My practice as a multi-disciplinary artist encompasses community building, activism histories, the subversion of popular media, and the creation of accessible imaginative experiences. Collapsing African Diasporan histories with elements of contemporary culture, I seek to restore, repower, and reimagine the trajectories of communities of I feel emotionally, historically, and geographically close to. I employ marketing devices, commonly upheld folklores, celebrity culture, and social media trends to meet these ends, along with reflections of interest in personal care, spirituality, and the capacity for socially disadvantaged people to develop tools of transcendence.
Informed by extensive historical research, my prints, collages, installations, and videos integrate appropriated materials—both highly recognizable and commonly overlooked—with comedy, rhythm, and a welcome invitation to involve oneself with the work. My studio practice overlaps with my public, project-based, and collaborative work, in which I push to create environments and experiences that offer respite from painful realities and suffering—opportunities for collective power, peace, learning, and wonderment.
Shani Peters (b. 1981 Lansing, MI) is a multi-disciplinary artist based in New York City. Her practice encompasses community building, activism histories, the subversion of popular media, and the creation of accessible imaginative experiences. Peters holds a B.A. from Michigan State University and an M.F.A. from the City College of New York. Her exhibitions and presentations in the United States and abroad include the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York City; the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI; Seoul Art Space Geumcheon in South Korea; and the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Harare. Selected residencies include those hosted Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, the Laundromat Project, and Project Row Houses, as well as a residency in Seoul, South Korea sponsored by apexart. Peters’ work has been featured in the Art Papers magazine and the New York Times. Her work is recognized and supported by several awards and grants from institutions such as the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, the Rauschenberg Foundation, Rema Hort Mann Foundation, and the Joan Mitchell Foundation. Peters is an educator, focusing her teaching at the intersection of art and politics.