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Queer Black and brown essential workers inspired Aya Brown’s Internet-breaking drawings

Queer Black and brown essential workers inspired Aya Brown’s Internet-breaking drawings

Aya Brown is the young, Brooklyn-based artist championing essential workers through her artwork. Brown’s Essential Worker series, which she began back in April, broke the Internet. It was shared and reposted all across social media as people relished the collection of drawings that finally appreciated the Black women workers that are working on the front lines of a global pandemic. From MTA workers and teachers to local nurses, Brown’s aim lay in uplifting and bringing awareness to the hidden dynamics on the front line.

The simple realism of her portraits is what makes them so impressionable on the viewers. They’re drawn in by the relaxed nature of colored pencils on plain brown paper and include the most minute details of the essential worker’s own style, from the Nikes they wear to their signature hairstyles, as to convey their personal charisma and individualism. Brown’s art celebrates and commends the Black women who are doing the jobs we desperately need done in this crisis; one in three jobs held by women are essential and the majority of them are WOC. These past months Brown has teamed up with community collectives like Girls Only and Ghetto Gastro to sell apparel sporting her artwork, with the profits of the apparel going to local businesses and restaurants struggling in her native Brooklyn community.

Brown’s art practice also seeks to provide representation and a platform for queer black women and their sexuality and spectrum of experiences, including herself.  

With a possible resurgence of Covid-19 this fall and winter season, essential workers are still as essential as ever and we must continue to do all we can to support and bring visibility to the champions holding our lives together, while they risk their own. Aya Brown does just this, particularly making sure these black and brown women are seen.

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‼️‼️‼️UPDATE: SOLD OUT‼️‼️‼️ THANK YOU EVERYONE FOR THE SUPPORT ?? . ?SPECIAL DELIVERY? ?LIMITED HAND NUMBERED AND SIGNED ESSENTIAL WORKER PRINTS? YALL BEEN ASKING FOR IT ? SO BOOM LIKE MAGIC ! THREE SCREENPRINTS FROM THE “ESSENTIAL WORKER SERIES” ARE NOW AVAILABLE ON MY ONLINE SHOP! GO TO MY WEBSITE AYABROWN.COM AND CLICK THE SHOP TAB ? (or link in my bio) . NURSE 3 ??‍⚕️ / MTA WORKER ?/ USPS WORKER ? . PRINTS PRODUCED BY THE INCREDIBLE ??‍?LESLIE DIUGUID (@little_mouse_diuguid)?? SO BASICALLY THESE ARE BLACK QUEER OWNED PRINTS ❤️?? WE LOVE YOU LESLIE THANK YOU ?? . I WOULD LIKE FOR THESE TO BE PURCHASED BY BLACK WOMXN/ BLACK PEOPLE/ POC! OR GIFTED TO A BLACK WOMEN/ BLACK ESSENTIAL WORKER/ A BLACK PERSON, OR POC! ? IN THAT ORDER! PROCEEDS FROM THIS SALE WILL BE DONATED TO THE CAMPAIGN AGAINST HUNGER (@tcahnyc) ?? TCAH HAS BEEN DOING THE WORK SERVING THE COMMUNITY DURNING THE PANDEMIC, BEFORE AND AFTER ! THANK YOU FOR THE LOVE YALL GIVE INTO THE COMMUNITY? . over 150,000 individuals served  over 1.5 million meals provided an unprecedented feat considering TCAH typically serves 3 million meals annually over 50 community partner sites established such as NYCHA, ACS, the YWCA and senior centers and housing.  They are working with several elected officials to distribute food to their constituents.  They are packing and distributing upwards of 2000 bags of food daily They are serving over 500 customers directly at TCAH daily ??? . THANK YOU TO MY TRIBE I LOVE YOU ALL YALL KNOW WHO YOU ARE ?️‍? BIG THANK YOU TO MY BROTHER @dannylowgram

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