Artist-in-Residence Derek Fordjour

Photo by Michael Palma Mir

Photo by Michael Palma Mir

As a former arts educator, Derek was eager to not only return to his origins, but as he described "engage with a demographic that the art world does not readily entertain, but is central to my being." Inspired by the energy of budding artists in the Museum, he aimed to reinvigorate his practice and rekindle his passion for teaching. Derek developed new works in our space and hosted open studio sessions throughout the year. His culminating exhibition, PARADE: Derek Fordjour is on view from July 27, 2017 to January 14, 2018.


Derek Fordjour was born in Memphis, Tennessee to parents of Ghanaian heritage. His work has appeared in exhibitions at Roberts & Tilton Gallery in Los Angeles, Sotheby's S2 Gallery in New York and Luce Gallery in Turin, Italy. He is the recipient of the C12 Emerging Artist Award 2017 and has been awarded residencies at Sugar Hill Museum and the Sharpe Walentas Program in New York City. He is a graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta Georgia, earned a Master’s Degree in Art Education from Harvard University and an MFA in painting at Hunter College.  His work has been reviewed in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post and Brooklyn Rail. His work appears in several collections throughout the US and Europe including JP Morgan Chase collection and Dallas Museum of Art. 


My first successful piece was a red fire engine made with Crayola crayons. My mother was impressed and posted the drawing on the refrigerator. This experience remains at the heart of my practice today.
— Derek Fordjour