Juanita J Craft Artist Residency

South Dallas Cultural Center is proud to announce the 2021 Juanita J Craft Artist Residency recipients.

Inyang Essien

Inyang Essien is a visual artist working in the mediums of photography and digital media based in Dallas, Texas. She greatly appreciates the forgotten history of marginalized cultures and the on-going transformation that comes with coming into one’s identity. She strives to amplify these perspectives through her photography and places special emphasis on sharing stories that promote celebration of these backgrounds.

Since 2019, she has been a participant in 10 group shows, three of which took place in 2021, and one well-received solo exhibition for her series, “Idet”. In 2019, she earned first and third place in two Dallas-based photography competitions for “Idet”. In 2020, her food photography was featured in a BuzzFeed article. Also in 2020, her series “Our Rice” was selected as a finalist in the Photoville “The FENCE” traveling public art exhibition. Images from “Our Rice” have since received several inquiries from art collectors, appear in “In our Mother’s Gardens” documentary on Netflix, and will appear in other initiatives surrounding the context of the images. Recently, she was selected as a finalist in the Boynes Emerging Artist Competition.


Glyneisha Johnson

glyneisha (b.Dallas,TX) is a poly disciplinary artist, educator, and community organizer whose work celebrates the inherent matrilineal nature of Blackness. Through collage, installation, and photography she highlights the Black Interior as a source of refuge, healing, and imagination.

She is co-founder of Strange Fruit Femmes, a community based org which provides free and accessible programming for youth and adults centered around Black transformative healing, through the arts.

She studied painting and received a BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute in Kansas City, MO. Her work is included in private and museum collections and she has recently exhibited at SCAD Museum of Art in Savannah, GA, the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art in Overland Park, KS, and Springfield Museum of Art in Springfield, MO. glyneisha is a current Charlotte St Award Fellow and recipient of the Bryon C. Cohen Award administered by Charlotte St. Foundation in Kansas City, MO.


Adriane McCray

Adriane McCray is a wandering native Texan and University of Pennsylvania graduate. Heavily influenced by resilient women and the American Southwest & Midlands, Adriane seeks to present stories by providing experiences guided by emotion, built on strong perspective, and filled with nuance. She’s currently completing fine arts installation Raw Tourmaline, writing for television and developing a feature.


Laura Neal

Laura Neal is a black, Dallas-based poet greatly influenced by social and environmental narratives. Peers and educators have described her work as Georgic, narrative, lyrical, surreal, and cultural. She is interested in poetry’s ability to effect a society in a form analogous to religion, though compelled by a subtle call-and-response. She renders the ever-present experiences that occur everyday but go un- noted because of the standard lens of the “everyday”.

She received her BA from Bowie State University and her MFA from the University of Maryland College Park. Her work is published or forthcoming in Academy of American Poets, Appalachian Review, Birmingham Poetry Review, Boston Art Review, FreeBlackSpace, and Green Mountains Review, among others. She has received fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center (Provincetown, MA), CALLALOO (Providence, RI), Juniper Writing Institute (Amherst, MA), Hambidge Center for Creative Arts (Rabun Gap, GA) and the Oak Spring Garden Foundation (Upperville, VA). She currently teaches creative writing at the University of Texas at Dallas.




The South Dallas Cultural Center is pleased to announce the inaugural Juanita J. Craft Artist Residency pilot project The Beauty of South Dallas created by artist Nitashia Johnson. The project documents the neighborhood of South Dallas and several of its residence, business owners, and community leaders. South Dallas is a community rich with culture and history, but it is quickly changing. The goal of this project was to preserve a period in time that tells us where the neighborhood is before it changes. Over a three month period, September to December 2020, Nitashia has endeavored to connect with the people of the community and use her talents as a multimedia artist/designer to capture the landscape and present it in this website The Beauty of South Dallas

Please enjoy her work.

For inquiries about the project contact john.spriggins@dallascityhall.com