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Artist Shanequa Gay Creates Space For Honoring Breonna Taylor With Acrylics And Oils

A Black woman smiling, she is wearing a red top with white colored leaves printed in random fashion. She has golden earrings, they are a hoop shape with black tassles at the end. She also has a red and black head scarf on her head, it is tied into a knot
Shanequa Gay
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Artist Shanequa Gay's exhibit "Holding Space for Nobility: A Memorial for Breonna Taylor" is open for virtual view at the Ackland Art Museum in Chapel Hill.

When a Kentucky grand jury failed to indict police officers responsible for killing 26-year-old Breonna Taylor, multidisciplinary artist Shanequa Gay turned to her work in a search for justice. Her exhibit “holding space for nobility: a memorial for Breonna Taylor” opened last week at the Ackland Art Museum in Chapel Hill. 

With oils and acrylics, Gay combined larger-than-life images of Taylor with nature and animals that represent unity and community. Gay’s own experience with a loss that left her family with many unanswered questions sparked her desire to build artistic spaces for memorializing lost life. Host Frank Stasil talks with Gay about the exhibit and what it means to “hold space” through art.

Kaia Findlay is a producer for Embodied, WUNC's weekly, live talk show on health, sex and relationships. Kaia first joined the WUNC team in 2020 as a producer for The State of Things.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.