As visitors walk through the fifth gallery of the Ackland Art Museum, they are met with striking colors and geometric shapes: artist Georgie Nakima’s new installation “Pantheress.”
The Charlotte-based artist is known for her murals — which are rooted in the African diaspora and Afrofuturism, a genre that elevates Black history and culture through science-fiction, technology and futuristic elements.
“My goal is to tell the story of the diaspora and really highlight the superhero that is not often known or heard of,” Georgie said. “So that can trickle down to the everyday person or, in some cases, it might be quite literally highlighting historical figures.”
“Pantheress” honors the Black Panther Party and movement and sheds light on its women organizers, who composed up to 60 percent of the party’s membership.
Geometric motifs, like Islamic geometric art or Indigenous patterns from around the world, are often featured in Georgie’s works in order to pay homage to pre-existing cultures through a futuristic lens.
She is also drawn to color theory and psychological responses to color.
“I really like to play with the vibrancies and to certain color palettes that I know are healing to the mind, the body and the spirit,” Georgie said. “And really, it’s kind of nostalgic to the inner child within us.”
Georgie’s site-specific installation is her first at the Ackland. She has previously created commissioned pieces for places such as the World Trade Center ,The Mint Museum in Charlotte and for brands such as DC Comics and Credit Karma.
Each year, Lauren Turner, the associate curator for contemporary art and special projects at the Ackland, tries to meet with artists whose work would be a good fit for the museum’s community-oriented fifth gallery.