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Photo courtesy of Jonathan Kolbe


Lavett Ballard  is an Mixed Media Visual Artist, Art historian, Curator, and Author. She holds a dual Bachelor’s in Studio Art and Art History with a minor in Museum Studies from Rutgers University, and an MFA in Studio Art from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.            Ballard’s art has been commissioned as a cover twice for Time Magazine first in March 2020 for their special multi cover edition for the 100th anniversary of Women’s Suffrage and in February 2023 for a cover and interior art for Pulitzer Prize winner Isabel Wilkerson’s essay about her book CASTE: Origins of our Discontent. Among her other accolades is a Yaddo Fellow Artist residency in 2021, in 2023 a NJ State Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship, and in 2018 Pew fellowship nomination. Ballard’s artwork has been used in film, television, and literary publications in addition to being acquired by many private and public institutional collections nationally and internationally.

         Some of her private art collectors include the author Roxanne Gay, actor Hill Harper, Grant & Tamia Hill collection, the Petrucci Family Foundation Collection. Her work has been acquisitioned by the Francis M. Maguire Museum, the  African American Museum of Philadelphia, the Colored Girls Museum, the U.S. Art in the Embassies, St Joseph’s University, Syracuse Universities- Community Folk Arts Center, and Jule Collins Smith Fine Art Museum at Auburn University Collections among many others.

          Ballard views her art as a re-imagined visual narrative of people of African descent. Her use of imagery reflects social issues affecting primarily Black women’s stories within a historical context. Her current body of work uses collaged photos adorned with paint, oil pastels, and metallic foils. These photos are deconstructed and layered on reclaimed large and small aged wood fences. The use of fences is a symbolic reference to how fences keep people in and out, just as racial and gender identities can do the same socially. This fusion of wood and photography offers artwork that both explores her southern roots, yet  visually speaks volumes to continuing themes within her community.

Photo of the artist courtesy of Ted Waters
kdmorris photography copyright 2021 5 (2).jpg
Photo of the artist courtesy of  KD Morris Photography



2017              University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA- MFA Studio Art 

2014              Rutgers Camden Double Major BFA-Studio Arts Painting & BA Art History

2021              Rowan College of Burlington County – AS. – Art


Select Solo Exhibitions:

2023    Philadelphia International Airport- ‘Say a Little Prayer -Philadelphia, PA Terminal C

2023    Delta Arts Center- ‘Re-Imaged Legacy’ - Winston Salem, NC

2022    Bridgewater State University- ‘The Ground we stand on’ -Bridgewater, MA

2022    Long Sharp Gallery-‘ My Soul has got to Move’-Indianapolis, IN

2021    Rush Arts Philadelphia-‘Rooted: From our head to our Souls’-Philadelphia, PA

2021    Syracuse University/ Community Folk Arts Center ‘ Stories My Grandmother      Told  Me’ -Syracuse, NY

2020     Long Sharp Gallery- ‘When She Roars’ - Indianapolis, IN

2020     Saint Joseph’s University- ‘Just Like a Woman’ -Philadelphia, PA

2020     Rutgers University-SWG- ‘Her-Stories: Visual Narratives of Women of the       African Diaspora’- Camden, NJ

2019     Noyes Museum Stockton University ‘Souls of Black Folk’- Atlantic City NJ

2019     Art Sanctuary- 'Reclaiming Her Time'- Philadelphia, PA


 Select Group Exhibitions:

2023    Maguire Museum – The Black Communion- Philadelphia Artists- Merion, PA

2023    Mocada NYC- ‘M’Dear Project- Governor’s Island NY

2022    Art Melanated- ‘The Divine Feminine’ - Los Angeles, CA

2022    Newark Museum of Art- ‘Art of Healing’- Newark, NJ

2022    Galerie Myrtis-‘The Beautiful and the Damned’-Baltimore, MD

2021    Cornell Art Museum- ‘Heart of the Square’- Delray Beach, FL

2021     Newark Arts Festival- ‘Dionne Warwick: Queen of Twitter’-Newark, NJ

2021     UTA Artist Space- ‘Literary Muse’ – Beverly Hills, CA

2020     Galerie Myrtis- ‘Women Heal through Rite and Ritual’- Baltimore, MD

2020     Penn State- Women X Women-Petrucci Family Foundation Group Show, -     Lehigh Valley, PA

2019      Noyes Museum of Art, Kramer Hall 'Driving While Black'- Atlantic City , NJ 

2019      Houston Museum of African American Culture –‘Dorsey Family collection’-Houston, TX

2019      Noba Art space, 'PHOTO-Based' -Bala Cynwyd, PA

2018     Trestle Project Space Gallery- Contain her, NY, NY

2018     African American Museum of Philadelphia-‘Art for Social Change’-

Philadelphia PA

2018    Timicua Arts House- ‘Housewives Collectives’- Orlando, FL

2018    Little Berlin Gallery-‘Mother’s Day’- Philadelphia, PA

2018     Rush Arts Gallery Philadelphia - Giving up the Ghosts-Philadelphia, PA

2017     MFA Thesis Exhibition-Icebox Project Space- Philadelphia, PA

2017     The Colored Girls Museum-'Urgent Care'-Philadelphia, PA


Art Fairs:

