That Which Does Not Burn
Maiya Lea Hartman
July to December, 2022
That Which Does Not Burn, by Maiya Lea Hartman, is a multimedia body of work celebrating the connections between the past, present, and future of Black identities. It stresses the importance of learning the names and stories of the Black people in our communities while we are alive, an effort that is especially necessary in this historical time. The exhibition’s title is derived from the Adinkra symbol Hye Won Hye. It highlights the imperishable nature of traditions in the African Diaspora. Adinkra is a system of symbology that originates from the Asante people of present-day Ghana and Côte D’Ivoire. Each symbol serves as a shorthand for a proverb that communicates a deeper meaning. This work intends to honor and encapsulate our ancestors’ influence as it continues to inform our future. The way that African American people carry the traditions of our ancestors despite hundreds of years of attempts to tear us away from them embodies the nature of this.
The MAAHMG Artist-In-Residence program is designed to give support, opportunity and exposure to Black artists working in Minnesota to create new works exploring Black history, art and culture. Funding for the program was provided by a grant from the Transformative Black-Led Movement Fund by Nexus Community Partners and Black Visions Collective, a donation from the Eulysses and Janet Aiken Fund (Ta-coumba Aiken), and a donation from Seitu Jones.
About The Artist
Maiya Lea Hartman is a Painter, Mixed-media artist, and Muralist living and working in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Maiya’s practice draws from personal memories and moments that examine identity, expression, and the body through the lens of a Queer, Black, Non-binary person. Their practice is intimate, touching on the innocence of childhood and examining the pressures of gender performativity through family portraits and self-portraiture. The memories and feelings they draw from are recontextualized by placing the figures in undefined landscapes, allowing their body language and facial expressions to communicate messages. Maiya explores ancestral influences by using mixed-media materials such as braiding hair, fabric, and hand-carved Adinkra symbols. The use of such materials paying homage to the weight and history they hold in African-American identities as traditions we have held onto from our African Ancestors.
You can find more information about Hartman on their website.