Kehayr Brown-Ransaw

Kehayr Brown-Ransaw

About The Artist

Kehayr Brown-Ransaw • Minneapolis, MN
Fiber and Textiles - Homegoods • CUSTOM COMMISSIONS

My practice as a fiber artist and printmaker, in and of itself, is an attempt to redress narrow populations encouraged to participate in craft work. As with many other and many aspects of being a non-white artist, I am almost entirely self-instructed. I often find myself qualifying the work I am looking for with Black in order to receive something that is assumed to be "broadly" associated with Black liberation or created centuries before my contemporary interests. I have had my work reduced to simply African American and Black art; while this label isn't necessarily incorrect or offensive, I find it interesting and frustrating that myself and other BIPOC and Queer artists struggle to locate their work or identities within the broader context of American and Fiber Art.


Artist website

Q&A with the Artist

Tell us how your work is made.

My practice is primarily researched based, through which I collect and attempt to synthesize my own or a larger history in order to begin conversations with the people around me. When I'm working pieces about my family, they are developed visually through conversations with my family members. With the work I am largely responding to the unspoken parts of the conversation�long pauses, emotions, fidgeting/uncomfortableness, and new discovery.

What makes you passionate about the medium you work with?

Because my work requires real people to participate, I am most excited about being able to have conversations that I wouldn't ordinarily be able to have. There is a certain amount of healing and excitement around new information, confirmation of information shared as gossip, and the act of gossiping that surrounds this work.

What is something unique about you or your practice?

Gossiping as a tone, and form of sharing information has become really important to this work. Many of my pieces start from a single photograph, the more removed the people in the photo are from me, the easier it is to create the work. When the subjects of the piece are related to me by blood, I know them, but relatives that i only know by name are simply characters in a story yet to be told. But along with gossiping about my family, or characters in a larger narrative, there is also a great emphasis on protecting their anonymity and right to privacy. I rarely ever share their names or the contents of the conversations. It's all about trying to make sense of where we come from, how we fit, and where we will go.