2022-               International Fine Print Dealers Association

2021-2022-      Art Miami Art Fair

2019 & 2021-  Prizm Art Fair



Select Bibliography & Publications:


Cover Art, 'Division & Destiny: How to build a truly equal American Democracy’ Isabel Wilkerson Edition - TIME Magazine, February 2023

Petrucci Family Foundation book; 'Shifting Time: African American Artists 2020-2021'- October 2022 

Gallery Network. ‘This Black History Month, Get to Know 7 African American Artists Who Are Building a New Legacy’, ArtNet; Artnet News- February 16, 2022

Cover Art, ‘Her View’, Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society- University of Chicago Press- 2020

Heguiaphal, Maia, ‘Lavett Ballard’s African American & Female Narratives’ Daily Art Magazine, 12/14/2020

Baker, Chenoa, ‘“To Set at Liberty Them that are Bruised”: Hybrid Antidotes Artistic Apothecaries and Women of…’ Sugarcane Magazine,7/14/2020

Dobrin, Peter, ‘Philly actors, musicians, dancers can’t imagine when they’ll work again:…’, Philadelphia Inquirer,4/25/2020

Graves-El, Ahmad, ‘Timeless Perfection: Local Artist Creates Cover for TIME’s 100 Women of the Year Issue’, SNJToday,  4/7/2020

Cover Art, '1955 The Bus Boycotters' Special edition 100th Anniversary of Women’s Sufferage - TIME Magazine, March 10-17, 2020

Valentine, Victoria, ' Time Magazine Recognizes 100 years of Influential women with Covers by...', Culturetype Magazine- 3/8/2020

Osterheldt, Jenee, ‘Art Basel bears far better fruit than that $120,000 banana’, The Boston Globe, 12/11/2019

Robinson, Shantay, 'Artist on the Move: Lavett Ballard', Black Art In, 6/14/2018

Najuma, Ayana, ' New Generation of Artists weaves common threads for community empowerment', March on Washington Film Festival catalog 7/11/2018

Robinson, Shantay, '10 Emerging Black Female Artists to Collect' Black Art In, 6/14/2018

Carroll, Angela N. ‘Giving Up the Ghost Artifacts/ A Study of Power& Solidarity

Against White Violence in Modernity’, Sugarcane Magazine/ Global Black Art &

Culture-February 2018



CFAC/  Syracuse University- Black Art Speaks-Highlight

Studionoize Podcast- 'In My Life Time w/ Lavett Ballard'

Yale University Radio- Praxis – ‘Interview with Brainard Carey’

Good day Street Talk, Fox News NY, ‘African American Art and its impact today’

Speaking Engagements/Visiting Artist Lectures:

2023 Petrucci Family Foundation - Tribeca Arts Panel Discussion w/ Yvonne Mpwo & Florine Demosthene

2021 Commencement Keynote address speaker - Rowan College of Burlington County School of Liberal Arts & Arts- Mt Holly, NJ

2021  Howard University- Panelist – Art for Social Change- Washington DC

2021 Art Institute of Chicago- Visiting Artist lecture- Chicago , IL

2021  University of the Arts- Visiting Artist Lecture- Philadelphia, PA

2021  Rutgers University- Visiting Artist Lecture-Camden, NJ

2021 Columbia College- Visiting Artist Lecture- NY,NY

2020 John Hopkins University- Black Womanhood: Language Art & History

2019 Tulane University, Visiting Artist Speaker Series - New Orleans, LA

2018  International Curators International, Livestream Artist Talk on Social


2016  Kean University at Ocean Toms River NJ- Visiting Artist symposium- 2016


Awards and Honors

2021   Congressional Award in Artistic Recognition for NJ

2021   Yaddo Artist Residency Summer Fellow 2021

2018   Listed by Black Art in America as one of the ‘Top 10 Emerging Black    Female Artists to collect.’

2018   The Colored Girls Museum Artist-in-Residence

2018   Alice C. Cole Fellowship Nominee, Wesley College  

2018   The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage Fellowship, Nominee through the AAMP

2016   Artist of the Year of Philadelphia- The Harvest Spoken Soul 215 1st              Annual  Awards

2014-2015     Bombay Sapphire Artisan Competition Semi-Finalist- NY & Philadelphia

2014     University of the Arts, Philadelphia PA- Graduate Fellowship

2014     Odyssey Arts Award Travel Scholarship

2014     Gullkistan Student Artist Residency- Gulfoss, Iceland

2014     First Place Center for the Arts of Southern NJ-Marlton NJ

2013     Roberta K. Tarbell Art History Scholarship 


Select Collections/ Collectors:

U.S. Embassies program- Ambassador Natalie Brown- U.S. Embassy Kambala

The Petrucci Family Foundation Art Collection

The Grant and Tamia Hill Art Collection

Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art at Auburn University

Stockton University Art Collection

Syracuse University collection/ Community Folk Arts Center

Saint Joseph’s University/Barnes Museum- shared Private Collection

ABC Studios

CBS Studios

NBC/Universal Studios

The Colored Girls Museum

Hill Harper House

Conrad Hotel Collection- Indianapolis, IN

African American Heritage Museum of South Jersey

Dr. Carol L. Adams Chair Emeritus for the DuSable Museum

Roxanne Gay- Author

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