Meet Tunde Wey, 2024 Duncanson Artist-in-Residence

Located in the heart of Cincinnati, Ohio, the Taft Museum of Art is a beacon of artistic excellence and cultural enrichment. Among its many contributions to the local arts community is the Duncanson Artist-in-Residence program, a prestigious initiative that honors the legacy of the first internationally- acclaimed Black American artist. Robert S. Duncanson by supporting contemporary artists of color. Since 1986, the program has provided Black artists with a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the rich cultural environment of the Taft Museum of Art drawing inspiration from its world-class collection and engaging with the community. 

Each year, the Duncanson Artist-in-Residence program contracts a talented artist of color to spend two weeks in Cincinnati. During the residency, that year’s chosen artist engages with the public through workshops, lectures, and other community outreach activities. 

The impact of the Duncanson Artist-in-Residence program extends far beyond the walls of the Taft Museum of Art,” said Rebekah Beaulieu, Louise Taft Semple President and CEO. By supporting artists of color and amplifying their voices, the program contributes to a more inclusive and equitable arts community, where diverse perspectives are celebrated and valued. Through its commitment to fostering artistic talent and promoting diversity, the Duncanson Artist-in-Residence program continues to be a leader in enriching the cultural landscape of Cincinnati and beyond. 

2024 Duncanson Artist-in-Residence, Tunde Wey (chef)

Tunde Wey: A Culinary Activist Redefining Food, Culture, and Social Justice 

Over the years, the Duncanson Artist-in-Residence program has drawn the names of many nationally and internationally acclaimed artists spanning an array of disciplines such as visual and performance artist Vanessa German, choreographer Stafford Berry, and poet Nikki Giovanni, who was the inaugural Duncanson Artist-in-Residence in 1986.  

For the program’s residency this spring, the Taft Museum of Art has announced the selection of internationally acclaimed culinary artist Tunde Wey. Wey stood out among a candidate pool of exceptional national and local culinary artists. He will bring his creative prowess and skills as a community educator to the community and timely conversations on social change. The dates for Wey’s residency with the museum will be April 13-27, 2024.

Tunde Wey is not your average chef. Hailing from Nigeria, Wey has made a name for himself in the culinary world, not just for his delectable dishes but also for his thought-provoking approach to food, culture, and social justice. With a unique blend of activism and gastronomy, Wey has sparked conversations around race and economic inequality, challenging the way we think about food and its impact on society. 

Through his work, Wey has pushed boundaries and leads audiences to confront uncomfortable truths about food, culture, and society. He challenges audiences to think about who gets to tell our food stories, whose voices are heard in the culinary world, and how food can be a tool for social change. 
“I hope folks are inspired to think about their quotidian circumstances differently,” Wey says about what his residency will mean for Cincinnati.

“I hope that folks consider their routine (whether economic, social, religious, leisure) not as ordinary and insignificant but as designed to be perceived that way, by systems which perpetuate disparate resource distribution. And we can each begin to make little changes that are systemically significant when we recognize how our actions contribute to circumstances we find incompatible with our values.”  

Tunde Wey's work reminds us that food is more than just sustenance – it reflects our culture, history, and values. Through his innovative approach to cooking and activism, Wey challenges audiences to rethink the way we eat, cook, and engage with food, inspiring us to use food as a tool for positive social change. 

Find a complete list of Tunde Wey’s public residency events here.

Arts and culture reporting has been made possible with support from The Taft Museum of Art
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Read more articles by Kareem A. Simpson.

Raised in the inner city of Covington, Kentucky, Kareem Simpson is an author, innovator, community enthusiast, military veteran, serial entrepreneur, foodie and lover of all things creative.