Faheem Majeed (b. 1976)
Faheem Majeed, artist, curator and community facilitator, blends his unique experiences as a nonprofit administrator with his other skills to create artworks focusing on institutional critique and exhibitions that leverage collaboration. He received his BFA from Howard University and his MFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago where he received both the Lincoln and DFI Fellowships and was nominated for the Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant. Majeed was one of 18 MFA students selected by Susanne Ghez to take part in the 2009 New Insight exhibit during Art Chicago. From 2005 to 2011, Majeed was Executive Director and curator for Chicago’s South Side Community Art Center where he produced exhibitions featuring Elizabeth Catlett, Dr. David Driskell, Charles White, Jonathan Green and Theaster Gates. In 2012 Majeed served as artist in residence for the University of Chicago’s Arts in Public Life Initiative. Majeed is currently Visiting Assistant Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies for the UIC School of Art & Art History.
I was trained as a metal sculptor, and my earlier work was inspired by my interactions with and observations of family, artists, friends and students. The work often took the form of rusty chairs and emaciated figures; my goal was to capture the essence of my muses’ experiences. In hindsight, I have always been drawn to odd or broken things…that translate to both objects and people. I think I’m drawn to these kinds of things because of a bottomless curiosity, not necessarily to tear things apart to see how they work but rather to understand connections and motivations. My current art practice is a merger of my role as an administrator and my role as an artist. Somewhere between curating, community organizing, performance, appropriation and making, the inspiration for my artwork is always tethered to bringing attention to the challenges associated with small, culturally specific institutions.