Art workshop with Maya Freelon Asante
On the 19th of December, 2013, Maya Freelon Asante – award winning artist and daughter of jazz musician Nnenna Freelon – held a one-of-a-kind art workshop in Morija, Lesotho. The workshop took place at Linotšing art studio, adjacent to Maeder House – one of the oldest recorded buildings in Lesotho – and involved 35 local youth between the ages of 4 -25.
Throughout the afternoon, young people were given the chance to discover and create with a range of materials. In the space of a few hours, Linotšing was transformed into a bustle of activity as the children discovered the myriad of exciting creations that could be made by combining paper, water and multi-coloured tissue paper. Finally, working together under Maya’s guidance, the children helped to glue and stitch together a quilt of tissue paper, which will be used by Maya and Nnenna in their multi-discipline theater project – Clothesline Muse – set to premiere in the US in April, 2014.
At the end of the workshop, as the children contemplated the final creation, Maya said to them: “with your hands, hearts and your energy, you have made art that is going to help your community.”
The workshop coincided with a fundraising concert titled A night with the King. It was held to benefit the renovation of Morija Scott Hospital, where Nnenna, invited by King Letsie III, was the headline performer. Auctioned at the concert were two collages, created by Maya and the group in Morija the day before, with proceeds also going to Scott Hospital.
More information about Maya Freelon Asante:
Maya Freelon Asante is an award‐winning artist whose artwork was described by poet Maya Angelou as “visualizing the truth about the vulnerability and power of the human being,” and her unique tissue paper work was also praised by the International Review of African American Art as a “vibrant, beating assemblage of color.” She was selected by Modern Luxury Magazine as Best of the City 2013 and by the Huffington Post’s “Black Artists: 30 Contemporary Art Makers Under 40 You Should Know“.
Maya has exhibited her work nationally and internationally including Paris, Ghana, and US Embassies in Madagascar, Italy, Jamaica, and Swaziland. She has been a professor of art at Towson University and Morgan State University. Maya has attended numerous residencies including Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, the Korobitey Institute and Brandywine Workshop. She earned a BA from Lafayette College and an MFA from the School of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
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Maya’s work in Madagascar: