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Fine Art Focus: Maya Freelon Asante

by Grace Bonney

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Over the past 12 years of blogging here at Design*Sponge, I’ve read and written about thousands of artists and designers. A small handful will always stand out to me for their innovation and bold choices in color and technique, but few have made a mark as powerful as mixed-media artist, Maya Freelon Asante.

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Maya is based in Baltimore, MD where she creates absolutely breathtaking installations using tissue paper. After talking last week about the way tissue paper can be used to create things like paper flowers, I love seeing how such a beautiful but humble material can be transformed into something as significant and moving as these pieces that Maya crafts. Back in 2005, Maya discovered a stack of tissue paper in her grandmother’s basement. Water in the basement had leaked into the paper and left a “bleeding” stain that so transfixed Maya that she decided to change her artistic focus to create work with this type of paper. Maya’s work has been shown internationally and is now displayed in the collections of the Reginald F. Lewis Museum and the U.S. State Department. Read on below to learn more about her gorgeous artwork. xo, grace

Artist: Maya Freelon Asante
About: Maya lives and works in Baltimore, Maryland. She received her BA from Lafayette College and her MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Work: Maya is a mixed-media artist who makes stunning, abstract sculptures and installations from tissue paper. Her work was described as, “visualizing the truth about the vulnerability and power of the human being,” by Maya Angelou.
More: You can read more about Maya’s work here, here, here, here and here.

All artwork (c) Maya Freelon Asante. Images via maya-freelonasante.squarespace.com. Portrait by Greg Powers.

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Comments

  • These images are stunning! I’m smitten with the green piece, and I bet they’re even lovelier in person. And always love seeing artists from my hometown!

  • Wow, her work is gorgeous. I’m an elementary school art teacher and my students will definitely be learning about her work! I can’t wait.

  • Hey Maya! Glad to see your still at it! First saw your work in Durham entitled “In-Dependence”. good luck.

  • I’m also a mixed media artist using photos of my family and a Holocaust survivor. I chronicle the time we spent in Siberia at the beginning of World War II. I like using all sorts of textured papers in my work but have never tried colored tissue paper. I will try it now, seeing how beautifully you used it Maya.

    Shushana Caplan