Renee Stout

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Renee L. Stout
Born 1958 (1958)
Junction City, Kansas
Nationality American
Education Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Known for Assemblage art

Renee Stout (born 1958) is a contemporary artist known for assemblage artworks dealing with her personal history and African-American heritage.[1] Born in Kansas, raised in Pittsburg, living in Washington, DC, and strongly connected through her art to New Orleans, Stout has strong ties to multiple parts of the United States. Her art reflects this, with thematic interest in African diasporatic culture from throughout the United States.


Stout was born in Junction City, Kansas, and raised in Pittsburgh, in a family that enjoyed creative activities. Her mother did needlework. Her father, a mechanic and steelworker, liked to tinker. An uncle was a fine-art painter.[2] According to her official website, Renee Stout grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and received her BFA from Carnegie Mellon University in 1980. She began to explore her African American heritage in 1985, when she moved to Washington, D.C. Throughout the African Diaspora, as well as the world and her immediate environment, Stout finds the inspiration to create works that encourage self-examination, self-empowerment and self-healing, harnessing the belief systems of African peoples and their descendants.Additionally Stout uses imaginary characters to create a variety of artwork, some of which include: painting, mixed media sculpture, photography and installation. The recipient of awards from the Joan Mitchell Foundation, The Pollock-Krasner Foundation and the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, Stout has shown her work in solo and group shows throughout the United States, and in England, Russia and the Netherlands.[3]

Art career[edit]

Stout lives and works in Washington, D.C. and received a Bachelor in Fine Arts from Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1980.

Her artistic influences include Yoruba sculpture, and the nkisi (sacred objects) of the Central African Congo Basin, which she first saw at the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh in her youth.[2][4] Other major subjects in her work often include Haitian Vodou, the space and culture of New Orleans and the creole Voodoo practitioner Marie Laveau.[5] In an interview conducted by Dr.O in her book Tales of the Conjure Woman, Renee Stout asserts that in order to open the conversations, regarding the ancestry of African American culture, she will continue inspiring her works on themes such as African-derived spiritual belief systems and Hodoo. She also admits to having to "occupy a weird space within the art world--a place that has more possibilities, both in energy and spirit"[6]

She has participated in numerous exhibitions including several exhibitions at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. and at the De Beyerd Museum in the Netherlands. Her work is in numerous collections including The National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, The Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, MI, and the Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD. Her awards include two Pollock Krasner Foundation Awards, The Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Regional Visual Arts Fellowship, a Tryon Center for Visual Arts Residency, and the Driskell Prize given by the High Museum of Art. In 2012 she was named the winner of 2012 Janet and Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize.[7][8][9]

Andrea Barnwell Brownlee, Ph.D., a director for the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art in Georgia has recently been involved with one of Renee Stout's larger projects, The Thinking Room exhibition, and a book, Renee Stout: Tales of the Conjure Woman, which "brings together more than sixty recent works and draws viewers into a dynamic, complex, and richly textured web. This exhibition of fictitious tales and courageous ingenuity offers a rare and special opportunity for viewers to explore the mythic, folk, and spiritual traditions that inform and shape Stout's complex world view and temporarily suspend disbelief" [6]


  1. ^ Ackland Art Museum article retrieved January 7, 2007
  2. ^ a b Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture (2011). Material Girls: Contemporary Black Women Artists (1st ed ed.). Baltimore, Md: Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture. ISBN 9780615436142. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Renée Stout / American Art". Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Renwick Gallery. Retrieved 2014-02-01. 
  5. ^ North 110.
  6. ^ a b Stout, Renee, Andrea Barnwell Brownlee, Mark Sloan, Ade Ofunniyin, Fatima Mayfield, and Kevin Young. Tales of the Conjure Woman. Charleston, SC: Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, College of Charleston School of the Arts, 2013. Print
  7. ^ The View From Here article retrieved January 7, 2007.
  8. ^ Official website of Artist Renee Stout retrieved January 7, 2007
  9. ^ Scott Dance, The Baltimore Sun, July 15, 2012.

Works cited[edit]

External links[edit]