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Maya Davis

Maya Davis is a multi-media artist and educator based in Detroit Michigan, through her work she interrogates the ideas of maintenance and care for and of the body through the abstract concept and materiality of protective layers and care practices, discussing how one cares, harms, heals, and maintains. With a focus on bio-materials and textiles, Davis has a focus on a series of unconventional portraits, through the concept of sustainability of practice, lifestyle, and material. 

Maya Davis is from Lansing, Michigan, currently living and working in Detroit, MI. Davis is a graduate of  College for Creative Studies' Fine Arts and Arts Education programs. Maya has exhibited works at Reyes Finn  (Detroit, MI), Good Weather (Chicago, IL), Spaysky Fine Art Gallery (Detroit, MI), been published by Anhelo Anhelo Press (Detroit, MI), and  The Studio Museum (Harlem, NY). Professionally, Davis has worked alongside institutions such as The Whitney Museum (Manhattan, NY), The Studio Museum in Harlem (Harlem, NY), and is currently the Education and Community Engagement Manager at The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (Detroit, MI).

“As a participant in this cohort of Modern Ancient Brown's Post-Bac Fellowship, I am excited to delve deeper into my arts and research practice. This  opportunity will provide me the time and resources necessary to nurture a broader scope of my multi-faceted approach to my arts career. I am looking forward to collaborating closely with fellow artists, while also being able to involve myself with opportunities and connections provided by Modern Ancient Brown throughout my residency.”

Julianna Sanroman

Julianna Sanromán is an interdisciplinary artist from Southwest Detroit, raised in the Northeastern region of Jalisco, Mexico and currently working in the Metro Detroit Area. In the vibrant strokes of her brush, Julianna captures the essence of her deepest desires, grappling with the bittersweet hope of a family united in an alternate reality. Her paintings serve as windows into a world where memories and imagination intertwine, offering glimpses of love, violence, solitude, faith, and homeland.

Julianna’s artistic practice is a delicate dance between the literal and the metaphorical, where each stroke of paint becomes a reflection of her lived experiences and cultural heritage. Despite the weight of her themes, she infuses her work with a lightness and joy, exploring the transcendent power of color and translucence.Julianna has shown work at The Scarab Club (Detroit, MI), Gallery Camile (Detroit, MI), Art Prize (Grand Rapids, MI), BasBlue (Detroit, MI), The Gallery at Brewery Park (Detroit, MI), and Gallery Omnibus, (Dresden, Germany). Julianna is an avid member of the Detroit Society of Women Painters and Sculptors. Julianna will be a graduate of the College for Creative Studies in May, receiving a BFA in Art Practice.

I believe that the Modern Ancient Brown Post-Baccalaureate Residency will grant me the opportunity to expand on my art practice in ways I only could dream of. I am honored to grow within communal support as I reconnect with elements of my past, to trace the footsteps of my ancestors, and to reclaim fragments of my heritage that have long lingered within my soul."


Kenise Gaston

Kenise Gaston is a visual artist based in Chicago, Illinois. Using wooden blocks of abstract and geometric shapes, she constructs architectural sculptures that reflect themes of balance, fragility, and patience. In her practice, Gaston explores and often references the metaphorical use of geometry in language that is commonly used to describe social structures and relationships. Due to her interest in education, Gaston also aims to create work that serves as educational tools for these ideas. Gaston received a BA in Fine Arts from Columbia College Chicago.

“I am greatly looking forward to participating in this program as it will offer me a unique level of growth and experience within my artistic journey. With the time and resources this program provides, I can delve deeper into my practice and continue refining my voice as an artist."

Gabrielle Ione Hickmon

Gabrielle Ione Hickmon (b. 1994) is a Black woman from a middle place—Ypsilanti, MI. Her lab is a place where clay, words, and herbs meet. She is interested in body memory, waiting rooms, placekeeping, circles, the African American Midwest, ecomemory, jazz, and ocular proof.

Gabrielle’s work includes essays, qualitative research, and hand-built ceramics. She won Bronze in the Leisure, Games, & Sport category of the 2022 Information is Beautiful Awards and First Honorable Mention in the 2022 NYU American Journalism Online Awards for her ethnographic research project, How You Play Spades is How You Play Life: Spades in the African American Community. Her writing has appeared in Vox, Condé Nast Traveler, The Baffler, The Pudding, Literary Hub, and elsewhere. She attended Cornell University and the University of Pennsylvania. Gabrielle will begin her doctoral studies in History with a focus on the African American family in the Great Lakes Region from the 1800s to the present at the University of Michigan in the fall of 2024.

Gabrielle is currently at work on The Boyne City Project, a multi-media family history project that explores multiple periods and contexts of African American history in Michigan prior to, through, and after the Great Migration, a memoir about her experience with breast cancer, and WORKING PROCESS, a series of conversations with other Black women ceramic artists about their work and process.


Gabrielle has been in residence at Pocoapoco, Mas Palou, Mudhouse, and John Bauer Ceramics. She will soon be in residence at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond, the Modern Ancient Brown Foundation, and The Writer’s Colony at Dairy Hollow. In 2023, Gabrielle was awarded a fellowship to Haystack Mountain’s 5th Summer Session in Ceramics to study smoke-firing under Madoda Fani. Gabrielle works out of a studio in Ypsilanti, MI.


"Participation in the Modern Ancient Brown Foundation Post-Bac Residency Program is an exciting opportunity that will aid the development of my practice by affording me the time, space, resources, and community, to further root my ceramics, research, and broader creative practice in Michigan—the place I am from and the place my family has called home for 154 years. Through the creation of ceramics made from and finished with natural materials found and grown on this land as well as opportunities to deepen relationships with the arts community in Metro-Detroit, participating in the Modern Ancient Brown Foundation Post-Bac Residency Program is deeply aligned with my efforts to be an artist-scholar of, in, and focused on the African-American Midwest."



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