To Top

Check Out Asha White’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Asha White.

Hi Asha, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I remember drawing and painting frequently as a child, as a method of creative and emotional self-expression. Though my roots are grounded in Cleveland, I resettled in Cincinnati, ultimately graduating from the University of Cincinnati with her bachelor’s degree in communications, a minor in women’s and gender studies, as well as a certificate in public relations. Following my undergraduate career, I pursued a profession in banking, quickly ascending the corporate ladder.

Despite finding success in the industry, I felt increasingly dissatisfied with my life and began to struggle significantly with my mental health. In 2017, I began my journey of self-discovery, departing from the corporate world, further pursuing my purpose in life to reconnect with my artistic practice and passion for the arts.

Since 2017, I’ve dedicated my life to my creative practice. I am an active participant in the local art community, collaborating with local artists, frequently displaying my artwork in both local and regional exhibitions. I engage in service at local arts organizations and create public murals which enrich the community.

In June 2020, I had the opportunity to participate as one of 17 local artists on the “Black Lives Matter!” street mural in front of city hall in downtown Cincinnati. I have also contributed to public artworks, designing a bourbon barrel currently situated near Pompilio’s Italian Restaurant in Newport, Kentucky. From 2018 to 2019, I also served in a position as the gallery curator and coordinator at The Mohawk Gallery in Over-The-Rhine, Cincinnati, Ohio. In February 2019, I curated “Manifestations of Time: The African American Experience” which contemplates how time has manifested within and informed the contemporary black experience.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
The road has been far from an easy one. One of the most challenging things in the pursuit of my passion was realizing what it was. All of my life I have wanted to be an artist, but was deterred me from pursuing my dreams. While in college I was told by my guidance counselor that because I wasn’t the strongest in Art history, that it wasn’t worth my time trying to enter into my college’s art program. It wasn’t until I had climbed the corporate ladder and was making a good living that I realized I was depressed. I knew then that I needed to look deeper within to determine what truly made me happy. Even when I realized that I wanted to pursue art I didn’t know where to begin. I figured the best way in the industry was to surround myself with other artist, so I took a job at a fine art print shop, where I worked with other artists and interacted with artist customers on a daily basis. From there I learned about high quality fine art, fine art reproductions, framing, exhibiting, running an art business, and curating exhibitions. Each new skill, experience, and connection has allowed me to continue to grow, learn, and strengthen my art practice.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I am a visual artist that primarily creates works on canvas using oil paint however I also enjoy creating multi-media works of art and mural works. I’d say I am most known for a recent series I created called “Moody Monday”. This series of abstract and surrealistic paintings is a weekly reflection of my mental health in 2020. This work encourages its viewers to further reflect on their own mental health and well-being. I am so proud of this work for its vulnerability and the way it has connected with others. We often don’t talk about our mental health struggles and there is such a stigma surrounding it, especially in the black community, that I am proud to be creating space for people to be honest and open about their feelings. I think the thing that sets me apart from others is the honesty and transparency in my work. The goal in all of my work is to connect people through shared experiences. It is only through honesty and transparency can that connection truly happens.

Is there something surprising that you feel even people who know you might not know about?
Something that people may not know about my work is how interested I am in the educational component to my artwork. I am currently working to develop educational programming to enhance the understanding of the work I am creating. I am excited to expand my mission to connect people through shared experiences by approaching education from various entry points including but not limited to art making and shared stories from communities the I am most connected to. I am excited to share more education programs in the near future.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Dorese Bilal (@itsdoreseb)
Albert Cesare

Suggest a Story: VoyageOhio is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More in Local Stories