Paul Brach Lecture Series

Spring 2021

Aruna D’Souza

Apeshit in the Louvre (organized by Ashley Hunt with Mehregan Pezeshki), with The Paul Brach Visiting Artist Lecture Series proudly presents Aruna D'Souza.

Aruna D'Souza writes about modern and contemporary art; intersectional feminisms and other forms of politics; and how museums shape our views of each other and the world. Her most recent book, Whitewalling: Art, Race, and Protest in 3 Acts (Badlands Unlimited), was named one of the best art books of 2018 by The New York Times

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Carmen Hernández

Carmen Hernández is a researcher in Latin American art, with extensive curatorial and museum experience in Venezuela, México, and Spain.

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Baseera Khan

Baseera Khan is a performance and visual artist based in Brooklyn, New York. Their work sublimates colonial histories through performance and sculpture in order to map geographies of the future. Khan's latest solo exhibition, Snake Skin, opened at the end of 2019 at Simone Subal, New York. Having exhibited in numerous locations, a selection of Khan’s work has shown at Munich Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism, Munich, Germany, Jenkins Johnson Projects (2019), Sculpture Center (2018), Aspen Museum (2017), Participant Inc. (2017). Khan's performance has premiered at several locations including Whitney Museum of American Art, Art POP Montreal International Music Festival.

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Bernadette Despujols

Bernadette Despujols was born in Barquisimeto, Venezuela. She studied Architecture at the Universidad Central de Venezuela (UCV), where she graduated with honors. Soon after, she continued her education at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, where she took classes in architecture, cultural exchange, morphology and anatomy before beginning her endeavors in art making. Despujols taught Architectonic Design at the School of Architecture at the Universidad Central de Venezuela before moving to the US to pursue her MFA in Visual Arts at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). 

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Emily Jacir

History of Photography—Conversations Around Documentary series (organized by Billy Woodberry and Ines Schaber) and Ashley Hunt, with The Paul Brach Visiting Artist Lecture Series proudly present: Emily Jacir

Emily Jacir is a Palestinian artist and filmmaker who is primarily concerned with transformation, questions of translation, resistance, and silenced historical narratives. Her work investigates personal and collective movement through public space and its implications on the physical and social experience of trans-Mediterranean space and time. Her works have been shown all over the world in solo and group exhibitions. She is the founding director of Dar Yusuf Nasri Jacir for Art and Research in Bethlehem. She is based between Ramallah and Rome.

Poster credit: Gandhar Vamburkar (Art MFA 23) & Megan Texido (Art MFA 23)

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Rafael E. Vera

Rafael E. Vera was born and raised in Maracaibo, Venezuela, and presently lives with his wife and two kids in the city of Chicago.

He received his BFA and MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago where he was a recipient of the Edward L. Ryerson Fellowship Award and the George L. and Roman Siegel Fellowship Award. In 2013, he received the 3Arts Ragdale Residency Fellowship.  Before becoming a full time lecturer in Drawing, Painting and Printmaking, and the Director of the Fine Arts Department at Loyola University Chicago, he taught for The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Northeastern Illinois University. Vera has been teaching undergraduate students since 2005.

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Julieta Aranda

All lectures are free, open to the public, and presented online. RSVP required. To register, please email artvals@alum.calarts.edu with the subject RSVP PBVALS.

Julieta Aranda’s explorations span installation, video, and print media, with a special interest in the creation and manipulation of artistic exchange and the subversion of traditional notions of commerce through artmaking.

Aranda’s body of work exists outside the boundaries of the object. Her installations and temporary projects, which often examine social interactions and the role that the circulation of objects plays in the cycles of production and consumption, are intensely site-specific. e-flux Video Rental (2004–07), one of her most widely known works, is a collaboration with artist and curator Anton Vidokle that created an archive of hundreds of artist videos available to the public free of charge; this traveling international project was enhanced by local artists and transformed by different trends and temperaments in each new city. Similarly, her collaborative project with Vidokle and artist Liz Linden, Pawnshop (2007), transformed the New York e-flux storefront into a pawnshop where artworks submitted by artists for cash were sold if not reclaimed in 30 days. This project comments on the complex relationship between artists and the commercial market as well as the socioeconomic position of those businesses in urban communities. Time/Bank (2009-12), another collaboration with Vidokle under the e-flux banner, was an artistically-minded online platform that treated time as currency.

