Good Design. Positive Change.
Wheelhouse Collective

Growing Up Black Growing Up Wanda

A multi-venue exhibition and limited edition book celebrating artist Wanda D. Ewing's bold original linocut prints and texts.

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An artist’s legacy lives on, sparking inspiration and unapologetic cultural dialog.


Inspired by the raw honesty of Wanda Ewing’s art and her unique perspective, I embarked on a deeply personal quest: to bring to life the exhibit of Wanda’s original thesis book, “Growing Up Black Growing Up Wanda,” from her time at the San Francisco Art Institute. This endeavor initially involved pitching an exhibition concept for two concurrent shows and establishing a committee of experts to realize it. 

Beyond locating and exhibiting Wanda’s early linocut prints and text, which vividly explore race, beauty, sex, and identity, I concepted and designed an exhibition coffee table book that included crafting new cover out of her typography, that was missing from her original thesis book. 

This was more than a project; it was a tribute to Wanda’s bold, honest voice. It ensured her frank and powerful linocut print images and text would endure, resonating with a new audience and sparking meaningful conversations about her personal experiences and challenges she faced as a Black woman coming of age in the Midwest.


I collaborated with a number of incredible institutions including The Union for Contemporary Art (The UNION), the University of Nebraska Omaha (UNO), RBRG Gallery, and Wanda’s family, to curate knowledge, locate the original prints, and gather necessary support, and resources.

After an extensive search, we successfully located all the artwork from Wanda Ewing’s thesis book, except for the cover. I then reconstructed it for exhibition and publication purposes. I designed and produced a striking hardcover, 28-page full-color reproduction of the entire collection. Every detail, from the cover to each spread and the artist’s statement, authentically reflects Wanda’s essence. Notably, creating a new cover using pieces of her art and text, since the original was missing.

Thanks to a grant awarded to The Union, and a donation from the School of the Arts at UNO, 100% of the proceeds from book sales contributed to the Wanda Ewing Memorial Scholarship. 

We brought Wanda’s art to life through a multi-venue exhibition of her original linocut prints at The Union for Contemporary Art, transforming spaces into vibrant celebrations of her lasting legacy. At RBRG Gallery, alongside Wanda’s works, we showcased perspectives from two contemporary Black female artists, fostering a dynamic intergenerational dialogue.

To amplify our efforts, we launched a compelling social media campaign to drive traffic to the exhibits. Additionally, we created exclusive t-shirts, with 100% of sales benefiting Wanda’s scholarship fund.


The project culminated in a resounding success with over 700 visitors experienced Wanda Ewing’s artwork at The Union for Contemporary Art, sparking vital discussions on race, identity, and art. The tandem exhibit, “Prints in Color, Wanda Ewing + 2,” at the RBRG Gallery further enriched the cultural dialogue.

Book Sales for the limited edition of “Growing Up Black Growing Up Wanda” sold out twice, with all proceeds totaling $1500.00 contributed to the Wanda Ewing Memorial Scholarship at the University of Nebraska Omaha, which supports undergraduate students of color pursuing degrees in Art and Art History.

“Growing Up Black Growing Up Wanda” exemplifies the transformative power of art to confront societal issues and inspire change. The project not only preserved Wanda’s artistic contributions but also introduced her art to new audiences and ignited renewed conversations about race, beauty, sexuality and identity, and the profound impact of art.


Creative Direction, Design, Book Design, Illustration, Event Coordination, Social Media


Strategy, Creative Direction, Book Design, Illustration & Social Media: Cathy Solarana
The Union for Contemporary Art: Exhibit Curator, Grant Writer, Event Coordination: Brigitte McQueen
University of Nebraska Omaha: Exhibit Curator, Event Coordination: Dr. Amy Millicent Morris
Book Dedication Writer: Dr. Maria Elena Buszek
RBRG Gallery: Exhibit Curator, Event Coordination: John Rogers
The Family of Wanda D. Ewing