Shanna Strauss

Shanna Strauss is a queer, biracial, bilingual, Tanzanian-American-Canadian mixed media artist. She grew up in Tanzania and later moved to the United States, then to Montreal, Quebec, Canada for twelve years. Her experience of living in and navigating multiple geographical spaces, cultures, languages, and histories has greatly informed her practice. Shanna’s work explores oral tradition, family legacy, ancestral memory, and spirituality in African diasporic traditions, paying homage to the women in her family and the communities she is connected to. Her focus is printmaking and assemblages using found wood. Her printmaking process, which combines different techniques and materials, is layered and intricate. The assemblages are created using a variety of techniques including photo-transfer, painting, wood burning, wood carving, and collage. Beads, fabric, and other materials from her homeland, Tanzania, are integrated into her pieces, along with symbols and patterns that carry spiritual and cultural significance.

Shanna Strauss completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the California College of Arts and has exhibited in solo and group shows in Tanzania, Canada, the U.S., and Senegal. Notable exhibitions include ‘Diaspora and Painting’ at the Phi Centre in Montreal, ‘Women Pathmakers’ at Euphrat Museum in Cupertino, California, and ‘Here We Are Here: Black Canadian Contemporary Art’ at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. In 2020, Shanna was awarded the Prix Powerhouse from La Centrale Galerie in Montreal and the Fellowship Award from the Kala Art Institute in Berkeley, California.