By Jamie Weissman
Walking through the Stamp Student Union’s Art Gallery, it feels like being part of an exhibit- and that’s exactly how artist Maya Freelon Asante wants you to feel. As the gallery’s first Artist-in-Residence, Asante has turned the space into her own studio, complete with an interactive piece of artwork, VOLUME, for all students.
Since February 6th the Stamp art gallery has been open to students with the opportunity to add to a tissue paper quilt, a project that will continue to expand until the exhibit’s March 6th closing.
“I wanted it to be something that people could join in and help. Individually the piece of tissue paper is insignificant, and maybe even considered trash, but when it’s linked together there is more power, strength, and unity,” Asante explained.
Asante is the first of what Stamp gallery hopes to be a long line of artists who will participate in their new Artist-in-Residence program. The program, AIR @ Stamp Gallery, aims to bring local and regional artists to the Maryland who are willing to experiment with projects that would collaborate with visitors.
“Maya had a project that she did with Corcoran Gallery and WPA where she created this tissue paper installation inside a glass box so people could watch her process and I thought well that’s exactly what I want people to experience here. Also, to get involved in the making,” Jackie Milad, the Stamp Gallery Curator, said.
Although VOLUME has not occupied the Stamp Gallery for long, it appears students have taken to the idea of becoming a piece of art.
“The art she makes is beautiful. I’m really into it and I’m excited about the potential of this quilt,” Ashlyn Sassman, a junior psychology major, said.
Although VOLUME is Asante’s first project on a college campus, the artist is no stranger to displaying her work. Since earning her master’s in fine art from Boston’s School of the Museum of Fine Arts she has gone on to exhibit her work both nationally and internationally and become an award-winning artist.
Despite her accomplishments, Asante’s wish list for Maryland students is simple.
She says, “I just want them to come and make art with me!”