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Giovanni Russonello, Niama Safia Sandy, and Nate Lewis

in conversation

Wednesday, March 11


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Pictured: Giovanni Russonello (courtesy Justin Morris); Nate Lewis; and Niama Safia Sandy (courtesy Florian Koenisberger)

Nate Lewis will be in conversation with Niama Safia Sandy and Giovanni Russonello on the occasion of his first solo exhibition in New York, Latent Tapestries.

Giovanni Russonello is a journalist and music critic who covers jazz and improvised music as well as electoral politics for The New York Times. He’s also the founding editor of CapitalBop, a publication and presenting organization serving the Washington, D.C. jazz scene. His writing has appeared in the Washington Post, NPR Music, JazzTimes, The FADER, DownBeat and the Investigative Reporting Workshop, among others. For more than two years he hosted “On the Margin,” a weekly books show on WPFW-FM in Washington, D.C. He graduated from Tufts University with a bachelor’s degree in history, with a focus on African-American history.

Niama Safia Sandy is a New York–based cultural anthropologist, curator, musician, and essayist. She believes that we personify the wildest dreams and joys of our ancestors. Simply put, this is the core mandate of her work. Niama’s curatorial practice delves into the human story - through the application and critical lenses of culture, healing, history, migration, music, race and ritual. She sees her role as that of an agitator - one who endeavors to simultaneously call into question and make sense of the seemingly arbitrary nature of modern life and to celebrate our shared humanity in the process. Sandy is fascinated by the ways in which history, economics, migration and other social forces and constructs have shaped culture and identity. Her aim is to leverage history, the visual, written, and performative arts, chiefly those of the Global Black Diaspora, to tell stories we know in ways we have not yet thought to tell them and to lift us all to a higher state of historical, ontological and spiritual wholeness in the process. 

Nate Lewis explores history through patterns, textures, and rhythm, creating meditations of celebration and lamentations. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from VCU, and practiced critical-care nursing in DC-area hospitals for nine years. Lewis’ first artistic pursuit was playing the violin in 2008, followed by drawing in 2010. Since 2017 he has lived and worked in New York City. Lewis’ work has been exhibited at the California African American Museum; The Studio Museum in Harlem; The Yale Center for British Art; 21c Museum Hotels; The Armory Show; Paris Photo; EXPO Chicago;  Untitled, Art Miami Beach; and is currently in Men of Change: Power, Triumph, Truth, touring with the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Services. Past residencies include Pioneer Works and Dieu Donne. Lewis’ work is in the public collections of the Baltimore Museum of Art, The Studio Museum in Harlem, Grinnell College Museum of Art, The Blanton Museum, and 21c Museum Hotels. He has lectured at Yale University as part of Claudia Rankine’s Racial Imaginary Institute, the Yale Center for British Art, and Paris Photo.

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