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Santiago X

Santiago X, M.Arch, MFA is an Indigenous futurist and multidisciplinary artist specializing in land, architectural, and new media installation. He is an enrolled citizen of the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana (Koasati) and Indigenous Chamoru from the Island of Guam USA (Hacha'Maori).

Santiago X has exhibited and designed internationally, including The Museum of Contemporary Native Art, in Santa Fe, New Mexico; The Venice Biennale in Venice, Italy; and Ars Electronica in Linz, Austria. He is a 2019 3Arts Award Winner, a 2020 New City Top 50 Artist, a member of the inaugural City of Chicago Monuments and Memorials Advisory Committee, and the first Native American contributor to the Chicago Architecture Biennial. In 2020, X was commissioned by the US State Department to be the lead artist of The American Arts Incubator Brazil, where he traveled and conducted workshops culminating in a virtual reality exhibition, entitled PORTAL.

Currently, Santiago X is reinvigorating the ancestral mound building practice of his Koasati people, via two large-scale augmented public earthwork installations along the Chicago and Des Plaines River in Chicago. This is notably the first time effigy earthworks have been constructed by Indigenous peoples in North America since the founding of the United States. POKTO ČINTO (Serpent Twin Mound) publicly opened on Indigenous Peoples Day, Oct. 14, 2019.

Santiago X received a Bachelor of Environmental Design from the University of Colorado, a Master of Architecture from the University of Southern California, and a Master of Fine Arts Studio in Art and Technology from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

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Joseph Grigely

Joseph Grigely is an artist and writer. He has had solo exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art; the MCA, Chicago; the Musée d’art Moderne in Paris; the Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin; and has participated in the Whitney, Venice, Berlin, Istanbul, Liverpool, and Sydney Biennials. His books include Textualterity: Art, Theory, and Textual Criticism (1995), Conversation Pieces (1998), Exhibition Prosthetics (2010), MacLean 705 (2015), and Oceans of Love: The Uncontainable Gregory Battcock (2016), as well as essays on disability theory and body criticism. He has a D.Phil. from Oxford University and is professor of Visual and Critical Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

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Devin Kenny

Devin Kenny (American, b. 1987) is an interdisciplinary artist, writer, musician, and independent curator. He has collaborated with various art and music venues in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and elsewhere, including Recess; Het Roode Bioscoop; REDCAT; Freak City; Julia Stoschek Collection; the Core Program at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; SOMA Summer, Mexico City; Goethe-Institut New York, and MoMA PS1, where he participated in Greater New York (2015). A graduate of Cooper Union, Kenny received his MFA in 2013 from the New Genres department at UCLA and is an alumnus of the Whitney Independent Study Program.

Kenny uses music, performance, video, writing, fashion design, and almost any other means possible to explore and complicate ideas on contemporary culture. Kenny’s work often exists online, as websites, blogs, video posts, and audio files. Employing the tropes of social media–driven youth culture to reach a base audience, the work is free to convey broad ideas while subversively inserting political and philosophical theory. There is a hyperawareness in Kenny’s work that belies his sincerity in making it, an ironic stance that separates what he makes from the pop culture that it mimics. Kenny uses the Internet as source material and venue, consuming and processing cultural production to reveal it anew to his audience.

All lectures are free, open to the public, and presented online. RSVP required. To register, please email artvals@alum.calarts.edu with the subject RSVP PBVALS.

