Maya Freelon


BIO

Maya Freelon is an award-winning visual artist whose work was described by the late poet Maya Angelou as “visualizing the truth about the vulnerability and power of the human being.” 

Cosmopolitan magazine featured her in June 2015 in “Art Stars,” calling her one “of the most badass female artists in the biz.”

She was commissioned by Google to design original art for their OnHub router, by Cadillac to create a live-sculpture for their Dare Greatly creative campaign, by the North Carolina Museum of Art to create a collaborative tissue paper sculpture celebrating the opening of their African Art wing and by Halcyon to create a monumental sculpture for the First Annual By the People Festival at the Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building.

Her unique tissue paper art, praised by the International Review of African American Art as “a vibrant, beating assemblage of color,” has been exhibited internationally, including shows in Paris, Jamaica, Madagascar, and Italy. 

She was selected by Modern Luxury Magazine as Best of the City; by Huffington Post as “Black Artists: 30 Contemporary Art Makers Under 40 You Should Know”; and by Complex magazine as “15 Young Black Artists Making Waves in the Art World.”

Maya has completed residencies at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine, the Korobitey Institute in Ghana, and the Brandywine Workshop in Philadelphia. She earned a BA from Lafayette College and an MFA from the School of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
B.1982

EDUCATION

2007
M.F.A. School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA

2005
B.A. in Art, Cum Laude, Lafayette College, Easton, PA

2004
The American University in Paris, France

RESIDENCIES

2019
Queenspace Residency, NYC

2016
University of Maryland Eastern Shore Mosley Gallery

2015
University of Wilmington – Clothesline Muse

2014
University of Maryland Inaugural Stamp Gallery

2010/2011
C. Sylvia and Eddie C. Brown Studio at the Bromo
Seltzer Arts Tower, Baltimore, MD

2009
Sonja Haynes Stone Center, University of North
Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC

2008
The Brandywine Workshop, Philadelphia, PA

2007
The Kokrobitey Institute, Accra, GHANA

2006
Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture,
Skowhegan, ME

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2019
The Feeling is Mutual, Kalamazoo Institute of the Arts, Kalamazoo, MI

2018
Color-pop, Hem+Spire & Carrack, Durham, NC

2017
Threads Celebration: UBUNTU (site-specific installation) North Carolina Museum of Art

2016
The Weightlessness of Forgiveness, Cary Arts Center

2015
Impermanence, Morton Fine Art, Washington, DC

2013
Scattered to the Wind, Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower,
Baltimore, MD

2011
Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture,
Charlotte, NC

2009
The Beauty of Now, Reginald Lewis Museum of African American History and Culture, Baltimore, MD
Free, Stone Center: Robert and Sallie Brown Gallery and Museum, UNC Chapel Hill, NC

2008
Art & Soul, Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture, Duke University, Durham, NC

2007
EnterACTION, Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Artists, Boston, MA

2006
Independence, Lyda Moore Merrick Gallery, Durham, NC

GROUP EXHIBITIONS 

2018
Across County Lines: Contemporary Photography from the Piedmont, Nasher Museum of Art at
Duke University, Durham, NC
By The People, Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building, Washington, D.C.
Prizm Art Fair, Morton Fine Art (Art Basel Week), Miami, FL

2016
Radical Intimacy, Durham Arts Movement Gallery, Durham, NC

2015
Aqua Art Miami, Morton Fine Art, Miami, FL

2014
Timeless Remnants, Morton Fine Art, Washington, DC
Aqua Art Miami, Morton Fine Art, Miami, FL

2013
Fair Focus, Morton Fine Art, Washington, DC
Art Hamptons, Morton Fine Art, Bridgehampton, NY

2012
DC NOW, Morton Fine Art, Washington, DC
AQUA Art Miami, Morton Fine Art, Miami, FL
Houston Art Fair, Morton Fine Art, Houston, TX

2011
Material Girls, Reginald Lewis Museum of African American History and Culture, Baltimore, MD
Stories that Breathe, Morton Fine Art, Washington, DC

2010
Art in Embassies, U.S. Embassy, Antananarivo, MADAGASCAR
Art in Embassies, U.S. Embassy, Rome, ITALY
Pulp, Sande Webster Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
Mind Body & Spirit, University of Maryland University College, Adelphi, MD

2009
Funktified. Staller Center for the Arts, Stony Brook University, NY
Stars and Stripes: Pride and Hope, Smith Farm Center for Healing and the Arts, Washington, D.C.

