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IDSVA Awards the 2022 David Driskell Fellowship to Erin Falker-Obichigha

About Erin Falker-Obichigha

Erin I. Falker-Obichigha is a practicing visual artist, accomplished curator, and arts administrator. After receiving her undergraduate degrees from Stanford University in Art History and Art Practice, Falker-Obichigha went on to receive her M.F.A. from the Sam Fox School at Washington University in St. Louis and M.A. in Art History from Wayne State University in Detroit, MI. She has curated several highly regarded exhibitions and has worked on projects such as 30 Americans, Say It Loud: Art, History, Rebellion, Oh,You Fancy!, and Beyond Space, a compendium and exhibition curated by Carrie Mae Weems.

Falker-Obichigha’s interests as an artist, curator, and thinker lie in investigating the deep-seated need to protect, maintain, and carve out black space as it relates to legacy cultural intuitions. It grows from a desire to investigate how people of color physically navigate majority institutions and the ways in which they resist automatic performative practices of code-switching and respectability in favor of a more authentic performative self. The aim is to identify performative practices that can provide pathways for everyday people to engage in generative struggle that will eventually lead institutions to become more critical of how they engage, include, and exclude.

IDSVA 2023 Driskell Fellow, Erin I. Falker-Obichigha. Image by: Jeff Cancelosi
I don’t think I can say with any accuracy how significant the belief and support of the IDSVA community of friends, faculty, and staff is to me. For an institution to value potential in someone is one thing. Potential, to an extent, can be calculated. For an institution to value promise, which is the biggest gamble one can take on people and the unknown, is absolutely incredible. I’m humbled to be chosen and excited to begin.
-Erin I. Falker-Obichigha

About the IDSVA David Driskell Fellowship

IDSVA awards one David Driskell Fellowship with each incoming cohort. Driskell Fellows are students of color who show promise in carrying forward David Driskell's mission to encourage worldwide community and equality through art. For more information, visit our scholarship page.

David Driskell (1931-2020) was a founding member of the IDSVA Visiting Faculty. His inaugural IDSVA lecture was delivered at Spannocchia Castle, Tuscany, in June 2009. His final IDSVA lecture was delivered at Spannocchia Castle in June 2019. The David C. Driskell Fellowship was established in 2010. Dr. Driskell’s message of peace and understanding has inspired countless individuals around the world. In January 2013, David was awarded an IDSVA Honorary Doctorate in recognition of his life service as an artist-philosopher and a world-leading spiritual philanthropist.

View our impressive list of Driskell Fellows.


The IDSVA PhD in Visual Arts: Philosophy, Aesthetics, and Art Theory is a non-studio PhD for artists and creative thinkers. With no campus, IDSVA is a truly nomadic institution, existing everywhere our students and faculty are. The program fuses interactive online education with intensive global residencies.

Apply to IDSVA’s pioneering PhD program by April 3, 2023 for September 2023.

To learn more: Contact Molly Davis, Director of Admissions, or book a conversation here.

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