National Black Arts Festival Pegs Fahamu Pecou For Its Visual Artist Award

Fahamu Pecou, photographed by Alex Martinez
Fahamu Pecou, photographed by Alex Martinez
Fahamu Pecou, photographed by Alex Martinez

The National Black Arts Festival, celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, has selected Fahamu Pecou as the winner of this year’s Visual Artist Award. This year the award comes with a $5,000 cash prize, which will be presented to Pecou at the festival’s Fine Art + Fashion event on March 15 at Neiman Marcus.

The Atlanta artist, known for his figurative paintings that reference hip hop, African traditions and the perception of black men, recently received his PhD from Emory University’s Institute of Liberal Arts in visual scholarship, visual culture, anthropology, and race & gender.

Do or Die: Affect, Ritual, Resistance,” a traveling survey of his work organized by the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art in Charleston, will appear at the Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory University, January 19 – April 28, 2019. A book of Pecou’s work, Visible Man, arose from his dissertation and was published in conjunction with the exhibition.

Another show of Pecou’s work, “Memory,” will be on view at Lyons Wier Gallery in New York March 1 – 31.

Pecou was selected as the winner by a committee chaired by gallerist Arnika Dawkins that included Greg Head, Carl Rojas and Robyn Sims. The other prize finalists were Masud Olufani, Larry Walker, and Cosmo Whyte. On Saturday, March 17, Head and Rojas will moderate a conversation with Pecou at Arnika Dawkins Gallery.

The Fine Art + Fashion event, now in its 12th year, raises funds to support NBAF’s ongoing arts education in middle and high schools in underserved communities on the Westside, in addition to other public programs.

Other honorees include Cindy and Bill Voyles for their longtime civic and philanthropic support of many organizations, including NBAF, and three student fashion designers from Georgia who will be presented with the Emerging Talent Award.

Previous prize winners include Paul Stephen Benjamin and Lillian Blades.

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