Painters & Sculptors Program 2018 Nyugen E. Smith

Painters & Sculptors Program

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Nyugen E. Smith

Jersey City, NJ
➔ nyugensmith.com

Nyugen E. Smith is a first generation Caribbean-American interdisciplinary artist and educator living and working in Jersey City, NJ. His work is informed by the conflation of African cultural and spiritual practices and the remnants of colonialism in the African diaspora. He holds a BA from Seton Hall University and an MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He has conducted public programs, visiting artist lectures, and panel discussions at institutions including the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York; The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; The Cooper Union, New York; Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston, MA; and Mana Contemporary, Chicago. Nyugen was a 2016 recipient of the Leonore Annenberg Performing and Visual Arts Fund and is a 2018 Franklin Furnace Fund awardee.


“Responding to the legacy of European colonial rule in the African diaspora, my work considers imperialist practices of oppression, violence, and intergenerational trauma. I am interested in ritual and sacred practice rooted in African spiritual systems and how they are employed as coping mechanisms and tools for collective empowerment.”


  • Bundlehouse Borderlines No.3 (Isle de Tribamartica), 2017, mixed media on hand sewn paper, 60 x 48 inches

  • Bundlehouse: Borderlines No.5 (Isle of Dominibuda), 2017, mixed media on hand-sewn paper, 72 x 58 inches

  • Untitled Boat No.1, 2013, wood, latex gloves, wire, rope, leather, soil, 6.5 x 3.5 x 7 feet

  • Spirit Carrier No.1, 2016, canvas, fabric, wood, acrylic, rope, wire, chain, 57 x 38 x 38 inches

Artworks shown are selected from works submitted by the artist in their grant application. All works are copyright of the artist or artist’s estate.