Ari Brielle Edwards

Head and shoulders portrait, dark hair, wearing a black top2016, B.A., Interdisciplinary Art and Design Studies
Instagram: aribrielle_
Conduit Gallery | Texas Monthly | Glasstire
2023, M.F.A. program in Studio Intermedia, University of Texas at Arlington

2022 Nasher Artist Grant Recipient: Ari Brielle Edwards is one of five awardees to receive a 2022 Nasher Artist Grant! The Nasher Sculpture Center's program provides annual financial support to North Texas artists through the distribution of grants that may be used to fund the purchasing of equipment and materials, travel or research, studio space, or artist-run curatorial projects. Each Nasher Artist Grant awardee will receive $2,000 to realize projects related to their practice.

"In a year when so many artists, like so many people around the country, face economic and political challenges, the Nasher is proud to offer support to the artistic community of North Texas," says Anna Smith, curator of education. "This year's awardees call attention to important voices, from the visionary to the domestic, and shine a light on marginalized communities. The jury is pleased to highlight this meaningful work and contribute to these artists' development and success."

After receiving a diagnosis of endometriosis, Edwards turned the focus of her art to explore how Black women often suffer from reproductive diseases at higher rates than their non-black counterparts due to generational trauma and documented inequities in the U.S. healthcare system, higher stress, and less access to healthy foods. Through photography, drawing, and painting, Edwards is processing her diagnosis and its implications while framing it within the broader context of health and wellness for Black women in this country. She will use her Nasher Artist Grant to fund an exhibition about the subject this fall in San Antonio. The series consists of self-portrait paintings, drawings of family photos, and photographs of her body after surgery printed on silk.

Ari Brielle, Dallas Visual Artist

By Doyin Oyeniyi, Texas Monthly

"Visual artist Ari Brielle grew up in Allen [Texas] and has been making art since she was three years old. She’s always been interested in capturing the human figure, but it wasn’t until her time at the University of North Texas, where she graduated with a degree in interdisciplinary art design in December 2016, that her work began to have more of a focus. While in Denton, she experimented with different art mediums, including graphic design and printmaking, before she settled on working with gouache paint in 2017. As she explored different art forms, she says she also began to think more about “what it means to be a black person in this country and the world” as she watched tragedies, such as the killings of Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown, unfold.

On being called an “emerging artist”

"Maybe I do identify with that, because I still have a hard time calling myself an artist. I think it’s mad imposter syndrome, honestly. My friends will introduce me as that before I will myself. Even though it’s something I’ve been doing my whole life and something I’ve always loved, I still don’t claim that for myself. In a way “emerging” is kind of accurate. I’m emerging into this identity, I guess. Sometimes it’s weird when I see that with other artists. Because I’m thinking, “They’ve been making work forever.” Sometimes it feels loaded because some people assume that’s how I make my living, like I’m just selling work all the time. I don’t ever think of selling when I’m making work. Of course, that’ll be great to sell everything, but I never think of that. When I’m making stuff or sketching or whatever, I never think of selling. A lot of times we attach success to monetary value. I feel successful as an artist, even though I’m not making my living as an artist." Read the article.