Shani Peters is a New York based artist from Lansing, MI working in video, collage, printmaking, and social engagement projects. Her work reflects interests in community building, collective action, activism histories, reinterpreted models of record keeping, and popular media subversion. Peters completed her B.A. at Michigan State University and her M.F.A. at The City College of New York. She has exhibited and/or screened internationally, including group shows at the Bronx Museum of Art, The Contact Theatre (UK), Rush Arts Gallery, The Savannah College of Art & Design, the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), and the Schomburg Center for Black Culture and Research. She has completed multiple residencies including programs hosted by MoCADetroit, The Laundromat Project, Project Row Houses and the Visual Arts Network, apexart to Seoul, S. Korea, the Lower East Side Printshop The Center for Book Arts, The Lower Manhattan Cultural Counsel, as well as the Bronx Museum of Art's Artist in the Marketplace program. Peters has taught extensively throughout her Harlem community as a educator and program designer working in New York Public Schools, Harlem Textile Works, Casita Maria Arts Education Inc., The Laundromat Project, and as a social justice arts education adjunct lecturer at The City College of New York.
I am interested in community building, collective action, activism histories, reinterpreted models of record keeping, and popular media subversion. My work considers social justice histories in the context of contemporary culture and living conditions, and re-presents them in manners consciously influenced by a hyper-mediated society. My perspective is heavily informed by my family and by the historical era in which I live. I was born into the “me” generation of the socially conservative 1980s by way of Black Power era parents who live by a mantra of social responsibility. I draw from the intersections of these influences to produce studio work that is dense with historical research, appropriated material (both highly recognizable and commonly overlooked), comedy, rhythm that tell new narratives of unseen victory. My public engagement practice seeks to share the imaginative rewards I receive from my more self-contained works with communities that are physically or emotionally close to me. Most recently I have been working in the direction of subverting the reach of popular media as a means to most meaningfully support these communities and bring forth new accounts, or records of existence.