Chavonn Williams Shen
Photo credit: Min Enterprises
Chavonn Williams Shen is a Minneapolis native and an educator with a love of words. She is a first place winner for the 2017 Still I Rise grant for African American women hosted by Alternating Current Press. She was also a winner of the 2016-2017 Mentor Series in Poetry and Creative Prose through the Loft Literary Center as well as a 2016 fellow through the Givens Foundation for African American Literature. The Orca Tribe Project has published her work and her poems have also been featured in The Coil. She has participated in writing workshops like the VONA workshop for writers of color and taught workshops throughout Minnesota for various grades, elementary through college. She co-taught a class at the Loft titled, “Reclaiming Language Through Form: A Poet’s Guide,” focused on providing poetry by people of color using poetic form as an act of resistance. Outside of the classroom, she was a program coordinator for the Minneapolis Park and Rec's citywide poetry and spoken word program, Spoken Summer. Writing has shown Chavonn to use art to explore new worlds, build communities, and advocate for the marginalized. She is currently pursuing her MFA degree in creative writing at Hamline University.
Hi, my name is Ciara Sana. I was born and raised in Guam. When I was thirteen, my family moved to Washington state, which provided more opportunities for me to explore art. In 2013, I moved to Bellingham to pursue my passion and to become more involved in an art community.
My art is heavily influenced by the strong women of my culture, my faith, and my love for humanity. My style is currently influenced by my love for traditional tattoo art, art nouveau, and various whimsical styles. My pieces tell stories from my life, struggles, celebrations, and issues that continue to impact my life.
My purpose for creating art is to encourage body positivity and self-acceptance through images that showcase various types of people in different shapes and forms. I believe as individuals we do not need to be defined on the surface level or conform to superficial standards. We all have stories, trials, triumphs, passions and paths that mold us into different beings. We are all uniquely complex, and there is no right or wrong way to be a human. I want to encourage love and acceptance of our self, and ultimately, each other. I want my pieces to empower and inspire hope for individual purpose. I want to share the intricate and complex beauty of this life that continues to bring me joy.
Art is my passion, and I want to share it with the world.
See more at www.artbyciara.com