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. 


2010 -2015

University of Illinois at Chicago.

Group Exhibitions

2018 Oh, Maker. Heaven Gallery. Chicago.

2017     WILD Family, Border Patrol Gallery

2017     Ritual, 2nd Floor Rear Exhibition Space.

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.

2015     Independent Study, APLOMB Gallery.


Solo Exhibitions

2018 -19 A Different Kind of Love Story: For Us. ADDS DONNA. Chicago. Dec - Jan.

2017        Five Works: Zakkiyyah Najeebah. Mana Contemporary Chicago. June - Aug.



2017        Oh, Mother Mother Me. Performative reading. Compound Yellow.


Awards + Residencies

2018-19 ADDS DONNA. Exhibiting Artist in Residence. Chicago, IL

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. 

2017       Five Works - Artist Talk with Zakkiyyah Najeebah

2017       “Ritual”: The 2nd Floor Rear Festival, Part 2

2017       Compound Yellow - Mothering

2017        Transition to Power Ep. 13 - Zakkiyyah Najeebah

2016       Our Duty to Fight Exhibition - Gallery 400

2016       Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation Curatorial Fellowship, Featured Artists


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       Five Works - Artist Talk with Zakkiyyah Najeebah

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)




 Photo: Felton Kizer

Photo: Felton Kizer