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ADVANCING THE ARTS ACROSS MARYLAND

ALYSCIA CUNNINGHAM

ALYSCIA CUNNINGHAM

Artist Work

Serenity, 4
2011
Digital Photograph
Regina, 50
2011
Digital Photograph
Vonzella, 60
2010
Digital Photograph
Amy, I Am More Than My Hair
2014
Digital Photograph
Sheila, I Am More Than My Hair
2017
Digital Photograph
Beauty Is
2017
Video

Artist Information

County
Montgomery County
Artistic Category

Film, Visual Arts

Artist Statement

As a filmmaker and photographer, my lens is expression of storytelling. Although I didn’t know it then, from a young age, I started my journey as a storyteller, by way of being a good listener, and turning it into art with a social impact. As the first American generation born as a descendant of Trinidadian parents, I often found myself amongst the elders, in my childhood neighborhood of Queens, NY. I immensely enjoyed sitting with the them and visualizing pictures as they creatively poured out tales of their upbringing. Not only was I intrigued by their narratives, but I quickly learned that their experiences were directly related to their personalities as adults. My earliest conflict with beauty led me to produce work that encourages self-love and shines light on our authenticity as humans. That of females in particular, since I tell stories with my feminine perspective. Given that ads with “attractive” women seldom looked like me, a little brown girl, I made it a point to create works of art that contributes to diversity. In September 2013, I self-published my first book titled, "Feminine Transitions: A Photographic Celebration of Natural Beauty". It is a photography that celebrates and promotes that natural beauty of girls and women at all stages of life. It includes an unaltered portraits series of females faces, accompanied by their quotes, between the ages of 7 weeks and 103. My current project, "I Am More Than My Hair", is a documentary film and coffee table book that features the stories and portraits of females who’ve experienced hair loss due to medical conditions. Through this project I am redefining beauty standards and bringing awareness to alopecia (the partial or complete absence of hair). My goal for the near future is to continue producing documentary films and coffee table books with a focus on social-change. I also plan to direct and produce theatrical films.

Artist Bio

Personally, Alyscia Cunningham is a granddaughter, daughter, wife, mother of 3, sister, aunty, friend, artist, advocate, writer, Pisces, dreamer, truth seeker, positive thinker, adventurer, traveler, hiker, teacher, student...and her journey continues.

Professionally, Alyscia is an entrepreneur, author, speaker, filmmaker and photographer who has contributed National Geographic, Discovery Channel, America Online and the Smithsonian Institution. Alyscia is also the CEO of a Maryland Home Improvement company, Uprising Builders, LLC, specializing in custom home renovation and design.

After the success of Cunningham's first book, Feminine Transitions: A Photography Celebration of Natural Beauty she continues her contribution to social-change with her upcoming book and documentay, I Am More Than My Hair: My Outward Appearance Does Not Define Me. She also plans to soon publish Masculine Transitions (the male version of Feminine Transitions). Both projects promote self-love and acceptance.

Alyscia is also one of the FrontLine Voices for Stop the Beauty Madness, a campaign focused on changing the dynamics of beauty globally.

After the production of her current project, Alyscia plans to continue producing documentary films and coffee table books with a focus on social-change. Her goal for the near future is to also direct and produce theatrical films.