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Today we’d like to introduce you to SHENEQUA.

Thanks for sharing your story with us SHENEQUA. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I was born in St. Thomas, USVI and raised in a Caribbean home in Miami, Florida. I realized I wanted to be an artist when I attended the New World School of the Arts High school. In 2011, I attended the Kansas City Art Institute where I received my bachelor’s degree in Fibers/Textiles in Kansas City, Missouri. Currently, I reside in Chicago, Illinois where I have a master’s in design for Fashion, Body, & Garment from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. I am a textile interdisciplinary artist and my cultural background, family, Ghanian experience, and conversations with others influence my art practice.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Wow! It hasn’t been a rough road, but it hasn’t been smooth all the time. Transitioning from being out of college twice was a struggle and a different kind of struggle for my bachelors and masters. The reason for that I would say is because I was at a different point in my life as an artist and a woman. As I continue to evolve in my art practice and personal life I’m finding it to be much rewarding because of the choices I made for me.

Please tell us about your business.
The craft weaving is the birth of my art pieces and from there, it takes on a life of its own from a hair weaving, sculpture, performance, “garment”, sound piece, or an installation. I am making a new body of work that questions the use of materiality in relation to craft. Weaving synthetic-hair tells a story about an experience shared with people in my life I love, care, and hold dear to me. Braiding, Bantu knotting, and plaiting mimic the hairstyles I grew up seeing. I celebrate the idea of sisterhood, womanhood, a sacred space, intimacy, identity, and beauty to name a few.

I’m most proud of myself to have the opportunity to attend top art universities in the country, to be able to have my artwork showcased in wonderful spaces alongside other talented artists, to be awarded the opportunity to travel to Ghana, West Africa (one of my favorite places in the world), and recently being awarded the inaugural 2017-2018 YoungArts Daniel Arsham fellow which allows me the financial opportunity to continue my art practice, but most importantly network with other creative, talented, and hardworking artists out there.

There is only one SHENEQUA and that sets me apart from others because of my drive, hunger, determination, and understanding that the cliché, anything is possible, can actually happen as long as I work towards it.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Hmmm… Seeing my mother smile and joy in her eyes when she attended every award show and graduation because I knew she was so proud of me.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Photo Credit: James Prinz, Brea McAnally, & Women Made Gallery.
Special Thanks: Mahniya Watson, Stevie Stevens, Terrell Davis, Grace Kromah, Adia Sykes, Kat Reynolds & Heike Dempster.

Getting in touch: VoyageChicago is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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