Aliana Grace Bailey graduated from the Community Arts program with an MFA in 2020.
:: An informal interview with Aliana
What are your preferred pronouns?
Where do you call home?
What is your program and year of graduation?
MFA in Community Arts, 2020
What inspired you to take the leap of going to graduate school?
I wanted a change and new challenge. I patiently waited a few years after undergrad. I felt that it was time.
How has this scholarship impacted your thinking and process during your time in graduate school?
This scholarship has been a blessing. Our gatherings throughout graduate school felt like a safe haven. Dr. Leslie King Hammond is an amazing person. I always felt full, inspired, supported, and a sense of clarity. It felt like a space that was actually for me. Being able to be surrounded by rich history, storytelling, blackness, and excellence was really invaluable. I always left the space feeling better than how I walked in.
What have you been working on? Share the driving questions and inspiration that informs your work as an artist, designer, educator and/or activist.
I'm deepening the connection between my spirituality, intimacy, and art. I'm exploring rest, scale, mental wellness, and connection to my ancestors. Through material, I weave layers of interconnection, comfort, and conversations; exploring mark-making and abstraction. I'm exploring questions such as how do my various mediums interact in space? What role can my art play in people's everyday lives? When is vulnerability transformative and positive and when is it hurtful and exploitative? How does my art bear witness through emotional connection? My work is bold, warm, and sensual, while also quiet, soft, and special in ways that intimately engage the patient viewer. Through color and material, I'm exploring ways to translate sensations into concrete things and allowing forms to marry and hold the viewer with a warm embrace.