Renee Stout grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and received her BFA from Carnegie Mellon University in1980. In 1985 she moved to Washington, D.C. and began to explore the roots of her African American heritage. She takes her inspiration from a myriad of African belief systems and their influences on cultures throughout the African Diaspora, as well as the environment of her neighborhood, to create works that encourage self-examination, and a willingness to stand back and laugh at human nature. The lives of Stout’s imaginary characters unfold in a variety of media, including painting, mixed media sculpture, prints, photography and installation. The recipient of awards from the Driskell Prize, Joan Mitchell Foundation, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, and the Gottlieb Foundation. Stout has shown her work in solo and group shows throughout the United States, and in England, Russia and the Netherlands.