelly

Andrew Lockhart

Manushka Magloire

Alvin Massy

Rosalind Mclymont

Catherine McKinley

Mima McMillan

Raina Mehler

Bridget Moran

Chiara Morrison

Jessica Neuwirth

Mel Okudo


Aku Orraca-Tetteh

Akwetey Orraca-Tetteh

Esther Orudiakumo

Larry Ossei-Mensah

Atim Annette Oton

Michelle Pinedo

Andrea Rashish 

Liz Rees

Jamie Rose

Amy Rosi

Deborah Santana

Lisa Shimamura

Carri Twigg

Amanda Uribe

Scott Vandervoort

Deborah Willis

Chrysula Winegar

Warren Winegar

Jim Wintner

Lori Zimmer


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