Solo Show @ Northeastern University + Winter 2020 exhibitions 

I'm pleased to announce the opening of my solo exhibition, Against A Sharp White Background, at Northeastern University's Gallery 360 in Boston, MA. This interdisciplinary exhibition utilizes performance, video, assemblage, collage, and social engagement to interrogate the exclusionary narratives found within western (art) history while reimagining institutional spaces. The exhibition runs from January 29 through April 5, 2020, and the opening reception takes place on Thursday, January 30, from 5pm-7pm. I hope to see those who live in the New England area there!

In addition, I have four upcoming group exhibitions within the month, including at Ortega y Gasset Projects (Brooklyn, NY), Penn State's HUB-Robeson Gallery (University Park, PA), Brentwood Arts Exchange (Brentwood, MD), and Urban Institute for Contemporary Art (Grand Rapids, Michigan). All of the exhibition information is listed below.

I am also currently serving as an artist in residence at Triangle Arts Association in the DUMBO neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY. The residency provides free studio space, as well as studio visits with curators and arts organizations. Please save the date for our Triangle Arts Associations open studios on Thursday, February 6, from 6pm-8pm. I'd love to see you there!


Upcoming Solo Exhibition:

"Against A Sharp White Background,"

Northeastern University's Gallery 360

Boston, MA

Curated by Amy Halliday

January 29 - April 5, 2020

Opening Reception: January 30, 5:00-7:00pm


Upcoming Group Exhibitions:

"Cold Hands, Warm Heart,"

Brentwood Arts Exchange

Brentwood, MD

Curated by Dierdre Darden

January 13 - February 29, 2020

Opening Reception: January 18, 5:00-8:00pm

"Still Here,"

Penn State's HUB-Robeson Galleries

University Park, PA

Curated by Larry Ossei-Mensah, Kiara Ventura, and Dexter Wimberly

January 21 - March 22, 2020

Opening Reception: January 21, 4:00-6:00pm


Ortega y Gasset Projects

Brooklyn, NY

Curated by Zahar Vaks

January 25 - February 23, 2020

Opening Reception: January 25, 6:00-9:00pm

"A Beautiful Struggle,"

Urban Institute for Contemporary Art

Grand Rapids, MI

Curated by Juana Williams

February 21 - June 14, 2020

Opening Reception: February 21, 5:30pm-9:00pm


Upcoming Open Studios:

Artist in Residence Open Studios

Triangle Arts Association

Brooklyn, New York

February 6, 6:00-8:00pm

Fall 2019 Updates
I am pleased to announce the first showing of my collage work in Europe in a two person exhibition alongside artist Alexandria Robinson titled "Counting On You, Counting On Me." The exhibition opens at NOMAD Gallery in Brussels, Belgium on October 7 through 14, and will travel to the Also Known As Africa (AKAA) fair in Paris on November 8-11. The traveling show was curate by artist Lavar Munroe in partnership with NOMAD Gallery. I will be at the opening preview reception in Brussels, which is on October 6 from 2pm-6pm. Please feel free to stop through if you happen to be in the area at the time, or forward this invitation to those who will be.

If you are in New York City, I will be presenting on a panel at the Black Portraitures Conference at New York University in October, and will have work in a group exhibition at Smack Mellon in November. Hope to see you there.


Two person exhibition featuring Helina Metaferia & Alexandria Robinson
Curated by Lavar Munroe
October 7 - 14, 2019
Preview Reception: October 6, 2pm-6pm
NOMAD Gallery
Brussels, Belgium

Panelist for "Call and Response: Poetics, Visuality, and Artist-Writers on the Archive," alongside Natasha Oladokun, Lauren Russell, and Sarah Stefana Smith
Panel details: October 17, 9:00am-10:30am
New York University
New York, NY

November 8 - 11, 2019
Paris, France

Group exhibition
Curated by Emily Colucci
November 16 - December 29, 2019
Opening Reception: November 16
Smack Mellon
New York, NY


Summer 2019 News
I am excited to share that I have accepted an Andrew W. Mellon Gateway Fellowship / Assistant Professor position at Brown University. The first two years of my appointment is a Post-MFA fellowship, where I will work on my art anywhere I choose without the responsibilities of teaching (except for one course each spring semester). After two years the position automatically turns into a tenure track assistant professor position. I will be teaching Social Practice, Performance, and Sculpture in the Visual Art Department. I'm incredibly excited to join the faculty at Brown University. I will continue to maintain workspace and residence in NYC and commute to Providence, Rhode Island as needed for the position.

