MFA Candidate Shanequa Gay Exhibits at the Mary S. Byrd Gallery

Posted On January 31, 2018
Categories Featured News

Congratulations to Shanequa Gay for her current solo exhibition, Marginalized and Mythological: Shanequa Gay’s Disruption of the Pastoral Landscape at the Mary S. Byrd Gallery at Augusta University.  The exhibition (A sample of Shanequa Gay’s artwork) takes place through February 16, 2018.


According to the gallery website:

Intended to showcase one year of the artist’s research, creative process and production, this exhibition features selections of Shanequa Gay’s source materials, her sketches and three distinct installations to include a video, a domestic setting and a wall mural inside the gallery.

Influenced by her research of printed fabric and its history, the designs created by Gay reflect her interests in the Civil Rights era, Southern vernacular, and current issues faced by African Americans. Her thematic approach to contemporary issues rendered through genre scenes and mythological figures echoes her research of the practices of illustrators who created the imagery for the fabrics produced by the Oberkampf Factory in Jouey-en-Josas, which operated in France during the 17th and 18th century, producing the pastoral genre commonly known as Toile de Jouey, or simply,”toile,” and traditional African patterns such as Adinkra. The wall mural in this exhibition features Gay’s deertaur — a mythological creature featuring the head of a deer and the body of a man that she often uses in her work to reference the “hunted” status of the African American male.



Following the Department of Art and Design’s tradition, as the first exhibiting artist of the calendar year, Ms. Gay will serve as the juror for the Byrd Gallery’s annual student exhibition open to all Augusta University students. She will also be in residence with the Department beginning January 8th and will work with current students and recent alumni to produce the exhibition’s featured wall mural.


About Shanequa Gay

Contemporary artist Shanequa Gay (b. 1977) is a native of Atlanta, Georgia where she continues to live and work. Widely acclaimed for her paintings and illustrations, Shanequa has also received accolades for her advocacy of projects that challenge the violence and injustices committed against the black body in America and across the globe. Her current body of work integrates imagery of the black body into paintings, toile schema, found objects, and video media, addressing its use and control for decorative purposes.

Shanequa’s art is regularly featured in exhibitions by museums and galleries throughout the U.S. including the Chattanooga African American Museum, the Hammonds House Museum, Emory University, Wofford College and the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center. Her works are collected by individuals with notable collections such as Samuel L. Jackson and held by public and private institutions.

Among her honors, Shanequa boasts of selection by The Congressional Club to serve as the illustrator of the hostess gift presented at the First Lady’s Luncheon by Michelle Obama, 2013. She is also the recipient of an Independent Study Fellowship, Iwakuni, Japan and the Gene Arthur Allcott Scholarship, the Glenda Knight Keyes Prize for Outstanding Talent and the Artistic Honors Scholarship presented by the Savannah College of Art and Design. Additionally, her work is featured by the film and television industry including the Lion’s Gate film production Addicted, the BET television series Being Mary Jane, Zoe Ever After and the OWN series Greenleaf.  Shanequa holds a B.F.A. in Painting from the Savannah College of Art Design (2015) and is currently a candidate for an M.F.A. at Georgia State University.