A work by art student Asia Hanon was selected for the 35th Annual McNeese National Works on Paper Exhibition and received the Lucy Brown Winfree Purchase Award as one of just seven pieces to be added to the McNeese State University permanent collection. The exhibition, which includes 70 works by artists from across the Unites States, was juried by Jennifer Dasal, Associate Curator of Contemporary Art at the North Carolina Museum of Art and host of the ArtCurious podcast. It is on view in the Grand Gallery of the Shearman Fine Arts Annex at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana, through May 6.
Hanon’s work, “As I Am,” is a large linocut print. A linocut is a print created from a design cut into a linoleum surface and inked with a roller, then impressed on paper or fabric.
“My work uses printmaking, sometimes combining mark-making and painting processes, to explore ideas of self-identity and self-expression,” Hanon wrote in an artist statement. “My work mainly consists of figurative style work while occasionally overlapping shapes, patterns, or symbols to tell the story of the individual I am representing. I am very inspired by spirituality and the idea that our ancestors live through us.”
In “As I Am,” Hanon specifically addresses Black empowerment in the face of white oppression.
“As Black women, our ancestors play a significant role in our self-identity. Whites silenced our ancestors through colonization, slavery, and segregation. They were not allowed to be outspoken or share opinions due to fear. These are all traits that are sometimes seen in Blacks today. In my piece, ‘As I am,’ I subtly address this issue. The work is more about the power to either continue to sit in my ancestors’ silence or step out of the silence to embody who I am.”
Hanon is pursuing a BFA in Art with a concentration in painting. She will graduate in the spring of 2023.