Solo exhibition, ‘Mother’s Tongue,’ in Wagner College Gallery

Solo exhibition, ‘Mother’s Tongue,’ in Wagner College Gallery

Kyoko Heshiimu

Please join us at the Wagner College Gallery for “Mother’s Tongue: Perspectives of Mothers,” an exhibition of 34 paintings by Kyoko Heshiimu that explores the ongoing trauma in the black community resulting from violence against black bodies, on display from Tuesday, Jan. 14 through Sunday, Feb. 23.

A gallery reception and Q&A with the artist will be held on Thursday, Feb. 20 from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Both the reception and the exhibition are free and open to the public.

The gallery is located in the Union Building on the Wagner College campus at 631 Howard Ave., Staten Island.

The Wagner College Gallery is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., with extended hours on Thursday until 9 p.m.

Influenced by the words spoken by mothers who have been affected by civil injustices inflicted upon their children — police killings, violence, mass incarceration — Kyoko Heshiimu’s exhibition addresses the role of the mother. It speaks to the heartbreak, struggle and exhaustion that mothers endure, from the time they identify the remains of their children to the time they return home and live through their loss. The artwork reflects the sheer bravery of these women who pushed forward advocating against violent and demanding justice and accountability.

Heshiimu is a prolific American artist who uses painting, drawing, video animation, poetry and text to explore issues of race, gender, sexuality, violence and identity. She studied at Pratt Institute, where she graduated with a BFA in painting. Heshiimu’s paintings have been exhibited at various galleries in New York, including the 6th Street Community Center, the Macy Art Gallery at Columbia University’s Teachers College, St. John’s University, Art at Bay, Eastern District Gallery, Art Lab and Canvas Institute. She lives on Staten Island where she is also an educator, having earned her master’s degree in education from the College of Staten Island.

For more about the artist, including samples of her painting, visit her on the web.

Kyoko Heshiimu, 'Sofa' (collage, 2019, 24 x 30 inches)

This exhibition is made possible, in part, by a DCA Premier Grant from Staten Island Arts, with public funding from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

For more information about the Wagner College Gallery, contact gallery director Jenny Toth at