Meet the 2021 Juanita J. Craft Resident Artists

by Christopher Blay July 13, 2021

The Juanita J. Craft Artist Residency from the South Dallas Cultural Center (SDCC) has announced its 2021 cohort. They are Inyang Essien, Glyneisha Johnson, Adriane McCray and Laura Neal. The goal of the residency is “to contribute in a significant manner to the cultural and artistic impact of the South Dallas community.”

An open call in May of this year encouraged African Diaspora artists working in all disciplines to explore and develop work within the South Dallas area. The residency period for the non-living studio space ranges from two weeks to three months, and the artists decide the length of stay when they apply. The two-week residence comes with a $1,000 honorarium and ranges up to $6,000 for a three-month stint to help defray the cost of lodging, transportation and supplies.

Artist profiles via SDCC:

Inyang Essien, 2021 Juanita J. Craft Artist-in-residence

Inyang Essien, 2021 Juanita J. Craft artist-in-residence

“Inyang Essien is a visual artist working in the mediums of photography and digital media based in Dallas, Texas. She greatly appreciates the forgotten history of marginalized cultures and the on-going transformation that comes with coming into one’s identity. She strives to amplify these perspectives through her photography and places special emphasis on sharing stories that promote celebration of these backgrounds.”

glyneisha, 2021 Juanita J. Craft artist-in-residence

“glyneisha (b.Dallas,TX) is a poly disciplinary artist, educator, and community organizer whose work celebrates the inherent matrilineal nature of Blackness. Through collage, installation, and photography she highlights the Black Interior as a source of refuge, healing, and imagination.

“She is co-founder of Strange Fruit Femmes, a community based org which provides free and accessible programming for youth and adults centered around Black transformative healing, through the arts.”

Adriane McCray, 2021 Juanita J. Craft artist-in-residence

“Adriane McCray is a wandering native Texan and University of Pennsylvania graduate. Heavily influenced by resilient women and the American Southwest & Midlands, Adriane seeks to present stories by providing experiences guided by emotion, built on strong perspective, and filled with nuance. She’s currently completing fine arts installation Raw Tourmaline, writing for television and developing a feature.”

Laura Neal, 2021 Juanita J. Craft artist-in-residence

“Laura Neal is a black, Dallas-based poet greatly influenced by social and environmental narratives. Peers and educators have described her work as Georgic, narrative, lyrical, surreal, and cultural. She is interested in poetry’s ability to effect a society in a form analogous to religion, though compelled by a subtle call-and-response. She renders the ever-present experiences that occur everyday but go un- noted because of the standard lens of the ‘everyday.’”

For more on the artists and the Juanita J. Craft Artist Residency, please visit the South Dallas Cultural Center’s website here.


Via SDCC: The artist residency is an opportunity that encourages emerging to mid-career artists whose interests are situated in the social practice of art making and developing projects around community activism and impact. The Residency opens space for artists to capture the immediacy of the moment and to glean respective visions for future residents, developers and visionaries.


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