Born in 1996 in Brooklyn, Zoraye Cyrus is a multidisciplinary studio artist who received her BFA in Drawing and Illustration at the University of Central Florida in 2019. Her work has appeared in numerous shows throughout the central Florida region and she is the recipient of the Women in the Arts 2019 Award.
“As a black woman, I am investigating my own interpretation of blackness based off of my Southern upbringing and relating personal experiences to overarching struggles within the African American and Afro Caribbean community. A therapeutic and cathartic expression of self exposes underlying systems and conceptions that reflect a common upbringing that expands beyond generations of black people.
“My work brings to light problems with colorism, incarceration, identity, and perception and as I implore my people to face these difficulties, I also encourage the celebration of black bodies, black women in spaces outside of struggle. Bringing forth our caring and supportive nature that juxtaposes our distinguished identity of self; aspects that have aided in the growth and sustaining of our community and urban culture.
“Through the use of different forms of charcoal to portray the black body, I showcase variations in which blackness can be perceived by us and ‘others.’ I am fascinated with the different forms of charcoal having varying degrees of darkness or ‘blackness’ and how the mediums bring out the richness of the pigments of pastel around it.”
Fresh Squeezed 5 is presented in partnership with the Gobioff Foundation and Smith & Associates