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Barely a year into the life of the Northwest African American Museum, in 2011, Seattle-born textile artist Xenobia Bailey’s creations breathed an air of funky vibrancy into the walls and halls of the museum. That exhibit, The Aesthetic of Funk, was just a peek into the vivid world that Xenobia creates. Her Funktional Vibrations glass mosaic in the #7 Hudson Yards station, located at 34th & 11th in Manhattan, is definitely worth experiencing for even the most subway-averse folks.

By Metropolitan Transportation Authority of the State of New York - 34 St-Hudson Yards Station, Courtesy wikimedia commons

Before leaving Seattle, Xenobia brought the funk and life to costumes as an intern with Black Arts West theatre. Her vibrations have been the center of numerous exhibits, and just as the Winter Garden at Brookfield Place in New York reopens its doors to the public this summer, Xenobia’s Mothership and Hallowed Be Their Names installations will greet and enchant visitors.

Untitled Still Life. Found Objects Crochet Daisy Afghan Draped Over a Wooden Chair - Photo by Xenobia Bailey

We’re cheering on our hometown sister and making space here for her personal artist statement below.

Thank you Xenobia for holding that vibe up high. We love you, sis!

Xenobia Bailey Artist Statement

My practice is about the vision of contemporary African descendants living in North America, building up positive, higher voltage cultural bridges between the underserved African American Household, to a more evolved wholesome, cultivated lifestyle in design, cuisine, medicine, fine art and spiritual beliefs.
This practice is redefining the fractured and distorted Contemporary African American natural way of life, specifically the lifestyle that emerges from the Beautiful Pacific Northwest that opens the possibility of creating academies that includes Agricultural Cosmic Frequencies in the aesthetic of Funk.
This aesthetic is inspired by the undervalued domestic skills and sensitivities of the rural, urban and suburban African American Homemaker/caregiver/ domestic, specifically my Mother.
My practice is also about regenerating the generations of lost young Black talent that are sabotaged, disoriented and distracted from their gifts in the African American Communities.

Hallowed Be Their Names installation - image courtesy of the artist


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