Film still of a woman Karen Wentworth (1956–2023) in the woods.

Naeem Mohaiemen, Grace, learned from Karen (2022). Video. 49 mins.

Naeem Mohaiemen imagines rhizomatic families, malleable borders, and socialist utopias– beginning from postcolonial markers and then radiating outward to unlikely transnational alliances. In spite of underscoring a tendency toward misrecognition of allies, the hope of a future global left, against current categories of race, religion and nation, drives the work.

His current project at Sharpe Walentas evolved out of his conversations with Karen Wentworth (1956–2023), a Maine resident who registered her intent to use the provisions of the state’s 2019 Death with Dignity Act. While writing a book on cemeteries in 2003, Wentworth researched sustainable burial grounds and purchased a burial lot for herself in Maine. A stone placed on the lot gives her arrival date as 11-11-1956 and goodbye date as “infinity.” This exhibition features an arrangement of artworks from the Colby Museum’s collection, selected by Wentworth in conversation with Mohaiemen and a new video based on the quiet routines of Wentworth’s life prior to her death on January 12, 2023. Wentworth lived her last days to the fullest: Assembling a list of books she wanted to finish reading or read again; taking care of repairs to her home; spending time with friends, family, and a new grandchild; and enjoying the Maine summer and fall.

About Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program

The Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program awards rent-free non-living studio space to 17 visual artists for year-long residencies in DUMBO, Brooklyn. Its mission is to provide working studio space and community for artists. Artists are selected annually based on merit from a competitive pool of applicants by a professional jury comprised of artists and members of the SWSP Artists Advisory Committee.

The Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program is the new face of the Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation Space Program, developed for artists, by artists in 1991. In 2014 the program was renamed the Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program to honor the legacy of Marie Walsh Sharpe and reflect the new sponsorship and commitment of the Walentas Family Foundation.