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Brian Mackern

Brian Mackern (Uruguay) is a new media artist, developer, and designer of digital and hybrid, net-based art projects since 1995. Mackern is also a musician, composer, and developer of autogenerative and reactive sound visual structures and environments. His art practice delves into areas defined by memories and remembrance, alternative representation of localization, urban geographies and cartographies, noise, remix, glitch, and data bending. His work, mainly concerned with processes and structures which go across digital and real environments, explore interface design, soundtoy creations, digital transpositions of representation, image/sound objects, real time video-data animations, netart, and soundart. He has presented his work and given workshops and lectures throughout Latin America and Europe. His work has been exhibited at major international art festivals and received recognition from numerous institutions. He is a curator and coordinator of art and education-related projects based on contemporary technologies.

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Abigail Raphael Collins

Abigail Raphael Collins (b. New York) is an interdisciplinary artist using experimental documentary and video installation to consider relationships between intergenerational trauma and sound through a queer feminist lens. Recent exhibitions have been at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Pasadena Armory, Marathon Screenings, Angels Gate Cultural Center, PØST, Torrance Art Museum, and Seoha Gallery. She received a BFA from Cooper Union, an MFA from UCLA, and is the recipient of an FCA grant, Toby Devan Lewis Fellowship, and UCIRA grant. Collins is a former resident at Seoul Art Space Geumcheon and Shandanken Projects. She was selected as the 2020 emerging curator at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions.

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'Making Space': Juri Koll, Sage Paisner, Cindy Santos Bravo

The Patty Disney Center for Life and Work with The Paul Brach Visiting Artist Lecture series presents Making Space: a conversation with CalArts alumni with art-related initiatives, on Friday, April 30. 

Moderated by co-coordinators Juan Herrera (Art-IM MFA 21) and Fía Benitez (Art MFA 21), featuring panelists: 

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Kang Seung Lee

Kang Seung Lee is a multidisciplinary artist who was born in South Korea and now lives and works in Los Angeles. His work frequently engages the legacy of transnational queer histories, particularly as they intersect with art history. Lee has had solo exhibitions and projects at 18th Street Arts Center, Santa Monica, Calif. (2020); Hapjungjigu, Seoul (2019); One and J. Gallery, Seoul (2018); Artpace, San Antonio (2017); Commonwealth and Council, Los Angeles (2017, 2016); Los Angeles Contemporary Archive (2016); and Pitzer College Art Galleries, Claremont, Calif. (2015). Selected group exhibitions have been held at Asia Cultural Center, Gwangju, South Korea (2020); Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul (2020); Daelim Museum, Seoul (2020); Palm Springs Art Museum, CA (2019); PARTICIPANT INC, New York (2019); LAXART, Los Angeles (2017); and Centro Cultural Metropolitano, Quito, Ecuador (2016). 

Lee is the recipient of the 18th Street Arts Center Artist Lab Residency (2020), California Community Foundation Fellowship for Visual Artists (2019), the Rema Hort Mann Foundation grant (2018), and Artpace San Antonio International Artist in Residence Program (2017). Forthcoming solo exhibitions will be held at Gallery Hyundai, Seoul, and Commonwealth and Council, Los Angeles. Lee is participating in the 13th Gwangju Biennale, the 2021 New Museum Triennial, and is included in group exhibitions at MASS MoCA, North Adams, Mass. and Leslie- Lohman Museum, New York, in 2021.

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Daphne Arthur

Daphne Arthur (b. 1984, Caracas, Venezuela) centers her practice on the experimentation and transformation of conventional materials and forms. Drawing from her background, the Afro-Venezuelan artist explores the roles history, memory, and mythology play in the transformation or deterioration of the collective imaginary of the Black diaspora. 

Daphne Arthur received her BFA in Painting and Drawing from the School Of Art Institute of Chicago in 2007, and an MFA from the Yale School of Art in 2009. In 2020, she presented a solo exhibition titled “In The Eye of The World,” curated by Julia Marsh at Cedar Crest College, Philadelphia. Other institutional solo exhibitions include RARE gallery in New York, UMass Boston, and Yoga Gallery in Chicago. 

