Ayana Ross


Ayana Ross (b. 1977) is an American artist based in Atlanta, Georgia. Through her vivid figurative work, Ross examines the intersecting issues of race, gender, identity and economics. She also explores personal narratives to depict in order to illuminate important insights that draw connections between these social issues and shared lived experiences. Ross combines traditional oil painting methods with the elaborate treatment of prints, patterns and decorative designs elevating her subjects and providing deeper context into the work.

Ross holds an MA degree in Painting from Savannah College of Art and Design, a MA in Liberal Art from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro and a BS in Design and Merchandising from Georgia Southern University. She has exhibited in several group shows, including The Bennett Prize II, Rising Voices group exhibition that will exhibit throughout the United States until 2023. In addition, her work is held in a number of prominent collections worldwide. In 2020, Ross was named a recipient of the National Black Art Forward Artist Grant. In 2021 Ross was named the winner of The Bennett Prize II, the largest prize offered solely to women figurative painters, with a culminating solo show that will travel throughout the United States.


1977 – Savannah, Georgia, USA

Lives and works in Atlanta, Georgia


2021 Savannah College of Art and Design
2014 University of North Carolina – Greensboro
2000 Georgia Southern University

Group Exhibitions

2021 Bennett Prize: Rising Voices II, Muskegon Museum of Art, Muskegon, MI

2020 Fine Art Exhibition, Decatur Arts Alliance, Decatur, GA
2020 Open Juried Exhibition, Portrait Society of Atlanta, Atlanta, GA
2020 Botanica, Macon Arts Alliance, Macon, GA
2018 Connections Art/ Culture Featured Artist, Mill Hill Arts, Macon, GA
2017 Imaginary Million, WonderRoot, Atlanta, GA
2013 One Hundred for One Hundred, Center for Visual Arts, Greensboro, NC

Awards and Grants

2021 Bennett Prize Winner
2020 National Black Art Forward Artist Grant Recipient


Author: Belsito, Rochelle. Empowering Figures, American Art Collector. August, 2021; Issue 190: pp. 048-053
Rising Voices 2; The Bennett Prize, Fine Art Connoisseur. August 2021; p. 024
Bennett Prize 2.0, American Art Collector Magazine. February 2021; Issue 184: p. 042
Saatchi Art Catalog, Fall 2020 Vol. 1, p. 37







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