Ashley Freeby works with an eclectic range of media including sculpture, design, photography, video, and installation. Her interdisciplinary works, explore issues related to identity, ethnicity, social and political realities. Freeby received her BA degree in Studio Arts from Bucknell University. She is currently pursuing her MFA in Sculpture at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Personal Statement

My mother is white, my father was black. I was brought up in a small predominantly white town - a place and a time where I was made to be “the black girl.” The society around me forced me into giving a performance of identity in which I was aware of how I acted, dressed and spoke. This performance was the ticket to social acceptance and assimilation. As the artist, I often come back to the skin I live in. It is a site of complexity, a conjunction of emotions and contradictions of someone who is both white and black. My work explores American history, culture and the systematic constructions of race to investigate a collective, more inclusive story about humans. I use imagery and objects pulled directly from history and combine my personal experience and conversations with others to provoke thoughts of how blacks and whites have historically been divided. I tell this history in hopes of a meditation on the historical division and start to reach togetherness, oneness, and reconciliation.


Disclaimer: All work represents the views of the INDIVIDUAL ARTISTS & AUTHORS who created them, and are not those of the school or museum of the Art Insitute.