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Sana Musasama - Artists - Eric Firestone Gallery

B. QUEENS, NY, 1957

Sana Musasama is a ceramic artist whose work is informed by her global travels and her interests in women’s studies and indigenous artistic practices. Musasama began traveling as a way to recover identity and cultural place. Clay was the geographical catalyst that first brought her to West Africa where she studied pottery with the Mende people in Sierra Leone (1974–75). Later venturing to Japan, China, Cambodia, and South America, she continued her quest, expanding her interests to tribal adornment practices. She is challenged by issues concerning women’s safety, specifically rituals involving rites of passage and female chastity. Her body of work ranges from intimate ceramic objects adorned with stitching and found objects from nature, to large colorful biomorphic shapes. She also experiments with melted glass, embracing a fragility in her work which evokes the precarious existence of the female bodies she encounters in her travels and at home. 

Musasama grew up in St. Albans, Queens, and continues to live and work in her childhood home. She received her BA from City College, City University of New York in 1974, and her MFA from Alfred University in 1987. Musasama is the recipient of an Anonymous Was a Woman grant, among many awards. Her work is held in the collections of the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Museum of Art and Design, Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, all New York; among others. Musasama is represented by Eric Firestone Gallery and in 2023, she was the subject of a solo presentation at the Contemporary African Art Fair, in addition to being included in the group shows Beauty of Summer and (Mostly) Women (Mostly) Abstract Pt. II at the gallery’s East Hampton and New York locations, respectively. 

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