Common Ground

Black Art Library, Part II

Featuring Asmaa Walton, AJ Girard, Maceo “Paisley” Keeling, and Amani Olu.


1 p.m. Eastern / 10 a.m. Pacific

AJ Girard joins founder Asmaa Walton, Maceo “Paisley” Keeling, and Amani Olu. We’ll conclude with a poetry reading by Kyle Carrero Lopez.

In this talk

Black Art Library is on view at MOCAD through April 18, 2021.

You can view our first conversation with Asmaa Walton here.

Asmaa Walton

Asmaa Walton
Courtesy of Asmaa Walton
A Detroit native and founder of the Black Art Library, a collection of books she began curating on Black visual arts in early 2020. The Black Art Library will be a public-facing archive, research library, and collection of art books, children’s books, exhibition catalogues, biographies, and ephemera on Black visual arts and artists intended to be an educational resource for the Black community and beyond.

AJ Girard

AJ Girard
Courtesy of AJ Girard
Independent curator and cultural strategist Antoine Girard is passionate about the arts and social change. He has worked with The Broad Museum, the California African American Museum (CAAM), and most recently The Underground Museum. His work in the museum field has garnered support from institutions such as The American Alliance of Museums and the Western Arts Foundation where he was recently recognized as an Emerging Leader of Color. He holds a BA in Art History from Howard University and is based in Southern California. Shattered Glass, an exhibition which he co-curated with Melahn Frierson featuring 40 international artists of color exploring questions of power, surveillance, and justice, will be on view in March at Jeffrey Deitch Projects in Los Angeles.

Maceo Keeling

Maceo Keeling
Courtesy of Maceo Keeling
Multi-disciplinary artist, designer, and curator Maceo “Paisley” Keeling explores themes in society and identity through movement, language, visual art, and imagery. New to Detroit by way of Los Angeles, he is excited to take on his role as Curatorial Fellow at Museum Of Contemporary Art.

Amani Olu

Amani Olu
Courtesy of Amani Olu
Founder of Olu & Company, a marketing and business consultancy at the intersection of art and social justice; co-founder of Detroit Art Week, and founder of IMG SRVR, a visual content sharing platform for creative professionals. Olu worked as an independent curator and arts writer. During this period, he organized over 40 exhibitions, co-authored Humble Art Foundation’s The Collector’s Guide to New Art Photography Vol. 1 and 2, launched his ground-breaking “Young Curators, New Ideas” exhibition series, and wrote about artists William Eggleston, Rashaad Newsome, David Benjamin Sherry, Elad Lassry, Zoe Crosher, and K8 Hardy. In 2018, Olu organized Rhythm, Repetition, and Vocab, an exhibition of abstract works by Allie McGhee and Carole Harris at the Detroit Institute of Arts.

The Rail has a tradition of ending our conversations with a poetry reading, and we’re fortunate to have Kyle Carrero Lopez reading.

Kyle Carrero Lopez

A photo of Kyle Carrero Lopez
Courtesy of Kyle Carrero Lopez
Poet and author of the upcoming chapbook MUSCLE MEMORY (winner of the 2020 [PANK] Books Contest), Kyle Carrero Lopez was born to Cuban parents in northern New Jersey. He co-founded LEGACY, a Brooklyn-based production collective by and for Black queer artists. Kyle’s recent poems are published in TriQuarterly, The Atlantic, Poetry, The Nation, and elsewhere.

❤️ 🌈 We'd like to thank the The Terra Foundation for American Art for making these daily conversations possible, and for their support of our growing archive.