A group of Black artists have disclosed Northeastern University has locked them out of their studios without warning for the second time in two years.

Fourteen members of African American Master Artists in Residence Program, which Northeastern has provided with free studios for decades, said the sudden lockout from a Jamaica Plain building since May has denied them access to the tools and supplies needed to make a living.

The cut-off also comes as the city and nation face a pandemic and a reckoning about racism, AAMARP members pointed out in a statement released Thursday.

“Northeastern’s action against some of Boston’s prominent Black artist[s] is happening when NEU’s President (Joseph) Aoun announced, in an open letter to the NEU community, that a part of their ‘mission’ is to ‘build community,’” the group said.

“The reality is we are the poster children for institutional racism on their campus. NEU has demonstrated to us that they are not being a good community partner,” the statement quoted member Susan Thompson, a fabric artist, as saying.

In a statement to WGBH News Friday, Ralph Martin, Northeastern University’s general counsel, said the lockout is part of a school-wide precaution taken because of the pandemic.

“As a result, all university buildings were closed, and access was made available only upon special request. The university’s warehouse at 76 Atherton Street was treated the same as all other university buildings,” Martin said.

Martin said the artist collective operates “largely without any connection to the university,” and said the university will “extend its plans to relocate the artists until the end of the 2020 calendar year.”

According to its website, Northeastern established the AAMARP with renowned artist Dana Chandler in 1977 to “provide awareness of the talent of African American artists to create works of art with unrestricted freedom.”

The partnership, according to Northeastern, was the first time a university established an in-residence program for African-American artists.

In 2018, AAMARP staged a public demonstration outside the building after a sudden lockout. After that, the group and the school went into city-mediated negotiations. The two sides have been meeting regularly since then, according to Reginald Jackson, a visual artist who has done two stints in the program.

The two sides, he said, were close to achieving a resolution in March when the pandemic shut down much of the state’s normal operations. The meetings stopped then.

“We were at the point where we were about to consider signing a lease for a building that we had been working with the city to renovate,” said Jackson in a phone interview with WGBH News Friday. “We were under the assumption that there would be no evictions during the pandemic. We were startled that this came down this way.”

Last week, the collective requested a meeting with Aoun and Northeastern’s board of trustees and demanded a re-negotiation of the artists’ occupancy.

“AAMARP artists require access to their equipment, materials and studios to continue their work [as] art professionals, provide cultural content to our community via virtual programming, and fulfill our grant-related obligations,” the group said in a June 19 letter.

The group has scheduled a demonstration outside the Atherton Street building at 2 p.m. Saturday.