Photo by Eboni Sellers
Safiyah Cheatam is a Baltimore-based interdisciplinary artist, afrofuturist, and MFA candidate at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County’s (UMBC) Intermedia and Digital Arts (IMDA) program. She is currently an Exhibition Designer at the UMBC Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture (CADVC), Co-Producer of OBSIDIAN Podcast, and a former Research Assistant at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Safiyah received her Bachelor’s degree from Towson University in Electronic Media and Film. For many years, she served as a Social Design Instructor at Wide Angle Youth Media, encouraging leadership, networking and social change through art with Baltimore City youth. She also volunteers as a Short Film Judge for the annual Muslim Interscholastic Tournament (MIST), a regional competition assessing high school students' technical and creative skill. In 2017, Cheatam was invited to her alma mater’s invitation-only Women in Leadership conference. She has spoken and/or exhibited works at The New Media Caucus 2019 Border Control: Symposium & Exhibition (Ann Arbor, MI), The Peale Center (Baltimore, MD), and the Maryland Out-of-School Time Network Regional Conference (Stevenson, MD).
As a Black Muslim woman, she addresses topics such as religion, identity, and duality in her work. She creates visual metaphors to navigate the spiritual and sociological collective and/or shared experiences that occur within various mental, physical, digital, liminal, and metaphysical forms of space. Cheatam intends to take charge of the narratives near to her and create the works she wants to see in the art world. She plans to continue research in media and community arts by becoming involved in educational programming and curation in museums and local non-profits. CV upon request.