Here are some other additional highlights this summer:

Summer Exhibitions:
"Look Us Over," Bernice Steinbaum Gallery, Miami, FL, June 8 - August 17, 2019

"Still Here," Museum of African Diaspora, San Francisco, CA, June 12 - July 14, 2019

"Overlooked," Greater Reston Arts Center, Reston, VA July 13 - August 31, 2019

"Unboxing: Doublespeak," Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit, MI, July 17 - August 18, 2019; w/ live performance July 18 6pm-9pm

"Artscape Performance Series," Baltimore Office of Promotion and Arts -- Street Theater Stage, July 21, 2019, 2:30pm

Summer Residency:
New York Artist Residency Studio Program (NARS) Foundation, Brooklyn, NY, July 1 - September 20, 2019 (Session III)

Recent Press:

Solo Exhibition: "By Way of Revolution" at Michigan State University

I am excited to share that my solo exhibition, By Way of Revolution, opens Friday, February 8, 2019 at Michigan State University's (SCENE) Metrospace Gallery, and will be on view through March 29, 2019. I will be giving an artist talk for the exhibition on Wednesday, February 20 at 7pm at the MSU Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, as well as a performance on Wednesday, March 27 at 7pm at the MSU Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum.
This exhibition is the culmination of my 2018-2019 Visiting Professor/Artist in Residence of Critical Race Studies position at MSU. The exhibition features all new interdisciplinary work in collage, installation, video, performance, and social engagement. The work utilizes oral and literary archives to interrogate the histories of social justice movements that inform our current social-policial moment. More information about this exhbition can be found here.

Pictured above is a detail view of: Headdress 1, Helina Metaferia, collaged paper, 2019.

Solo Exhibition at Hamiltonian Gallery, August 11-September 15, 2018

My solo exhibition at Hamiltonian Gallery opens Saturday, August 11, 2018. Information for the show is as follows:

"Refiguring the Canon"
New work by Helina Metaferia 
August 11 - September 15, 2018
Hamiltonian Gallery 
1353 U Street, NW
Washington, DC
Opening Reception: August 11, 7pm-9pm
Artist Talk: August 28, 7pm

About the Exhiibtion:
In "Refiguring the Canon," artist Helina Metaferia creates a hybrid environment where performance art and collage are used to interrogate racism, sexism, and notions of western exceptionalism within art historical narratives and institutional spaces. Metaferia displays documentation from performances at the National Gallery of Art and Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, in which she asserts her body using simple gestures in contrast to historic artworks, challenging their conceptual meaning. In other works, Metaferia uses found magazines, including Art News, Art Forum, and Art in America, published in the 1980's (the decade of her birth). Combining the images of artwork featured in the magazines with photographic stills from her recent performances, Metaferia creates an avatar persona who reclaims a space in art history for under-recognized and marginalized women and artists of color. Playing with the 1980's trending re-interest in "primitivism," Metaferia uses her Ethiopian-American female body as a way to reclaim that gaze and decolonize the appropriation of black culture. Revisiting Hannah Höch's "From An Ethnographic Museum" series from a black woman's perspective, and addressing the Guerrilla Girls' timeless questioning of "greatness" in art history, Metaferia examines how these dated issues remain relevant today.

Artist Paolo Morales will also be opening his exhibtion, "Memphis Tulips" simultaneously at the gallery.

Above Image Caption: "Mythological Quest 1," Helina Metaferia, 2018, 22" x 28, magazine paper, digital print, colored pencils on paper 

Upcoming Performances

Hope to see you at some of my following upcoming performances in Baltimore, Washington, DC, and Miami:

"Inalienable Truths" 
Performance: November 16, 2017, 6:00pm
Gallery 102, George Washington University, Washington, DC

Performance: November 17, 2017, 8:00pm
Curated by Labbodies 
Space Camp Gallery, Baltimore, MD

"Universal Belonging"
Performance: December 7, 6pm
Prizm Art Fair, Miami, FL

"Performance is Alive"
Performance: December 9, 8pm
Satellite Art Fair, Miami, FL

Black Portraiture[s] III Conference Panel Chair/Presenter

I am looking forward to presenting at the Black Portraiture[s] III Conference in Johannesburg, South Africa on November 19, 2016 at 10:30am. I am chairing and presenting on the panel "Performing the Continent: Re-Imagining African Identities through Multidisciplinary Art Practices," along with Rashayla Marie Brown, Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle, and Tiffany Smith, and moderated by Nikki A. Greene. The conference is put together by New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, Harvard University's Hutchins Center for African & African American Research, and Goodman Gallery. You can find more details about Black Portraiture[s] III here. Hope to see you at the conference. 

Solo Exhibition at Museum of African Diaspora in San Francisco

The Museum of African Diaspora (MoAD) in San Francisco, CA just announced my solo exhibition at the museum as a winner of the Emerging Artist Program. The exhibition will take place January 25, 2017 to April 2, 2017 and will consist of installation, performance, and video. Here is the announcement on MoAD's website. Hope to see you at the opening!  

