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Black Folks in Design presents: Spotlight One

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  • Gallery | Ace Hotel Brooklyn

Spotlight One is the inaugural exhibition from Black Folks in Design. The seven works exhibited showcase the diversity of disciplines and aesthetics of Black designers. The exhibition showcases pieces by six contemporary Black designers working in a diversity of disciplines, aesthetics and artistic practices, including furniture, sculpture, screen printing, interiors and architecture.

Featuring works by Garth Roberts, Kyle Scott Lee, Lisa Hunt, Luam Maleke, Studio ANANSI and Studio & Projects, Spotlight One will be on view and open to the public through June 29.

Black Folks in Design is a collective that networks Black designers both within and across design disciplines and artistic practices. They endeavor to create economic and portfolio-building opportunities, and envision a world that will recognize the cultural contributions, excellence and importance of Black designers.

Learn more about each designer and their work in their own words in the companion website and object labels:

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Garth Roberts founded his studio in 2010 after a series of pop-up studio projects collaborating with universities in Milan, Berlin, and New York. Before establishing his atelier, he gained experience as part of prestigious design teams in North America and Europe.

Since the summer of 2009, he has been working between Milan, Berlin, and New York. The studio operates in various fields of product design and creative direction. This work has included developing projects for clients such as CC-Tapis, Glas Italia, Kalmar Werkstätten, Mabeo Furniture, Serralunga, B&B Italia, Zanotta, the LRRH_ Art Project, and others in a wide range of venues from high-end furniture to contemporary art.

His works have been honored by international awards and nominations, most notably, the Elle Decor Design Award, the Wallpaper* design award, and multiple German Design Awards amongst others.

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Kyle Scott Lee was born in White Plains, NY and currently resides in Park Slope, Brooklyn. He creates voluptuous vessels and well-turned cups that provide the canvas for his unique hand painting and surface treatments. Kyle’s practice has included teaching over the years at Educational Alliance Art School and other institutions. Kyle has studied ceramics in multiple studios throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn, NY and has exhibited in solo and group gallery exhibitions in New York City and abroad. His work can also be found in private collections in London, France, New York, Pittsburgh, Texas and North Carolina. Over his 15 years as a ceramicist, Kyle has developed his unique style of ceramic art incorporating traditional shapes with a colorful and abstract sense of design and glaze application.

Kyle is a founding member of BKLYN CLAY and the first recipient of the BKLYN CLAY Residency. He is currently a partnered designer with West Elm and Chairish.

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Lisa Hunt is a Maplewood, New Jersey-based artist and designer. Her screen printed and collaged works on paper and panel explore the spatial and meditative relationships found within repeat patterns. Through the use of graphic shapes and symbols, Hunt’s work draws inspiration from a broad range of influences including West African textiles, African American quilt-making, typography and the Art Deco movement. Hunt’s work draws a connection to adornment throughout history while commenting on contemporary materialism and value by accenting her primarily neutral palette with gold leaf.

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Luam Melake creates hand woven sculptures and furniture objects using inventive material combinations that reference her interdisciplinary interests in craft, industrial design, fine art and architecture.

She received her BA from the University of California, Berkeley in Interdisciplinary Field Studies majoring in Architecture with a minor in Art History in Solo and two-person exhibitions include Sensitive Forms at Parker Gallery, Los Angeles (2021), Luam Melake’s Curious Hybrids, Artskop and Versant Sud, France (2020) and Without Qualities at Addis Fine Art, New York (2018). Recent group exhibitions include Objects USA 2020 at R & Company, New York (2021), Transatlantico at Mana Contemporary, Jersey City, NJ (2020), Sumegne / Ngaparou 2 at Fondation Blachère, Apt, France (2020).

She has been Artist-in-Residence at prominent institutions, including Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Omaha (2019), Fondation Blachere in Apt, France (2019) and The Museum of Arts and Design in New York (2017-18 & 2022) and was awarded the Female Design Council Grant in 2021. Melake lives and works in New York and is currently a research fellow at Parsons School of Design.

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Studio & Projects designs spaces and develops products for cultural, commercial, and residential clients.

Founded by Little Wing Lee, S&P is a full-service, multi-disciplinary design office specializing in interior design and architecture, furniture, and lighting. We collaborate closely with project partners, vendors, craftspeople, and designers to ensure a complete and united creative vision throughout a project. Experienced in both new construction and full renovation projects, S&P takes a narrative approach to design and is known for its distinctive use of color, texture, and materiality.

Recent project highlights include the mixed-use development RAY Harlem, the National Black Theatre redevelopment, and a celebrity residential project. Project collaborators include Frida Escobedo Architects, Handel Architects, Marvel Architects, Shim Sutcliffe Architects, and project developers L+M Development Partners and RAY. 

Studio & Projects offices are located in Brooklyn’s Gowanus neighborhood.

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Studio ANANSI was founded in 2018 by Canadian-born Evan Jerry, a designer and artist devoted to exploring Afro and black culture and heritages through contemporary expressions of furniture and objects.

Through his practice Studio ANANSI, he is represented by furniture galleries in New York and Europe and has collaborated with renowned furniture brands such as CB2 and TRNK New York. His work has been featured in high-pro le international magazines such as Interior Design, Wallpaper, Azure, Elle Decoration, Architectural Digest and Sight Unseen and taken part in global design exhibitions including the London Design Festival.

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