Zakkiyyah Najeebah (b. 1991) is a Chicago based visual artist , educator, and independent curator. The aesthetic components and intersectional cultural advancements that are entirely unique to the black shared experience is a primary concern of hers.
Zakkiyyah uses photographic imagery and new media to address the politics and aesthetic values of representation, inclusivity, black womanhood, family histories, and collective narratives. Often her work takes place in the realm of portraiture, documentation, image-making, and educating. She is currently building a visual catalog that articulates current and past social concerns regarding black narratives, while also exploring new methods of visual presentation.
Zakkiyyah is also a Co-founder of EXPOSURE: a photographically centered mission that prioritizes shared experiences and concerns by photo artists of the Black diaspora.
University of Illinois at Chicago.
2019 Close, Afar. Dfbrl8r . Chicago, IL.
2019 Oh, Maker. Heaven Gallery. Chicago, IL.
2017 WILD Family, Border Patrol Gallery. Portland, ME.
2017 Ritual, 2nd Floor Rear Exhibition Space. Chicago, IL.
2017 Old Black Magic, Chicago Art Department.
2016 Yelling at the Sky, Chicago Artists Coalition x Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelly Foundation.
2016 Our Duty to Fight, Gallery 400 (University of Illinois at Chicago).
2015 Aesthetics of Wellness, Woman Made Gallery. Chicago, IL
2015 Independent Study, APLOMB Gallery. Chicago, IL
2018 -19 A Different Kind of Love Story: For Us. ADDS DONNA. Chicago, IL. Dec - Jan.
2017 Five Works: Zakkiyyah Najeebah. Mana Contemporary Chicago, IL. June - Aug.
2019 Relearning, With Mentions. Chicago Art Department. July - August. Lead Curator.
2019 BETWEEN VISION + PRINCIPLE. Washington Park Arts Incubator, University of Chicago. May - June. Lead Curator.
2018 Exhibition statement. Tonika Lewis Johnson: Everyday Englewood. Loyola University Museum of Art. Chicago, IL.
2015 SEEDS Project: Community Arts Engagement. Mana Contemporary Chicago x Fultonia Now. Lead Curator.
2017 Oh, Mother Mother Me. Performative reading. Compound Yellow.
Awards + Residencies
2018 ProjectArt - Artist in Residence (currently active). Chicago, IL
2017 SPACE - Artist in Residence. Portland, ME.
2016-17 Propeller Fund - My Familiar . Chicago, IL
Press + Statements
2018 Southside Stories: Dr. Margaret T. Burroughs. Co-host, Audio project. Art Design Chicago x Terra Foundation for American Art.
2018 Tonika Lewis Johnson: Everyday Englewood, Exhibition statement by Zakkiyyah Najeebah. Loyola Museum of Art.
Collaborations + Partnerships + Commissions
2018 Art Design Chicago
2018 Chicago Park District
2017 Chicago Reader
2016 Queer, Ill & Okay: Art AIDS America + Alphawood Foundation
2016 T.R.A.C.E (Teens Re-imagining Art, Community, and Environment).
2016 The Photographic Journal
2016 Afterschool Matters
2015-16 Open Tv
Talks + Panels
2018 Common Use: The Booty Monologues. MCA (Museum of Contemporary Art). Guest Artist. Chicago.
2018 An Unfurling: People in This Town. The Art Institute of Chicago x Harold Washington Library. Guest Artist. Chicago.
2018 In Progress: Black Photo Futures. MCA (Museum of Contemporary Art). Moderator + Facilitator. Chicago
2017 Exposure: Concerned Black Photographers. AMFM Gallery. Facilitator. Chicago.
2017 Artist Talk + Screening with Zakkiyyah Najeebah: SPACE Gallery. Portland, ME.
2017 The Black Photographic Image: Future Perspectives. Moderator.AMC Detroit.
2017 Mindfulness in Critical Art Practices. Lake FX Summit Chicago. Moderator.
2016 Guest Teaching Artist: One Summer Chicago.
2016 Radical Self Care + Creative Resistance Workshop. RiotCon Conference. Chicago
2016 Our Duty to Fight, Artists Talk. Gallery 400 (University of Illinois at Chicago).
2015 Visioning Community Workshop. Dorchester Art Projects, Rebuild Foundation. Chicago.
2015 SEEDS Project: Community Arts Engagement. Mana Contemporary Chicago x Fultonia Now.
2014 Ferguson and Addressing Violence Against Black Bodies. University of Illinois at Chicago. Panelist.
2018- T.R.A.C.E. (Teens Re-imagining Art, Community, and Environment). Lead Co- Teaching Artist.
2016- Present Teaching Artist Guide - MCA (Museum of Contemporary Art)