2019 Rita Mawuena Benissan

Exhibition Title: The Black Aesthetic by Rita Mawuena Benissan, UW-Madison MFA (Art Photography, 2019)

Ghanaian-American interdisciplinary artist Rita Mawuena Benissan explores her cross-cultural background and identity as both an African and an American woman. She considers herself a visual storyteller using photography to showcase and highlight the black experience. In the attached gallery, Benissan is exploring through photography the “Black Aesthetic” asking how Africans and African Americans express their blackness within a western society while creating a world where she is broadening the representation of black identity by celebrating the profound beauty and power of black culture, These portraits of current UW-Madison students were all taken during the Fall semester of 2018.

Born in Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire in 1995, she immigrated to the United State as a baby. Benissan grew up in many parts of Michigan. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Apparel and Textile Design at Michigan State University in 2017. During her undergraduate studies she worked with nonprofit and community outreach programs including the Children’s Defense Fund and United Methodist Youth Alliance which gave her the opportunity to teach and create art with students from marginalized areas. Rita I currently attending the University of Wisconsin – Madison where she is pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in photography. She has had exhibitions at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan, Baltimore Gallery in Detroit, Michigan, the Birmingham-Bloomfield Art Center in Birmingham, Michigan and the University of Wisconsin – Madison, in Madison. Her web site address is www.thermbcollection.com

Photo Gallery
Report: Ghana Summer 2019