MCC Art Gallery exhibits celebrate Black History and Women’s History months

MESA, Ariz. – Feb. 15, 2024 – The Mesa Community College Art Gallery presents dual exhibits honoring Black History and Women’s History months, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday – Thursday, through April 1, 2024, on the Southern and Dobson campus, 1833 W. Southern Ave., Mesa, Arizona. A celebration reception at the gallery is being held 4:30 – 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, Feb.28.

Photo of woman with wavy, purple hair and black blouse in a green background
Hard Workers Club by Shoreigh Williams

“Matriarchs of Washington Park: the African American Women Who Persevered through Racism in Segregated Mesa” was curated by independent documentary creator Bruce Nelson. Featuring paintings by Todd Bailey, Brie Bartz Bordeaux and Carla Keaton, it honors how the community thrived with the efforts of strong women such as Veora E. Johnson, Velma Alston, Lillie Mae King, Gladys Boston, Clara McPherson, Minnie Briscoe, Finder Anna Raglin and Louise Harrington. Washington Park, aka North Town, is a one-square-mile-radius community located just north of downtown Mesa and was a once-segregated neighborhood. Today it is recognized by the city as the Washington-Escobedo Heritage Neighborhood.

MCC Artist-In-Residence and alumna Antoinette Cauley curated the second exhibit -- “Future Matriarchs: The next generation of Matriarchs.” Featured artists are Mia B. Adams, Shaunté Glover, Khandra D. Howard, Carla Keaton, Brianna Noble, Rhyan Johnson, Camryn Simone, Shoreigh Williams, Rae Wilson and Zybrena.

Cauley said, “There were many powerful and creative pieces among the submissions for this exhibit, which shines a light on pressing issues and realities Black women and their respective communities face today. These works call into question important social and political issues that, if properly addressed, could lead to a more hopeful future for Black American communities.”

Recently based in Berlin, Germany, Cauley is known for her nine-stories tall mural of Civil Rights activist, James Baldwin in downtown Phoenix. Cauley returns to the MCC Art Gallery after attending Mesa Community College studying Fine Art with an emphasis in painting while apprenticing for two years with nationally acclaimed American oil painter Chris Saper. Cauley has been featured on television and in publications including PBS, NPR, JAVA Magazine and Forbes, and was named one of Phoenix Magazine’s “Great 48: 48 Most Influential people in the state of Arizona.”


Media contact: Julie Ruiz, 480-461-7283,

Mesa Community College is nationally recognized for university transfer, career and technical programs, civic engagement, service-learning and innovative approaches to education. Host to more than 24,400 students annually, MCC offers degree and certificate programs at its two campuses and additional locations. On average MCC students provide 23,000 hours of community service annually. For more than 50 years, the college has served as a resource for education, workforce development and lifelong learning. MCC is transforming student success through Guided Pathways with Integrated Support Services and a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. MCC is a Hispanic Serving Institution. Nearly 50% of MCC students are the first in their families to attend college. MCC has the largest Indigenous student population of all the Maricopa Community Colleges. The American Indian Institute serves students from 22 federally recognized Arizona tribes and out-of-state tribes. Our diverse student body includes hundreds of international students from around the world. Award-winning faculty are dedicated to student success, providing the education and training that empowers MCC students to attain their goals. Located in the East Valley of Phoenix, Arizona, on the traditional territories of the O'odham, Piipaash and Yavapai Peoples, MCC is one of 10 colleges in the Maricopa County Community College District. Visit to learn more.

MCC is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC),

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Publication Date: 
Wednesday, February 14, 2024