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Rashayla Marie Brown

Rashayla Marie Brown, a life-long nomad, is an interdisciplinary artist, curator, and writer. Her work primarily negotiates race, sexuality, spirituality, politics, and popular culture in the formation of personal mythologies.

Brown has been awarded numerous fellowships and grants, including the Anna Louise Raymond Fellowship, the Archibald Motley Grant, and SAIC’s Leadership Award. Her experience as a cultural theorist in higher education, art and academic research led to the work that she currently does, both in her studio practice as an artist and as the assistant director of multicultural affairs at SAIC.

"Engaging the visual language of mass media through photography, video and performance, I do not adhere to one particular medium but my intent is constant: to reveal the projections of cultural myths and desires on the collective consciousness and that of my own. By exploring the conflicting ideologies of the performed and the personal, I attempt to recover a sense of agency in my own representation within the race and gender propaganda of our current social landscape.

"My images are both fragile and resilient, as they developed out of my engagement with overlapping communities, social constructs, and constant paradigm shifts. The tools I use to transcend my displacement (i.e. computers, cameras, cultural artifacts) are directly linked to other people and multiple histories, thereby problematizing the complete autonomy the tools intend to provide."

Brown received a BA in sociology and African American studies from Yale University in 2004 and a BFA in photography and video from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2013.

Learn more about Rashayla Marie Brown's solo BOLT exhibition "Vagabunda."

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