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Continuing the Legacy of Artist Robert S. Duncanson

The Duncanson Artist-in-Residence Program was established in 1986 to honor the achievements of contemporary Black artists working in a breadth of artistic disciplines. The program honors the relationship between painter Robert S. Duncanson and his patron, Nicholas Longworth, who commissioned Duncanson to paint landscape murals in the foyer of his home, now the Taft Museum of Art. Each year, the selected artist works directly with the public and with area schools.


2021 Artist-in-Residence

Meet Asha Ama Bias-Daniels 

Asha Ama Bias-Daniels has been selected as the Taft's 34th annual Duncanson Artist-in-Residence, which will now take place each Spring. 

Bias-Daniels is the first Cincinnati designer to be a competitor on the television series Project Runway, a finalist on Under the Gunn, and as a returning contestant for the newest All Stars season. As a couture designer, Bias-Daniels is no stranger to runways, creating pieces for a diverse range of artists from Zendaya to Little Big Town and for her own line, Asha Ama.

The Cincinnati native graduated as a FISC (Fund for Independent Schools, Cincinnati) Scholar from St. Ursula Academy and went on to study as a Cincinnatus Scholar at the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning, graduating magna cum laude with a degree in fashion design. Bias-Daniel’s designs include clothing for men, women, and children, as well as lingerie, swimwear, embroidery, draping, knitting, and tailoring. Her work for women possesses a duality: soft, rhythmic draping against pieces with an armored feel—protection for Black women. She incorporates ornate detailing, print mixing, strong lines, and cut-outs that accentuate curves in the female form. Bias-Daniels’ latest creative endeavor is exploring a new collection with an emphasis on the meaning of the year 2020, focusing on the revealing truths of this year, and the topic of Black identity. 

Bias-Daniels' impressive resume made her a top contender for this year’s residency theme—fashion design— but for all Duncanson Artist-in-Residents, a commitment to community involvement is paramount. With a heart for mentoring and education, Bias-Daniels believes that her experience as a Black woman (often feeling misunderstood, stereotyped, and misidentified) can help her help others find their sense of self through fashion. Bias-Daniels is an active leader in this work as the founder of the mentorship program, Created to Create. Through this initiative, she teaches fashion design to Black, underprivileged teenage girls in Cincinnati.


Public Events & Features

April 12-26, 2021, Bias-Daniels will lead public programs, teach workshops, and visit schools across Greater Cincinnati. Events will be announced on a rolling basis.


Virtual Event | Duncanson Artist-in-Residence Welcome & Artist Talk

Online Program

Wednesday, April 14

6:30-7:30 p.m.

Join the Taft Museum of Art as we virtually welcome the 34th annual Duncanson Artist-in-Residence, fashion designer Asha Ama Bias-Daniels, during our virtual opening event and artist talk.

We invite you to kick-start her residency with us on this special evening! This is a FREE event! Event registration closes at midnight before the event.


On View | Garments by Asha Ama Bias-Daniels


On view through June 6, 2021

Guests to the Taft Museum of Art can discover a few examples of Bias-Daniels' work alongside the museum’s current exhibition, Walk This Way | Footwear from the Stuart Weitzman Collection of Historic Shoes and within the Duncanson Foyer.


Virtual Tour | Duncanson Artist-in-Residence

Online Program

Wednesday, April 14 & Wednesday, April 21

12-12:30 p.m.

Can’t make it to the museum? Take a virtual tour online. This April, join the Taft’s Duncanson Artist-in-Residence, fashion designer Asha Ama Bias-Daniels as she leads a specially curated online tour featuring her work now on view at the Taft Museum of Art. These tours are 30 minutes long and require registration in advance.

FREE for members, $5 for non-members. Event registration closes at midnight before the event.  


Let's Talk | The Artist Experience

Online Program

Friday, April 16
6:30–7:30 p.m.

Join the Taft’s 2021 Duncanson Artist-in-Residence, Asha Ama Bias-Daniels, for an interactive panel discussion featuring Cincinnati-based artists Michael Coppage, Elese Daniel, and Mark Anthony Brown. This virtual discussion will expand upon each artists’ exploration of Black identity within their work.  

This is a FREE event. Event registration closes at midnight before the event. Spots are limited.


Workshop | Fashion Crowns

Off-Site Program

Saturday, April 17
10 a.m.–12 p.m.

Join the Taft's Duncanson Artist-in-Residence, fashion designer Asha Ama Bias-Daniels, for a creative day at the Clifton Cultural Art Center. Together, you will learn how to create and design your own headpiece while experimenting with an array of unconventional items, paint, and embellishments to showcase your identity.

This workshop is appropriate for all genders and is catered to teens (7th-12th grade). All supplies included. 

This is a FREE event. Event registration closes at midnight before the event. Spots are limited.


The Duncanson Society

The Robert S. Duncanson Society was founded in 1986 by Doris Rankin Sells, the late William Joel McCray, and Ruth K. Meyer to affirm an ongoing Black presence within the structure of the Taft Museum of Art, including the Duncanson Artist-in-Residence program, and to celebrate Robert S. Duncanson’s artistic contributions.

Past Duncanson Artists-in-Residence

2019 | Ya'Ke Smith: filmmaker

2018 | Vanessa German: visual and performance artist

2017 | Stafford C. Berry Jr.: choreographer, dancer

2016 | Carla Cook: jazz vocalist

2015 | Alysia Nicole Harris, poet 

2014 | Laci Coppins: photographer

2013 | Diane Macklin: storyteller

2012 | Nikkole Salter: actor/playwright

2011 | Adrienne Danrich: soprano; John Blake Jr.: jazz violinist; Tracy Walker: singer-songwriter

2010 | Nokuthula Ngwenyama: violist

2009 | Brian Joiner: painter

2008 | Sandra Cardoso Muendane: fashion designer

2007 | Keith Josef Adkins: playwright

2006 | 20th Anniversary

2005 | Thom Shaw: printmaker

2004 | Melvin Grier: photographer

2003 | Annie Ruth: spoken word

2002 | William Menefield: jazz piano

2001 | La-Vaune Henry: soprano

2000 | Dayton Contemporary Dance Second Company

1999 | Charlotte Blake Alston: storyteller

1998 | Sharon M. Draper: author

1997 | John Blake, Jr.: jazz violinist

1996 | Dhana Bradley-Morton: actress

1995 | Frederick A. Wallace: conservator

1993 | Tarleton Blackwell: painter

1992 | Sebronette Barnes: soprano

1991 | William Greaves: documentary filmmaker

1990 | Michael Harper: poet

1989 | Tyrone Geter: painter

1988 | Kathy Wade: jazz vocalist

1987 | William de Valentine: opera singer

1986 | Nikki Giovanni: poet

Residence Sponsor

Programming Sponsors

Phyllis McCallum and Steve Jemison

Sara M. and Michelle Vance Waddell Fund of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation


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