Muhsana Ali was born in Philadelphia, PA in the USA in 1967. She has lived in Senegal for the past 11 years. Muhsana holds a BFA degree and a MA in art education. She studied at Parsons School of Design (NYC), University of the Arts (Philadelphia), PA Academy of the Fine Arts, (Philadelphia), The American College in Paris (Paris, France) and the L’Universite de St. Denis (France). Muhsana began traveling at the age of 18 and has exhibited throughout West Africa, Eastern and Southern Africa, Europe and the US. Muhsana’s work covers a broad spectrum of mediums, including painting, sculpture, installation, photography, printmaking and video. Most comfortable in three-dimensional work, she has produced major outdoor sculptural works as well as large-scale alternative mosaic murals, using a variety of materials including under-glass painting, found objects, tile and mirror. Other material Muhsana has used in her work includes fabric manipulated into solid shapes and forms, chains, bones, earth and wood. Muhsana’s work often touches on human and or environmental conditions, sometimes raising metaphysical questions concerning the same. She investigates notions of race and identity and has explored historical tragedies such as the transatlantic slave trade and the resulting psychological state of its African-American descendants. During a Fulbright Fellowship in 1997, Muhsana traveled to over 7 different African countries researching traditional and contemporary African art. In 1999 she produced a 2-year exhibition project in an abandoned building with Abidjan (Cote d’Ivoire) street youth entitled Portes et Passages du Retour. Her experience with this group of drug-addicted, crime and violent-prone youth, shifted her creative focus to working primarily within given communities as a means of achieving a level of social transformation. In 2000, Muhsana founded the U.S.-based non-profit organization, Doors and Passageways of Return Foundation, which served to assist the Abidjan youth who had trained with her to continue their creative pursuits. In 2005, she co-founded its Senegal-based sister-association, Portes et Passages du Retour, which has been making artistic interventions within the rural community of Ngueniene since 2005. The association is presently working toward building a Holistic Art Center and artist residency space in the same area. Muhsana’s paintings are featured in the award winning motion picture, Philadelphia, and she is recipient of numerous awards and honors including a Fulbright Fellowship and a Pew Fellowship in the Arts.