Bayeté Ross Smith

Educator and Artist

Grantee Cohort Spring 2020

Location New York City, NY

Bayeté Ross Smith is an educator and artist working in multiple and mixed media (primarily film and photography). He is involved in a number of community art projects and interventions that challenge power structures inherent in images and media. His works are often realized through partnerships with cities and civic and legal institutions. Most notably, he developed “Hyphen-Nation” in collaboration with The New York Times and PBS’s “POV” series.

Through his Art for Justice grant, Bayeté is embarking on “Art Matters,” a multi-year series of installations, workshops, games and lectures that uncover and examine implicit biases related to mass incarceration, migration policy and immigrant detention. Through storytelling, “Art Matters” will bring criminal legal system actors, including law students, law firms, district attorney (DA) offices and current and future policymakers into experiences that challenge common narratives around mass incarceration. “Art Matters” will also engage the public through digital and in-person events.