Describing herself as a community artist who makes art for social justice seems fitting for 29-year-old Ashley Minner, who not only works in various mediums but also consults, writes grants, teaches, speaks and serves on boards for several arts organizations and projects.
This stems from her growing up in the Lumbee Native American community, where Minner said she learned to "help out and give back whenever possible." One way she does this is by facilitating an after-school art program for Native American girls.
Born, raised, and currently living in Dundalk, Minner's art includes artist books, prints, mixed-media drawings and some fiber pieces, focusing much of this work on addressing issues of injustice the Lumbee community. One of these main injustices is lack of recognition, she said, so her art includes projects like oral histories of elders and others she grew up with as a reminder of their "rich cultural legacy."
Minner will be one of three speakers at 6 tonight at the Maryland Art Place for the first night of their monthly THIRTY: 30 Creative Minds Under 30 event, which features talks from young Baltimore artists (for more, see page 52). At the event, Minner will speak about her work and how she's "making it" as an artist. First though, she spoke with us about her love of breakfast and shared some words of wisdom from her kindergarten teacher.
Worst pet peeve? It's a tie between litterbugs and people who let their dog off the leash in Patterson Park.
What song are you hating/loving right now? Currently stuck on Professor Longhair's version of "Junco Partner."
Last concert/gig you went to? Barrio Fino and the Beast in Portobelo, Panama. Before that, Monchy y Natalia at Coco Cabana in Hyattsville.
Your worst habit? Texting and driving.
Three words to describe your art? Collaborative, clean, deliberate.
Trend that has exceeded its natural lifespan? Poverty!
Last movie you liked/disliked? I loved "Life of Pi."
Is there a certain piece/project you're working on right now? I'm working on a series of portraits of friends from Panama.
TV shows you can't get enough of? I don't really watch TV. If I do, I'll watch an episode of "Gunsmoke" or "Bonanza," "Sanford and Son," "Pawn Stars," "Moonshiners."
Last great meal you had? I made myself breakfast yesterday, which is all I ever really want to eat: grits, eggs, bacon.
Favorite and most loathed fashion statements? I like it when people of culture incorporate their traditional wear into their contemporary style.
Favorite place to get a drink in Baltimore? Charro Negro.
Favorite medium to work with as an artist? Right now, pencil or charcoal.
Best advice you ever got? "Always be kind and loving." — Mrs. Berger, my kindergarten teacher
Favorite thing about Baltimore? Definitely the people. It's a city full of characters
AS TOLD TO COLLEEN JASKOTCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun