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I am best known for my high-impact mixed-media paintings and meditative live-braiding performances that feature kanekalon, a synthetic fiber used by African diasporic people to style our hair. Considering ideologies of land being informed by the history that has taken place upon it, my abstract landscapes serve as cosmic fields of joy and respite, models for space informed by radically-imagined liberation. There is special emphasis on materiality, as the kanekalon functions both formally as a dimensional brushstroke and conceptually as a signifier of Black femme experience. My passions for light and color underpin the work; in tandem with frequent use of hand-stitching, glitter, and relaxed, free-hanging installation, the comprehensive effect is at once illuminated and unpretentious, playful yet sublime. 

I earned my BS with honors in Studio Art with a painting concentration from Skidmore College in 2009, and subsequently enrolled in the MFA program at Rhode Island School of Design in 2010. National exhibitors of my work include Sotheby’s, SPRING/BREAK Art Show NYC, Hampden Gallery at University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Aqua Art Miami Basel, and the Tang Teaching Museum. My work has been shown internationally at The Giving Circle in Jinja, Uganda, Galleria Huuto in Helsinki, Finland, and Galerie Critical Kunst in Berlin, Germany. My press features include Artsy, The New York Times, Emergency Index, VOL. 8., The Stamford Advocate, Abstractions Magazine, Harlem World Magazine, and Noah Becker’s Whitehot Magazine. I live and work in The Bronx, New York.



Katarra LaRae Peterson   

Born 1986, Vallejo, CA 



2010 MFA Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI  

2009 BS Studio Art, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY (Magna Cum Laude)



“Black Excellence Career Affair,” Panelist, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY, February 8, 2024

“Entrepreneurial Arts Course,” Guest Lecturer, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY, February 5, 2024, September 18, 2023, February 6, 2023, September 19, 2022, February 14, 2022

“Giving Light/Bidding for Change: Curating Carcerality,” Panelist, Bronx Art Space, Bronx, NY, July 1, 2023

“Entrepreneurial Artists’ Forum,” Panelist, Tang Teaching Museum, Saratoga Springs, NY, March 23, 2023

“The Limit’s The Sky: Fine Arts, Healing and Community,” Panelist, Calabar Gallery, New York, NY, Nov 19, 2022

“More than an artist talk; a conversation about ‘Life, Death, Hereafter,’” Panelist, The Narthex at St. Peter’s Church, New York, NY, May 27, 2022 

“Artist’s Talk: In Conversation with Katarra Peterson,” Arcade Project (virtual), May 19, 2021


Select Exhibitions   

2024 “Resilient Roots: The heARTbeat of BedStuy,” The Gallery at MakeManifest, Brooklyn, NY, June 2- 30

2024 “Amref ArtBall,” Sotheby’s, Industria, Brooklyn, NY, May 4 (virtual April 22- May 6)

2024 “It Takes a Village,” Kates-Ferri Projects: The B-Side, New York, NY, February 8 – 24

2023 “Giving Light/Bidding for Change,” Bronx Art Space, Bronx, NY, May 27- July 1

2022 “Structured Optimism,” Standard Space, Sharon, CT, September 3 – October 9

2022 “Life, Death, Hereafter,” The Narthex at St. Peter’s Church, New York, NY, April 4 – May 29

2021 “SPRING/BREAK Art Show: Heresay/ Heresy,” New York, NY, September 8-13, virtual through December 15

2021 “Fire Lit,” 545 Union Ave, Hudson NY, August 13

2021 “Talismans” (virtual), Monica King Projects, February 10 – March 31

2021 “Current | Undercurrent” (virtual),  Hampden Gallery at University of Massachusetts Amherst, February 1 – May 14 (catalogue)

2020 “International Womxn’s Day Exhibition,” The Living Gallery, Brooklyn, NY, March 8

2020 “Shim/Experience,” Shim Art Network, New York, NY, February 27 – March 7

2020 “Roots and Roads,” Franklin Street Works, Stamford, CT, February 8 – May 10 (catalogue)

2020 “WIP: Women In Paint Invitational,” 68 Jay St, Brooklyn, NY, February 4 – March 7

2019  “Our Kingdom for Baked Alaska” (residency/ exhibition), Woodside Presbyterian Church, Troy, NY, August 27-31  

2019  “Rachet Opulence” (exhibited, co-curated), The H-Loft Space, New York, NY, August 17 

2018  “Uppity 2 (Special Project and Performance)” Aqua Art Miami, Aqua Hotel and Suites, Miami Beach, FL, December 5-9 

2018  “PopUppity,” The Living Gallery Outpost, New York, NY, August 12 

2018  “Black and White and Re(a)d” All Over: Part 3,” Galleria Huuto, Helsinki, Finland, May 5 – 27; Galerie Critical Kunst, Berlin, Germany, June 29- July 29  

2018  “Uppity,” Inaugural Residency, The Living Gallery Outpost, New York, NY, March 2-8  

2016  “No, You Can’t Touch My Hair” (solo), Arthelix Gallery, Brooklyn, NY, October 22-23 

2016  “Shim Presents: Permission Slip,” Arthelix Gallery, Brooklyn, NY, May 28-31 

2014  “Bushwick Blick,” Arthelix Gallery, Brooklyn, NY December 12-21  

2013  “Annual Members’ Show,” Saratoga Arts Council, Saratoga Springs, NY, December 2013-       January 2014   

2012  “35th Anniversary Masquerade,” Albany City Gallery, Albany, NY, December 

2012  “Summer Exhibition,” 190 Gallery, Glens Falls, NY, August-November 

2012 “The Giving Circle” (residency), Jinja, Uganda, June 29-July 12

2010  “First Friday,” Marketplace Gallery, Albany, NY, December 2010 – March 2011 

2010  “Red Dot Art Fair,” Skylight NYC, New York, NY, March 4-7     

2009  “New Perspectives in Contemporary Art,” Sundari Fine Art Gallery, Saratoga Springs, NY,  July 18-31   

2009 “Thesis Exhibiiton,” Tang Teaching Museum, Saratoga Springs, NY, May 8 – 16

2009  “Surface/Space” (solo), Case Gallery, Saratoga Springs, NY, April 30- May 16  

2009  “Visual Poetry,” Case Gallery, Saratoga Springs, NY, February 19-25