Franklin Furnace Fund Recipients 2017-18

(New York, NY)Ayana Evans


Ayana Evans is a NYC based artist. She frequently visits her hometown of Chicago whose Midwestern reputation is a major influence on her art. Evans received her MFA in painting from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University and her BA in Visual Arts from Brown University. She has attended the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture and the Vermont Studio Center. In 2015 she received the Jerome Foundation's Theater and Travel & Study Grant for artistic research abroad. During Summer 2016 Evans completed her installment of the residency, "Back in Five Minutes" at El Museo Del Barrio in NYC. She completed a series this Summer 2017 "A Person of the Crowd" at the Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia, PA; as well as FAIP an international performance festival, Martinique; "Light Happenings II" presented by Lab Bodies, Baltimore, MD; and Rapid Pulse Retrospective, Chicago, IL. Evans also performed at Ghana'a Chale Wote festival in August 2017.

Evans’s on-going performances/public interventions include: "Operation Catsuit" and "I Just Came Here to Find a Husband." She has curated and co-curated performance art shows throughout the U.S, Jamaica, Martinique, Canada , Ghana and worked in arts education for a decade. She is Editor at Large for Her recent press includes articles on New York Magazine's "The Cut," Hyperallergic, the Huffington Post, and BBC.

Project Description

I want 2017 to mark the introduction of : "I want some sugar with my sh**," an extension of my ongoing project Operation Catsuit, which blurs the boundaries between the viewer and art, while shifting stereotypes of the Black female body. For this new series I want to increase the frequency of my public actions, while adding more elements of whimsy/awe to the performances. These new elements represent the "sugar" in the series title. To add to this concept, I am particularly interested in projecting over-sized videos of the work onto the facade of art institutions across New York.