2018 Selected Artists-in-Residence
Nika López is an interdisciplinar artist based in Spain. Her works focuses around sensitivity, exploring the relationship between human beings and nature from an ecological perspective. She is interested to communicate in a transparent and honest, visceral and sensorially perceptible way. This methodology reconnects her with a specific material or place through a personal and intimate poetic. Nika propose to free the body of all cultural ties in order to absorb external information, perceiving the environment as an extension of her body. She often uses video, installation and action art among other disciplines. Nika observes with attention the ephemeral and apparently insignificant things. The residue and vibration that transmit the natural elements become fundamental is her work. She proposes to expand the consciousness of human beings to reconcile again with the world and thus, to achieve a change in ourselves.
Romana Kassam is a self-taught multi-disciplinary artist, inspired by love, life and the spaces in between and works with various mediums to tell stories, visually. A lover of design and details she creates pieces that emphasize culture, community and collaboration. From mehndi to murals, hands to the walls - Romana can spin tales that inspire out of almost anything.
Florencia Sosa Rey is an emerging multidisciplinary artist from Montreal, Canada. In 2015, she obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Arts at Concordia University in Montreal. Her work includes exploring the conceptual, relational, playful and meditative possibilities of everyday objects through drawings, performances, videos and textiles. As a multi-skilled person, she often works and volunteers in Montreal's art community through art centres- articule artist run centre, La Centrale Galerie Powerhouse, Dare-Dare- and festivals – Viva! Art Action- as a cultural mediator, artist assistant, and as a prep-cook. Since October 2017, she co-animates Les étangs d'art, a weekly radio show exploring the local visual arts scene at CISM 89,3, the Université de Montréal's own radio station.
Emmanuel Afolabi is a photographer, and filmmaker based in New York City. Emmanuel sees photography and filmmaking as a way of seeing life in a different perspective; it has also exposed him to meeting new people, opened exhibitions and traveled outside the U.S for work. Being that Emmanuel Afolabi is from Nigeria, he has a vision to visit less fortunate countries and photograph them in the most beautiful way. He believes that photography and filmmaking is a way of bringing out the beauty in life and in countries that have been denigrated. Emmanuel is currently finishing a bachelors degree in filmmaking.
I am a Paris-based Architect since 2003 and I’m doing various others experiences in my professional life. I started first working in offices, on town planning, architecture, interior architecture, design, furnitures and also for myself. Modeling is what I do most of the time. Creating is what I do all the time. Curious about everything, I like to travel and discover new places, cultures, art, techniques and ways of life that inspire and contribute to my works and projects. Most of my works talks about polar areas which are my favorite focus. I participated at the IceHotel conception in Sweden with an Art Suite, cutting and sculpting ice and snow; I realized the PolarStellar Suite in Luxembourg; I developed a tiny Scientific Refuge in Antarctica; I developed my own brand called Thesixtysixth designing clothes, accessories as well as I created the graphics and the identity. Using the various skills and techniques I already worked with, I started to prototype a big part of my works whatever was the subject. I now integrate others techniques such as 3D-Printing, laser- or water-cutting in my works and I keep updated with new methods to create with. By working both as an architect, an artist, an explorer I can easily make, manage, direct, coordinate, follow up all the projects I am involved in.
Josiah is a multi-disciplinary graphic designer from Milwaukee, WI, who uses design to solve difficult problems and advance social change. He believes that branding is a powerful tool to spread a unifying story and identity that invites people to belonging and action - that the symbols and visuals of our social movements are an important element of building shared purpose and solidarity. Josiah's work ranges from art directing campaigns for large companies, to designing a time capsule for a symbolic action for climate justice, to creating banners for the local May Day march. With a background in advertising, he uses his experience to elevate the messages of social movements and community organizations. He has worked with groups such as Beautiful Trouble, Cosecha, IfNotNow, U.N. Environment, and People's Climate. He is a co-founder of Climate Prints and the creative director for The Peace Poets. Josiah co-founded a collective house in Brooklyn called the Hoop House, which is a home to organizers, healers, and designers who share values around hospitality, wellbeing and community. He loves exploring the outdoors, sketching symbols, climbing rocks, playing games, and reading comic books.
