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Nimah Gobir

is an artist and educator based in Oakland, California.

Through paintings and installations, her work primarily explores the nuances and shared experiences of being Black. She draws on photo references collected from both family and personal archives.


Gobir completed her undergraduate studies at Chapman University with a B.F.A. in Studio Art and B.A. in Peace Studies. She has an M.Ed from Harvard Graduate School of Education with a focus in Arts in Education. In 2020, she completed a fellowship with Emerging Artist Professionals SF-Bay Area. She has shown work at the Museum of the African Diaspora, SOMArts, The Growlery, Root Division where she was awarded the Blau-Gold Studio/Teaching fellowship. She is represented by Johansson Projects.

For project inquiries // studio visits:

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Artist Statement

My work explores how I came to inherit the complexities and nuances of my Black identity from my family. My figurative paintings capture the expressiveness of a face in reaction or at rest and how bodies accommodate and respond to other bodies in space. Artworks source my siblings’ and Nigerian-born parents’ memories while honoring their individual experiences and essential humanity. I draw from personal and autobiographical histories to imbue paintings with images that are at once tender and powerful. Each painting expresses the way family members and loved ones’ relationships are reflected in one another and the way that their everyday habits shape and enliven their living spaces.


Composed with expressive brushwork, hand-stitched embroidery, and household textiles, my work layers multiple textures into intimate domestic portraits. My use of found fabrics evokes hand-me-down clothes, quilting material. The textiles intentionally feature repetitive patterns to mirror the way homes, relationships, and memory take on a banality while being uniquely dear to each person. Through scenes of my sister and I getting our hair braided as children or my parents posed on a couch covered in the patina of early adulthood, I contend with the enduring results of diaspora and the renewal of belonging to a home. 


Solo Exhibitions

2024     Museum of the African Diaspora Emerging Artist Program

2022     Fleishhacker Foundation Eureka Fellowship Nominee

2019     Emerging Artist Professionals Fellowship

2018     The Growlery Artist Residency

2018     Blau Gold Fellow Studio-Artist Fellowship

2015     Best BFA Exhibition

2023     Holding Space, Museum of the African Diaspora, San Francisco, CA 

2022     Spools, Johansson Projects, Oakland, CA

2021     Old House, FM Oakland, Oakland, CA

2019     Tender-headed and Other Works, The Growlery, San Francisco, CA

2015     I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!, Guggenheim Gallery, Orange, CA

Selected Group Exhibitions

2024     Sacred Terrain, Euphrat Museum of Art 

2023     Facing Home, Euphrat Museum of Art

2023     The Black Woman is God: Motherhood, San Francisco, CA

2023     Platform by David Zwirner

2022     20-Year Anniversary Alumni Exhibition, San Francisco, CA

2021     The Black Woman is God, San Francisco, CA

2020     Until It Shatters, San Francisco, CA

2018     Non-Sterile Art Happenings, Cambridge, MA

2016     (En)gendered (In)equity, Los Angeles, CA

2014     Dissected, Guggenheim Gallery, Orange, CA

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