Art & Education Announces AICAD Post-MFA Fellows for 2016-2017

I will be renewing my full time AICAD Post-MFA Teaching Fellowship for another academic year at San Francisco Art Institute, where I will continue teaching in the New Genres and Graduate departments. The fellowship includes full time teaching experience, an art studio, a professional development grant, monetary support and benefits, plus participation in the annual fellows conference. Here is the announcement about the fellowship in Art & Education

Upcoming Artist Residencies in 2016

I will be participating in the following artist residencies in 2016:

Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture
Skowhegan, Maine
Vermont Studio Center
Johnston, VT
Saratoga Spring, NY

May 2016 Exhibitions

I will be showing work at the following venues in May 2016:
International Video Art House Madrid Festival
La Neomudejar Arts Center
Madrid, Spain
May 7, 2016
There will be a screening of my video The Newest Flower in the video art from Ethiopia segment by Addis Video Art Festival. More info on the festival at
Identify: Performance as Portraiture
National Portrait Gallery
Washington, DC
May 14, 2016
I will assist Maria Magdalena Campos Pons and Neil Leonard in a live performance at the National Portrait Gallery on this date. More info on the performance here.
#BlackGirlLit -- Between Performance and Memory
Five Myles Gallery
Brooklyn, NY 
May 21, 2016
6:30pm - 11:00pm
I will be performing a new piece, titled "Slow Dirt," that investigates the intersections between literature and activism. More info on #BlackGirlLit here.

New York Times Write-Up on Havana Biennial Performance

I recently was fortunate to have traveled with School of the Museum of Fine Arts professor Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons to Cuba for the 12th Havana Biennial for a performance in Casablanca. A few MFA graduate students from her installation class helped design and participate in a public performance that involved engaging Cuban citizens in a park with questions about current U.S. and Cuban relations. The performance, titled "Conversando," was mentioned by Holland Cotter in the New York Times in an article discussing this year's biennial. Here is a link to the article:

This is the second performance that I have participated in with Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons. The first performance, titled "Habla La Madre," was for the Carrie Mae Weems Retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum in 2014.

Art & Education Announces AICAD Post Graduate Teaching Fellow

I am happy to be selected as an AICAD Post-Graduate Teaching Fellow for the San Francisco Art Institute for the 2015-2016 academic year. The fellowship includes full-time teaching experience, a professional development grant, monetary support and other fun perks. Art & Education (a joint venture between e-flux and Art Forum) just announced the nine fellows who will be placed at seven art institutions. Read here for more:

SMFA Graduate Student Commencement Speaker 2015

I was honored to be selected as the 2015 School of the Museum of Fine Arts Graduate Student Commencement Speaker. Here is a video recording of my commencement speech below. The speech transcript has also been published on the SMFA website:


Selected as one of the "Top MFA Students to Watch" by Boston Globe

I am happy to be featured in the Boston Globe today in an article on top MFA candidates in Boston, written by art critic Cate McQuaid. It was a good overview to my work and my upcoming thesis exhibition/performance on May 14 at the Boston Center for the Art's Cyclorama. 


Upcoming Spring 2015 Exhibition Schedule

Friday, April 10, 2015

The Great Americas Performance Art Festival
Grace Exhibition Space
840 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY
Artists: Helina Metaferia, Marita Isobel Solberg, Matthew Gioia, Maria F. Hubeaut, Coralee Lynn Rose
The Great American Performance Art Festival is a series of performance art events curated around the question of American identity and its implications, most specifically the notion of borders and barriers. 
Exhibition: April 22 - June 20, 2015
Reception: Saturday, May 16, 5pm - 7:30pm
Performance: Saturday, May 16, 7pm
Mapping the Dorchesterway Part Two
Medicine Wheel Productions
110 K St. - Second Floor, South Boston, MA
Artists: Ekua Holmes, Maddu Huacuja, Lana Jackson, Carolyn Lewenberg, Derek Lumpkins, Cagen Luse, Helina Metaferia, Hakim Raquib, Kristen Belton Willis
This exhibition features artists from Mattapan and Roxbury and is part of Medicine Wheel Productions' multi-year Brooch project "that is engaging the communities along the unfinished line of Olmsted's Emerald Necklace."

Saturday, April 25, 2015
Transient Vessels: Bodies through Boston and
Washington D.C. 
Performance Art @ Massachusetts College of Art and Design - Pozen Center
621 Huntington Ave. Boston, MA
Curator: Elaine Thap
Artists: Eames Armstrong, Hayley Cutler, Jane Claire Remick, Helina Metaferia, Bryana Siobhan, and Nabeela Vega
Boston/DC transplant artists work through the nature of living in transient communities through performative works.  
Thursday, April 30, 2015
5:30pm - 7pm
END RECORDINGS: Graduate Student Thesis Screenings
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Alfond Auditorium 
465 Huntington Ave. Boston, MA
Artists: Aparna Agrawal, Alexandra Borovski, Dana Caroll, Allison Cekala, Kaitlyn Clark, Holden Holcombe, Yin Liu, Yushan Liu, Helina Metaferia, Nick Procopi. 
END RECORDINGS will feature works in time-based media by eight graduating Master’s candidates. Their works highlight the complexities of transnational identity, expose a transgender man’s struggle to transition, instruct us in the art of communication, sensitively deal with loss, and explore landscapes which are lush, artificial, surreal, and dystopian. The show will present a vast array of perspectives from Boston’s emerging moving image artists.
Exhibition: May 11-14, 2015
Opening Reception: May 14, 7:30pm - 10pm
Masters of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibition, SMFA, Boston
The Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts
539 Tremont St. Boston, MA
Artists: The Graduating MFA Class of 2015
Featuring film/video, painting, performance, sculpture, photography, drawing and more, this dynamic, group exhibition will feature graduating students of the 2015 MFA class.