Ayana Ross

Artist Statement

Ayana Ross (b. 1977) is based in Atlanta, Georgia. Her figurative paintings explore intersecting issues of race, gender, identity and economics, as seen in daily life in the landscape of American culture. Ross illuminates insights that draw connections between social issues and universally shared experiences. She combines traditional oil painting methods with the elaborate treatment of prints, patterns and decorative designs elevating her subjects and providing deeper context into the work.


Ayana Ross (b. 1977) is a figurative artist whose work depicts images that celebrate the beauty of everyday life while simultaneously exploring issues of race, identity and social structures. Having grown up in the American South, she pulls from personal narratives and a wealth of stories and images shared within her community. She is particularly intrigued by themes that illuminate cross-cultural experiences shared in our youth and their parallel to the broader view of society. Ross utilizes traditional oil painting methods, combining figurative realism with elaborate treatment of painted patterns and decorative designs that are reflective of the influence of time, place and provide deeper context of the work.

Ross holds an MA degree in Painting from Savannah College of Art and Design, a MA in Liberal Arts from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro and a BS in Design and Merchandising from Georgia Southern University. Her work has been exhibited in a variety of group shows and is held in a number of prominent collections worldwide. Her most notable honor to date, Ross was named The Bennett Prize 2.0 winner in 2021.

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Oil on Canvas, 60" x 48" x 1.5"