Thursday, July 28, 2011

Maya Freelon Asante's 'Ubuntu'

Visual artist Maya Freelon Asante (b. 1982) comes from a family of artists (her father is an architect, her mother a jazz vocalist; her great-grandfather was a painter). A graduate of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, she has exhibited internationally and is the recipient of fellowships and residencies around the world. 

I learned of Asante through the documentary below, which traces the inspiration for and creation and installation of her delightful work Ubuntu. The vividly colorful "tissue quilt" is both collage and sculpture; it was  selected for the State Department's Art in Embassies Program. Before finding its permanent home in Antananarvio, Madagascar, the artwork was exhibited in Maine, New York, North Carolina, and California, as well as Ghana and other nations.

Asante's "Rejoice and Be Glad in It" (2008), a tissue paper ink monoprint, was exhibited in Rome in 2010.

Work by Asante is included in the exhibition "Material Girls: Contemporary Black Women Artists" at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture, on view until October 16. (Download "Material Girls" brochure.) Earlier this year Asante showed at Morton Fine Art, in Washington, D.C., in "Stories That Breathe" (images here).

Currently, Asante can be found during "open studio" days at the Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower, a landmark in Baltimore, Maryland, where she occupies the C. Sylvia and Eddie C. Brown Studio. The studio is awarded at no cost to an emerging visual artist for two years.

Maya Freelon Asante Podcast on Tissue Paper Ink Monoprints and Sculptures (via NPR, 2006)

"Artist Spotlight: Maya Freelon Asante", in Arts & Design:in Color

"Color Muse: Maya Freelon Asante", in the audacity of color, September 13, 2010

"Our Common Bond", Artist Talk at Galerie Myrtis Fine Art, November 15, 2009 (In this video, Asante speaks about her work in the exhibit.) Images from her Galerie Myrtis show are here. A series of other short videos, including the artist talk and the documentary, is here.


Louise Gallagher said...

What a brilliant piece. What an amazing artist.

I love at the end of the video the view of all the art in the Embassy. Very cool! (I'd also never heard of Embassy Art)

S. Etole said...

Quite a variety of color and pattern.