ColorLab is Brooklyn Children’s Museum’s 1,500 square-foot family art-making space where artists of all ages can explore, make, and celebrate art! We value discovery, artistic process, freedom of expression, and creative collaboration with others.
ColorLab programs are rooted in the creative works and cultures of Black artists in Brooklyn and around the world. As a studio proudly-based in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, ColorLab’s rotating programs feature African American, Afro-Caribbean, and African contemporary artists.
The BCM team activates ColorLab as a process-oriented, inclusive, and courageous art-making space.
During a program season, ColorLab public programs explore a unified theme. Educators facilitate 45-minute sessions that include individual and collaborative art-making inspired by Muse Artists. In each session, educators guide young artists and their families through the exploration of themes, techniques, tools, vocabulary, and materials related to each Muse Artist’s process.
Current Muse Artist
Birthplace: Washington, D.C.
Elizabeth Catlett (1915 – 2012) is an African American artist who worked in many artistic forms including sculpture, painting, and printmaking over a 70-year career. She is known for her artworks depicting women’s endurance of the harsh realities of racism, segregation, and poverty, women’s strength as mothers, and using her artistic voice to promote social change.
Learn more about the themes of Catlett’s work and explore the process of printmaking in our ColorLab workshops. Make your own printing blocks, design your own printed patterns, and print your designs on a canvas tote, fabric panel, or set of cards.
Past Muse Artists
Birthplace: Nairobi, Kenya
Wangechi Mutu is an artist who lives and works in Brooklyn, New York and Nairobi, Kenya. Through a variety of media and found materials, Mutu creates new worlds, new beings, and new perspectives on humanity and earth.
Wangechi Mutu’s artistic practice includes: collage, sculpture, performance, installation, and video. She explores an array of concepts such as: self-image, gender, cultural identity, environment, colonialism, and consumption. Her collage art materials of choice include fashion & nature magazines cut-outs, medical literature, beads, strips of leather, and found objects.
Birthplace: Newark, New Jersey
Chakaia Booker is an artist who lives and works in the New York City metropolitan area. Booker uses an array of materials and approaches to create new forms and textures that exude movement and that encourage interaction and reflection.
Chakaia Booker’s artistic practice includes: painting, environmental sculpture, photography, performance art, and wearable art. She explores an array of concepts such as: consumerism, ecological concerns, racial and economic difference, gender, and globalization. Her sculpture materials of choice include discarded tires and other found objects.
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan
LaKela Brown is an artist who lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Brown’s work reframes status symbols from her childhood—bamboo earrings, gold teeth fronts, and rope chains—as precious artifacts of Black American aesthetics worthy of museum preservation and inclusion in art history.
LaKela Brown’s artistic practice includes figurative sculpture, plaster casting, and relief. She explores an array of concepts such as: class, ownership, gender expression, desire, and hope.
Birthplace: Far Rockaway, NY
(1960 - 2010)
Rammellzee is an artist who lived and worked in New York City. He explored various mediums and was recognized as a visual artist, Gothic-futurist "graffitti writer," painter, performance artist, hip-hop musician, art theoretician, and sculptor. His use of bright colors and barbed, jagged letters became key features of his self-titled Gothic Futurism style.
Rammellzee was known for often moving through his life like a mythical being who pushed against conformity. He performed and walked through New York City in his colorful masks and costumes made from upcycled materials.
Birthplace: New York City
Abigail DeVille is an artist who lives and works in New York City. DeVille uses discarded materials to creates artworks that tell forgotten or untold stories related to the African American experience, such as her flag for Harlem and sculpture at the site of a former African American burial ground in Harlem.
Abigail DeVille's artistic practice includes painting, sculpture, public performance, and site-specific installations. She is invested in storytelling that is rooted in her family's legacy and she sheds light on issues such as racism, gentrification, and the threat of cultural erasure.
ColorLab is made possible by Peggi Einhorn and Michael Lasky and family; The Pierre & Tana Matisse Foundation; public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; and the Brooklyn Children’s Museum Board of Trustees.