Malian-American Artist Penda Diakité grew up between Mali, West Africa and Portland, Oregon. Her artwork meshes the vibrant colors and patterns of her Malian heritage with influences of her American upbringing, and is a reflection of her experiences as a bicultural black woman.
Diakité was first introduced to painting as a child in Mali, as she learned traditional bogolanfini (mud-cloth) painting. At age 10 she published her first award-winning children’s book with Scholastic Press, which was the catalyst for creatively expressing her identity, and delving deeper into the life she straddled between Mali and the USA.
Penda graduated California Institute of the Arts with a BFA in Film/Video and a minor in Cultural Studies. While earning her degree, she developed her unique mixed media collage style which, like her film work, centers around identity. Following her experimental film shorts, which screened in festivals internationally, Penda began exhibiting her artwork in different galleries on the West and East Coast. Diakité is currently based in Los Angeles.