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Temple University, Tyler School of Art, MFA in Painting with one year of concentration in Rome, Italy
Brown University, BA in Visual Arts

Fashion Institute of Technology, Associates Degree in Accessory Design


Awards and Honors   

  • Chamberlain Award for Residency at Headlands Center for the Arts, 2022
  • Jerome Hill Artist Fellowship, awarded by Jerome Foundation, 2021-2022
  • Yaddo Residency 2021

  • Savage Lewis Residency and Grant, Art on The Vine,2019

  • Artists Alliance Inc. Residency and Grant, 2018

  • SIP Fellow, Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop of the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, 2018

  • New York Foundation of the Arts (NYFA) Interdisciplinary Arts Fellowship, 2017-2018 cycle

  • Franklin Furnace Performance Art Grant 2017-2018 cycle

  • Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant, 2016

  • Jerome Foundation Grant for Travel and Research, 2014

  • Scholarship for Study at Vermont Studio Center, 2000 (for painting)

  • Financial Award for Summer Study at Skowhegan School of Art, 1999 (for painting) 

Solo and Two Person Exhibitions

2022           Cash Rules Everything Around Me (CREAM) Career Fair, Weeksville Heritage Canter, Brooklyn NY.

A one-day career fair that gave special focus to formerly incarcerated people. Art and tech panel discussions, catered food, an all-day DJ, free arts workshops, organizations passed out info on jobs or grants, and resume building workshops took place. During the following month indoor and outdoor large-scale projections of statistics on mass incarceration spliced with abstract performance videos were exhibited at the Weeksville Center.

2021           I Just Came Here to Find a Husband and Start a Got Damn Revolution, Brown University,Providence RI

A series of outdoor large-scale projections and performances that focus on ideas helping others, freedom and statistics on the connection between education and mass incarceration. All profits from images and videos from this event will be donated to the Equal Justice Initiative.

2020           Constructing A Black Ass Art Show, Wa Na Wari Gallery, Seattle, WA (Online solo show) performed at                           the home I grew up in, Chicago IL. Over 100 people attended this online performance and Q&A session.

2020           I Came by Boat So Meet Me at The Beach, August Wilson Cultural Center, Pittsburgh, PA; (2- person                             Exhibition)  View Exhibition Video Here

2019           Spectacle and Change Beach Performance, Siren Arts Festival, Asbury Park, NJ

2019           My Colonial Get Away, EFA Robert Blackburn Printshop at NADA, Governors Island, NY (Solo)

2019           A Black Woman's Art Show and A White Man's Exhibition, Cuchifritos Gallery,  NYC (Solo Exhibition)

This was a conceptual month long show. After the 1st two weeks of the show's run I gave myself white male privilege, so the prices doubled and less work was on the walls for the 2nd half of the show. The exhibition also included three performances and a Q and A "Black brunch."

2018           If Keisha Jumped Off a Bridge, Would You Do It Too? Medium Tings, Brooklyn, NY (Solo Exhibition)

Selected Group Exhibitions/One Time Performances

2023           BIG HAPPY: A Momentary Utopia, performances in collaboration with Wanda Riumundi Ortiz, The

                   Momentary/Crystal Bridges Museum, Bentonville, AR
2022           Loophole of Retreat, performance for symposium organized by Simone Leigh and Rashida Bumbry,                             Venice, Italy

2022           A Legacy of Textures and Sun, a collaboration with Anina Major, activating her installation Haven No 3,

                   Socrates Sculpture Park

2020           INVERSE Performance Festival: Digital Ed, The Momentary at Crystal Bridges Museum, Bentonville, AR  

2020           Digital Loft Performances with Q & A, Franklin Furnace Archive, New York, NY

2020           4 Bodies One Screen, Rubin Foundation, Zoom performance organized& curated by Maria Hupfield;

                   collaborative performance and talk with myself Maria Hupfield, Esther Neff and TJ Dedeaux-Norris

2020           Facial Performance + 'Gurl' I'd Drink Your Bathwater, COMPANY Gallery, NYC, Zoom performance

2020           INVERSE Summer Residency Event with RACE Matters SLO, (based in San Louis Obispo, CA), online                             performance and lecture with collaborator Tsedaye Makonnen

