Kehayr Brown-Ransaw | Minneapolis College of Art and Design

Kehayr Brown-Ransaw

Bowls from Kehayr Myles-O’Shaé Brown-Ransaw's senior exhibition Oba | Oko
Kehayr Brown-Ransaw


BFA, Minneapolis College of Art and Design
Current Career
Installation Technician at the Minnesota Children's Museum

Kehayr Myles-O’Shaé Brown-Ransaw, the Spring 2019 Commencement speaker, shares insight on his time at MCAD and his art over the years.

Kehayr, a furniture design major, works in many different mediums, such as wood, wool, cotton, flax, and hair to create intricate and unique works of art. His work focuses on the creation of a Black aesthetic in contemporary design that will give the design a modern context.

Kehayr Myles-O’Shaé Brown-Ransaw's senior exhibition Oba | Oko
Kehayr Myles-O’Shaé Brown-Ransaw's senior exhibition Oba | Oko

What were your years like at MCAD?

If I had to put it into one word, I would say it was full. I think some of the people, experiences, and perspectives that I have met and had access to have been some of the greatest and most fulfilling for my career and life overall. This is not to say there were no complications, setbacks, or “drama” that made MCAD frustrating, but the pros definitely outweigh the cons.

Stool from Oba | Oko
Stool from Oba | Oko

How have you developed as an artist over the years?

I have been made to think critically about my own work, the audience, and what the work is actually saying when I am not present. Because of this, my ability to make choices and trust my gut has grown.

When it comes to your art what is your process like?

A lot of my work has to do with my family, so much of it is very derivative. I just kind of choose what I want to talk about through the work, do a ton of research into the histories of certain objects and how other artists are tackling these issues, and then start designing. I often start by writing the written statement about the piece and edit it as I make it work through any kinks or problems with the piece. It’s really messy.
Blanket from Oba | Oko

Blanket from Oba | Oko

What are your plans career-wise now that your time at MCAD is coming to a close?

I mean honestly, I just wanna be alive and feel fulfilled by my work and whatever job I have. Ideally, I am looking to move into a teaching position and hoping to work with various education coordinators in order to bring more programming around physically making for students.

Do you think MCAD has prepared you well for the business and art world?

I feel that MCAD has prepared me as an individual to move into many positions. The skills that I have gained in being able to write and talk about my work has benefitted me in many ways this far in my career, and I hope that they continue to do so.

What was it like to be chosen to speak at commencement this year?

Being chosen to speak at commencement by my fellow graduates was honestly the most fulfilling moment of my life. It has been a dream of mine to speak at my graduation since elementary school. I didn’t get the chance in high school, and being able to speak at my college graduation because my peers believe in me, is very rewarding.