2018 Create Change Fellow | 2021 Artist-in-Residence
Longwood/ Hunts Point | Interdisciplinary Painter
Malanya Graham is a Black queer interdisciplinary artist. They received a BFA with a concentration in painting from CUNY Hunter College, supported by the Kossak Fellowship program. Between 2015 and 2018, they worked in several arts organizations across NYC, served as a grants panelist for Brooklyn Arts Council, and as Content Director for Outlet.fyi. After completing the Create Change Fellowship and the Education Practicum at Studio Museum in Harlem, Malanya attended Hunter College for their MFA program. They participated in a residency program hosted by RAW Material Company in Dakar, Senegal where they met with independent artist collectives and learned about the rich history of institution-building by the Black diaspora of West Africa. Inspired by these interactions, Malanya vacated MFA studies to form Taurus Moon Lab, LLC, a creative production company, in order to contribute to the legacy of independent artistry at the forefront of social change.
DreamSeed Oracle Deck
Malanya Graham, Maliika Nia-Imani, and Blaise Sparda (DreamSeed Collective) will create The DreamSeed Oracle tarot deck, inspired by the artists’ Black and POC queer ancestors and holistic wellness practices. The artists will host virtual conversations on tarot’s relevance to generational, collective healing and lead workshops on design, self-portraiture, and sacred adornment to inform the creation of the deck.
What is the role of art and culture for the future of the city?
“When we put our faith in emerging artists of marginalized identities, the role of art in social justice will expand. The city is overflowing with talented people, NYC natives, who are dedicated to uplifting their community. They don’t receive the attention or funding they deserve because, due to white supremacy, they don’t have access to the qualifications or networks required for certain opportunities. The role of art and culture for the future of the city lies in the hands of these artists. Visual artists, dancers, poets, filmmakers, etc, activate the imagination in service of more inspiring realities than the morbid present. Through art, we share ideas and create authentic initiatives centered on growing networks of survival, care, and discovery. Beyond award shows and competitive grant applications, there is a deep human need to connect with each other. I believe that we must be able to envision a better future before we can manifest it.”