2008
Passion, Anyone Can Fly Foundation ACA Gallery, New York, NY
Double Exposure, Museum of the African Diaspora, San Francisco, CA
She’s So Articulate: Black Women Artists Reclaim the Narrative, Arlington Art Center, Arlington, VA
From Taboo to Icon: Africanist Turnabout, Ice Box Project Space, Philadelphia, PA

2007
Ubuntu, Kokrobitey Institute, Kokrobitey, GHANA
Memory and Place, IAAA Gallery: New York University, New York, NY
Transparency, Tufts University, Medford, MA
Seeds, Piano Factory Gallery, Boston, MA
Access: A Feminist Perspective, Rhonda Schaller Studio, New York, NY

2005
What is Freedom?, Gallery of Social and Political Art, Boston, MA

2004
And then there were 3, Combes Gallery, The American University of Paris, France

TEACHING EXPERIENCE 

2009-2013
Emerging Artist Mentorships, Bromo Arts Tower & Morgan State University, Baltimore, MD

2007-2008
Faculty, Design and Art History, Towson University, Baltimore, MD
Faculty, Mixed Media and Art History, Morgan State University, Baltimore, MD
Instructor, Mixed Media Collage, The Community College of Baltimore County, Baltimore, MD

2005
Founder & Instructor, Make Your Mark Art, Philadelphia, PA
Co-Teaching, Public Art Public Action Youth
Art In Action, SMFA Boston, MA

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

2016
SPIKE DBB + Cadillac, Artists Who Dare, Harlem, NY

2015
GOOGLE OnHub featured artist and designer, Mountain View, CA

2008
Director of Photography, ‘Conversation Between Elizabeth Catlett and Maya Angelou’ Delta Fine
Arts Center, Winston-Salem, NC (Film)

2007
Coordinator, 2nd African and African American Art and Film Conference, New York, NY
Curator/ Moderator, Panel Discussion ‘Racing Yourself’, invited artists: Senga Nengudi, Dread Scott
and Aisha Bell, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA

HONORS AND AWARDS

2015
Cosmopolitan Magazine (Featured Artist)

2014
National Performance Network (Participating Artist)
New England Foundation for the Arts – National Theater Project: Grant Winner

2013
Best of D.C., Modern Luxury Magazine
30 Contemporary Art Makers Under 40 You Should Know, Huffington Post
Style Maker “Maya Freelon Asante”, Luxe Magazine

2010/2011
C. Sylvia and Eddie C. Brown Studio Award

2010
Hometown Hero Award – Chapel Hill, NC

2008
The Brandywine Workshop Young Artist Fellowship

2007
City of Boston, City Council Official Recognition and Resolution (Enter-ACTION Exhibition)
Tufts University AS&E Diversity Fund Award
The School of the Museum of Fine Arts Presidential Funding (‘Racing-Yourself’ Panel)

2006
Camille Hanks Cosby Fellowship (Skowhegan Residency)

2005
Lafayette Honors Thesis Award
Outstanding Leadership Award (Philadelphia FIGHT)
Riley Temple Creative and Artistic Citizenship Award

2004
EXCEL Research Scholar

LECTURES AND WORKSHOPS

2013
The Clothesline Muse, University of Wilmington, NC
Art of Cool, Mother/Daughter Mashup, Durham, NC

2011
The Hayti Heritage Center Durham, NC (Lecture)

2010
Reginald F. Lewis Museum, Baltimore, MD (Lecture)

2009
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC (Lecture)

2008
Maryland Institute College of Art, ‘Beyond the Imagination’ Baltimore, MD (Guest Critic)
Duke University, Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture ‘Art & Soul’, Durham, NC (Lecture)
Crane Arts Ice Box Gallery, ‘From Taboo to Icon’, Philadelphia, PA (Panel Discussion)

2007
The Museum of the National Center of AfroAmerican Art, Boston, MA (Lecture and Workshop)
College Art Association Conference, New York, NY Arts Exchange (Participating Artist)
Manchester Community College, Manchester, CT (Featured Artist)

2004
Woodmere Art Museum, ‘Allan Freelon: Pioneer African American Impressionist’, Philadelphia, PA

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY 

2018
“Maya Freelon’s Immersive and Interactive Sculptures Bring Tissue Paper to Life”, by Jacoba Urist,
Smithsonian Magazine.
“Our City, Through the Lens of 13 Photographers”, Oct/Nov issue, Durham Magazine
“Bleeding Art”, Issue 87, by Shelley Rose, American Lifestyle

2016
“Fine Art Focus: Maya Freelon Asante”, by: Grace Bonney, Design Sponge

2015
“Clothesline Connects Culture to Community”, Lumia News, March
“Muse weaves tales told by the threads”, Start News, March
“Scattered to the Wind” (Cover Art), Signs Journal, Winter

2014
“Maya Freelon Asante: Volume” Washington Post, Jan
“Remarkable Women” Durham Magazine (Feature Cover), June

2013
“Style Makers: Maya Freelon Asante” Luxe Magazine, Fall
“Black Artists: 30 Contemporary Art Makers Under 40 You Should Know” Huffington Post, Feb
“Material Girl: Maya Freelon Asante”, Modern Luxury – DC Magazine: Best of DC, Jan

2012
“Material Girls: Contemporary Black Women Artists At Reginald F. Lewis Museum.”
Huffington Post
“Critics Pick” Time Lapse – Material Girls, Art Forum online
Lamb, Evelyn,“Bridging the Gap Between Math and Art” Scientific American (web slideshow)
Anderson, John “Take it to the Bridge: Week 1 – Maya Freelon Asante”, Washington Post
Rabil, Evelyn “Maya Freelon Asante: Morton Fine Arts”, Bethesda Patch: Art
Colleen, Dorsey. “Baltimore artist Maya Freelon Asante shares with ‘Like/Dislike’.”
Baltimore Sun.
Lewis, John. “What to Do? What to Do?.” Baltimore Magazine.

