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Eleanora “Rukiya” Brown

Mixed-media, Sculpture and Design Artist

Eleanora “Rukiya” Brown

Elenora “Rukiya” Brown is a mixed-media, sculpture and design artist who lives and works in New Orleans. Her work fuses the historical influences of People of Color traditions with contemporary times. World- renowned for her soft sculpture personal dolls and masking suits as Rukiya, Queen of the Creole Wild West Tribe. Rukiya is a self taught master craftsperson and visual storyteller that gracefully forms weaving, beading and quilting into the three-dimensional to inform and inspire communities of Color about the majesty of life pre-slavery and the resoluteness of their evolving diaspora.

Rukiya’s practice is a therapeutic dance among her materials. For Rukiya, the process heals her first and the joyful creations are left to share in the healing of others. She is an evocative reminder that there are other perspectives to the male-dominated hierarchy often represented in the Mardi Gras Indians Tradition. When Rukiya masks, she honors the women in her life whose lives were cut short to violence. In her series, “Unclaimed Memories'' she creates a space to

Having spent her formative years dressing mannequins for some of the City’s biggest fashion retailers as a Fashion Buyer, Rukiya’s pieces are an intricate display of her many collections, travels, and training. Through her many fabrics, beads, feathers and keepsakes she shares the wisdom of a thriving creative who has been married twice, raised two childrens, and studied beading abroad for five years.

Rukiya has exhibited internationally and her work has been acquired by a number of institutions and in books. She has been exhibited and awarded by the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Her suits “When Black People Could Fly” were acquired by the New Orleans Museum of Art in 2014. Her suit “ is in the Ohio State University Carnival Collection. “The Metamorphis” was featured in the award winning book, Artists Spaces by Tina Freeman. In 2017, “White Buffalo Calf Woman” was acquired by the Musée du Quai Branly, a French National Museum in Paris. She has been publicly honored by New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell and US Congressional Representative of Louisiana, Cedric Richmond as a cultural and historical ambassador.

Conference Sessions