‘Feels like magic’: Georgie Nakima displays Afrofuturistic mural at The Ackland

This spring, Turner approached Nakima after seeing her public art projects in Charlotte. 

“I was very, very impressed by just sort of the very colorful sense of joy that she brought to her works and a lot of that has to do with her use of color and her craft style, but that she was able to do so while still alluding to some of the conversations of contemporary society,” Turner said. 

The Ackland has showcased Afrofuturistic pieces in the past — including a 2019 installation entitled  “Project LHAXX,” Turner said. However, Georgie’s art manifests the themes of Afrofuturism differently than works prior. 

“Her works encourage what so much of Afrofuturism does in terms of thinking about what the future can look like and how we can build our community in a stronger fashion,” she said. 

Jamila Brown, the curatorial assistant at The Mint Museum and a friend of Georgie, said that her artwork feels like magic.

“A lot of it just feels like there’s inner wisdom that’s speaking to her and she’s bringing the figure or face or the image out from the wall like it was already there,” Brown said.

Growing up, art was a large part of Georgie’s life. She was always painting and drawing. However, she did not think an art career would be realistic, so she turned to her other love: science. 

Georgie studied biology and chemistry at Winston-Salem State University. In her art, she finds ways to blend her passions — finding inspiration in nature, life sciences and what is unseen in the world.

“After I graduated, I quickly began finding resources to tap into where I could either merge the two fields or I could slowly take that leap into the arts,” she said. 

Along with the sciences, Georgie is inspired to create art through her heritage as a Black woman in the South.

The “Pantheress” installation in the Ackland consists of a custom-printed wallpaper background and spray-painted wooden cut-outs. This is the first time Georgie has experimented with this type of medium. 

A woman at the center of the art piece, whom Georgie identifies as “you,” gazes pensively at the viewer.

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“I like to use my artwork to kind of create a campaign — for lack of a better word — a campaign where we see ourselves in a higher sense,” Georgie said.

“Pantheress” will be on display at the Ackland until July 21, 2024, and more of Georgie’s work can be viewed at her website.


@dthlifestyle | lifestyle@dailytarheel.com

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