Pyramid Atlantic Art Center | Jessica Sabogal and Shanna Strauss SANA(A)

By East City Art Editorial Team on August 21, 2023

Fri, August 25 2023 — Sun, September 24 2023

Pictured: Healing of the Wound
Opening Reception: Friday, August 25 from 6:30-8:30pm

RSVP Link:

Gallery on View: August 26-September 24

SANA(A) debuts the six-year collaboration between life partners and artistic duo, Jessica Sabogal and Shanna Strauss. Together, they meticulously hand-print their individual and collaborative works on paper, encompassing an array of techniques, including photopolymer gravure, screenprint, and relief printmaking.

The theme at the heart of this exhibition is the healing of wounds, explored within various dimensions. Through their own personal journeys and their connections with other queer and trans women of color, both living and departed, they investigate how we mend individual, collective, and societal wounds, caused by grief, family dynamics, invisible labor, and migration.

The title of the exhibition itself carries a profound significance, blending the artists’ cultural backgrounds. “Sana” translates as a compelling command to “heal” in Spanish, while “sanaa” embodies the essence of “art” in Kiswahili, weaving together the roots of Sabogal’s Colombian background and Strauss’s Tanzanian heritage. They interweave elements of these legacies within their work by incorporating symbols, patterns and artifacts from their respective motherlands.

SANA(A) visually represents the artists’ dedication to depicting women of color existence, voices, tenderness, care-taking, and spaces–not as subjects, rather as centers. Each piece they create is a celebration of our differences and a symbol of our liberation.

About Jessica and Shanna’s Studio

Taller Sanaaᴙ, (TA – YER SAN- AR), is a collective studio comprised of life and collaborative partners Jessica Sabogal and Shanna Strauss. Sabogal is a cuir Colombian – American muralistx from San Francisco whose large-scale public artworks attempt to document and disrupt. Strauss is Tanzanian – American mixed media artist whose work centers on honoring and uplifting the oral traditions and stories of Black women, Indigenous women, and women of color.

Together, their practice draws inspiration, connection, and influence from contemporary political and social movements. Their collaborative discipline is committed to uplifting the sacredness of women, people of color, the disabled, queer and trans folks, immigrants and the undocumented, and indigenous peoples, whom history perpetually renders as less than human. For the past six years, they have cultivated a new visual practice, encompassing muralism, printmaking, community engagement, and public art.

Respectively, their work has been collected and exhibited by various institutions including the National Portrait Gallery, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the PHI Foundation, the Library of Congress, The Obama Foundation Inaugural Summit, and Galería de la Raza. Together, they have been commissioned by the California Endowment, the University of California, San Francisco, and the Euphrat Museum to create public art installations. Notably, they have also received several awards including the Kala Art Institute Fellowship, Women’s Studio Workshop Studio Residency Grant, the Incahoots Full-Grant Residency and most recently the Denbo Publishing Residency at Pyramid Atlantic Art Center.

They reside together in Oakland, California/Huchiun, unceded Ohlone territory.

About The Denbo Publishing Residency

The Denbo Publishing Residency relaunches a print publishing program that has been on hiatus for nearly 20 years. The residency invites artists to Pyramid’s studios to work with staff on an edition of work in print form. The edition (number of prints) produced is split 50/50 between the artist(s) and Pyramid. Pyramid’s current collection of work made by this type of residency includes prints, pulp paintings, and artist made books created and acquired between 1981 and 2007. Many of the artists who participated in the residency have since achieved greater prominence and influence, including Joyce Scott, William Christenberry, Miriam Schapiro, and Hung Liu. Pyramid is excited to add a new work to this history and hopes to do so annually.

The Denbo Publishing Residency is made possible in part by support of the family of artist Beverly Denbo. Pyramid is also grateful to Landex Development, which operates MiXt Food Hall, Artisan 4100 and Studio 3807 in Brentwood, for providing housing during the artists’ stay in the Gateway Arts District.

Gallery Hours:

  • Wednesday–Thursday 10am–8pm
  • Friday–Sunday 10am–6pm
  • Monday-Tuesday Closed

Pyramid Atlantic is located at 4318 Gallatin St Hyattsville, MD