Award-winning artist Njaimeh Njie has been named the Fall 2019 Duquesne University/August Wilson House Fellow.
Launched in 2018, the Fellowship stems from the University's longtime partnership with August Wilson House. It provides opportunities for scholars and artists of color in varied media to engage in literary, cultural and artistic expression that advances their own work and serves the joint interests of the University and community.
A Pittsburgh-based photographer, filmmaker and multimedia producer, Njie centers her work on everyday people, narratives and landscapes, with a focus on how black people perceive themselves and their experiences in the cities they call home.
"We are delighted to announce Njaimeh Njie-an artist whose work reaches across many creative platforms-as the second Duquesne University/August Wilson Fellow," said Duquesne University President Ken Gormley. "We are proud to continue this collaboration with August Wilson House, in which we work together to promote national and local artists of color who engage and inspire emerging artists throughout our community and beyond."
"The Fellowship is at the core of our programs, supporting those most in need of professional development support and elevated recognition of their work. Working with Duquesne expands those opportunities into arts disciplines beyond literature and visual arts, such as dance, music and performance art," Paul Ellis, executive director of August Wilson House, said.
As part of the Fellowship, Njie plans to take candid and portrait photos of people in the Hill District and on Duquesne University's campus as well as question them about their respective communities, keeping in mind the theme of The Power of Preserving the Present. In addition to providing the photos and excerpts to the Hill District and Duquesne for archival purposes, Njie will share a sampling of the project during a campus event on Thursday, Nov. 14.
During this event, Njie's work will be honored and she will be presented with a special award. Free and open to the public, the celebration will be held from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the Pappert Lecture Hall of the Bayer Learning Center. A reception will follow.
On Tuesday, Nov. 12, Njie will connect with Duquesne University students during a private question-and-answer luncheon and at an event focusing on her career as an artist. In addition, she'll meet with the Duquesne University chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc., the sorority of which she is a member, on Wednesday, Nov. 13.
A Pittsburgh native, Njie was named a Creator of the Year by Pittsburgh's Creative Industries Network in 2018. She is also founder and lead producer of the nonfiction storytelling company Eleven Stanley Productions.
Njie's recent public art project Homecoming: Hill District, USA, which has received wide acclaim, documents everyday experiences of the residents over the years. The project's website, www.hillhomecoming.com, is a digital archive comprised of oral histories and photos arranged to tell "a roughly 100-year history" of the Hill District. August Wilson House is proud to have featured one of Njie's installations for the past year.
Njie's work has been featured in publications such as CityLab, Belt Magazine, the Huffington Post and the Carnegie Museum of Art's Storyboard blog. Exhibits of her work have been featured locally at SPACE Gallery, the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, the Carnegie Museum of Art and the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater, as well as Gallery 102 in Washington, D.C.
Supported by a grant from the Nancy Jones Beard Foundation, Duquesne University/August Wilson House Fellows serve as artists/scholars-in-residence. Fellows develop their own creative work and participate in educational events with the University, August Wilson House and the community.
The Fellowship program furthers Duquesne's Signature Partnership with August Wilson House. Duquesne has partnered with August Wilson House since 2011, with students and faculty from its Honors College. Duquesne supports the programs of August Wilson House to pay tribute to playwright August Wilson's legacy, art and historic presence.
In addition, Duquesne University recently received and will administer a federal Save America's Treasures grant of $499,628 on behalf of the August Wilson House. The grant will support efforts to restore the Pittsburgh playwright's Hill District childhood home as a multidisciplinary arts and education center.
Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities
for its award-winning faculty and horizon-expanding education. A campus of nearly
8,500 graduate and undergraduate students, Duquesne prepares students by having them
work alongside faculty to discover and reach their goals. The Universitys academic
programs, community service, and commitment to equity and opportunity in the Pittsburgh
region have earned national acclaim.
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