NYFA announces Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program in Social Justice

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Carlos Martinez, Unlocked and Reimagined, 2015, a​t the Leverich Family Burial Ground in Jackson Heights 

Through the support of the Donald & Shelley Rubin Foundation, the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) is pleased to announce the launch of the Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program: Social Practice, a year long professional development program for immigrant and 1st-generation artists working in all forms of socially engaged art (including, but not limited to, public and community engagement and advocacy around issues of environment and climate change, immigration, race, gender, and social justice).

Their four artist mentors are Alicia Grullon, Carlos Martinez, Tattfoo Tan and Rebelené (Zelene Pineda Suchilt), three of whom are alumni of the mentoring program. Between them, they represent many of the core areas from advocacy, activism, environmental and climate concerns, issues of race and gender, community and public engagement.

Artist Mentors

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Alicia Grullon, F​ilibuster, 2016, performance comprised of a​  re­enactment of Senator Wendy Davis’ 11 hour filibuster, at BRIC.

Alicia Grullón moves between performance, video, and photography, channeling her interdisciplinary approach towards critiques on the politics of presence, an argument for the inclusion of disenfranchised communities in political and social spheres. She received a BFA from New York University and an MFA from the State University of New York at New Paltz. Grullón’s works have been shown in numerous group exhibitions including Franklin Furnace, the Bronx Museum of the Arts, BRIC House for Arts and Media, School of Visual Arts, El Museo del Barrio, Jamaica Flux 10, Performa 11 and Art in Odd Places all NY. She has received grants from the Puffin Foundation, Bronx Council on the Arts, the Department of Cultural Affairs of the City of New York, and Franklin Furnace Archives, among others. She has participated in residencies in the United States and abroad some among them include: Artist in the Marketplace, Korea Arts Council in Anyang South Korea, Five Colleges Women’s Studies Research Center and the Art and Law Residency at Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts.

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Carlos Martinez is a Colombian-born interdisciplinary artist based in Jackson Heights, Queens (New York). His main medium is photography and my practice ranges from urban interventions to community-based projects exploring issues of identity, labor, gentrification, aging, environmental justice, mass consumption and immigration.

Carlos is a member of the Social Justice Artists Collaborative and co-founder of Hibridos Collective, Queens-based artists and advocates working to re-envision spaces using public art. The collective is organizing the first Jackson Heights Arts Festival and a series of pop-up art events to engage local artists, neighbors and community organizations in a conversation about issues impacting the community.

Carlos was a teaching artist at the International Center of Photography (ICP) where I worked with underserved youth in partnership with The Point and National Geographic. At ICP, he also worked with the Friends of Island Academy mentoring young adults transitioning from the criminal justice system using photography and writing.

Carlos was selected for the Queens Council on the Arts’ Individual Artist Initiative and the New York Foundation on the Arts’ Mentoring Program for Immigrant Artists. He was an artist-in-residence at The Laundromat Project’s Create Change Residency program and the Seniors Partnering with Artists Citywide program sponsored by the Department of Cultural Affairs and the Department for Aging.

Berta Caceres 10 de Mayo Mother's Day Card

Rebelené, Berta Caceres Mother’s Day Card, 5/10/16 #Justice4Berta action outside of UN.

Rebelené (Zelene Pineda Suchilt) is a CHí-CHí (CHilanga/CHicana) award winning storyteller and political organizer living in New York City. Her work takes a multi-disciplinary and collaborative approach that juxtaposes indigenous concepts and urban culture to bridge art and social justice praxis. She utilizes a range of media and contexts including, poetry, painting, community organizing, installation, performance and filmmaking to promote a sense of pride and urgency. Her artistic work is informed by third world eco-feminism, Marxist philosophy, revolutionary artist movements and Mesoamerican artisanal traditions.

Her political work stems from the burgeoning immigrant/human rights movement of 2005 and has evolved around feminist transnational environmental issues including; anti-blackness, State repression and indigenous sovereignty. She works for We Act for Environmental Justice.

In 2009 she received the Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz Young Visionary Award from The National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago. Zelene was accepted into the New York Foundation of the Arts Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program in 2012, and has been a mentor since 2014. The Mango Poem short film, the chapbook Greencard and a play (in process,) have been collaborations with NYFA artists and/or resources. In 2015 she completed a month long artist residency at Doña Helen’s in Clovis, CA where she exhibited her work at the Clovis Book Barn and Fresno State University. She is a Political Content VONA Writer’s Workshop graduate.

Rebelené is a proud member of the Mujeres de la Tierra, Colectivo Vagón, Hij@s del Maíz and the Librotraficante Movement artist collectives. Her literary work has been published by Huizache: The Magazine of Latino Literature, Free Press Houston, Quiet Lunch Magazine, The Panhandler Quarterly and MANGO Publications. She is the founder of the Word Around Town Poetry Tour.

Taffoo 2

Tattfoo Tan’s art practice responds to issues of ecology, climate change and nutrition. His unique art making process consists of learning new forms of knowledge, practicing them, and in turn teaching others. His decade long trilogy of projects: Nature Matching System, Sustainable. Organic. Stewardship. and New Earth had been shown widely and made into replicable manuals to inspire the public to take action.

Tattfoo has presented, collaborated, supported, and published his works in various venues and institutions including: Staten Island Arts, Queens Museum of Art, The City of New York, Department of Cultural Affairs Percent for the Arts, Eugene Lang College/New School for Liberal Arts, Parsons the New School for Design, Fashion Institute of Technology, 601Tully/Syracuse University, Macalester College, Ballroom Marfa, Creative Time, Aljira – A Center for Contemporary Art, Project Row Houses, City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, Contemporary Arts Center – Cincinnati, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Art Matters, Joan Mitchell Foundation, The Pulitzer Arts Foundation, The Laundromat Project, Gestalten, Thames and Hudson.

He has been recognized for his effort, service, and artistic contributions to the community, and is a proud recipient of a proclamation from The City of New York. He was also given the Twenty-Eighth Annual Award for Excellence in Design by the Public Design Commission of The City of New York for his design and branding of the Super-Graphic on Bronx River Art Center and currently served on the Mayor’s Citizens’ Advisory Committee to support the development of a Comprehensive Cultural Plan.

For further information: https://www.nyfa.org/

Deadline for applications: Friday, June 9, 2016

Please contact the IAP Team with any questions: i.outreach@nyfa.org