Following her #1 album A Seat at the Table and a string of powerful performances at places like the Guggenheim Museum and the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas, Solange Knowles has been named the 2018 Harvard Artist of the Year. Harvard University chose to honor the artist for using “her platform to advocate for representation and justice while providing constructive and empowering political messages,” per a press release. This is the third major award Solange has received for her work: she was previously named Glamour Woman of the Year and received the Billboard Impact Award.
Solange has become known for her symbolic and meaningful work that often “invoke themes of identity, empowerment, grief and healing” that resonates with “millions of voices that routinely feel silenced or overlooked.” The prestigious university also points out that Solange has worked to bind visual art and activism in a unique way.
“When I was about 11 years old, someone told me you’ve got to shoot for the moon, and even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars,” Solange said when she accepted the Glamour Woman of the Year award in 2017. “Well, I wasn’t interested in either one. I was interested in the journey there.”
“We as women are told from the second that we come into our own that we must not only shoot for the moon but hold it in our hands, turn it until the morning, nurture all of its rings… and feel and look like a goddess. That is not my journey,” she continued.
Solange will be recognized and presented with an award at a ceremony on March 3. The award comes from the Harvard Foundation for intercultural and race relations, which is the university’s office for inter-racial, inter-ethnic and inter-religious relations. They honor the nation’s most acclaimed artists and scientists each year—previous artists of the year have included Denzel Washington, Halle Berry, Will Smith, Jackie Chan, Viola Davis, Salma Hayek and John Legend.