Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Alisha B. Wormsley
Alisha B. Wormsley is an interdisciplinary artist and cultural producer based in Pittsburgh, PA. Her work focuses on collective memory and the synchronicity of time, specifically through the stories of women of color.
Wormsley’s project, There are Black People in the Future, is inspired by afro-futurist artists and writers who highlight the need for black people to claim their place. Through the inscription and utterance of the words, ‘There are Black People in the Future,’ the project addresses systematic oppression of black communities through space and time by reassuring the presence of black bodies. In 2017, Wormsley placed these words on a billboard in East Liberty, a neighborhood in Pittsburgh’s east end that has suffered gentrification. When the billboard was removed by the city, community members protested. Since then, the billboard has replicated in various locations across the world.
Wormsley’s work has received a number of awards and grants to support programs including: The People Are The Light (part of the Hillman Photography Initiative), afronaut(a) film and performance series, Homewood Artist Residency, the Children of NAN film series and archive, and There Are Black People in the Future. These projects and works have exhibited at the Andy Warhol Museum, Octavia Butler conference at Spelman University, Carnegie Museum of Art, Artup in Johannesburg SA, Studio XX in Montreal, Project Row House, the Houston Art League, Rush Art Gallery in NYC, the Charles Wright Museum in Detroit, and the Mattress Factory in Pittsburgh. Over the last few years, Wormsley has designed several public artworks including Streaming Space, a 24 foot pyramid with video and sound installed in Pittsburgh's downtown Market Square, and AWxAW, a multimedia interactive installation and film commission at the Andy Warhol Museum.
Featured WorkThere Are Black People In The Future is an afro-futurist interdisciplinary body of work; video, prints, collages, sculptures, and most recently, a billboard. In 2018 that slogan was removed from a billboard in a newly gentrified neighborhood in Pittsburgh by developers. For the artist, its removal transformed that one slogan into a movement, one in which the public was encouraged to use her words for the betterment of the world around them.
The project is supported by the Heinz Foundation, which allocated funding for Wormsley to channel grant money to artists, activists, and community workers who create art throughout the East End around their interpretation of There Are Black People in the Future. Currently, Wormsley is working to have the slogan around the world. Forms of the slogan have been used in Detroit, MI, New York City, London, and Charlotte, NC, it is scheduled for Oakland CA, Toronto Canada and Accra Ghana for 2020/21.
Billboard in Pittsburgh
TABPITF OBJECTS - iPhone
TABPITF COLLAGE print - Pop up in London South Bank
Billboard in St John Divine