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Abdi Osman

Lane West Gallery

March 8, 2024 - June 1, 2024

Abdi Osman’s work offers visual engagements with diasporic movement, settlement, and emplacement in the Americas through a nuanced documentary practice. Drawing attention to the passport and shoreline as sites of colonization, Osman’s works posit explorations of belonging and un-belonging, in relation to ideas of nation and home.


Public Artist Talk
Thursday, March 7, 4:30 p.m.
Colorado College, WES Room

Exhibition Opening
Friday, March 8, 5–7 p.m.
Fine Arts Center, 30 W. Dale St.

About the Artist

Abdi Osman is a Somali-Canadian multidisciplinary artist based between Buffalo, New York, and Toronto, Ontario, whose work focuses on questions of Black masculinity as it intersects with Muslim and queer identities. Osman’s video and photography work has been shown in Canada and internationally in both group and solo exhibitions. Solo exhibitions of his work have been organized at the Art Museum, Toronto, ON (2019); The Gardiner Museum, Toronto, ON (2019); Photopolis, Halifax, NS (2017); McColl Centre or Visual Arts, Charlotte, NC (2010); Richmix Gallery, London, UK (2017); Gordon Snelgrove Gallery, Saskatoon, SK (2012). Select group exhibitions include Berlinale Forum and Forum Expanded, silent green Betonhalle, Germany (2022), Blackwood Gallery, Mississauga, ON (2022), London Ontario Media Arts Association, London, ON (2020); Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland; Contact Landing(s),Thames Art Gallery, Chatham, ON (2018); I believe in Living, Untitled Art Society, Calgary, AB (2018); Future Africa: Visions in Time, The National Museum of Kenya, Nairobi, Kenya (2017), Goethe Institute, Johannesburg, South Africa (2017); Canadian Belonging(s), The Art Gallery of Mississauga, Mississauga, ON (2016); Future Africa: Visions in Time, Iwalewahaus The Centre for African Contemporary Art and Culture, Bayreuth, Germany (2015); and IMA Gallery, Toronto, ON (2012). Osman’s work is in numerous public and private collections, including The University of Toronto, Toronto; The Canada Council Art Bank, Ottawa; Vtape, Toronto; Arsenal-Institute for film and video art; and the 519 LGBT Community Centre, Toronto.

Osman holds an MFA in Documentary Media from Ryerson University, and a B.A. in African Studies from the University of Toronto. He has received numerous grants and fellowships, including the Ontario Arts Council Grant (2019); Gardiner Museum funded Community Arts Project (2019); and Charlotte Lesbian and Gay Fund to McColl Center for Visual Arts for the Community Outreach Project (2010). Fellowships include: The Mark Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity, University of Toronto (2019-2023); Bayreuth Academy of Advanced African Studies, University of Bayreuth (2015); United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), Cardiff, Wales (2014); and Community-Based Intellectuals/ Activists/ Artists Residency, University of Saskatchewan (2012).

He is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Art at the University at Buffalo.

About the Curator

Ellyn Walker is an interdisciplinary arts scholar and curator. Her work explores questions of representation and place-making in the arts as they pertain to distinct positional, cultural, and institutional contexts. Ellyn has studied at the University of Toronto, McGill, and OCAD University, and completed a PhD in Cultural Studies from Queen’s University where her research focused on contemporary decolonial curatorial methodologies. She is currently working on a co-edited anthology with Michelle Jacques titled Curatorial Contestations that explores diverse curatorial pedagogies and projects from across Canada. Ellyn was the Acting Director/Curator of The Blackwood Gallery at the University of Toronto Mississauga from 2021–2022, where she was also cross-appointed as Assistant Professor in Visual Studies. She is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Art at Colorado College.

Sponsorship of the exhibition is generously provided by the Art Department at Colorado College. Support is provided by The Anschutz Foundation and Colorado Creative Industries.


Colorado College Art Department
The Anschutz Foundation Colorado Creative Industries