Sadie Barnette, from Oakland, California, is an artist who works primarily with drawing, photography, objects and large-scale installation. She earned a BFA from CalArts and an MFA from the University of California, San Diego. Her work has been exhibited throughout the United States and internationally and is in the permanent collections of museums such as LACMA, Berkeley Art Museum, the California African American Museum, Studio Museum in Harlem (where she was also Artist-in-Residence), Brooklyn Museum and the Guggenheim. She is the recipient of Art Matters and Artadia awards and has been featured in publications such as The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Artforum, and Vogue. Her works embody collective and familial histories. Grounded in acts of celebration and resistance, her work is also tethered to the other-worldly, offering glittering speculative spaces. Unconfined to a particular medium, her modular practice holds the poetics and politics of city space, adornment, and “the living room.” Recent projects include the reclamation of a 500-page FBI surveillance file amassed on her father during his time with the Black Panther Party and her interactive reimagining of his bar — San Francisco’s first Black-owned gay bar. Instagram: @SadieBarnette
For Messages for the City: Dreaming Forward
About Martin Luther King Jr Way: Whether in the form of drawing, photography or large-scale installation, Sadie Barnette’s work uses abstracted cityscapes to transcend from the mundane to the otherwordly. She creates visual compositions that engage a hybrid aesthetic of minimalism and density, using text, glitter, family Polaroids and found objects. This work was originally presented as a billboard in Nashville, TN in 2018. “A street sign bearing the name of Martin Luther King Jr., set against a galactic sky, imagines a Black space beyond gentrification and police violence and volunteers to follow Sun Ra from Oakland to the stars,” says the artist.