2011
“Color Muse: Maya Freelon Asante .” The Audacity Of Color. WordPress, 09 13 Dec
Phillip, Karin-Beate. “Material Girls.” African and African-Caribbean Design Diaspora (AACDD) . The
London Design Festival
“Beyond Bearden: Creative Responses ” Charlotte Culture Guide: A Project of the Arts & Science
Council, 2011
“On Time: Maya Freelon Asante”, TV Episode “Sunday July 31, 2011.” CBS Baltimore

2010
“ANTANANARIVO.” Art In Embassies. Department of State
Swift, Tim. “10 things not to miss this week.” The Baltimore Sun [Baltimore] 27 July
Shareef, Shaharzad. “An Artist to Watch.” The International Review of African American Art v.22 n.3
Amoss, Marianne K. “The Scene.” The Urbanite June
Johnson, S.Ann. “Talk, listen, and create with Baltimore based visual artist Maya Freelon Asante.”
Examiner.com Baltimore 22 July
Riley, Stephen. “Maya Freelon Asante: The Beauty of Now.” The Afro [Baltimore] 29 July

2009
Meadows, Jessica. “Water-stained tissue paper” My NC. NBC17. North Carolina. 1 Feb.
“Tissue becomes art.” The Triangle Tribune [Durham] 28 Jan.
Riley, Cheryl R. “Art: Family Portrait.” Uptown Magazine Feb. & March: 28-29.
“Maya Freelon Asante.” Marquis Who’s Who in American Art. 29th ed.

2008
Rice, Robin. “Life in Turnabout.” Philadelphia City Paper 23 Jan: 1
Frederick, Helen. “She’s So Articulate: Black Women Reclaim the Narrative.” Art Papers Sept.: 54. –
Nnenna Freelon: Better Than Anything. Rec. 15 Jan Original album artwork created by Maya
Freelon Asante. “Better Than Anything”, Tissue Paper Collage, 24″x23″
Henry, Lisa. “Double Exposure” Nueva Luz: En Foco 13.

2007
Kim, Jin-ah. “Maya Freelon is Unafraid.” The Boston-Bay State Banner 3 May.
“Maya Freelon.” The Callaloo Express. Cambridge Community Television. Cambridge, MA. Brittan,
David, ed. “Transparent Reconstruction.” Tufts Magazine Spring: 1.
Pough, Gwendolyn D., ed. Home Girls Make Some Noise! Hip-hop Feminism Anthology. Grand
Rapids: Parker, LLC.

2006
Greenberg, Blue. “Freelon finds her political voice in visual arts.” The Herald Sun [Durham]
22 Jan: E2.
Stasio, Frank. “IN-Dependence.” The State of Things. – WUNC. Durham. 19 Jan.
Artists of Color. Boston News Network. Boston, MA. Sept.
Freeman, Sandi. “Celebrating Women.” TRIBES Mar: 14+.
Endamne, Alice N., ed. “In The Eye of the Hurricane: Reflections on Katrina.” Black Arts Quarterly.

2005
“Accessing the past to understand the future.” The Daily Hampshire Gazette [Northampton]
Feeney, Leigh Anne. “Maya Freelon: Hybrid of Art & Soul.” Nommo Newsmagazine [Los Angeles].

2004
“Human body is focus of exhibition.” The Herald Sun [Durham, NC] Oct.
Lewis, Louis St. “Modern and Timeless.” Metro Magazine Oct.
Rodgers, Kenneth G. “Allan Freelon: African American Impressionist.” North Carolina Central
University Art Museum March & April.

COLLECTIONS
First Citizens Bank, U.S. State Department, U.S. Embassy in Madagascar; U.S. Embassy Swaziland; U.S.
Embassy Rome; Smithsonian; National Museum of African American History and Culture; The University of
Maryland (David C. Driskell Center); Johns Hopkins University; Rocketship Rise Academy; The Museum of the
National Center of Afro-American Artists; The Reginald F. Lewis Museum; The School of the Museum of Fine
Arts; The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Lafayette College; The Brandywine Workshop; The
Experimental Printmaking Institute; The Williston Northampton School; The Kokrobitey Institute; Lewis Tanner
Moore; Dr. Maya Angelou

 

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