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conversation series

Partnership, Pattern, and Play with Pamela Council and Brittni Collins

August 13 @ 6:30 pm 8:00 pm

A photo divided in half showing two people, both facing the camera. On the left, the person is sitting on a piece of furniture.

© Pamela Council, 2024
Photo of Pamela Council by Ally Caple

Join interdisciplinary artist Pamela Council and Powerhouse Arts Director of Public Art Brittni Collins for a conversation on their 2021 collaboration, A Fountain for Survivors, and the recurring themes of pattern and play in Council’s work.

Together, Pamela and Brittni will share details of the making of Council’s Times Square debut, exploring the rich visual and material culture referenced in Pamela’s work, and discuss the significance of representation in curatorial and fabrication teams in creating works for the public.

Experience the joy of art and play firsthand by joining Pamela and Brittni in a special watercolor activity! Arrive early to secure your preferred seat and immerse yourself in this dynamic exploration of art and partnership.

Tuesday, August 13, 2024
Doors at 6pm
6:30pm – 8pm
Small Hall
FREE with RSVP (limited capacity)


Pamela Council was born in Southampton, New York in 1986.

They are an interdisciplinary artist using sculpture, writing, and performance to create multi-sensory dedications. Unlike typical memorials, these dedications, including Council’s series “Fountains for Black Joy,” mine history then use dark humor and bright color in acts of veneration that honor the unsung while critiquing hierarchies of power.

Council coined the term BLAXIDERMY, a portmanteau of Blaxploitation and taxidermy, to describe their distinctive Afro-Americana camp aesthetic, which marries the absurdity and horror of the precarity of Black life in a colorful exploration of the material, cultural, and metaphysical. In this world, Council’s transformation of everyday forms and materials is playfully cathartic—sneaker outsoles, hair lotion, and acrylic fingernails toy with long-held structures of care and value.

Pamela Council has created commissions for The Studio Museum in Harlem, Times Square Alliance, and VOLTA NY. Council’s exhibition history includes Aldrich Art Museum, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, UTA Artists Space, New-York Historical Society, MoCADA, The Luminary, Williams College Museum of Art, and The New Museum for Contemporary Art as part of Simone Leigh’s Black Women Artists for Black Lives Matter. Council has been awarded residencies at Joan Mitchell Center, MacDowell Colony, ISCP, Bemis, Mass MoCA, Red Bull, Wassaic Project, MANA Contemporary, and more.

Pamela Council is an alumnus of Columbia University (MFA), and Williams College (BA), which awarded Council the 2022 Bicentennial Medal as a distinguished alumna. They are a recipient of the 2017 Joan Mitchell Painters & Sculptors Grant, 2020 Harpo
Foundation Grant, and a 2023 Guggenheim Fellowship.

Brittni Collins is the Director of Public Art at Powerhouse Arts and has spent the last 10+ years dedicating her career to advancing the needs of living artists. Previously, she was the Assistant Director of the public art program Times Square Arts, where she collaborated with artists and cultural institutions to experiment and engage with one of the world’s most iconic urban spaces.

In earlier roles, she expanded artist resources and virtual programming at MacDowell and oversaw artist services and award funding at Creative Capital. Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, she holds a BA in Economics from Emory University and serves on the board of Burnaway, an Atlanta-based magazine of contemporary art and criticism from the American South.