2020           Performance in honor of "Luscious" a retrospective of works by Wendy Edwards, Brown University, RI

2019           Operation Catsuit Performance at RISD Museum in collaboration with the Dirt Palace, Providence , RI

2019           Performance and Exhibit, Savage-Lewis Residency, Art on the Vine, Martha's Vineyard, MA 

2019           Sparkle Performance and Workshop at Cuesta Collage, San Louis Obispo, CA

2019           Studio Immersion Program(SIP) Fellowship Exhibition, EFA Robert Blackburn Gallery, NY, NY

2019           Every Woman Biennial (Formerly The Whitney Houston Biennial), La Mama, NYC     

2019           Females Occupying Space, Rutgers University, Newark, NJ

2019           Rape, Representation, and Radicality, The Feminist Art Project @ CAA New York, NY

2018           Inverse Performance Night, Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA

2018           Altered, Company Gallery, New York, NY

2018           Inverse Performance Art Festival, Crystal Bridges Museum, Bentonville, AK

2018           Drink My Kool-Aid, Living Arts Festival, Tulsa, OK

2018           Temporal and Corporeal: A Broad Scope Of Performance Art, Ohio University

2018           Her Art Will Be Cannibal, Longwood Art Gallery, Bronx, NY

2017           Art in Odd Places: SENSE, 14th Street performances, New York, NY

2017           Dancer with Stanley Love Performance Group, The Kitchen, NY, NY

2017           Red Carpet Veggie Harvest, Laundromat Project, Bronx, NY

2017           African Body Snatchers, Chale Wote Street Festival, Accra, Ghana

2017           Operation Catsuit Gardening, Laundromat Project, Bronx, NY

2017           Just Situations, Int'l Performance Fest, Panoply Performance Lab, Brooklyn, NY

2017           Rapid Pulse Retrospect, Defibrillator Gallery, Chicago, IL

2017           ITINERANT, Bronx Museum, Bronx, NY

2017           A Person of the Crowd, Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia, PA

2017           Festival International de Art Performance (FIAP), Fort de France, Martinique  

2016           Gurl I'd Drink Your Bathwater, Prizm Art Fair, Miami Fl

2016           Make Your Own Way, Satellite Art Fair, Miami, FL

2016           Interior Interruptions -Post Election, Bullet Space Gallery, NY, NY

2016           Coloring/Harnessing/Labor-Supreme/Electives, PPL, Brooklyn, NY

2016           Stopping Traffic, at StartUp Art Fair with Defibrillator Gallery, Chicago, IL

2016           Raw Forms Forum, Newark Museum, Newark, NJ

2016           The Pineapple Show, Tiwani Contemporary, London, UK

2016           Back in 5 Min Artist Residency at El Museo Del Barrio, New York, NY

2016           #BlackGirlLit (traveling series), Five Myles Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

2016           Performing the SAT: free SAT classes given in 'the Catsuit', Jamaica Flux, NY, NY

2016           21st Suffragettes: Int'l Performance by Women, Grace Exhibition Space, NY

2015           Post Midnight: SHPC responds to After Midnight Exhibit, Queens Museum, NY

2015          Imperial Envy, durational performance,  ABC No Rio, New York, NY
2015          Rapid Pulse Performance Festival, Defibrillator Gallery, Chicago, IL
2015          Call of the Wild, AUX Vox Populi Gallery, Philadelphia, PA


Recent Press - Click links below to read full articles

  • ArtForum, Dec 2022, "Top Ten highlights of 2022" by Jack Bankowsky

  • HyperAllergic, Nov 2022, "Discovering How Black Women Might Forge a Path to Freedom" by Seph Rodney

  • The New York Times, June 2020, "What It Takes To Raise Up A Black Woman" by Seph Rodney

  • BOMB Magazine, Jan 2020, "Outstanding, Girl You Knock Me Out" by Jessica Lanay 

  •, May 2019, "Editor's Picks: 18 Things Not to Miss in NY's Art World, Frieze Week Edition"

  •, July 2018 "A Performance Artist's Tests of Endurance Honor The Black Female Body by Fayemi Shakur

  •, Aug. 2017,"The Girl in the Green Catsuit: Ayana Evans on Using Her Body as Performance Art,"by Evette Dionne

  •, April 2017, "Parsing A Performance Art Festival in Terms of Labor" by Seph Rodney

  • Associated Press, Feb 2017,"Barnes Tackles Urban Experience With Person of the Crowd"

  • The Cut,, "3 Women Changing the Art Game" by Lindsay Peoples

  •, Dec 2016, "In Conversation with Artist Ayana Evans: Her Womanhood As  Performance Art"

  •, May 2016, "Why NY Artist Ayana Evans is Doing Jumping Jacks for Over 2 Hrs  In Heels"

  •, May 2016 "Dangerous Bodies on the Verge of Breaking Down" by Seph Rodney

  •, "Woman Wears Sign Saying She Came Here to Find a Husband," by V. Wells

  •, Aug 2015 Sign of the Times: A Performance Artist’s Creative Approach to Finding a Husband by Demetria Lucas

  •, " They Shoot Horses,"  by Professor Jennie Klein


Teaching Experience

Adjunct Professor, NYU, Gallatin - New York, NY                                                                    Jan 2022 - present

Currently teaching PERFORMANCE ART: Progress as a Radical Outsider.

