Cinque Artists Talk Program: Willie Cole

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

6:00 -7:00 pm – Virtual on Zoom/Youtube/Facebook

The Cinque Artists Series welcomes multimedia artist Willie Cole, for a conversation about his newest projects.

Free and open to the public.  Register for the link through Eventbrite:


Images: left- from the American Domestic, 2016; No Strings, 2022 series;
The Water Bottle Man, 2018:


Artist Talk

The Cinque Artists Series welcomes multimedia artist Willie Cole, for a conversation about his newest projects.

A self-described “contemporary artist, perceptual engineer, ecological mechanic, transformer,” Willie Cole alters perceptions of household objects like steam irons, ironing boards, hairdryers, and high-heeled shoes by ingeniously shaping them into sculptures, installations, and works on paper. Cole explores his African-American heritage, to create works that celebrate African art and culture. He has transformed piles of high heels, and old musical instruments into African masks and sculptures, and iron marks into haunting pictures of slave ships.

Cole remarks: “The objects have a memory and history of their own. So if you have a slave, or just a domestic worker, people working for little money, their objects have a memory of that experience.”

Wednesday, April 26, 2023,  6:00 -7:00 pm – Virtual on Zoom/Youtube/Facebook

Free and open to the public.  Register for the link through Eventbrite:

IMAGES #1 is from the 2022 solo show “No Strings”, where the artist recovered guitars, saxophones, and pianos from Yamaha’s recycling program; #2 is The Water Bottle Man where the artist recycles empty plastic bottles into sculptures; #3 and American Domestic – a reimagining of a classic American painting. 


About Willie Cole

Willie Cole’s work has been the subject of several one-person museum exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (1998), Bronx Museum of the Arts (2001), Miami Art Museum (2001), Tampa Museum of Art (2004), University of Wyoming Art Museum (2006), Montclair Art Museum (2006), College of Wooster Art Museum (2013-14).

In 2010, a survey exhibition of his work on paper (1975-2010) took place at the James Gallery of the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and traveled to Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Sarah Moody Gallery of Art, University of Alabama and Rowan University Art Gallery, New Jersey.

Several of his sculptures were included in “Reconfiguring an African Icon: Odes to the Mask by Modern and Contemporary Artists from Three Continents” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (2011).  In 2013, a traveling exhibition “Complex Conversations: Willie Cole Sculptures and Wall Works” opened at Albertine Monroe-Brown Gallery at Western Michigan University.

In 2015, Cole’s work was included in “Represent: 200 Years of African American Art” at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and “Wild Noise: Artwork from the Bronx Museum of the Arts” at El Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Havana. In 2016, his work was included in “Disguise: Masks and Global African Art” at the Brooklyn Museum.

“Willie Cole: On-Site” opened at the David C. Driskell Center, University of Maryland and traveled to the Museum of Art at the University of New Hampshire, and Arthur Ross Gallery, Philadelphia in 2016. The following year, Cole had solo exhibitions at the Snite Museum of Art at the University of Notre Dame and at the College of Architecture and Design Gallery at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. In 2019, “Willie Cole: Beauties” opened at the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University as well as “Willie Cole: Bella Figura” at Alexander and Bonin, New York.


The Cinque Artist Program series promotes presentations from professionals, practical information, and platforms for artists to showcase their work. We encourage adult artists, students, and enthusiasts to share in discussions in an intimate setting.

Supported in part by the Clara Elizabeth Jackson Carter Foundation.

This program is part of the Harlem Cultural Collaborative of Harlem One Stop

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