ALYSSA LILES-AMPONSAH

VISUAL ARTIST AND EDUCATOR

"A child cannot be taught by anyone who despises him, and a child cannot afford to be fooled."

 

-James A. Baldwin

My work centers on issues of identity and history in American

culture. Using mixed media I investigate expressionism through portraits and figures. My work seeks to make visible the human element of sensationalized subjects that often become desensitized in the American public discourse.

Hi, and thanks for checking out my bio. I grew up spending time in local art galleries in Norfolk, VA with my father, artist Ted Liles. Those early experiences in galleries that supported and included the surrounding communities inspired my interest in art. I earned my BFA in Painting and Printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University and an MA in African American and African Diaspora studies from Indiana University, Bloomington. 

 

I moved to Boston and taught in an alternative school called YouthBuild where I was inspired by the young people I worked with and became concerned about the lack of arts learning opportunities available to them. Hoping to learn more about these issues I attended the Harvard Graduate School of Education and earned an Ed.M in Arts in Education where I focused my studies on race in education and issues of accessibility to the arts within urban education. After graduating I worked as a Teaching Fellow for two years for the Arts in Education graduate program at Harvard.

 

I then went on to work with youth/social justice oriented arts non-profit organization, The Urbano Project, while also completing a year long Silk Road Connect Fellowship in art education. I also worked in museum education at the JFK Presidential Library and Museum where I did outreach and helped produce educational programming. Additionally, I served as a Resident Tutor for Education and the Arts at Lowell House at Harvard University. I currently work as an Artist and Educator.