I address the Black maternal mortality and morbidity crisis in America through painting and multimedia. Black women are three to four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than white women. Influenced by my own traumatic pregnancy and survival, the imagery centers the experiences of Black mothers and children who have suffered adverse birth outcomes but challenge the institutional modes in finding solutions. Motifs are structured around ideas dictated by necessary rituals of care. The images serve as a call to action for more awareness, research, and eradication of unnecessary maternal and infant death in the United States of America.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Ashley January creates contemporary paintings informed by her maternal experience. Due to pregnancy complications that led to her son’s premature birth, her new body of work addresses the crisis of the Black maternal mortality and morbidity rate in America. Recently, Ashley became the first recipient of the Women’s Caucus for Art, 2022 Emerging Artist Award. Additionally, she was selected as a Finalist for the 2022 Artadia Chicago Award. In October 2021, Ashley was invited to show in a group exhibition for Black women’s wellness at the historical institution, South Side Community Art Center in Chicago. In June 2021, Ashley was also invited to show in an online group exhibition through Dominique Gallery on Artsy. In recent years, her works have been exhibited in numerous venues including, Mana Contemporary, Chicago, IL; SoLA Contemporary, Los Angeles, CA; the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, IL; Viridian Artists Inc, New York, NY; Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, CA; Pacific Art Foundation, Newport Beach, CA; and the Irvine Fine Arts Center, Irvine, CA. Recently, her paintings have been seen in the new television series, Kings of Napa, on OWN. In 2018, she was selected as a first-place award winner at the Woman Made Gallery’s Midwest Open in Chicago. In 2017, Ashley won the Beverly Bank Best of Show Award at the Beverly Arts Center’s juried competition. Ashley earned her MFA in Painting from Laguna College of Art and Design, Laguna Beach, CA in 2017 and her BS in Communication with an Advertising concentration and Minor in Studio Art from Bradley University, Peoria, IL in 2009. She lives in Chicago with her family while working from home and her studio at Mana Contemporary.
© Ashley January