Meet artist/educator Ashley Minner

Ashley Minner is a Maryland artist and educator who has focused on exploring the heritage and documenting the history of her tribe, the Lumbee, in Baltimore. She shared two wonderful articles that have recently been written by and about her and some of her work. The text in this post is from the linked articles, which we highly recommend, and the work is Minner’s who you can follow on Instagram at @ashleyminnerart or visit on her website at ashleyminnerart.com.


We learned about Minner during a search for art education voices to feature for Native American Heritage month (November), but Minner pointed out in the linked article, “It’s hard to be just an artist because you’re never not who you are, but I feel like I get tokenized a lot and receive a lot of attention in November… It’s exhausting, I miss drawing and painting.” We hope that this post introduces you to this year-round artist and educator who is doing some incredible work in Maryland. We thank her for sharing her work and perspective.


Here is some of her work and her words:

Tonya, from the Exquisite Lumbees series, Ashley Minner, photo by Sean Scheidt, text by Tonya Gail Oxendine, 2010, 41" x 29"

“Everything I do starts with a story that somebody told, it’s all narrative.”

Jeremy, from the Exquisite Lumbees series, Ashley Minner, photo by Sean Scheidt, text by Jeremy Larue Locklear, 2010, 41" x 29"

”As Baltimore’s neighborhoods continue to change, its residents would do well to realize that Lumbee people have been here for a long time – and we’re still here.”


The Exquisite Lumbee, Cadavre Esquis Artist’s Book, covers printed on Ingres, pages printed on photo stock, stab binding, Edition of I, Digital Photographs, 2010, 11 ¾" x 13 ½”

On researching the Lumbee Tribe: “How, then, could I even begin to pinpoint where things used to be? This question prompted a spree of digging and plundering through many local institutional archives in search of clues that would help me reconstruct ‘the reservation.’”


John Ander Walker / My Uncle John, from the Lumbee Legends series, Artist Book, Digital Prints on Ingres, Courier New Font and Handwriting, Brass Book Screws, Audio CDs, Cotton Cases, Edition of I, 2007, 7" x 8.75" x .5” closed

“All cities are steeped in stories. Whether we realize it or not, we are always walking in the footsteps of those who came before.”


Trace, installation at the Delaplaine Visual Arts Education Center, Frederick Maryland, 2015

“She sees the creative process as a series of starts and stops, and acknowledges that ‘you fall a little in love with work you make’ regardless of the form it takes.”


Trace, installation at the Delaplaine Visual Arts Education Center, Frederick Maryland, 2015

Ashley Minner is an artist and educator who currently works at UMBC, and is completing her doctorate through the University of Maryland, College Park. Her BFA, MA, and MFA are from MICA. We thank her for allowing us to share her work and perspective. The articles we quoted and linked to are: "Art And: Ashley Minner," by Suzy Kopf, BmoreArt, http://www.bmoreart.com/2019/11/art-and-ashley-minner.html and "A quest to reconstruct Baltimore's American Indian 'reservation,'" by Ashley Minner, The Conversation, https://theconversation.com/a-quest-to-reconstruct-baltimores-american-indian-reservation-110562. The artwork was shared with us by Ashley Minner.

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