Sana Musasama

Sana Musasama is an African-American ceramic and mixed-media artist based in New York City. Her work touches on themes related to tribal adornment practices in various indigenous cultures, and the safety of women.  In We were there, 1993  from her Maple Trees series, Musasama draws inspiration from the Maple Tree Movement, which was started in the 1790s by a group of abolitionists.  The group advocated ending the need for slave labor to fuel the sugar cane industry on West Indian sugar plantations, by replacing it with syrup from maple trees. Made using various clay bodies that resemble trees with organic and bodily extensions of stone, beads and moss, the  work is scaled to the human body ranging in size from 3.5 to over 5 feet.
 
Musasama was born in Saint Albans, Queens in New York. She holds a B.A. in ceramics and education from City College (1974) and an M.F.A from Alfred State College of Ceramics (1987). She continued her ceramic studies at the Archie Bay Foundation in  Helena, Montana; the Gakium Designer College in Tokyo, Japan; the Tuscarora International School of Ceramics in Tuscarora, Nevada; and at Mende Pottery in Mendeland, Sierra Leone.  Musasama's work is held in the collections of the  Studio Museum in Harlem, Hood Museum of Art, Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, Mint Museum of Craft and Design, the European Ceramic Center in Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands; the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, Montana, and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York.  She currently lives and works in New York.