Meet Sukenya Best!
painter, printmaker, dancer and published author.
Sukenya Best was born in New York City, where her origins in
visual art, faith in God, dance, and cultural community festivals began.
In the 90s her family moved to Richmond Virginia, which has been her
home for over 30 years. She took art lessons in all of her schools to
eventually receive a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Virginia Commonwealth
University in 2001. As an undergraduate student she studied Baroque
art history in London, Europe. During that trip she observed first-hand
paintings by Caravaggio, Rembrandt, and Frans Hals; which sparked her current practice of portrait painting. She also traveled to Zimbabwe, Africa, to study drawing and batik making. There she experienced a rich culture and an appreciation for fabric designs. When she attended the University of Tennessee in Knoxville (earned a M.F.A in 2007) she continued to explore printmaking on fabric with the combination of dance and music.
With 17 years’ experience in teaching art in the community and for higher education, Sukenya has always enjoyed working with the youth. She taught art classes for her local faith community, performance centers, art centers, parks and recreation, K-12 public schools, community college, and universities. Sukenya joined the faculty at Virginia Union University when it reinstated the Fine Arts Department in 2010. For eight years she helped develop the art curriculum, designed courses, created programs, curated exhibitions, and advised students. She also linked with the Center of International Studies where she was able to go on a college tour-abroad trip to Italy and France, and afterwards published a cartoon book called Chocolate Bella. Her book is available for purchase through Lulu, Barnes & Noble and Amazon.
Currently she works at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts as an On the Road Coordinator, where she is part of the museum's Education Division. Sukenya is still able to interact with various communities and schools, as she travels around Virginia with the Artmobile.