Artist Up: Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle

Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle is an exhibiting artist featured in Ebony's "Women Up Issue."

Portrait of Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle

Known for her examination of race, sexuality, and history through a variety of visual and textual mediums, Los Angeles-based Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle 09 (Painting B.F.A.) said that she was influenced by the liberal arts education she obtained while studying fine arts at MICA. "Faculty at MICA really set a precedent, that as an artist, you need to know about history and what's going on in the world outside of you," she explained.

My teachers encouraged us to conduct our own research, and I dove in like a fish in water. I've been using research in conjunction with my visual art since then."

Hinkle remains deeply interested in connecting scholarship to creative making. She pursued an M.F.A. in Art and Critical Studies/Creative Writing at California Institute of the Arts to further strengthen her critical thinking skills. And in 2015, she conducted research at the University of Lagos in Lagos, Nigeria through a U.S. Fulbright Fellowship.

She is also dedicated to furthering the education of others and has taught young artists in undergraduate and afterschool programs as a visiting artist and instructor. When discussing her work as an educator, which she says is a large part of her own creative practice, Hinkle said, "I tell students they have to be their own number one fan. Even if no one gets what you're doing, stick with it. Keep doing the work. The art critic Dominique Nahas once said to me that work comes from work. So ask yourself, ‘Am I putting in the work?' And that starts with believing in yourself and your ideas."

With a schedule that remains packed, Hinkle's career is a testament that work comes from work. She was featured in Ebony's March 2017 "Women Up Issue," where she discusses the politics of the Black female body as well as her work, The Evanesced, which debuts at the California African American Museum in Los Angeles on March 2.  She recently conducted an Artist Lab Residency at 18th Street Arts Center in Santa Monica, Calif., where her exhibition Kentifrica Is: Re-imagining Collective Geographies explores the diaspora as a space of cultural invention. Running through April 2017, the exhibition featured collaborations and participatory projects with alternative gallery spaces.

Previously, her work and experimental writing have been shown and performed at The Studio Museum in Harlem, The Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, the Museum of Art at The University of New Hampshire, The Film Section at Art Basel Miami Beach, and The Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco among other venues. She was the youngest artist to participate in the multi-generational biennial "Made in LA 2012," and publications including The New York Times, Artforum and The Washington Post have reviewed her work. She was listed on the HuffingtonPost's "Black Artists: 30 Contemporary Art Makers Under 40 You Should Know" and is a recipient of several honors including The Rema Hort Mann Foundation Emerging Artist Award and The Jacob K. Javits Full Fellowship for Graduate Study.  Hinkle also recently had a solo show at Jenkins Johnson Gallery in San Francisco, CA, with whom she is represented by.