2017 Driskell Prize Winner:
Naima J. Keith
Naima J. Keith joined the California African American Museum (CAAM) in 2016 as the deputy director of exhibitions and programs to guide the curatorial and education departments as well as marketing and communications. During her tenure at CAAM, Keith has curated “Hank Willis Thomas: Black Righteous Space” (2016), “Genevieve Gaignard: Smell the Roses” (2016) and “Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle: The Evanesced” (2017).
As an associate curator at The Studio Museum in Harlem (2011–2016), Keith’s notable exhibitions include “Rodney McMillian: Views of Main Street” (2016), “Artists in Residence 2014–2015” (2015), “Samuel Levi Jones: Unbound” (2015), “Titus Kaphar: The Jerome Project” (2014), “Glenn Kaino: 19.83” (2014), “Robert Pruitt: Women” (2013), “The Shadows Took Shape” (co-curated with Zoe Whitley, 2013) and “Fore” (co-curated with Lauren Haynes and Thomas J. Lax, 2012). Her historical survey “Charles Gaines: Gridwork 1974–1989” (2014), which traveled to the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles in spring 2015, was nominated in 2014 for a Best Monographic Museum Show in New York award by the International Association of Art Critics (AICA-USA).
From 2008 to 2011, Keith worked as a curatorial fellow at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, serving as the primary contact for the groundbreaking exhibition “Now Dig This! Art and Black Los Angeles 1960–1980,” organized by guest curator Kellie Jones. Keith has lectured at the Zoma Contemporary Art Center, Columbia University, The Museum of Modern Art and the Brooklyn Museum. Her essays have been featured in publications for The Studio Museum in Harlem, Hammer Museum, Pérez Art Museum Miami, LAXART, MoMA PS1 and Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art. Keith holds degrees from Spelman College and UCLA and is a proud native of Los Angeles.