Ashley Robertson



By Rachel Werner | Photographed by Kaia Calhoun

Ashley Robertson’s work is driven by emotion, her vivid portraits guided as much by her heart as by her hands. “My life has been heavily influenced by the women in my life,” Robertson says.

Growing up in a household with mostly women, Robertson later graduated from Spelman College, a women’s college in Atlanta.

“I’ve always felt most cared for and understood in women-dominated environments,” she says. “So nothing frustrates me more than when the value of women in our society is questioned or undermined.”

Robertson thinks her work as a consultant at landscape design firm Vandewalle & Associates, where she focuses on development and economic development, intersects with her artistic process. “There’s a lot of community engagement involved with city planning which has taught me to reframe the problem,” she says. “And though I mostly work with acrylics on canvas, I also don’t shy away from using whatever materials get the job done or gets my point across the best.”

In 2016, Ashley Robertson became one of only three artists in residence at downtown Madison coworking hub 100 State. With such a visible platform in the heart of the city, she’s seizing every opportunity to amplify her voice via art. “I am particularly concerned by the invisibility that so many Black women experience. I just want to honor, celebrate, elevate and above all—normalize their lives to themselves with my work.”

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