The Houston Museum of African American Culture (HMAAC) and the Aga Khan Museum of Toronto Present Ekow Nimako’s Kumbi Saleh 3020 CE- February 5 – May 14
“The Houston Museum of African American Culture (HMAAC) is delighted to present Kumbi Saleh 3020 CE, a monumental sculpture constructed from over 100,000 black LEGO February 5, 2022 through April 16, 2022. In early 2021, the Aga Khan Museum’s acquisition of Kumbi Saleh 3020 CE by Ghanaian-Canadian artist Ekow Nimako grabbed headlines around the world. HMAAC is the first opportunity for audiences to see the sculpture outside of Canada.
Nearly 30 square feet in scale, Kumbi Saleh 3020 CE is Nimako’s reimagining of the capital of the medieval Kingdom of Ghana to forge a utopian vision of sub-Saharan Africa 1,000 years in the future. With astounding detail, he uses the medium of LEGO® to explore Afrofuturism, the cultural movement that envisions Black, African, and Afrodiasporic people and narratives through a science-fiction lens. The artwork draws on elements from the past to give scope to the future, while providing an expansive foundation of hope for the next millennia and beyond.
Nimako in his artist statement explains, “In both concept and aesthetic, the piece represents an uninterrupted, unco-opted narrative of Black civilizations that seeks to reclaim histories, reconcile ancestral traumas, and imagine liberated futures for all African peoples.” In essence it is a reimagination of a Blackness that is not constructed against the backdrop of enslavement, colonization, and violence. As for the use of LEGO pieces, the artist shared that it “further evokes a futuristic aesthetic to capture architectural forms and elements from the natural world, transcending the medium’s geometric form.”
According to Aga Khan Museum Curator Michael Chagnon, Kumbi Saleh 3020 CE advances the Museum’s mission to “bridge culture through the arts and foreground cultural narratives that often remain unheard.” For HMAAC, “This sculpture allows the museum to continue its participation in global conversations that are occurring throughout the African Diaspora,” said HMAAC CEO John Guess, Jr.
Related programming for the exhibition begins with a February 12 talk by Johns Hopkins University Center for Africana Studies Director Minkah Makalani, with an additional lecture by Johns Hopkins Professor Nathan Connolly and a conversation between Curator Michael Chagnon and University of Houston Professor Dina Al-Sowayel, Other programming will include workshops for young, middle and high school students by artist Nimako.
Kumbi Saleh 3020 CE is generously sponsored by the Houston Endowment, HEB, the Aga Khan Foundation, LEGO, the Houston Freedman’s Town Conservancy and the Board of Directors of the Houston Museum of African American Culture.”
ABOUT EKOW NIMAKO
Ekow Nimako is a Toronto-based, internationally exhibiting LEGO® artist who crafts futuristic and whimsical sculptures from the iconic medium. Rooted in his childhood hobby and intrinsic creativity, Nimako‘s formal arts education and background as a lifelong multidisciplinary artist inform his process and signature aesthetic. His fluid building style, coupled with the Afrofuturistic themes of his work, beautifully transcend the geometric material to embody organic and fantastical silhouettes. Nimako has exhibited works in Canada, Germany, Korea, and the United Kingdom.
ABOUT THE AGA KHAN MUSEUM
The Aga Khan Museum in Toronto Canada, has been established and developed by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC), an agency of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN). The Museum’s mission is to foster a greater understanding and appreciation of the contributions that Muslim civilizations have made to world heritage while often reflecting, through both its permanent and temporary exhibitions, how cultures connect with one another. Designed by architect Fumihiko Maki, the Museum shares a 6.8 hectare site with Toronto’s Ismaili Centre, which was designed by architect Charles Correa. The surrounding landscaped park was designed by landscape architect Vladimir Djurovic.
ABOUT THE HOUSTON MUSEUM OF AFRICAN AMERICAN CULTURE
The mission of HMAAC is to collect, conserve, explore, interpret, and exhibit the material and intellectual culture of Africans and African Americans in Houston, the state of Texas, the southwest and the African Diaspora for current and future generations. In fulfilling its mission, HMAAC seeks to invite and engage visitors of every race and background and to inspire children of all ages through discovery-driven learning. HMAAC is to be a museum for all people. While our focus is the African American experience, our story informs and includes not only people of color, but people of all colors. As a result, the stories and exhibitions that HMAAC will bring to Texas are about the indisputable fact that while our experience is a unique one, it has been impacted by and has impacted numerous races, genders and ethnicities. The museum continues to be a space where a multicultural conversation on race geared toward a common future takes place.
