Perpich News

Azania Tripp (Literary Arts 2009) Named 2023 Artist-In-Residence for Minnesota African American Heritage Museum and Gallery

Azania Tripp (Literary Arts 2009)

July 10, 2023

Congratulations to Azania Tripp (Literary Arts 2009) on being named a 2023 Artist-In-Residence for the Minnesota African American Heritage Museum and Gallery (MAAHMG)! Tripp is a Minnesota native and self-taught artist who spent the early years of her practice focused on creating mixed-media paper jewelry. More recently, she has been translating some of her work to a larger scale for galleries and exhibitions. Her work revolves around themes of storytelling, historical trauma, and how Afrofuturism and joy are pathways to healing. In 2022, Azania’s work was featured in exhibitions such as “Blood on the Pavement” curated by Ashley Richardson, and “Notes on Healing” at Friedli Gallery. Azania uses her lived experience navigating her intersectionalities as a Black/African American, Singaporean Eurasian, Pansexual woman, and adult living with ADHD. She hopes people receive whimsical joy when interacting with her art.

During her artist residency at MAAHMG, Azania will create a new body of work and curate an interactive, visual art exhibition that showcases the stories of African American Minnesotans, their families, and the food they share. Azania will research how enslaved Africans brought with them to the United States a variety of foods which have become staples in African American cuisine and are a reminder of collective experiences and resilience. She will also explore, through interviews with families, how these dishes carry African American history and are a part of significant life moments. The MAAHMG Artist-In-Residence program is funded by a grant from the McKnight Foundation.

The MAAHMG selected four artists for its 2023 Artist-In-Residence program and two individuals for its 2023 History Fellowship program. The Artist-In-Residence are Shea Maze, Nikki McComb, Donna Ray, and Azania Tripp. The History Fellows are James Curry and Leonard Searcy.

Both the Artist-In-Residence and History Fellowship programs are for six months where the individuals will work with the museum to create new works which will be showcased in separate exhibitions at the museum. Each artist and the history fellow will have their own exhibition at the museum. The artist residents and history fellows will each also plan and participate in at least one community engagement event at the museum.

The artist residents and history fellows each received a $12,000 stipend to be used for supplies, materials, research, design, and other activities or items necessary to create new works for an exhibit during the program. The artist residents were chosen by a panel which included Ta-coumba Aiken, artist, arts administrator, educator and community activist; Seitu Jones, multidisciplinary artist and advocate; Roxane Battle, author and former journalist; and Tina Burnside, MAAHMG cofounder and curator. The Artist-In-Residence program is designed to give support, opportunity, and exposure to underrepresented Black artists in Minnesota to create new works exploring Black history, art and culture.

“We are excited to continue these programs for a second year, which will provide these amazingly talented individuals an opportunity to explore and create new work by giving them financial resources and a platform to expand and grow their practices in their chosen fields,” said Tina Burnside, MAAHMG cofounder and curator. “They will be able to create and curate exhibitions that reflect the rich culture, art and history of the Black community.”