Saba Taj (b. 1986) is a visual artist based in Durham NC. Saba uses interdisciplinary practices to explore the gaze, representation, power, and apocalypse. 
 

EDUCATION
2016     M.F.A. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
2011     B.A. Art Education, North Carolina Central University, Durham, NC; summa cum laude


SELECT ART ACHIEVEMENTS
RESIDENCIES, FELLOWSHIPS

2019-20  Post-MFA Fellow with the Documentary Diversity Project at the Center for Documentary Studies, Duke

                 University, Durham NC

2017-18 Artist-in-Residence, Salaam: Exploring Muslim Cultures, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

2017       Southern Constellations Fellow, Elsewhere Museum, Greensboro, NC

2015-16 Teaching Fellow, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC

AWARDS

2020       Joyce Wilkins Pope Grand Prize Award for Laila in Orchids, North Carolina Artists Exhibition, juried by Nat

               Trotman.

               Isadora Duncan Dance Award nominee for Outstanding Achievement in Visual Design, with Hushidar

               Mortezaie, Anum Awan, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, and jose e abad

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2019      Perkins + Will, Nazar (site-specific installation), Durham, NC
2018      Twelve Gates Arts, Of Beast | Of Virgin, Philadelphia, PA
               MOSS Arts Center, Salaam, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg VA

2017      Gatewood Gallery, we have adorned everything on earth, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
               Sumter Art Gallery, Muslims are Awesome, Sumter, SC
               Guilford Art Gallery, we have adorned everything on earth, Guilford College, Greensboro NC

2016      Allcott Gallery, creatures from the earth made of earthly materials, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

2014      Carrack Modern Art, An-Noor, Durham, NC

2013      Litmus Gallery, Technicolor Muslimah, Raleigh, NC  
               Ravenscroft School, Technicolor Muslimah, Raleigh, NC  

2012      Room 100, Technicolor Muslimah, Durham, NC
               Carrack Modern Art, Technicolor Muslimah, Durham, NC  

 

GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2020     Basement, Breathing without a Body. Chapel Hill, NC
              Elder Gallery, Figure | Form. Charlotte, NC

2019     Counterpulse, Tomorrow We Inherit the Earth (performance). San Fransisco, CA
              Asian Arts Initiative, New Asian Futurisms. Philadelphia, PA

2018     Rubenstein Art Center at Duke University, (In)Visible Organ, hosted by the Calla Initiative. Durham, NC
              The Stud, Tomorrow We Inherit the Earth, performance with SFAC. San Francisco, CA
              SOMArts Cultural Center, The Third Muslim, curated by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Yas Ahmed. San Francisco, CA

              The Warehouse, Bull City Meets the Bayou, New Orleans, LA

2017     Cassilhaus, En | Gender, curated by Courtney Reid-Eaton. Chapel Hill, NC
              Twelve Gates Arts, #BLM: Masterminding our Ordered Rage, curated by Atif Sheikh. Philadelphia, PA
              American Tobacco Campus, Black on Black, curated by Mike Williams and Linda Dallas. Durham, NC
              OUTsider Arts Festival, creatures from the earth made of earthly materials. Austin, TX
              Carrack Modern Art, conjuring other planes of there, curated by Durham Artists Movement. Durham, NC
              Durham Arts Council, MACONDO - A Journey Through Magical Realism, curated by Rafael Osuba. Durham, NC

2016     Visual Art Exchange, Black on Black, curated by Mike Williams and Linda Dallas. Raleigh, NC
              Twelve Gates Arts, I Bear Witness, curated by Atif Sheikh. Philadelphia, PA
              Carrack Modern Art, al maghreb ghareeb: the strange west. Durham, NC
              The Elephant Room Gallery, Poets/Artists. Chicago, IL
              Ackland Art Museum, Depth Perception, curated by Kelly McChesney. Chapel Hill, NC
              Arcana, Everyday Chaos: Re-Collaging the Surface. Durham, NC

2015     Carrack Modern Art, the DAM show, Durham, NC
              Greenhill Gallery, Self-Portraits by NC Artists, curated by Edie Carpenter, Greensboro, NC  

2014     NCCU Art Museum, 75th Anniversary Alumni Exhibition, North Carolina Central University, Durham
              Durham Art Guild, Face to Face, Durham, NC
              Carrack Modern Art, Interface || interference, Durham NC
              Pleiades Gallery, Truth to Power; juror: Kenneth Rodgers. Durham, NC

2013     World Islamic Economic Forum, MOCAfest, London, UK
              Durham Art Guild, 59th Annual Juried Exhibition; Juror: Edie Carpenter, third prize. Durham, NC
              Exchange Gallery, Visual Art Exchange, Featured Artist, Raleigh, NC
              Visual Art Exchange, Unfettered; Juror: Katharine Adkins, Raleigh, NC
              International Museum of Women, MUSLIMA: Muslim Women’s Art and Voices, curated by Samina Ali. Web

2010     Durham Art Guild, 56th Annual Juried Exhibition; juror: Maria Magdalena Compos-Pons. Durham, NC

 

SPEAKING

2020   Featured Speaker, International Women's Day Lecture. University of Toronto, CA.  
2019   Panelist, Alternative Visions and Counter Institutions, as part of Open Engagement. The Carrack Modern Art,

            Durham NC
            Keynote Speaker, Resilience and Triumph, Womxn of Worth Initiative Conference. University of North

            Carolina, Chapel Hill. 

