‘Honoring the Black Woman’


Andres Sanchez / Clarion

“Honoring the Black Woman” will run from Feb. 1 through Feb. 28 at Truax.

Stuart Pate, News Editor

The Black Women’s Affinity Group (BWAG) is presenting an art exhibit “Honoring the Black Woman,” as well as a departed friend and colleague, Dzigbodi Akyea. The exhibit runs from Feb. 1 through Feb. 28. 

“She was graceful, kind, wise, a fighter for her students, loving and tough,” said TRIO Academic Success Coach and Coordinator Erran Daniels, in reference to Akyea. 

Akyea, who passed away late last year, was a Madison College Student Support Advisor of 17 years as well as a passionate art lover.  

“Her first interest was to use our Madison College’s Art Gallery to feature Black art and artists during Black History Month,” said Daniels. “The more she talked about a gallery event the more animated and excited she became.” 

Coronavirus concerns kept BWAG from showing the exhibit until this year. To honor Akyea, BWAG came up with the theme of honoring the Black woman. BWAG’s first step was to reach out to the greater Madison community. They created an open call to artists which they posted to social media, emailed faculty, and sent out flyers to the University of Wisconsin art department, area museums as well as to local high school art teachers.  

BWAG also went through the book, “Let’s Talk About It,” to connect with artists who created murals in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd. 

BWAG’s efforts have paid off. Exhibit attendees can expect to see art from third and fourth graders from One City, a Middleton high school artist, as well as work from an artist from Africa who is currently incarcerated.  

“We are so pleased with how this all came together and thankful for those who agreed to participate,” said Daniels.  

A scholarship has also been established in honor of Akyea. The Akyea Memorial Scholarship will be open to Black liberal arts transfer students who intend to pursue a four-year degree.