Folayemi Wilson is an artist/maker, educator, independent curator, and writer. Her studio work uses constructed space and furniture forms to create experiences that reposition historical objects and/or aesthetics in a contemporary context and offers audiences new ways of thinking about and interacting with history. Wilson received a Masters of Fine Art from the Rhode Island School of Design’s Furniture Design program in 2005 with a concentration in Art History, Theory and Criticism, and is an Associate Professor at Columbia College Chicago. She has been a grant recipient of Creative Time, National Endowment for the Arts, and the Propeller Fund. Her design work is included in the collection of The Cooper Hewitt National Museum of Design in New York.
Wilson’s curatorial work includes Ekphest: The Festival of Art + Word (2015), The New Materiality: Digital Dialogues at the Boundaries of Contemporary Craft (2010-12), and Bodies of Evidence: Contemporary Perspectives (2005). She lectures about art, design and craft to international audiences, and her writing and reviews have appeared in NKA, Journal of Contemporary African Art, the International Review of African American Art (IRAAA), and Communication Arts. Her books include The Baartman Diaries (2014), and the chapter “Seeing Black and the Color of Form and Domestic Bodies,” in Diasporic Women’s Writings of the Black Atlantic: (En) Gendering Literature and Performance edited by Emilia Maria Duran-Almarza and Esther Alvazez-Lopez (2013).
Wilson was the 2013-14 Inaugural Faculty Fellow at the Center for Black Music Research (CBMR) and has been awarded residencies and fellowships at ACRE, Haystack Mountain Center for Craft, Purchase College/SUNY Purchase New York, and Anderson Ranch Arts Center. She was a Visiting Artist at Drake University in Des Moines and the Art Institute in Boston. Her solo exhibition, Eliza’s Peculiar Cabinet of Curiosities, will open at the Lynden Sculpture Garden in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 2016, and she is a member of one of five teams selected for a public art commission that will debut next May for the Burnham Wildlife Corridor, a project of the Chicago Parks District and The Field Museum.