Sotheby's Institute of Art: Artist Talk Series: Kenseth Armstead


Recorded on July 6th, 2022, the conversation between conceptual artist Kenseth Armstead and Dr. Aliza Shvarts addresses Armstead’s decade of public artwork. 


Through his numerous public sculptures, Armstead speaks not just to Black people about their history and their community, but also about the physical lack of presence of the histories of Africans, enslaved Africans and their descendants.


This public program was organized by the Sothebys Institute of Art & Creative Capital.







Watch the Recording: Artist Talk: Boulevard of African Monarchs


Recorded on September 23, 2020, the conversation between conceptual artist Kenseth Armstead and curator Kendal Henry addresses Armstead’s new public artwork Boulevard of African Monarchs


Boulevard of African Monarchs celebrates the legacy of African excellence in America. The installation is presented by the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance & the New York City Department of Transportation’s Art Program (DOT Art). The work is on view until August 2021 at 116th Street & Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd, Harlem, NY.


This public program was organized by the commissioning partners and KODA. 







Boulevard of African Monarchs

Exhibition: September 2020 - December 2021

116th Street & Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd, Harlem, NY

Presented by The Marcus Garvey Park Alliance & NYC DOT ART Community Commission



Boulevard of African Monarchs connects Harlem, a hub of African excellence in America, to Tiebele, Burkina Faso, royal court of the Kassena people. The work reproduces house paintings by women artists, a tradition in Tiebele that predates the triangular transatlantic slave trade. The sculpture transforms marks into freestanding shapes that BREATHE.


Boulevard of African Monarchs is dedicated in loving memory to Emmett Till, Tanisha Anderson, Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, Eric Garner, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and many thousands more who have been lynched in America.


Boulevard of African Monarchs is the first sculpture in the Sankofa_ project. Each site-specific work is inspired by “Sankofa” a word in the Twi language that means “go back and get it. The works celebrate Africans and their diaspora, proclaiming Black Lives Matter in three dimensions. Sankofa_ honors, in monumental form, Black Beauty, free in the public square.







Kenseth.Armstead See my process and follow along as I create new work via my Instagram account





Boulevard of African Monarchs

2021 The ‘Art’ of the Matter, NBC New York, New York Live, Ashley Bellman

2020 The Best Public Art of 2020, Artsy Editorial, Kendal Henry

2020 Kenseth Armstead: Boulevard of African Monarchs’ a New NYC DOT Installation in Harlem, Gotham to Go, Lynn Lieberman

2020 10 New Public Art Installations in NYC September 2020, Untapped New York, Nicholas Loud


Building a Better Monument

2020 More on Monuments, LA Times, Newsletter, Carolina A. Miranda

2019 2019 NYFA Artist Fellowship Program Awardees Announced, Art Forum, News


Washington 20/20/20

2020 An Interview with the Editors of Teachable Monuments, Public Art Dialogue, Winter 2021, Jennifer K. Favorite & Andrew Wasserman

2018 Washington 20/20/20 Sculpture in Union Square Park, NBC New York & CNBC

2018 Kenseth Armstead: Washington 20/20/20 unveiled in Union Square Park, Gotham to Go, Lynn Lieberman 


Master Work: Slaves of New York 1776

Gorky's Granddaughter, Chris Joy & Zachary Keeting, "Kenseth Armstead at BRIC"

BRIC TV, Brooklyn Made, "Kenseth Armstead | BK Made"

Bklyner, Pamela Wong, "Celebrate Black History Month with BRIC"

BRIC TV, 112 BK, Brian Vines, "Art Exhibit Commemorates NY's Slave History"


Yoddo Experiments:

The Account, "Kenseth Armstead: Three Works"


American Histories:, "NOW SHOWING #174: The week’s top exhibitions"

Harpers Bazaar Arabia, "Pi Artworks London Presents: American Histories"


Modern Heroics: 

ABC 7, "Here and Now" hosted by Sandra Bookman, "Modern Heroics and the Newark Museum"

NYC-ARTS News, “Modern Heroics: 75 Years of African American Expressionism at the Newark Museum”

The Star Ledger and, "With African-American art hot, Newark Museum showcases 'Modern Heroics'"

ArtNet News, "Newark Museum Highlights African-American Expression, Romare Bearden to Mickalene Thomas"