Arthur’s work has also been featured in national and international group exhibitions including Aalto University in Finland, Honfleur Gallery, City College of NY, The Nathan Cummings Foundation, Laviolabank Gallery, Marvelli Gallery, Arena 1, California African American Museum, Land of Tomorrow, Mexic-Arte Museum, 59 Rivoli gallery in Paris and the Florence Biennale VIII in Italy. She is the recipient of the Anne Critz fellowship, The Ald Held Fellowship at the American Academy of Rome, and the Vermont Studio Center Fellowship. 

Her work can be found in the collections of the California African American Museum of Art, Mexic-Arte along with other private collections as The Wellington Management, the Desmarais collection, 21c Museum. The artist lives and teaches in New York at the Harlem School of Arts and the Ashcan Art Studio. 

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Xaviera Simmons

Xaviera Simmons engages her sweeping practice of photography, painting, video, sound, sculpture, and installation to explore the construction of landscape, language, and complex histories in the United States and its continuing push at Empire-building on a global scale. Simmons’ work is exhibited nationally and internationally and belongs to major museum and private collections, including The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Deutsche Bank, New York; UBS, New York; The Guggenheim Museum, New York; The Agnes Gund Art Collection, New York; The De La Cruz Collection, Miami, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; The Studio Museum in Harlem; ICA Miami; Perez Art Museum Miami; The Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro; The Nasher Museum of Art, Durham; The High Museum, Atlanta; among others. Simmons received her BFA from Bard College (2004) after spending two years on a walking pilgrimage retracing the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade with Buddhist Monks. She was a visiting lecturer and the Inaugural Solomon Fellow at Harvard University and was awarded The Charles Flint Kellogg Award in Arts and Letters from Bard College in Spring 2020, among many honors. Simmons currently has works on view throughout the United States and Europe.

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Sofía Olascoaga

Sofía Olascoaga’s practice is focused in the intersections of art and education, through the exploration of encounters, think-tanks, and public programs along with artists, theorists, curators, and educators, and with a wide range of institutional and independent interlocutors.
Olascoaga was co-curator of the 32nd Bienal de São Paulo Incerteza Viva; Academic Curator at MUAC (Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporáneo – UNAM) in Mexico City, 2014-15; research curatorial fellow at Independent Curators International, 2011; and Helena Rubinstein Curatorial Fellow at the Whitney Museum of American Art’s Independent Study Program, 2010. She received her BFA with honors from La Esmeralda National School of Fine Arts. In 2012, she was workshop clinics director at International Symposium of Contemporary Art Theory and, from 2007 to 2010, head of education and public programs at Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil, both in Mexico City. Sofia is a member of Another Roadmap for Arts Education, of Red de Conceptualismos del Sur, and has contributed in specific events with the network Arts Collaboratory.
Her long-term research project, Between Utopia and Disenchantment (Entre utopía y desencanto), focuses on the collective memory and genealogies stemming from intentional community models developed in Mexico in past decades, addressing the ideas posed by Ivan Illich at the Centro Intercultural de Documentación (CIDOC), and its influential role in the practice of many Mexican and international thinkers and various self-organised initiatives.
She is currently member of Sistema Nacional de Creadores Artísticos, 2019-2022  in Mexico, as grantee in Experimental Practices (2019-22) to develop the project The Nurturer: Cooking to Learn (La Nutridora: Una cocina para aprender).

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iris yirei hu

iris yirei hu works in community with artists, scientists, historians, keepers of traditions, and organizers to limn connections between people, places, and practices to explore possibilities of kinship. She has shown her work at the Plug-in ICA (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada), Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE), OxyArts, John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Human Resources, and Visitor Welcome Center. Public art commissions include a sundial made in collaboration with the late Tongva Elder Julia Bogany and Tongva poet Megan Dorame through LAND, ICA LA, and WE RISE at the Los Angeles State Historic Park (2021), 10 mural wraps at California State University Dominguez Hills (2020), and a bus/rail poster for LA Metro (2016). She has been supported by the Foundation of Contemporary Art, Rema Hort Mann Foundation, and is a 2016 Paul & Daisy Soros Fellow.

iris yirei hu paints, weaves, dyes, tells stories, and composts her lived reality into large installations and cross-cultural collaborations as a way to redeem the embodied intimacy we once had with the natural world. Her practice centers study and listening, through which she is able to collaboratively shape transformative futures and friendships. Her practice is deeply rooted in reflective questioning. What if we understood history as generations of people cultivating love and optimism through building relationships, instead of centering an individual or a sequence of events? How can I use art to support and uplift the work of others and their journeys so that we can deepen our connection to land and people?

