Antonio McAfee will be the Academy Art Museum’s third Artist-in-Residence, from July 27–August 21, 2020. He will be working on a series of photo-transfers (digital prints transferred to semi-transparent acrylic medium) of portraits of women of the 1881 Atlanta Washerwomen Strike. Starting from a couple of hundred and growing to a few thousand, laundresses went on strike throughout the city against companies and individual employers, demanding higher wages and safer working conditions. Due to their success and strength of organizing, they influenced the formation of unions and strikes from other industries. This is ongoing research that has inspired McAfee in a recent body of work.

He states, “The residency will give me time and space to flesh out my feelings, understand the Washerwomen campaign and their impact, and find imaginative ways to represent them and their stories. The Washerwomen protests are part of larger, revelatory research I have been conducting on Southern African Americans from Reconstruction to the early 1900s.

Throughout my digging, I have been finding interesting threads to connect. My mother grew up in Columbus, Georgia, and took over the entrepreneurial and maternal position after the passing of her mother. While in Columbus, my grandmother C’Dell worked for the Urban League, assisting families and the elderly with accounting and obtaining benefits. C’Dell also owned and operated a popular salon, cosmetology school and other businesses. The Washerwomen Strike resonated with me. It provided specific details to broader research I am conducting, and the ethos of the strikers is evident in significant women in my life.”

Learn about his exhibition, Antonio McAfee: Legacy

Artist-in Residence Programs include:

DIGITAL NEGATIVE WORKSHOP           Three Day Workshop, August 7-9, 2020         Register Here
LEGACY: APPROPRIATION AND COLLAGE WORKSHOP    Three Day Workshop, August 14-16, 2020      Register Here


Previous Artists-in-Residence:

Emily Lombardo


Amze Emmons