Virginia is an illustrator and engineer, a curious mind, and an adventurer. Coming from peace tech sector in the Middle East and Africa, now moving into visual storytelling and creative self-expression to increase awareness and empathy to one another. Virginia served as data literacy consultant in the conflict resolution and peace-building field for five years, working in Iraq, Lebanon, Somalia and Tunisia. She quit her job and began writing and illustrating books that explain complex stories in simple terms. Her drawings has been published by The Independent and she's working with organizations such as USAID, UNDP and MIT. After two years as a nomad on the road, she’s now based out of a farmhouse in the Spanish countryside, where she organizes Blindfolded Art and Visual Storytelling workshops to encourage people of all ages to express themselves and tell their stories through art.
Cara Despain was born in Salt Lake City, Utah and currently lives and works in Miami, Florida. She holds a B.F.A. from the University of Utah (2006). In 2012, she was selected for the Salt Lake City Mayor's Award in the visual arts, and in 2016 she was selected for the South Florida Consortium Fellowship. Recent exhibitions include Autobody in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Locally Sourced at the American University Museum in Washington D.C.; Voces Feroces in Santiago, Chile; open sesame at The Lumber Room, Portland, Oregon; and Seeing the Stone solo exhibition at Contemporary Utah Art Center in Salt Lake City. In Miami recent exhibitions include Fantastical Vizcaya at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, Slow Burn solo exhibition at Spinello Projects, and No Man's Land at Rubell Family Collection. In 2014 she was the Art Director for the feature length film The Strongest Man that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2015, and recently completed production as Art Director on another film A Name Without a Place (forthcoming). She is a founding board member of the Davey Foundation, a grant-giving foundation that gives grants to emerging filmmakers and playwrights. She has also initiated curatorial projects, and from 2009-11 she founded and operated GARFO Art Center in Salt Lake City, Utah in an abandoned schoolhouse. She is an art writer who has been published in various magazines, and contributes in to The Miami Rail and Line Script Diray and recently curated a journal editon for Site 95. From 2012-2015, she was Foundation Education Manager at the Rubell Family Collection. She is currently curator and artistic manager of Jim Williams’ archive and estate.
Aino Johansson is a multidisciplinary visual artist (MA), and theater-maker (self-learning) from Helsinki, who combines installation, painting, sculpture, sound, performance, writing, participatory elements, and what ever seems important for the work and life at hand. She has been working in the field of theater lately, doing stage-installations (set design) and taking part in the organization of a small theatre Ilves-Teatteri, as a member of it's board. She is also working as a teacher for 6-7 years young children in the Literary art School of Vantaa. Art and Life have a crucial meeting point in teaching and social work for her. She studied her BA in Fine Art in Lahti Institute of Art, where she focused in painting and sculpture, and her MA in Contemporary Art in Aalto University of Art and Design in 2015, where she focused in installation, experimental work in situational art and painting. Her master thesis, The escaping self portrait - artistic practice as action against controls, described the present society using Gillez Deleuze's and Felix Guattari's theory of the society of control, and explored artistic work and its possibilities to break out of control, to escape - and at the same time create, impact and change the existing society. All interests her. Her main motives lie in exploring the complexity of human nature, in sensitization for materials, spaces, environments, feelings, thoughts and actions of (everyday) life, deep-ecological thinking, and anti-capitalism. Finding out a way of life as an artist, as a human, a citizen, and a being among other beings which could be more ecological, sustainable, sensitive, and philosophically less violent is at the heart of exploration for her at the moment. She is always looking for connections, collaboration, a rhizome-like shared creativity. Key words: unconventionality, outsiderism, activism, nature, wander,poverty, love, inner and outer spaces, shamanism, anti-consumerism, womanhood, animals, mental health and -sickness, micro- and macro-structures of violence and non-violence.