Join us at the historic Eldorado Ballroom for a public conversation between British-Nigerian artist Zina Saro-Wiwa and Ryan Dennis, public art director of Project Row Houses. This event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited. Please reserve a free ticket to guarantee seating up to five minutes before the event start time.
About Zina Saro-Wiwa
Zina Saro-Wiwa is a video artist and filmmaker whose first solo museum exhibition, Did You Know We Taught Them How to Dance?, is on view Sept. 26-Dec. 19 at Blaffer Art Museum before traveling to Krannart Art Museum in 2016. Her award-winning documentary This Is My Africa, which featured interviewees Lupita Nyong’o, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Colin Firth, John Akomfrah and Yinka Shonibare MBE, among others, was shown on HBO and screened at Michael Stevenson Gallery in Cape Town, October Gallery in London, the Newark Museum, the Brooklyn Museum and many international film festivals. In 2010, for Location One Gallery in New York, Saro-Wiwa produced and co-curated the group exhibition Sharon Stone in Abuja, which explored the narrative and visual conventions of the Nigerian “Nollywood” video-film industry through Saro-Wiwa’s video installations and works by Wangechi Mutu, Mickalene Thomas, Andrew Esiebo and Pieter Hugo. She has realized commissions for The Menil Collection, Seattle Art Museum and The New York Times, and her works have been shown at the Pulitzer Foundation, Moderna Museet, Stevenson Gallery and Goodman Gallery, among other institutions. Saro-Wiwa’s work is in the collections of Krannert Art Museum at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts, and the Houston Museum of African American Culture, as well as private collections in the U.S., U.K. and the Caribbean. In 2013, Saro-Wiwa founded Boys’ Quarters Project Space, a contemporary art gallery in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, which she used as a home base while developing the works in Did You Know We Taught Them How to Dance?
About Ryan N. Dennis
Ryan N. Dennis joined Project Row Houses in Houston as the public art director in October 2012. Her interests include African-American and international contemporary art, with a particular focus on socially engaged practices, site-specific projects, and public interventions. At Project Row Houses, Dennis has organized exhibitions and programs including Round 40: Monuments: Right Beyond the Site (2014); Social Practice. Social Jutice Symposium (2014); and Round 39: Looking Back, Moving Forward (2013). She has written for the Prospect 3 catalog (forthcoming), Gulf Coast: A Journal of Literature and Fine Arts, and the Studio Museum in Harlem Magazine. Prior to Project Row Houses she worked in New York City at the Museum for African Art as the traveling exhibition manager, working on exhibitions including but not limited to El Anatsui: When I Last Wrote to You about Africa, Dynasty and Divinity: Ife Art in Ancient Nigeria, and Jane Alexander: Surveys (from the Cape of Good Hope). She received her master’s degree in Arts and Cultural Management from Pratt Institute, where her research focused on the role of the artist as the administrator and cultural producer through residencies and collaborative programming. Prior to moving to New York City, Dennis worked as a community organizer and a curatorial assistant at The Menil Collection in Houston.