COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Columbus Museum of Art (CMA) has awarded the Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson Artist Residency to Anthony Peyton Young, a Boston-based artist who specializes in painting, drawing, bleaching, ceramics and collage. Young draws inspiration from Black Americana, film and his native West Virginia to present themes of identity, ancestry and memorialization. Much of his art brings current events and Black LGBTQ narratives to the forefront.
Young will receive an unrestricted $15,000 cash reward and a 90-day retreat in the late Aminah Robinson’s home studio in Columbus, Ohio. CMA partnered with the Greater Columbus Arts Council in 2019 to establish the residency, which is awarded annually to a U.S.-based African American artist. This award is generously underwritten by the late Loann Crane and the Greater Columbus Arts Council.
Young was selected by an expert panel of jurors, including Tyler Cann, CMA’s acting chief curator, director of exhibitions and Pizzuti Family curator of contemporary art; Shannon Crane, Greater Columbus Arts Council board member; Johnathan Payne, Grant Wood fellow in painting and drawing at the University of Iowa and the inaugural (2021) Aminah Robinson artist in residence; Debra Ubamadu, the Los Angeles-based niece of Aminah Robinson; and Baseera Khan, a New York-based multimedia artist. The panel was facilitated by Terrance Dean, assistant professor of Black studies at Denison University and CMA’s 2022 Aminah Robinson scholar in residence.
“With his impressive body of work and experience, Anthony Peyton Young is truly deserving of the gift of time and the opportunity afforded to those who are selected for this residency,” said Deidre Hamlar, director of the Aminah Robinson Legacy Project, Columbus Museum of Art. “His work aligns perfectly with Aminah’s and captures the essence of her spirit.”
Aminah Robinson was raised in Columbus, Ohio’s Poindexter Village and later moved with her family to the Shepard neighborhood. She purchased her own home in Shepard in 1974 and lived there for the rest of her life, using the space as her home studio. In 2004, Robinson received national recognition as a MacArthur fellow, receiving the “genius” award for her lifetime of art-making and its cultural importance. When she died in 2015, Robinson entrusted her estate, including her home studio, to the Columbus Museum of Art.
Throughout her life and career, Robinson produced a diverse body of work that documented stories about historic Columbus neighborhoods and her family’s ancestral roots in Africa. In 2006, Robinson’s work was the subject of a major touring retrospective exhibition Symphonic Poem: The Art of Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson, which included an extended showing at the Brooklyn Museum and a major review in The New York Times. In 2019, CMA organized the exhibition Raggin’ On: The Art of Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson’s House and Journals with an accompanying catalogue of the same name, which received critical acclaim nationally. In 2021, Robinson was honored in Overlooked, a series of obituaries about remarkable people whose deaths went unreported in The New York Times. Robinson’s work has been presented in museums and galleries around the world. The stewardship of Robinson’s legacy is an ongoing commitment for the Columbus Museum of Art.
Young plans to complete an ongoing series of his present work with materials inspired by items Robinson used in hers, including beads, cowry shells and African textiles. Young will also aim to start a new body of work during the residency and spearhead a community art project that invites creatives to make small-scale head jugs with air-dry clay and paint.
“I believe my work aligns with Aminah Robinson’s in the focus on Black storytelling and our usage of materiality, where the medium adds an additional layer of information to the artwork,” Young said. “Where she uses painting, drawing, beads, sculpture and textiles to talk about the Black experience and the racism and history sometimes associated with it, community and heritage, I use a mixture of painting, collage, bleaching and ceramics to discuss the same in addition to spiritual healing, Black intimacy and family traditions.”
Young holds a bachelor’s degree from West Virginia State University and a master’s degree from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University. During his undergraduate studies, Young often visited Columbus for artistic inspiration. His previous awards include the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University Traveling Fellowship and the Walter Feldman Fellowship for Emerging Artists. His work is held in several collections, including the Museum of Fine Arts Boston and the Juliet Art Museum.