Artists-in-Residence (AIR) Program Fall / Winter 2020 Elenora “Rukiya” Brown

Joan Mitchell Center Artist-in-Residence

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Elenora “Rukiya” Brown

New Orleans, LA
September 8 - February 5, 2021

Rukiya Brown is a mixed-media artist who began creating dolls as a young girl as a form of self-expression and as a stress reliever. As her skill set improved and developed over the years, she started referring to her dolls as "soft-sculptures." This new distinction in the naming of her work illustrates her deep connections to her Chahta American Indian identity and to the African cultural significance of her sculptures and "story-telling quilts.” Brown is a masking Indian Queen who actively participates in the masking and parading traditions of New Orleans. Her elaborately sewn suits, designed with intricate bead work and feathers, are worn during the carnival season to express the unique cultural and artistic energy of New Orleans.

“My artistic interest lies in how art can change world views. My approach and creative practice is based on my research into historical documents.”

  • Dancing In The Field, 2013, feathers, beads, fabric and sequins

  • Mehalia, 2016, fabric, paint and beads, 24 inches

  • Metamorphosis, 2010, fabric, yarn, beads, wood, wire and paint

  • Elenora “Rukiya” Brown
    Photo by Gus Bennett

All works are copyright of the artist or artist’s estate.