Public Programs


April 6, 2024
2:00 – 3:00 p.m.

In Collaboration With

California African American Museum

Finding Soft Ground, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh’s current exhibition at Art + Practice (A+P), considers the conditions, precarity, and imaginative determination of safety for Black women. Utilizing the three galleries of A+P, Fazlalizadeh transforms each space into distinct installations examining the street, home, and natural world in relation to terror and refuge. Join Fazlalizadeh in conversation with CAAM Visual Art Curator Essence Harden as they discuss the new exhibition and celebrate its public opening.

Installation view of Tatyana Fazlalizadeh,


Tatyana Fazlalizadeh is a Brooklyn-based interdisciplinary artist working primarily in painting, public art, and multimedia installation. She is from Oklahoma City, born to a Black mother and Iranian father. Foregrounding community engagement and the public sphere, her site-specific works consider how people, particularly women and Black folks, experience race and gender within their surrounding physical environments. Fazlalizadeh is the creator of Stop Telling Women to Smile, an international street art series that tackles gender-based street harassment. Stop Telling Women to Smile sparked a cultural shift, creating conversations on public violence against women that centered intersectionality through public art. Ongoing for ten years, the project has been studied in schools and was released by Fazlalizadeh as a book, Stop Telling Women to Smile: Stories of Street Harassment and How We’re Taking Back Our Power, in 2020.

Fazlalizadeh has lectured about her work and social practice methodology at institutions such as the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Brooklyn Museum, as well as at Brown University, Pratt Institute, Stanford University, and The New School. Profiles on Fazlalizadeh have appeared in the New York Times, The New Yorker, Time Magazine, and on National Public Radio. She is a Forbes “30 Under 30” lister, a Mellon Foundation fellow, and, in 2018, she was the inaugural Public Artist in Residence for the New York City Commission on Human Rights.

Essence Harden is the co-curator of Made in LA, 2025, curator of Frieze LA, Focus 2024, and a visual arts curator at the California African American Museum. Essence has curated exhibitions at The Orange County Museum of Art (OCMA), Art + Practice, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE), Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD), Human Resources (Los Angeles), and Oakland Museum of California, amongst others.

Essence is a contributor to New York Times Magazine (2024), The Los Angeles Times Magazine: Image, SSENSE, Art21, Contemporary Art Review LA (CARLA), Artsy, LALA, Cultured Magazine, Performa Magazine, and SFAQ: International Arts and Culture and has written catalog entries for California Biennial: Pacific Gold; Made in LA: Acts of Living; Prospect 5: Yesterday we said tomorrow;  Brave New Worlds: Exploration of Space: Palm Springs Art Museum; and  What Needs to Be Said: Hallie Ford Fellows Exhibition. Essence has also served as an art consultant for film and television.

Essence is a 2018 recipient of The Creative Capital, Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant, and a 2020 Annenberg Innovation Lab Civic Media Fellow.

Intro Info Select Works Speakers