Adjunct Lecturer, Brooklyn College - Brooklyn, NY                                                               Sept 2021 - present

Professor for Collaborative Strategies (a course that focuses on collaboration through Performance Art studies) and Performance Art II, both of which are part of the PIMA graduate studies department at Brooklyn College.

Professor Of the Practice, Brown University - Providence, RI                                                 Sept 2021 - May 2021

Taught a performance arts course entitled, RADICAL OUTSIDERS: Performance Art as Acts of Activism, Communion, Rebellion, Humor and Meditation, in conjunction with the Visual Arts and Theater Dept at the university.

This was a two-part Opus Foundation fellowship that included an off-campus research stipend for spring 2022, which supported upcoming projects, two of which were public performance works on campus relating to education and mass incarceration.

Adjunct Professor, Brown University - Providence, RI                                                              Sept 2017- Aug 2020

Taught  Studio Foundation courses, which were an introductory survey class of contemporary painting, drawing, sculpture, and performance art techniques as well as practitioners. Taught Painting I, Experimental Painting, and Drawing I to undergraduates  for the 2017-2020 school year. Worked one with up to two Independent study students per semester. Helped students to develop and maintain a curriculum plan for their independent studies program.

Art Specialist, SASF - Queens, NY                                                                                             Feb 2015 - Aug 2018
Taught drawing, painting, and sculpture skills to boys and girls ages 10-14 in after-school program, extended day school program, and summer camp settings. Lead fashion illustration techniques and sewing skill sets to girls ages 10-13 in after-school programs from 2015-2016. Worked at two elementary schools for the 2015-2016 school year.


Panel Participation and College Lectures

  • Panelist, Working Outside the Institution, SVA MFA Program Talk, New York, NY; July 2019

  • Performance Workshop and Lecture, School of the Visual Arts (SVA), Governors Island, NY;  June 2019

  • Artist Talk with Holly Bass, Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA ; Oct 2018

  • Artist Talk with Uri McMillian, Medium Tings Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; July 2018

  • Artist Talk and Panel Discussion, Ohio University, Athens, OH; Jan 2018

  • African Body Snatchers discussion, Chale Wote, Accra, Ghana; Aug 2017

  • Artist Talk, Arts Dojo, Kansas City, MO; March 2017

  •  #BlackGirlLit Screening and Panel Discussion, sponsored by 3 Dot Zine, MoCADA - Bklyn, NY; Jan. 2017

  • "Power Share/Power Surge" Knockdown Center - Queens, NY;  Jan. 2017

  • Performative presentation & panel discussion. Part of Stay Nasty exhibition to benefit Planned Parenthood.

  • Moving Media Symposium , Brown University Providence, RI; Oct 2016

  • "TALKaTIVE" Artist Lecturer/Panel Participant, Queens Museum - Queens, NY; March 2016

  •  Peformative Artist Talk, Rex Nettleford Conference - Kingston, JA; Oct 2015

Curatorial Projects

  • Slick And Gritty, 2017, pajama party video screening of 17 artists with panel discussion, fundraiser for Puerto Rico, at Satellite Fair, Miami, FL

  • Your Decolonizing ToolKit, 2016, co-curated w/ Anna Mikaela Ekstrand at MAW Guru, NY, NY

  • Dark Diction,  2015, co-curator, Social Health Performance Club at JACK, Brooklyn, NY

  • Empathy Play,2014, co-curator, Social Health Performance Club at PPL, Brooklyn, NY

         *Co-founder, Social Health Performance Club(SHPC), 2014, performance club fostering artistic support and           social change; dedicated to artists curating artists.



"We Are Here: Visionaries of Color Transforming the Art World," by Jasmin Hernandez (founder of Gallery Gurls)

   with forward by Swizz Beats, 2020 - features interviews with 50 contemporary artist of color.

 "Institution as Verb," Edited by Elizabeth Lamb, Ayana Evans (myself), Esther Neff and Tsedaye Makonnen, 2020

 "Volume 11 Friend of the Arts" Edited by Thomas Flynn II, 2020

 "Re-Envisioning The Contemporary Art Cannon: Perspectives in a Global World" Edited by Ruth Iskin, 2017

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