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
ArtNet.com, May 2019, "Editor's Picks: 18 Things Not to Miss in NY's Art World, Frieze Week Edition"
Hyperallergic.com, July 2018 "A Performance Artist's Tests of Endurance Honor The Black Female Body by Fayemi Shakur
BitchMedia.org, Aug. 2017,"The Girl in the Green Catsuit: Ayana Evans on Using Her Body as Performance Art,"by Evette Dionne
Hyperallergic.com, 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, NYmag.com, "3 Women Changing the Art Game" by Lindsay Peoples
GalleryGurls.net, Dec 2016, "In Conversation with Artist Ayana Evans: Her Womanhood As Performance Art"
SuperSelected.com, May 2016, "Why NY Artist Ayana Evans is Doing Jumping Jacks for Over 2 Hrs In Heels"
HyperAllergic.com, May 2016 "Dangerous Bodies on the Verge of Breaking Down" by Seph Rodney
Madamenoire.com, "Woman Wears Sign Saying She Came Here to Find a Husband," by V. Wells
theroot.com, Aug 2015 Sign of the Times: A Performance Artist’s Creative Approach to Finding a Husband by Demetria Lucas
Rapidpulse.org, " They Shoot Horses," by Professor Jennie Klein
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
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