Browse and shop for fine art from our growing network of artists, collectors, estates, galleries — specializing in works by Black American artists with great values on premier art.
START COLLECTING ART
Sign up for our free email course on how to begin your collection.
Would you buy stock in BAIA if you could? Well we invite you to join us in becoming a monthly supporter, starting at just $3 a month YOU become a stakeholder and begin to help us transform lives through art. We are growing the BAIA team and will use your contributions to hire more team members for the purpose of creating more educational and marketing resources for schools and universities about african american artists both past and present. Such art initiatives and educational programming like Blacklite with Steve Prince, Relating to Art with Dr. Kelli Morgan, and BAIA BITS would not be possible without the ongoing support of our Patreon members. Please consider becoming a monthly Patreon member today!
Review our list of rewards for becoming a BAIA Patreon / patron supporter. Your monthly contribution has lasting benefits. — “What will your legacy be” – Dr. Margaret Burroughs
Thank you new and recurring monthly Patrons
Deloris and Eddie Young, Esther Silver-Parker, Eugene Foney, Zadig & Voltaire, Petrucci Family Foundation Collection of African American Art, John and Melanie Guess, Frank Frazier, Houston Museum of African American Culture, Leslie Fields, Jim Nixon, Dr. Michael Butler, Mary “Madea” Jones, Patrick Stewart, Noreen Winningham, Reg Pugh, Kevin Smokler, Deborah R. Moore, Dr. Skyller Walkes, Jae M, Jocelyne Lamour, Marion Zweig, Shannon DeVaney, Ashlee Jacob, DaNia Childress, Rev. Anita Marshall, Mary Ali-Masai, Devera Redmond, Roslyn Valentine, Robin King, Brenda Larnell, Michael, Jeffery Washington, Tricia Konan, Debra L Lacy CHARLES BIBBS, Fredric Isler, Silvia Peters, Harold Moore, Shurvon Haynes K.Coleman Shannon Dale Davis Terese L Hawkins M. Rasheed Jamal Love Annette, Mason Archie, Manuelita Brown, Carolyn L. Mazloomi Gale Ross KL Martin michael jacobs Virginia Joy Simmons Christ Van Loan Sr. Cecilia Winters-Morris, Rosie Gordon-Wallace, Pearlie Taylor, Danny Jenkins, Sara, Lloyd Goode, Marina Kovic, Sarah Rooney, Mitchell Shohet, Nicole Farley, Cheryl B Blankman, Jocelyn Greene, Laura Di Piazza Petrina Burkard Hannah Diener Sarah Drury Claire Sig Mina Silva Whitney, Sara Friesen, Megan LaCroix, Kellyn Maguire, Sophia Bellin,o Cory Huff, Wilhelmina Barker, Linda Eaddy, Shelley Danzy, Rosalyn D. Elder, Sonia Spencer Karen Pinzolo Desiree Dansan, Deborah Paige-Jackson, ALKEBU LAN IMAGES Bookstore DeLores M Dyer, Shelia, Harry F Banks, Susan Ross, Dr. Diane R. Miles, Carlton Cotton, Andre Mitchell, Joan L. Ward, JOCELYN BENITA SMITH, Paul Robinson, Janice Orr, Patricia D Dungy, Ethnie Weekes, Shawn Rhea, Duke Windsor, Runez M Bender, Karen Y House, M Belinda Tucker, Dr. Yonette Thomas, Diana Shannon Young, Judith Hamilton, Julia Turner Lowe, Francene Greene, Caryliss R. Weaver, Sharmon Jane Hilfinger, Bill and Deborah Nix, joyce a, Wanda Baker-Smith, Timothy Gandley, Anneke Schwob, Emily M, Rachael