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Fall 2020

Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle

Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle is an interdisciplinary visual artist, writer, educator and performer. Hinkle lives and works in Los Angeles and Oakland, CA. Her practice fluctuates between collaborations and participatory projects with alternative gallery spaces within various communities to projects that are intimate and based upon her private experiences in relationship to historical events and contexts. A term that has become a mantra for her practice is the "Historical Present," as she examines the residue of history and how it affects our contemporary world perspective.

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Katya Grokhovsky

Katya Grokhovsky is a Ukrainian born, Australian raised, NYC based artist, independent curator, educator and a Founding Director of The Immigrant Artist Biennial. Grokhovsky holds an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, a BFA from Victorian College of the Arts and BA(Honors) in Fashion from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. Grokhovsky has received support through numerous residencies, awards and fellowships.

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T.J. Dedeaux-Norris

T.J. Dedeaux-Norris fka Tameka Jenean Norris was born in Guam and received their undergraduate degree at the University of California, Los Angeles before graduating with an MFA from Yale University School of Art.  Dedeaux-Norris has participated in residencies at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, the Fountainhead Residency, Grant Wood Colony Fellowship, The MacDowell Colony, Vermont Studio Center and Yaddo. They are the 2017 recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts grant, a 2018 National  Endowment for the arts fellowship, a 2019-2020 Pollock-Krasner Foundation grantee and is currently tenure track Assistant Professor at University of Iowa.

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Erica Dawn Lyle

Erica Dawn Lyle is a writer, musician, artist, and curator who lives in New York City. One half of the art making collective, SOBBETH, she is the author of On The Lower Frequencies: A Secret History of The City (Soft Skull, 2008). Since 1991, she has edited and published the DIY art/crime/punk magazine, SCAM. Her most recent book is Streetopia (Booklyn, 2015), based on the celebrated San Francisco anti-gentrification art fair she co-curated in 2012.

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Herb Alpert Visiting Artist: Cecilia Vicuña

Cecilia Vicuña is a poet, artist, filmmaker and activist. Her work addresses pressing concerns of the modern world, including ecological destruction, human rights, and cultural homogenization. Born and raised in Santiago de Chile, she has been in exile since the early 1970s, after the military coup against elected president Salvador Allende. Vicuña began creating "precarious works" and quipus in the mid 1960s in Chile, as a way of "hearing an ancient silence waiting to be heard." Her multi-dimensional works begin as a poem, an image that morphs into a film, a song, a sculpture, or a collective performance.

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Elle Pérez

Elle Pérez is an artist from the Bronx, NY who works primarily in photography. Pérez has held solo exhibitions at MoMA PS1 and 47 Canal. Their work has been exhibited at The Whitney Museum, The Brooklyn Museum, and the Barbican, London, among other venues. They are currently are an Assistant Professor of Art, Film, and Visual Studies at Harvard University and a Critic at the Yale School of Art. They were a Dean at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture from 2016 to 2019.

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Isabel Parkes with DonChristian Jones

Isabel Parkes is a curator, writer, and artist whose primary medium is institutions. In recent years she has worked with Performance Space New York and Creative Time to help reimagine their governing and operational structures, as well as on projects with artists including Phil Collins, Sarah Ortmeyer, and Leilah Weinraub. 

DonChristian Jones is a New York based artist, singer/songwriter, and producer. His work spans musical and time based performance, albums, video and public murals, blending genres of painting and performance installation. 

