CO-OP ART ATL PRESENTS SHANEQUA GAY’S “IF I WERE NOT HERE”


ATLANTA (October 27, 2021) – CO-OP ART Atl presents “If I Were Not Here,” 15 new works, including five on paper and 10 multimedia pieces on board, by Shanequa Gay. By appointment only, the work is available Wednesday, November 17 through Thursday, December 9 at Maison Hideoki, located at 2300 Peachtree Road, NW, Suite A-300. To schedule an appointment, contact coopartatl@gmail.com.

Gay utilizes the medium of collage to create a richly layered narrative centered around the fictional locale of Atlannahland, where young black girls shape shift, donning gold chain links and haloed door knocker earrings. With a focus on ritual and personal memory as well as storytelling and fantasy, Gay takes inspiration from her ancestors and the deep well of southern Black traditions.

“Collage allows me to tell many stories all at once. It is the language of world building and play,” said Gay. “In this place I call Atlannahland, I am documenting and making up stories occupied by Black girls who see themselves as divine. When you are a young girl, you still have magical thinking, you are unbridled, courageous, graceful, and stealth.”

Further, collage allows her to create meaning through juxtaposition. It is a language of the subversive, the mystical, the nonsensical and the feminine

“Shanequa is a stand-out Atlanta artist and we’re thrilled to shine a national spotlight on this compelling body of work,” said Courtney Bombeck, CEO of CO-OP ART Atl. “We are proud to present, promote and celebrate her among the many fine artists here in Atlanta.”

Concurrently, Jackson Fine Art has a selection of photo-collage works from Gay on view. This will be the gallery’s first solo exhibition of the artist’s work, in conjunction with CO-OP ART Atl exhibition of her paintings. These photocollage studies ground the artist’s overall project of interrogating the stained history of our own city with a broader exploration of strong symbols and signifiers associated with Southern Black identity.

About Shanequa Gay:

Shanequa Gay holds a BA from the Savannah College of Art and Design and an MFA from Georgia State University. She lives and works in Atlanta and is an active member of the city’s art community. Gay's accomplishments include selection for OFF THE WALL, a city-wide Civil Rights and Social Justice Mural initiative led by the Atlanta Super Bowl Host Committee (2019). Her recent exhibitions include Atlanta Biennial, Atlanta Contemporary (2021); Adorned, Moll Center for Arts and Innovation, Charlotte (2020); Holding Space For Nobility: A Memorial For Breonna Taylor, Ackland Museum, Chapel Hill, North Carolina (20200; and Lit Without Sherman, Hammonds House Museum, Atlanta (2019). Gay exhibits her works and procures residencies within the United States, Japan, and South Africa. She is a Do Good Fellow recipient and an Emory University Arts and Social Justice Fellow, 2020. Gay looks forward to participating in Le Monde Bossale, Montreal, Canada, in 2021.

About CO-OP ART Atl:

CO-OP Art Sales and Advisory specializes in primary and secondary fine art sales of contemporary work to individual and corporate clients.

About Maison Hideoki:

Hideoki Bespoke is Dedrick Thomas’s custom menswear company dedicated to providing high quality, made-to-measure, bespoke clothing using fabric from the finest English and Italian mills.


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