Given UN Women’s dedication to gender equality and the empowerment of women on a global scale, it was important to Gilbert to feature an international cohort of artists. In a recent interview, she emphasized that prioritizing artists living and working outside of the major art hubs—like New York, Los Angeles, and London—is crucial to increasing recognition for more women artists of African descent.
“The myth is that great artists live in one of three places in the world,” Gilbert said. She pointed out that many arts professionals—notably, the late Nigerian curator Okwui Enwezor—have worked for decades to decentralize the art world and dispel misconceptions about where notable artists should live and work. Calling on Enwezor’s ongoing discussion of “centers and peripheries” in the art world, Gilbert also noted that “there is an infrastructure that still needs to be developed in terms of MFA programs, residencies, fellowships, museums and galleries in the Deep South and global south.”