horner, Morris Howard, Marie L Johnson, Ayoka Chenzira, Jean Gumpper, Caitlin Charles, Becca H,. Dr. Darlene White, Dr. Sandra Boyce Broomes, Michele C. Mayes, Rita Crittenden, Reginald Laurent, Jea Delsarte, Brenda Brooks, Suzette Renwick, BEVERLY GRANT, Linda B. Smith, Judith Bergeron, Emily Hegeman Cavanagh, Teri L Lewis, Cooky Goldblatt, Danni Cerezo, Hollis Turner, cdixon06, Freda Davis, Sarah Caputo, jacki rust, Curtis Morrow, Christina Levine, Jessica Beckstrom, Kim Walker, Pamela Hart, Ted Ellis, Louise berner-holmberg, Carla Sonheim, Nicole Bruce, Alison Deas, Monikapi, Ashley Littlefield, Reginald Browne Bill Cook, SylviaWong Lewis, DONNA PAXTON, Kanika Marshall, Cheyenne, Nancy Maignan, Kimberly Smith, Tracy Russ, Gwen Meharg, K Joy Peters, johnnie mae maberry, Lester Marks, Zishan Evans, Anne king, Dianna A. Harris, Arbrie Griffin Bradley, Sandra Sautner, Barbara Brown, Bronwen Hodgkinson, Sonia Deane, January Hoskin, Quinton Foreman, Key Mosley, Jim Alexander, Terri Pease, Annette Groschke, Richard MacMillan, D T Ray, Camille, Elayne Gross, Ann Tankersley, Samori Augusto, Karen M Hirsch, Jeanne H Chaney, Jacqueline Konan, Jerome Moore, Patricia Andrews-Keenan, India Still, Luna Cascade, Amy Peck, Marnese Barksdale, Elder Bridgette, René McCullough, Kevin and Tracy Burton, Raven Burnes, Kim Dubois, Edwina King Diva E, Charlotte Bender, Phyllis Stephens, Alisa R Elliot, Ebony English, Otto Neals, Michael Nix, Terri Bowles, Nelly Maynard, Leslie Smith, Bernard W. Kinsey, Toby Sisson, Raynard Hall, Milton Loupe, Wren Mckinley, Arturo Lindsay, Lindiwe Stovall Lester, Phil, Ricki Carroll, Sherman E Jackson Jr, Janine P Rouson, Raynard Hall, Vickie Townsend-Carter, Peter Prinz, PB Fine Art Appraisal, Alison Woods, Suzette Davis, Carlton Cotton, Art Now After Hours, Diane E Leifheit, Tamara clements, lisa tomlinson, vince leal, Deborah BarnwellGarr, Sonia Pollard, Barbara Hayes, Loretta Y Blakely, Gregg Y, Paige Jernigan, Randy McAnulty, raven walthor, Will Johnson, jack, Shameika Ingram, Trina Virginia Brooks, Black Wall Street Gallery, Suzanne Roberts, Faye Edwards, Tara, Crystal Green, Sedonia Phillips Kniskern, R Simpson, Kate Gadd, Judy Nyquist, Velma McLaurin-Bell, Frazier and Myra O’Leary, Rosemarie Rogers, Elaine Buchsbaum, Hope Elliott, Renee Williams Jefferson, Atiya Slaughter, Stephanie Stephens, Takisia Whites, Robert Taylor, Christina, Taylor Jackson, Brenda Joyner, Dr. Karen Patricia Williams, Paul Daniel Curtis, Zawadi, DJIBRIL N’DOYE, Monique Johnson, Christine J Vincent, Paige Jernigan, Willa Bandler, Valerie A. Cooper, Cordell Boyd, DARRIS L SHAW, Shurvon Haynes, S J, Cynthia Hargrove, THERESA PATTERSON, Kree8tive DJ, LaShanda Chirunga, Anita Askew Wharton, Paula deJoie, Cyderia Gates, Patricia S. Kearse, Eunice Sykes, Sharyn Welch, Chris McNew, Rita Alston, Rebecca Smith, Patricia Goodwin, Mikal Aziz, Rayhart, Patric McCoy, Esmond Adams, Shakira Pollard, Arelia Jones, Vernestine Laughinghouse, Bridget Griffin, Tanya Desdunes, Gregory M Glore, Sharon Butts, Alnita Ann Holder, Victor W. Brown, Cheryl Polk, Tsedey Betru, Dwayne E. Parker
We Appreciate Your Support