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Guilty by Association – Extended Family: Lakea Shepard

  • 8:00 am - 11:59 pm | Friday January 27, 2023
  • Gallery | Ace Hotel Brooklyn

Around the corner and down Bond St., our neighbors Guilty By Association are building a digital bridge to empower the creative unseen, redistribute wealth and reengineer an antiquated system — art.

This season, we are partnering with GBA for a trio of solo exhibitions featuring a selection of their artist kin. We’re calling it “Extended Family.” The first gallery show is an overview of Lakea Shepard‘s work.


Bead by bead, Lakea creates intricate head sculptures engulfed in universal emblems of Blackness. Her work alludes to slave masks as she constructs pieces that portray the suffocating contemporary oppression of Black people, acknowledging a painful history in order to heal the wounds of her community. 


Being raised by a sculptor and mechanic paved the way for Lakea’s journey to “head sculptures.” Lakea is a sculptor, mixed media designer, and milliner who draws inspiration from personal experience in Winston-Salem to create works engulfed in the universal emblems of Blackness. She is drawn to traditional African techniques like weaving, beading, basketry, and manipulating materials to bear human emotion.

Her infamous masks allude to slave masks as she constructs them to portray the suffocating contemporary oppression of Black people. Bead by bead, her work is covered in symbols intended to convey the experiences of Black America, an acknowledgment to heal the wounds of her community.

 Assembled bead by bead, her work is covered in symbols intended to convey the trials of Black America, acknowledging a painful history in order to heal the wounds of her community. She signs each work with red thread, a symbol of womanhood.

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