Ada Pinkston


Halcyon Arts Lab Fellow Ada Pinkston is a multimedia artist, educator, and cultural organizer living and working in Baltimore, Maryland. Born in New York, her art explores the intersection of imagined histories and socio political realities in our bodies using monoprint, performance, experimental video, and collage techniques. Inter-subjective exchanges are the primary substrate of her work. Over the years, her work has been featured at a variety of spaces including The Baltimore Museum of Art, The Walters Art Museum, The Peale Museum, Transmodern Performance Festival, P.S.1, The New Museum, Light City Baltimore and the streets of Berlin. She is a Baker Artist award semifinalist (2016), a recipient of an Andy Warhol Foundation Grit Fund Grant in Visual Arts, administered by The Contemporary (2017); and a Robert W. Deutsch Foundation Ruby's Project Grant in Visual Arts in (2017). Her most recent collaborative project includes founding the LabBodies Performance ArtLaboratory in Baltimore, Maryland. 


Artist Events


Artist Instalation: Post Referendum... More than a Number
On view at Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building June 15-23
This installation is part of a body of work that imagines what monuments of the future will look like. In particular, how do we create monuments for people who have no pages in history books? How do we create space for silences in history? And how will giving voice to these silences help us move towards a future of racial healing and equity? Two hundred and seventy-two pedestals will be installed to commemorate the lives of the 272 enslaved people who were sold by Jesuit priests in 1838. The artist believes that the future of memorials that considers public memory outside of traditional narratives is in the use of digital media. Pyramids are 3d printed and surrounded by plexiglass. A four-channel soundscape that includes the voices of a handful of the 4,000 descendants who currently live in Louisiana as well as current students who attend Georgetown that are descendants of the 272. Seven digital images that reflect the artists’ vision of what embodied representations of this historical memory would look like in the future are printed on silk and suspended from the ceiling using fishing wire.

Installed at the Smithsonian's Arts + Industries Building:

Saturday, June 15, 10am-6pm
Sunday, June 16, 10am-6pm
Friday, June 21, 10am-6pm
Saturday, June 22, 10am-midnight
Sunday, June 23, 10am-6pm

Monuments, Memorials, and Memory
June 15th 1:00 pm at Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building
A performative lecture and workshop on the past, present, and future of monuments. How has the shape and form of monuments and public memory evolved over time in the United States? What will monuments look like in the future? At the end of the workshop, the audience will engage in a group discussion and workshop.


The Shape Of Memories... Moving with the Past
June 22nd 3:30-4:15 pm at Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building

Mélisande Short-Colomb will perform a portion of her one-woman show I am Here. Following her performance, she and visual artist Ada Pinkston will discuss the connections that the past has to the present and what visions there are for the future. Conversation and Q&A with the Ada Pinkston and Mélisande Colomb

About Mélisande Short-Colomb:
Mélisande Short-Colomb is a rising third year student at Georgetown College, and, a founding member of the GU272 Advocacy Team. She also serves on  the Georgetown Memory Project's Board of Advisors, as well as Council Elder of the GU@72 Descendants Association. Mélisande is a descendant of two families sold in 1838 for the greater good of the Society of Jesus, and the preservation of the legacy of Georgetown College.  She is a recipient of a 2019 Fr. Bunn Award for journalistic excellence for commentary in support of the "GU272 Referendum to Create a New Legacy." The referendum was passed by overwhelming student support and vote on April 11 of this year. Mélisande is a native of New Orleans, LA, began her studies at GU in August of 2017, as one of two undergraduate student accepted into the college from the recognized descendant families. She retired from a lengthy culinary career to to relocate to Washington as a first year student. Her family includes four adult children and four-grandaughters, and scores of newly identified cousins.