Awein’s DreamCart

Awein’s DreamCart is a collaborative project in which Tanya Hartman will work with Awein Wol, a survivor of the Sudanese genocide, to provide her with an original, artist-outfitted food cart. This cart will sell Sudanese cuisine and CDs of traditional music in neighborhoods around Kansas City.

Awein Wol is the elected leader of the Sudanese community of Kansas City, and the cart is a business model to generate income. Their goal is to save money to create more carts and ultimately to launch a Sudanese restaurant and cultural center.

The artists will wrap each set of cutlery served with the entrees in an essay that tells the life story of a local person of Sudanese origin, and will aggregate the essays into a “book” that profiles the members of the Sudanese community here.

In recent years, Hartman’s work has examined the universal experience of oppression and violence, through the media of painting, writing, sculpture and social activism. Awein’s DreamCart integrates these disparate elements into one cohesive work. Hartman will completely cover the exterior of the cart with hand-carved and brightly embellished traditional Sudanese motifs, and outfit it with a waterproof umbrella made from recycled drinking straws.

Lead artist Tanya Hartman says the cart will “serve my needs as an artist seeking to push beyond the bounds of traditional art practice to embrace forms that advance the wellbeing of victims of war, while allowing me to express my love of beauty and my belief that each human story is a sacred artifact that must be honored and preserved.”

About the artists:

Tanya Hartman grew up in New York City, Cuernavaca, Mexico and London, England.

She earned a BFA at in Painting The Rhode Island School Of Design, and an MFA in Painting at Yale University. She was then a Fulbright Scholar in Stockholm, Sweden. She now teaches painting and drawing at the University of Kansas where she is an Associate Professor in the Department of Visual Art.

In addition to being a working artist, Tanya Hartman also writes about art. Her writing appears regularly in Ceramics Art and Perception magazine, and in April 2010, one of her non-fiction pieces appeared in The Sun magazine. In summer, 2012, she will be the Jentel Critic at the Archie Bray Foundation for Ceramic Arts.

Hartman is represented locally by Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art, and has also exhibited at The Center for Book Arts in New York, A.I.R. Gallery in New York, ARC Gallery, Chicago Illinois; and at the Salina Art Center, Salina, KS.

Her awards include a Lighton International Artist’s Exchange Grant, A Keeler Family Intra-University Fellowship, three Hall Center Creative Work Fellowships, a Kemper Award for Teaching Excellence, two grants from the Puffin Foundation, two Virginia Center For Creative Arts Fellowships, two Ragdale Foundation Fellowships, a Fulbright Research Fellowship to pursue post-graduate studies in painting and printmaking at the Konsthogskollan, in Stockholm, Sweden, a Ucross Foundation Fellowship, three Graduate Faculty Research Awards, three Center for Teaching Excellence Awards and a teaching fellowship from the Yale University School of Art. In 1999, she received the Gretchen Von Budig Award for excellence in teaching (University of Kansas). In spring, 2002, she received the Outstanding Graduate and Professional Mentor award (University of Kansas). She was appointed to be one of the panelists deciding Creativity and Organizational Capacity Fellowships at the National Endowment for the Arts in July 2001.

She lives in Lee’s Summit with her husband Eric, stepson Daniel and three high-spirited canines.

For more information, see the artist’s website.

Awein Lual Wol was born in the town of Aweil, in what is now South Sudan, in 1983. Her father was a merchant and her mother was a farmer. At age ten, she was sent to Nairobi, Kenya to work as a domestic servant in a kitchen. In 2000, she was awarded refugee status and granted US citizenship. She now lives in Olathe, KS. Her most recent job was at Tyson Foods. She is married to Lual Deng Akoon, also from South Sudan. Their five children range in age from seven years old to eight months old.

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