Chicago artist Ashley January will have a solo exhibition, "Human | Mother | Black", on display January 17 through February 24 at the Western Illinois University Art Gallery. A reception for the artist will be held Tuesday, January 31, 4:30-6:00 p.m. The artist will speak about their work at 5:00 pm. Ashley creates contemporary paintings informed by her maternal experience. Due to pregnancy complications that led to her son’s premature birth, her body of work addresses the crisis of the Black maternal mortality and morbidity rate in America. Recently, Ashley became the first recipient of the Women’s Caucus for Art, 2022 Emerging Artist Award. Additionally, she was selected as a finalist for the 2022 Artadia Chicago Award. In August 2022, Ashley had her first solo exhibition at the Beverly Arts Center. In recent years, her works have been exhibited in numerous venues including, The Young Masters Autumn Exhibition in London, UK; the South Side Community Art Center, Chicago, IL; Mana Contemporary, Chicago, IL; SoLA Contemporary, Los Angeles, CA; the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, IL; Viridian Artists Inc, New York, NY; Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, CA; Pacific Art Foundation, Newport Beach, CA; and the Irvine Fine Arts Center, Irvine, CA. Recently, her paintings have been seen in the new television series, Kings of Napa, on OWN. In 2018, she was selected as a first-place award winner at the Woman Made Gallery’s Midwest Open in Chicago. In 2017, Ashley won the Beverly Bank Best of Show Award at the Beverly Arts Center’s juried competition. Ashley earned her MFA in Painting from Laguna College of Art and Design, Laguna Beach, CA in 2017 and her BS in Communication with an Advertising concentration and Minor in Studio Art from Bradley University, Peoria, IL in 2009. She lives in Chicago with her family while working from home and her studio at Mana Contemporary.