As the Akron Soul Train Artist in residence for December 2021, Adana Tillman sought to extend her body of work, which made its debut in early 2021, focusing on portraiture through depictions of self-expression and awareness. Throughout her residency, she aimed to broaden her artistic horizons by delving into installation work, infusing it with body colors, textures, and hand stitching evident in her overall artistic oeuvre. Drawing inspiration from her surroundings, Adana, an avid observer, found creative stimuli in the movements of dancers, pedestrians, and the diverse styles of the African diaspora reflected in fashion, hair, and personal flair.
Primarily known for her work in textiles and found fabrics, Adana chose this residency as an opportunity to explore new avenues of artistic expression. The exhibit features contemporary quilted pieces alongside a reimagined school desk installation, showcasing her willingness to experiment with different materials and techniques, including wood burning and the application of gold leaf. Through this installation, she aims to delve into profound questions of self-identity, contemplating "Who Am I?" and exploring how introspection on this single question can yield self-awareness and joy.