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Visual Art

Let Freedom Ring Vol. 2

Feb 12—Feb 15, 2021

BAM sign at the corner of Lafayette and Flatbush Avenues

February 2021
31 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 1 2 3 4 5 6
Friday February 12, 2021
Performances no longer available.

​Curated by BAM Curator-at-Large Larry Ossei-Mensah
Art by Laylah Amatullah Barrayn, Jordan Casteel, Kevin Claiborne, Lizania Cruz, Deborah Roberts, Amy Sherald, and Jasmine Wahi

Visual artists investigate what freedom truly means in 2021 in this new public art installation featuring work by seven artists engaged in an ongoing dialogue about their role in art, social justice, equity, and inclusion. Spearheaded by BAM Curator-at-Large Larry Ossei-Mensah, the piece aims to spark a continuous civic discourse in Brooklyn, building off last month’s tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. As we celebrate Black History Month and as a new administration begins in the White House, the piece showcases each artist’s response to the question, “What does freedom mean?”, and invites viewers to join in this urgent reflection.

Let Freedom Ring Vol. 2 features work from Laylah Amatullah Barrayn, Jordan Casteel, Kevin Claiborne, Lizania Cruz, Deborah Roberts, Amy Sherald, and Jasmine Wahi. The installation will be presented on the BAM sign at the corner of Lafayette and Flatbush Avenues.

Let Freedom Ring was originally presented from January 15 to 22, 2021 as part of the 35th Annual Brooklyn Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Season Sponsor:


Bloomberg Philanthropies


Leadership support for off-site programs provided by:

Support for the signature artist series provided by Howard Gilman Foundation


Leadership support for BAM Access Programs
provided by the Jerome L. Greene Foundation

Jerome L. Greene Foundation


Leadership support for the BAM Hamm Archives and BAM Film, Community, and Education programs provided by The Thompson Family Foundation


Leadership support for BAM Visual Art provided by Toby Devan Lewis­

Larry Ossei-Mensah
Larry Ossei-Mensah

Larry Ossei-Mensah is the Susanne Feld Hilberry Senior Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit and the co-founder of ARTNOIR, a global collective of culturalists who design multimodal experiences aimed to engage this generation’s creative class. Recently named to Artnet’s 2020 Innovator List, the Ghanaian-American curator and cultural critic sees contemporary art as a vehicle to redefine how we see ourselves and the world around us. He contributed to the first-ever Ghanaian Pavilion for the 2019 Venice Biennale and will be co-curating the 7th Athens Biennale in 2021.

Layla Amatullah Barrayn
Laylah Amatullah Barrayn

Documentary photographer Laylah Amatullah Barrayn is a frequent contributor to The New York Times and has been published in Le Monde, National Geographic, Vogue, NPR, VOX, Vanity Fair, among others. She was nominated for a 2020 News and Documentary Emmy. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including solo exhibitions at The Museum of the African Diaspora San Francisco and the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporic Arts in New York.

Let Freedom Ring
Jordan Casteel

Jordan Casteel has rooted her practice in community engagement, painting from her own photographs of people she encounters and chronicling personal observations of the human experience. She has had recent solo exhibitions at the New Museum, the Denver Art Museum, and the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University, as well as participating in exhibits at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, Kunsthal KAdE in the Netherlands, Baltimore Museum of Art, MoCA Los Angeles, The Studio Museum in Harlem, MASS MoCA, and more.

Let Freedom Ring
Kevin Claiborne

Kevin Claiborne is a multidisciplinary conceptual artist whose work examines intersections of identity, social environment, and mental health within the Black American experience. Using photography as a foundation and language as material, Claiborne uses his art as weapon and armor in the fight for liberation. He is a graduate of the historically Black college North Carolina Central University (2012), Syracuse University (2016), and currently an MFA Visual Arts Candidate at Columbia University (2021).

Lizania Cruz
Lizania Cruz

Dominican participatory artist and designer Lizania Cruz is interested in how migration affects ways of being and belonging. Through research, oral history, and audience participation, she creates projects that highlight a pluralistic narrative on migration. Cruz has been an artist-in-residence and fellow at the Laundromat Project Create Change (2018—19), Agora Collective Berlin (2018), Design Trust for Public Space (2018), IdeasCity:New Museum (2019), BRIClab: Contemporary Art (2020—21), and Center for Books Arts (2020—21), among others.

Let Freedom Ring
Deborah Roberts

A mixed media artist whose work has been exhibited across the USA and internationally. Her work is in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, Brooklyn Museum, The Studio Museum in Harlem, and LACMA, among others. Some of her accomplishments include being selected to participate in the Robert Rauschenberg Residency (2019) and being awarded the Anonymous Was A Woman Award (2018) and Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant (2016). Roberts is represented by Stephen Friedman Gallery, London and Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, CA

Love From BAM
Amy Sherald

Through her monumental portraits of African American subjects, Amy Sherald explores alternate narratives of blackness through the exclusion of color from the notion of race. The Baltimore-based artist was the first woman and first African-American ever to receive first prize in the 2016 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition from the National Portrait Gallery; in 2018, the museum unveiled her portrait of former First Lady Michelle Obama. She has also received the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters Grant (2014), the Anonymous Was A Woman Award (2017), and the Smithsonian Ingenuity Award (2019).

Jasmine Wahi
Jasmine Wahi
Jasmine Wahi is the Holly Block Social Justice Curator at the Bronx Museum of the Arts and the Founder + Co-Director of Project for Empty Space. Her practice predominantly focuses on issues of femme empowerment, complicating binary structures within social discourses, and exploring multi-positional cultural identities through the lens of intersectional feminism. She is a Visiting Core Critic at Yale University, a faculty member at the School of Visual Arts, and holds a MA in Art History from NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts.

Let Freedom Ring
Celebrating King the Activist (Not Just the Dreamer) in Art

A digital tribute to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. joins seven Brooklyn-based artists, and BAM.

Let Freedom Ring
Visual Art
Let Freedom Ring
Jan 15—Jan 22, 2021
Let Freedom Ring
Jan 15—Jan 22, 2021

Brooklyn artists investigate the notion of freedom and the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in this new art installation presented on the BAM sign.

You make BAM possible—for everyone.
You make BAM possible—for everyone.
BAM is no single art form, artist, or audience. It is a powerful collection of people—including you.