Denenge Duyst-Akpem

Visiting Artist, Associate Professor


Denenge Duyst-Akpem

Visiting Artist, Associate Professor


D. Denenge Duyst-Akpem is a space sculptor, educator, artist, and writer whose practice and scholarship bridge disciplines of design, ritual, and ecology. She is Associate Professor, Adjunct, School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she received a 2018 Marion Kryczka Excellence in Teaching Award and inaugural Diversity Advisory Group 2016 Teaching Award for Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion. As founder of Denenge Design and In The Luscious Garden, focused on holistic, conceptual approaches to human-centered design, Duyst-Akpem creates fantastical interactive environments and performances to interrogate, titillate, decolonize, and empower, inspired by Sun Ra and asking: “Who controls the future?” She is a 2020 LaBecque Laureate, 2016-17 Rebuild Foundation/U-Chicago Place Lab Fellow, and 2014 NEH Institute Fellow.

Duyst-Akpem launched AFRIFUTURI 02022020 monograph and The Camo Coat Collection on February 2, 2020 at Blanc Gallery, Chicago. Features, writings, and press include: Corpus Meum, The Arts Club of Chicago; High Priestess of the Intergalactic Federation, Special Envoy to Mars with Black Quantum Futurism, ICA London and NASA/Blumberg Becoming Interplanetary/Decolonizing Mars, U.S. Library of Congress; Black Light Primal Nun ‘A’ Presents The Ramm Riff, Red Bull Arts, NY; La Fantaisie Ibeji experimental film; voice of Yetunde, The Golden Chain by Adebukola Bodunrin and Ezra Claytan Daniels, now in Whitney Museum permanent collection; Kunsthaus Zürich; Kunstgewerbemuseum Berlin; ARTNews, Chicago Tribune, Newsweek, Antennae: The Journal of Art and Nature; “N’Vesting in the People: The Art of Jae Jarrell” essay about AFRICOBRA co-founder Jae Jarrell, publication by Kavi Gupta Gallery for 58th Venice Biennale.

Photo credits:

Camo Coat Portrait in Lurie Garden, Millennium Park, Chicago
Photo courtesy Hilary Higgins/Chicago Tribune, 2018

Portrait by Reginald Eldridge, Garfield Park Conservatory, 2017

Contact Information

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Kentucky College of Art + Design
505 West Ormsby Avenue
Louisville, KY 40203

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