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Clarissa Sligh

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Clarissa Sligh
American Contemporary
American, b. 1939
At fifteen years of age, Clarissa Sligh became the lead plaintiff in a 1955 Virginia school desegregation case (Clarissa Thompson et. al. vs. Arlington County Virginia School Board). Her website cites, “From that moment forward, her work as a student and as a professional – first in math/science working for NASA, later in business, and finally, in the arts – takes into account change, transformation and complication.” Over five decades later, Sligh continues to tackle concepts connected to culture, history, and race into her work as a visual artist, essayist, and lecturer.
With bachelor's degrees in mathematics (1961) and visual art (1972) from the Hampton Institute and Howard University respectively, Sligh also worked at NASA before becoming an artist. Sligh holds an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania (1973) and an MFA in Visual Arts from Howard University (1999).
Sligh’s work as a photographer and author has covered topics such as politics, personal life, and family connections. Sligh’s works have been featured at The Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the Jewish Museum in New York City, and at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her books include Dirt Under Your Feet (2015) and Transforming Hate: An Artist’s Book (2016). Sligh also co-founded the Coast-to-Coast National Women Artists of Color Project with Faith Ringgold and Margaret Gallegos in 1998, featuring female Black artists across the United States.
-Amelie Lee SC ’23, Wilson Arts Administration Intern 2020

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