2018   Hybridities, the Evil Eye, and the Apocalypse, sponsored by the Department of Art, Art History, and Visual Studies

Visiting Artist Series. Duke University, Durham NC

2017   Art, Resistance, and the Dominant Narrative, TEDxDuke, “Uncharted Waters.” Duke University, Durham, NC

Panelist and Facilitator, Articulating Value with Culture Mill. Living Arts Collective, Durham, NC
Speaker, 38th Annual Minority Health Conference, “Systems of Power: Reclaiming our Past, Restructuring our Future.” University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

2016   Panelist and Facilitator, Southern Constellation Convergence with Elsewhere Museum. Nasher Museum of Art,

Durham, NC
Panelist, Artivism, hosted by the Durham Art Guild. Durham, NC
Panelist, Arts Activism in Durham, hosted by the Forum for Scholars and Publics. Duke University, Durham, NC

 

ARTS ADMINISTRATION, etc.
2020        Curator, In Vulnerability, The Ackland Museum of Art. Chapel Hill, NC
2018        (current) Executive Director, The Carrack Modern Art. Durham, NC
2017        Advisory Committee, Duke Performances Building Bridges initiative. Durham, NC
2016        Board of Advisors, The Carrack Modern Art. Durham, NC
2013-16   Lead Administrator, Durham Artists Movement. Durham, NC
2014-15  Graduate Assistantship, Hanes Visiting Artist Lecture Committee (HVA). University of North Carolina, Chapel 

     Hill NC

2013-14  Member of Pleiades Gallery. Durham, NC

TEACHING

2019-20 Workshop Instructor, Nasher Museum of Art. Durham, NC
2018       Workshop Instructor, Endogenous Zones, Duke University. Durham, NC
                Art Teacher, Githens Middle School. Durham, NC

2017       Visiting Artist Workshop Instructor, North Carolina Museum of Art. Raleigh, NC

2016       Art Instructor, The Arts Center. Carrboro, NC
                Visiting Lecturer, University of North Carolina. Chapel Hill, NC


SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY

2018  

            Alsous, Zaina. “In her Art, Carrack Director Saba Taj Populates a Sanctuary for the Secret Language of Women.”

            Durham: INDYWeek, March 7.

Krieger, Deborah. “Speculative Collages of Saba Taj Re-Imagine the Future Through a Queer, Brown Perspective.” The Art Blog, January 3 (web).

Bhutto, Zulfikar Ali. “Queer Muslim Futurism.” Archer Magazine, Issue 10.

Sayej, Nadja. “‘We’re Stepping out of a Binary’ - Celebrating the Art of Marginalized LGBT Muslims.” The Guardian, January 22 (web).

B., Marke. “‘The Third Muslim’ Highlights Queer Faith, Art, Resilience.” 48 hills, January 23 (web).

“Queer and Trans Muslim Narratives of Resistance and Resilience Celebrated in New Exhibition.” Afropunk, January 4 (web).

Seikaly, Roula. “‘The Third Muslim’ Builds an Archive of Resistance to Stereotypes.” KQED Arts, January 30 (web).

Kini, Aditi Natasha. “Queer Muslim Artists are Beyond a ‘Movement.’” Intomore.com, January 24 (web).

Kuruvilla, Carol. “These Queer Muslims are Using Art to Tell their Stories.” Huffington Post, January 31 (web).

Marques, Catarina. “The Third Muslim: Against All Discrimination.” Metal Magazine, January (web).

2017

Felix, Annie, “Queering Visibility In the Age of Digital Journalism,” New Museum: New INC,  June 22 (web).
Stascio, Frank, “The State of Things: LGBTQ Faith Leaders Come Out of the Shadows,” WUNC 91.5, Durham NC, April 27 (broadcast).
Habib, Samra, “Queer Muslim Women from the South: ‘we exist and we are fierce,’”  The Guardian, February 3.  

2016  

Stascio, Frank, “The State of Things,” representing Black on Black, WUNC 91.5, Durham NC, October 25 (broadcast).
Howe, Brian, “In the Carrack’s Former Digs, Durham Artists Movement Creates a Safe Space for Diverse Voices,” INDYWeek, July 20.
Kuruvilla, Carol, “Queer Muslim Artist Saba Taj Sees Her Art as an Act of Resistance,” Huffington Post Religion, June 24.
Yusuf, Muhammad, “Targeting Stereotypes,” The Gulf Today, January 14.

2015

Clarey, Brian, “Exhibit Explores Artists’ Relationships with Self,” Triad City Beat, February 4.

2013

Rivero, Daniel, “This Artist Will Break All Your Stereotypes of Muslim Women,” Fusion. November 26 (web).
Stascio, Frank, “The State of Things,” WUNC 91.5, Durham NC, March 30 (broadcast).