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Rita Gonzalez

Rita Gonzalez is the Terri and Michael Smooke Curator and Department Head of Contemporary Art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art where she has curated Phantom Sightings: Art after the Chicano Movement; Asco: Elite of the Obscure; Lost Line: Contemporary Art from the Collection; among other exhibitions and programs. From 1997–1999, she was the Lila Wallace Curatorial Fellow at the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego. She was on the curatorial team for Prospect 3 New Orleans and part of the curatorial teams for the first Current L.A. Biennial in 2016 and the Gwangju Bienale in 2018. Gonzalez was one of the 2018 Center for Curatorial Leadership Fellows.

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Colleen Asper

Colleen Asper is a painter, writer, and performer. Her work has also been included in numerous group exhibitions in the United States and abroad at institutions that include Art in General, New York, NY; The Drawing Center, New York, NY; Queens Museum, New York, NY; The Noyes Museum of Art of Stockton College, Oceanville, NJ; The Luminary in St. Louis, Missouri. Her work has been reviewed in publications that include Artforum, Art in America, frieze, The New York Times, and The New Yorker. Additionally, she has contributed writing to publications such as Art Practical, The Brooklyn Rail, Lacanian Ink, and Paper Monument.

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Gloria Galvez

gloria galvez maintains a practice of disrupting, subverting, and dismantling bland and oppressive status-quo norms. within this practice, her current focus is invoking alternate and simultaneous realities that prompt rebellious and revealing questions to the current social-political conditions of things – both living and nonliving things – both human and non-human things. and from this focus, the notion of a counterintuitive political solidarity with things has risen in her work.

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Cameron Granger

Cameron A. Granger came up in Cleveland, Ohio alongside his mother, Sandra, inheriting both her love of soul music, and habit of apologizing too much. A 2017 student of the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture, he uses his work to reconcile his place in and role as a product of American history and its media. His recent projects include “Ten Toes Down” at the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, “Pearl” a body of collaborative works with his mother at Ctrl+Shft in Oakland, and “A library, for you” a traveling community library most recently housed at ikattha project space in Bombay, India.

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Nelson Garrido

Nelson Garrido is a Venezuelan visual artist who integrates montage, object making, performance, installation and staging in his work. He began his studies of photography as a mentee and studio assistant of the artist Carlos Cruz Diez, a pioneer of the Op Art movement. The “aesthetics of the ugly”, eroticism revised in terms of religious sacrifice and violence as a trigger for reactions are some of the constants of his work. He is the first photographer to ever win the Venezuelan National Prize for Fine Arts (1991), and winner of the III Asfoto International Competition in Bogotá (1995).  Garrido's work has been classified as ‘kitsch’. His pieces, which address and interrogate  subject matters related to violence, political ideology, sexual identity, and popular and religious traditions in Latin America, have made him an important reference in the Visual Arts throughout The Americas. 

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Troy Michie

Michie is an artist and educator born and raised in El Paso, Texas. He received his BFA from the University of Texas at El Paso and his MFA from the Yale School of Art in Painting/Printmaking. He is a 2016 Art Matters grant recipient and has attended residencies at; the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, the Fine Arts Work Center, Recess Art, Denniston Hill and LMCC’s Workspace. Michie’s work has been exhibited at; The Shed, the Whitney Museum of Amerian Art, the New Museum, the California African American Museum, the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston, the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbain Art, and the Stedelijk Museum s’-Hertogenbosch.

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Andy Robert

Andy Robert is a painter based in Brooklyn, NY. Robert balances abstraction with recognizable imagery, and enjoys the experimentation and tinkering that comes with painting pictures. His work relies on the idea that images are to be bent and folded, taken apart and put back together again; a belief that art is a philosophical means to look at and examine things—to question, test ideas, and engage with the world. And that in painting a picture something is being taken apart to put back together; there is an inherent risk in breaking it. As a Haitian-American immigrant and painter, Robert views the world critically as a contradiction of mass-communication and increased voicelessness.

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