Chicago artist Ashley January will have a solo exhibition, “Human | Mother | Black,” on display Tuesday, Jan. 17 – Friday, Feb. 24 at the Western Illinois University Art Gallery.

A reception for the artist will be held from 4:30-6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 31. The artist will speak about their work at 5 p.m.

January creates contemporary paintings informed by her maternal experience. Due to pregnancy complications that led to her son’s premature birth, her body of work addresses the crisis of the Black maternal mortality and morbidity rate in America.

Recently, January became the first recipient of the Women’s Caucus for Art, 2022 Emerging Artist Award. Additionally, she was selected as a finalist for the 2022 Artadia Chicago Award. In August 2022, January had her first solo exhibition at the Beverly Arts Center.

Ashley January Exhibition Jan. 17-Feb 24 at Western Illinois Art Gallery

In recent years, her works have been exhibited in numerous venues including, The Young Masters Autumn Exhibition in London, UK; the South Side Community Art Center, Chicago; Mana Contemporary, Chicago; SoLA Contemporary, Los Angeles, CA; the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago; Viridian Artists Inc, New York, NY; Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, CA; Pacific Art Foundation, Newport Beach, CA; and the Irvine Fine Arts Center, Irvine, CA.

Recently, her paintings have been seen in the new television series, “Kings of Napa,” on OWN. In 2018, she was selected as a first-place award winner at the Woman Made Gallery’s Midwest Open in Chicago. In 2017, January won the Beverly Bank Best of Show Award at the Beverly Arts Center’s juried competition.

January earned her MFA in Painting from Laguna College of Art and Design, Laguna Beach, CA in 2017, and her BS in Communication with an Advertising concentration and Minor in Studio Art from Bradley University, in Peoria, IL in 2009. She lives in Chicago with her family while working from home and her studio at Mana Contemporary.

Admission is open free to the public.

For more information about the Gallery, visit

Ashley January Exhibition Jan. 17-Feb 24 at Western Illinois Art Gallery
Sean Leary is an author, director, artist, musician, producer and entrepreneur who has been writing professionally since debuting at age 11 in the pages of the Comics Buyers Guide. An honors graduate of the University of Southern California masters program, he has written over 50 books including the best-sellers The Arimathean, Every Number is Lucky to Someone and We Are All Characters.
Ashley January Exhibition Jan. 17-Feb 24 at Western Illinois Art Gallery

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