Diakité was first introduced to painting as a 4-year old in Mali, as she learned traditional bogolan (mud-cloth) painting. By the age of 10 she landed a book deal with Scholastic Press and published her first Africana Award-winning Children’s book I Lost My Tooth in Africa which was featured on various platforms such as Reading Rainbow. This book 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 bachelor of fine arts, she developed her unique mixed media collage style which, like her film work, centers around identity. Following her experimental film shorts, Diary of Reflection and Words From A Silence, which screened in festivals throughout the world, Penda began exhibiting her artwork in different galleries on the West and East Coast. Penda is currently based in Los Angeles.

Malian-American Artist Penda Diakité grew up between Mali, West Africa and Portland, Oregon. Her mixed media artwork, comprised of a variety of painting techniques, paper collage, and hand engraving, mesh the vibrant colors and patterns of her Malian heritage with influences of her American upbringing. Each piece is a reflection of her experiences as a bicultural woman, exploring black feminine identity, concepts and traditions from the Malian culture, and how it all co-exists in our present day.