Malik: Sovereign of Faith by North Carolina artist Lakea Shepard is her first solo museum exhibition. Comprised of the artist’s signature sculptural masks from several series, this new installation is the artist’s desire to refocus our attention on the aesthetics and traditions of African Art and its collisions with contemporary culture through appropriation and a default/failure of respect, recognition, and value of original meaning and power.

“This exhibition is dedicated to my late uncle, Malik Ali Sharif, who planted a seed of faith in my visions, skills, and artistic goals. Malik’s efforts to push my artistic career into the light help me develop this current era of my work throughout the past 10 years.”
– Lakea Shepard


Lakea’s practice in weaving, textiles, and beadwork are a series of complex interactions between physical elements and personal narration connecting her work to our lives and the personal histories of friends, family, and a universe of loved ones.


Lakea Shepard was born and raised in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

She developed her passion for making textile/mixed media sculptures by watching her parents work as a mechanic and textile production worker.

Shepard graduated from College for Creative Studies in 2013 as the only African- American woman in the Crafts department.

In 2012, Lakea Shepard was awarded to expand her creativity at the New York Studio Residency Program in DUMBO, NY.

She is inspired by materials and how they can be manipulated to convey emotions.

Shepard incorporates her signature red thread, within each piece that she creates.

She is currently living and working in her hometown.

Reconstruction of Tradition’s Child, 2013
Paint, Biwa pearls, vintage wedding veils

Culture Vulture, 2021
Yarn, bullet casings, paint, semi precious gemstones, leather, African beads and artifacts

Not by Sight’s Child, 2013
Waxed linen, bullet casings, gold foil, paint, mixed media beads, hand-felted wool

Deconstruction of Tradition’s Child, 2013
Waxed linen, bullet casings, silver foil, paint, Biwa pearls, vintage wedding veils

A Struggle’s Child, 2012
Waxed linen, bullet casings, gold foil, paint

Walk by Faith’s Child, 2013
Waxed linen, bullet casings, gold foil, paint, leather, semi-precious gemstones, mixed media beads

Image credit to Jillian Clark |