This current body of work explores the tensions found within systemic codes in which the black body -hunted, sexualized, feared, imprisoned - is also seen as symbol of grandeur. Welding deeply political statements and integrating imagery from the black body into paintings, toile schema, found objects, and media addresses the use of the black body and the control of that body for decorative purposes.
Shanequa Gay, an Atlanta native, has drawn praise and critical acclaim for her current work art as advocacy projects which challenge the unyielding violence and injustices committed in America and across the globe against the black body.
Gay has exhibited her work at prestigious venues and events including the Chattanooga African American Museum, the Hammonds House Museum, the Hunter Museum of American Art, the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History, Emory University, Wofford College and the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center. Her work is among public and private collections including actor Samuel L. Jackson and the permanent collection for SCAD Hong Kong.
Gay's accomplishments outside the exhibition space includes features in the Lions Gate film Addicted, the BET television series Being Mary Jane and Zoe Ever After, and the OWN series Greenleaf. She was chosen by The Congressional Club to be the illustrator for the First Lady's Luncheon hostess gift where First Lady Michelle Obama and more than 1,800 attendees received the gift.
She is a graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) and currently an MFA candidate at Georgia State University.
Residencies / Recognitions / Awards
Baldwin's Room Artist in Residence, Johannesburg, South Africa (2017)
The Creatives Project Artist-in-Studio Program (2015-2017)
WonderRoot Community Supported Arts Program (2015)
Anne O Art Gallery