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Opening celebration for Our Mothers’ Garden, presented by Residency Unlimited

  • 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm | Wednesday October 05, 2022
  • Gallery | Ace Hotel Brooklyn
  • Free

This duo show, adorned with Black divinity and magic, “Our Mothers’ Garden” is the exploration of Damali Abrams’ and Ibtisam Tasnim Zaman’s striving for tenderness. Painted and collaged into these artists’ works is a sense of restorative medicine for the generations who came before. With an exhibition title inspired by Alice Walker, Zaman and Abrams seek to fill in historical gaps, channeling the untold stories of their foremothers by reclaiming the image of the Black Femme. 

Both artists work from their own archives in order to create an intimate view of the sacred feminine. In the manifestation of this show, the artists have intentionally woven a healing atmosphere that will be challenging to some and a gentle balm to others. 

Ibtisam and Damali are currently RU (Residency Unlimited) artists-in-residence at KODA’s Governors Island House.



Ibtisam Tasnim Zaman is a Black Lesbian American multidisciplinary feminist and self-taught artist. Her art practice consists of creative writing, spoken word poetry performance, narrative painting of BIPOC people, and community art projects. Her work draws inspiration from Persian Islamic geometric art, Indian classical art, surrealism, and magical realism. Originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma, Ibtisam moved at age six to England, followed by the UAE. Her mother made the decision shortly after 9/11 to escape the violence that Muslims and BIPOC are still facing today. From thirteen onwards, she lived between the UAE and India over nine years. 

Ibtisam’s work has been exhibited nationally with New York Health and Hospitals Arts and Medicine Program in collaboration with Residency Unlimited, funded by the Laurie M Tisch Illumination Fund. She has also exhibited in group and duo exhibitions, and is currently completing a Governors Island residency through Residency Unlimited. Coming from a theater background, she’s performed her poetry for Ruckus, in NY. She has also performed at Columbia University and taken part in academic panel discussion concerning Blackness, femininity, and healing.

Internationally, Ibtisam has performed in theater productions in the UAE, and her work has featured in The Gender Bender Exhibition by The Sandbox Collective and the Goethe Institut, in Bangalore, India. Where she debuted her first narrative portrait, Al Awra The Intimate Parts.

She moved back to the states after receiving her Bachelor’s of Arts, with a triple major in Sociology, Economics and History, from Bangalore University in India. She now lives in NY, where she works as a full time artist, art educator, writer, poet, and linguistic interpreter. Ibtisam Zaman is showcasing new work for her duo show with Damali Abrams  ‘Our Mothers’ Garden’, at AceHotel Brooklyn NY, this October.


Damali Abrams, the Glitter Priestess is a New York City based artist. Damali attended the Whitney Independent Study Program and earned an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts and a BA from New York University.

Damali is a member of SEQAA (Southeast Queens Artist Alliance). She is a recipient of the Women’s Studio Workshop Right Now! Production Grant and the Queens Council on the Arts New Works Grant. She has been a fellow at Culture Push, the Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop, A.I.R. Gallery, and apexart in Seoul, South Korea. Damali has also been an Artist-in-Residence at RU (Residency Unlimited), Fresh Milk in Barbados, Groundation Grenada, The Center for Book Arts, Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning (JCAL), and LMCC on Governors Island. She was a Creative-In-Residence at Brooklyn Public Library.

Damali has presented her work at School of Visual Art (SVA), St. John’s University, Sonoma State University, Soho House, UConn Stamford, Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC), Barbados Community College, New York University (NYU), SUNY Purchase, Hunter College School of Social Work, and Syracuse University’s 601 Tully. 

Damali’s work has been exhibited at El Museo del Barrio, MoCADA (Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Art), Rush Arts Gallery, Longwood Gallery, The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, JCAL, and The Point, among others. Her work has been featured in Artforum, Women & Performance: a journal of feminist theory, and on the blogs of art21, Fresh Milk, and Groundation Grenada. Her writing has been published by Harlequin Creature and Women’s Studio Workshop.


About RU
Residency Unlimited (RU) supports the creative process of local, US based and international artists and curators at all stages of their career through its unique, customized residencies and year-round public programs that use New York City as the site of exchange. We also offer opportunities for local artists from New York’s underserved communities that enable them to access the resources needed to build sustainable careers in the arts. Collaboration and partnership are at the heart of our mission, an approach that promotes inclusivity and lasting connections among RU’s growing global network.

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