Florida State University is proud to announce that Abigail Lucien (BFA Studio Art 2014) has been named by Forbes for its 2020 30 Under 30 list in the Arts & Style category. Judges for the category were Tory Burch, Ashley Graham, Ashley Longshore and Kehinde Wiley.
It feels strange to be recognized in this moment as I myself recognize the importance of the work being done by so many unlisted and of all ages. For now I’ll stand in this digital spotlight for the bit of warmth it brings to my cheeks and for my fellow bipoc artists who’ve found ways to continue to show up this year -Abigail Lucien, BFA Studio Art 2014
Alexandra Wilson, Forbes Associate Editor and Editor of Under 30, noted:
“Choosing these honorees among thousands of nominees is a long and daunting three-layer process that relies on the knowledge and authority of our wide-reaching community, skilled reporters and expert judges. This year editors worked closely with a particularly shrewd panel of judges to appraise the 20 categories, including musician Taylor Swift, Warner Bros. Chairman Channing Dungey, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, Salesforce CMO Stephanie Buscemi, Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford and sports legend Billie Jean King.”
Lucien is the second FSU Studio Art alum to be named to the list. Rachel Rossin (BFA Studio Art 2009) was named to the list in 2017.
About Abigail Lucien
Abigail Lucien (they/she, b. 1992) is an interdisciplinary artist raised in Cap-Haïtien, Haiti and the northeast coast of Florida. They hold a BFA from Florida State University and an MFA in Printmaking from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
Working in metal, casting, poetry, print, video, and sound, Lucien’s practice looks at ways cultural identities and inherited colonial structures transmit to the body and psyche. Part familiar, part foreign, Lucien’s works employ an architectural vernacular – challenging systems of assimilation through material and asking what it means for the body to empathize with a place. The works foreground their Haitian-American heritage by addressing notions of visibility, authenticity, and hybridity as they relate to a multicultural queer identity.
“Abbey could be considered the ideal student who took advantage of the multiple ways to explore their ideas,” said Lilian Garcia Roig, Chair of the Department of Art at FSU. ”Using printmaking as a core practice, Abbey explored themes of identity, memory and place through personal narratives that resonated with broad immigrant experiences.”
Professor Bookwalter of the Department of Art recalls that Abbey was always experiencing and trying to push boundaries in order to find her unique visual voice-which is one of the FSU Art Department’s fundamental touchstones.
In one of her latest works, Lucien casts 90 lbs. of soap into heart-shaped cinderblock molds that are stacked in shades of transparent pink. Steel rebar traces the steps formed by the blocks, balancing a lit white candle at its lowest step and a crimson painted chicken foot at its highest point. The poignant work pays homage to her father and grandfather who were both lost to the coronavirus.
Lucien was named the 2020 Harpo Emerging Artist Fellow and is a recipient of a 2020-2021 Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Professional Fellowship. Their work has exhibited at museums and institutions such as MoMA PS1 in Long Island City, New York, Atlanta Contemporary in Atlanta, GA., Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Museum of Fine Arts in Tallahassee, FL, Woman Made Gallery in Chicago, IL, as well as High Tide Gallery, Vox Populi Gallery, and The Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia, PA. Lucien recently accepted a full-time faculty position in the Interdisciplinary Sculpture department at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, MD.