The 2018 Suzanne Deal Booth Fellows
McGovern College of the Arts–Project Row Houses 2018 Suzanne Deal Booth Fellows: Texas-based Regina Agu and Oklahoma-based Eyakem Gullilat.
Regina Agu is an artist and writer based in Houston, TX. Her recent projects focus on the complex relationships between the landscape and communities of color. Agu produces photographs, texts, drawings, installations, performances, and collaborative public projects. Her work has been included in exhibitions, public readings, and performances nationally, including recent showings at The Drawing Center, New York; DiverseWorks, Houston; The American University Museum Katzen Arts Center in DC; Project Row Houses; and The Station Museum, Houston. She is a 2017-2018 Lawndale Artist Studio Program resident and a 2017 Artadia Houston awardee, and was a recent participant in Open Sessions at The Drawing Center.
From 2014-2017, Agu was the co-director of Alabama Song, a collaboratively-run art space in Third Ward, Houston, and received a SEED Grant for Alabama Song from The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. She was the co-organizer of Friends of Angela Davis Park, which received an Idea Fund grant, and is a co-founder of the Houston-based independent small press, paratext. Additionally, Agu is the founder of the WOC reading group, a series of private gatherings organized in Houston in 2014-2015 to examine critical texts and discuss contemporary issues from a womanist perspective; its members included women of color artists, writers, filmmakers, and anthropologists.
Originally from Ethiopia, Eyakem Gulilat’s work is rooted in a quest for belonging. Gulilat focuses on the complexities of cross-cultural encounter, perceptions of time, memory, and place. His photography questions the differences between subject and photographer; the borders that distinguish us from one another; and the ways our perceptions shift when we view each other through the camera’s lens. In addition, he uses photography to study place-making practices of marginalized communities in America.
Gulilat obtained a BA from Abilene Christian University and MFA from the University of Oklahoma, where he is currently finishing a PhD program in city planning. He was selected as an artist in residence at Light Work in Syracuse, New York; the Center for Photography in Woodstock, New York; Newspace Center for Photography in Portland, Oregon; and at Hardesty Art Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Gulilat has won several awards including the 2012 National Endowment for the Arts Grant in collaboration with the Arts and Humanities Council of Tulsa; the Oklahoma Visual Arts Fellowship; and the National Photography Fellowship Competition at Midwest Center for Photography. Gulilat was selected as a participant in State of the Art:Discovering American Art Now curated by Crystal Bridges. His photography work has been exhibited throughout the U.S and has been acquired for public and private collections. Read more about him and his work: http://www.eyakem.com/