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Minneapolis, MN – The Minnesota African American Heritage Museum and Gallery
(MAAHMG) opens a new exhibition, Women’s Equity and Gender Fluidity (3A’s) Education, Finance and Real Estate, with works from artist Donna Ray which she created during her artist residency with MAAHMG. The exhibition opening reception is December 15, 2023, from 6 – 8pm at the museum, 1256 Penn Avenue N., Minneapolis, which is free and open to the public. There is free parking in the ramp attached to the building. The exhibition opens with previews on December 12, 2023 and runs through February 3, 2024.

The exhibition features works of ceramics such a two- and three-dimensional objects
and tiles with story vignettes exploring the issues of gender equality, landownership, education opportunities and the socialization of women on three continents: Africa, Asia, and the Americas (the 3As). Ray said she researched topics affecting the livelihoods and existence of women achieving equity on Mother Earth including their stake in real estate ownership, increase in wealth by building finances, and learning through all possible avenues of education which is vital to their inclusion in the equity of humanity.

“I created this exhibition using storytelling/allegory to select goddesses and/or deities to
represent each continent. Religion, politics, and philosophies vary worldwide. It is for these reasons that I decided to create ceramic objects and figures using symbolic, shape-shifting, metamorphosis and mythopoeic ideologies. Goddesses and gods are able to change their appearance based on the circumstances of their struggles in humanity,” said Ray.

An experienced ceramic artist for 25 years, Ray works predominantly in the ceramic clay arts, specializing in sculpturing, Mishima inlaying and Sgraffito carving techniques as well as throwing on an ergonomic potter wheel. She also works on public art, community based ceramic zip codes, and Messages in a Bottle projects, along with other educational adventures. She also works with other mediums such as painting, jewelry, and woodworking. Ray is also a studio artist at Northern Clay Center in Minneapolis and a member of The Fearless Artist Young Curators Program in New York. She has participated in national art shows including Art Basel in Miami in 2022.

Ray is one of four 2023 MAAHMG Artist In Residence. Other artists in the program are
Shea Maze, Azania Tripp and Nikki McComb. Each artist received a $12,000 stipend for supplies, materials, research, design and other activities or items necessary to create new works during the residency. The Artist In Residence program is designed to give support, opportunity and exposure to Black artists working in Minnesota to create new works exploring Black history, art and culture. Funding for the program was provided by a grant from the McKnight Foundation.

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