Nov 18, 2023 – Mar 17, 2024
"Sunbird" artwork consisting of layers of photos of vibrant orange and yellow braided locks of hair


The queer poet Dinos Christianopoulos, ostracized from the Greek literary community, famously penned the quote, “they tried to bury us, but they didn’t know we were seeds.” This idea of resilience, infinitude, and creating a magical place where Black people exist fully in liberation is at the root of Sikelianos-Carter’s expansive practice. Sikelianos-Carter’s work responds directly to the violence against people of color, accessing new levels of survival, protection, and abundance. Committed to exploration, this new body of work presented at SLOMA builds on her recent Crown series, a collection of abstract prints utilizing web and catalogue-sourced imagery of Black hair that represents ancestral beings — creating what Sikelianos-Carter calls a “divine technology.” At SLOMA, Sikelianos-Carter creates an immersive world that cultivates a feeling of expansive infinity, of taking over.

In this new body of work, Sikelianos-Carter moves distinctly away from the figure, leaning into abstraction to create her magical worlds. Inspired by geography and geology— land, sea, and sky— Sikelianos-Carter envisions a world where ostracized communities take up boundless and unlimited space. Throughout the gallery, on the floor, Sikelianos-Carter places small, grainy, rock forms that resemble the surfaces of planets, re-emphasizing an other-worldly environment —a celestially divine land of freedom. Intricately layered with texture and glitter, the installation reminisces relief sculpture that consumes the whole wall, changing with each angle. In this exhibition, Sikelianos-Carter envisions a cosmically bountiful world that celebrates and pays homage to ancestral majesty, power, and aesthetics.

About the Artist
Alisa Sikelianos-Carter earned her MA in Painting and Drawing from SUNY Albany and is an MFA Candidate at the Mason Gross School of the Arts. In 2021, she was awarded the inaugural fellowship at Foreland, a six-month studio residency in the Catskills conferred biennially on an outstanding artist of color. Recent exhibitions of her work include Stars are Born in Darkness, Kavi Gupta, Chicago, IL; Parallax: Framing the Cosmos, Tang Teaching Museum at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, A Spell is a Map to What is Meant for You, Fridman Gallery, Beacon, NY; Un/Common Proximity, James Cohan, New York, NY. Sikelianos-Carter was featured in New American Paintings, No. 146, Northeast Issue, and received the Sustainable Arts Foundation Grant in 2020. She has been awarded residencies at Art Omi, Ghent, NY; Fountainhead Residency, Miami, FL; Golden Foundation Arts Residency, New Berlin; Headlands Center for the Arts, Sausalito, CA; Millay Arts, Austerlitz, NY;  NXTHVN, New Haven, CT; Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, VT; Wassaic Project, Wassaic, NY and Yaddo, Saratoga Springs, NY.

In Space and Splendor

On November 18, 2023, SLOMA welcomed artist Alisa Sikelianos-Carter, whose In Space and Splendor: A Topography of Wildness exhibition launched in SLOMA’s Gray Wing on the same day. The presentation was recorded and is available to watch for free, along with past artist talks, on SLOMA’s Artist Talks and Panels page.

Curatorial Walk Through

Join SLOMA’s Chief Curator Emma Saperstein for a walk exploring In Space and Splendor.

Exhibition Highlights

Related Programming

SLOMA's curator leads a docent training event. A young woman with short blonde hair and a white sweater refers to a painting while three other women holding clipboards listen and take notes for future gallery tours

Every Saturday at 11 AM: Join a free tour of the exhibition led by our trained docents. Check in at the front desk.

Contamos con visitas guiadas en español, las puedes solicitar al correo para agendar.


Learn more about In Space and Splendor in our media mentions. #SLOMAinthenews

Alisa Sikelianos-Carter explores space and Black history in new SLOMA exhibit. New Times, Adrian Vincent Rosas. Nov 23, 2023.

In Space and Splendor is generously presented by:

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Office of University Diversity and Inclusion
Hotel SLO
The Kaleta A. Doolin Foundation

Additional support provided by:

Emblem for the City of San Luis Obispo. Central image of Mission San Luis de Tolosa

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