Pamela Council

Pamela Council was born in Southampton, New York in 1986. They are an interdisciplinary artist using sculpture, writing, and performance to create multisensory dedications. Unlike typical memorials, these dedications, including Council’s series Fountains for Black Joy, mine history then use dark humor and bright color in acts of veneration that honor the unsung while critiquing hierarchies of power. Council coined the term BLAXIDERMY, a portmanteau of Blaxploitation and taxidermy, to describe their distinctive Afro-Americana camp aesthetic, which marries the absurdity and horror of the precarity of Black life in a colorful exploration of the material, cultural, and metaphysical. In this world, Council’s transformation of everyday forms and materials is playfully cathartic.— Sneaker outsoles, hair lotion, and acrylic fingernails toy with long-held structures of care and value. Pamela Council has created commissions for The Studio Museum in Harlem, Times Square Alliance, and VOLTA NY. Council’s exhibition history includes Aldrich Art Museum, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, UTA Artists Space, New-York Historical Society, MoCADA, The Luminary, Williams College Museum of Art, and The New Museum for Contemporary Art as part of Simone Leigh’s Black Women Artists for Black Lives Matter. Council has been awarded residencies at Joan Mitchell Center, MacDowell Colony, ISCP, Bemis, Mass MoCA, Red Bull, Wassaic Project, MANA Contemporary, and more. Pamela Council is an alumnus of Columbia University (MFA), and Williams College (BA), which awarded Council the 2022 Bicentennial Medal as a distinguished alumna. They are a recipient of the 2017 Joan Mitchell Painters & Sculptors Grant, 2020 Harpo Foundation Grant, and a 2023 Guggenheim Fellowship.