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Entries Tagged as 'educator'

Edra Soto on the Architecture of Connecting with Communities

February 4th, 2020 · Comments

Edra Soto is a Puerto Rico born, Chicago based, interdisciplinary artist, educator and curator whose architectural projects connect with communities. Soto's temporary modular SCREENHOUSE pavilions are evocative symbols of her cultural assimilation that we can enter and share. Each free-standing structure functions as both sculptural object and social gathering place. Couched in beauty, her ongoing OPEN 24 HOURS project offers a different visceral encounter — with evidence of displacement and want. The aesthetic display of cast-off liquor bottles culled from steadily accumulating detritus in the historically Black neighborhood she now calls home suggests that we consider the personal and communal impact of poverty and racism. During a studio visit with the artist in Northwest Chicago, we talk about recent iterations of these projects.

In concert with the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial, the Millennium Park Foundation commissioned the artist to produce a temporary gathering place in one of the park’s outdoor galleries. Only steps from Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate, she worked with a team to construct SCREENHOUSE. The 10-foot high pavilion made of 400 charcoal-hued, 12-inch cast concrete blocks is part of an ongoing project, an architectural series inspired by iron grills and decorative concrete screen blocks found throughout the Caribbean and the American South.

New versions of OPEN 24 HOURS are on view in two 2020 exhibitions. One appears in Open House: Domestic Thresholds at the Albright-Knox Museum, in Buffalo, New York. Cognac bottles carefully arranged on shelves with decorative panels reveal the artist’s connection to two places she calls home. More liquor bottles command attention in the three-part installation she designed for State of the Art 2020. Featuring work by artists from across the United States, the exhibition celebrates the opening of The Momentary, a new contemporary art space at the Crystal Bridges Museum, in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Sound Editor: Anamnesis Audio 

Related Episodes and Photo Features: Architecture with a Sense of Place, Views—Chicago Architecture Biennial 2019, Fresh VUE: Chicago Art and Architecture 2017

Related Links: Edra Soto, The Momentary, State of the Art 2020, Crystal Bridges Museum of Art, Knox-Albright Museum, Millennium Park, Chicago Architecture Biennial 2019

About Edra Soto: Born in Puerto Rico and based in Chicago, Edra Soto is an interdisciplinary artist, educator, curator, and co-director of the outdoor project space THE FRANKLIN. She is invested in creating and providing visual and educational models propelled by empathy and generosity. Her recent projects, which are motivated by civic and social actions, focus on fostering relationships with a wide range of communities. 

Recent venues presenting Soto’s work include Chicago Cultural Center (IL), Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art (KS), Pérez Art Museum Miami (FL), Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico (PR), Hunter EastHarlem Gallery (NY), UIC Gallery 400 (IL), Smart Museum (IL), Bemis Center for Contemporary Art (NE), DePaul Art Museum, and the Museum of Contemporary Art of Chicago (IL). Soto was awarded the Efroymson Contemporary Arts Fellowship, the DCASE for Individual Artist Grant from the City of Chicago, the 3Arts Make A Wave award, and 3Arts Projects grants, and the Illinois Arts Council grant. 

Soto holds an MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a Bachelor of Arts from Escuela de Artes Plásticas de Puerto Rico. She teaches Introduction to Social Engagement at University of Illinois in Chicago and is a lecturer at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. 

About SCREENHOUSE: Decorative screens, known as rejas and quiebrasoles, are ubiquitous in Soto’s birthplace in Puerto Rico. In her SCREENHOUSE series, Soto transforms the quiebrasol form from a planar screen that divides public from private into a nearly fully enclosed, free-standing structure that functions as both sculptural object and social gathering place.

About OPEN 24 HOURS: Witnessing the excessive accumulation of litter and detritus in the historic African American neighborhood of East Garfield Park where she lives motivated Edra Soto to initiate this ongoing project. Since December 2016, Soto has been collecting, cleaning and classifying cast-off liquor bottles to create installations that display the impact of racism and poverty on this marginalized community in Chicago. Bourbon Empire, the book quoted below, recounts the historic connection between African Americans and cognac from its genesis in the 1930s to contemporary repercussions instigated by hip-hop and rap culture.

“Cognac’s relationship with African American consumers started later, when black soldiers stationed in southwest France were introduced to it during both world wars. The connection between cognac producers and black consumers was likely bolstered by the arrival of black artists and musicians... France appreciated these distinctive art forms before the U.S. did, continuing a French tradition dating back to Alexis de Tocqueville of understanding aspects of American culture better than Americans did. For African Americans, the elegant cognac of a country that celebrated their culture instead of marginalizing it must have tasted sweet ... During the 1990s, cognac sales were slow, and the industry was battling an image populated by fusty geriatrics. Then references to cognac began surfacing in rap lyrics, a phenomenon that peaked in 2001 with Busta Rhymes and P. Diddy’s hit “Pass the Courvoisier,” causing sales of the brand to jump 30 percent. During the next five years, other rappers teamed up with brands, and increased overall sales of cognac in the U.S. by a similar percentage, according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.”

—Reid Mitenbuler, author of Bourbon Empire: The Past and Future of America’s Whiskey

Tags: contemporary art · art biennial · public art · identity · activism · Artist · invisible communities · black culture · podcast · installation · community · educator · Chicago · political art · architecture · architectural intervention · art podcast · biennial · history

Destination American Southwest

August 12th, 2019 · Comments

Today, we take you back to the month of April, in the year 2012. That’s when we set out on a road trip from Austin, Texas. We’re aiming to find out how remote wide open spaces of the American Southwest inform and inspire art and design, curating and filmmaking.

 

Lubbock, Texas, birthplace of musician songwriter Buddy Holly, is our first stop. In a warehouse at the edge of town, we meet architecture professor Chris Taylor. He introduces us to students from Texas Tech University who took his course in Land Arts of the American West. The course involves a 6,000-mile road trip that culminates each time in an exhibition such as the one on view during our visit.

We drive on to Roswell, New Mexico, home to the Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) Museum, to spend the night in one of the ranch-style houses that accommodate the Roswell Artists in Residence Program, known as RAIR. Established in 1967 by artist and art collector Don Anderson, the program is off the beaten path for residencies, offering visual artists the unique opportunity to spend an entire year concentrating on their work. The voices you’ll hear are five of the current residents at the time of our visit:  Sarah Bostwick, Jon-Paul Villegas, Brian Villegas, Brian Kluge, and Sioban McBride.

A three hour drive from El Paso, Texas, Marfa has become a destination for art tourism. Home of the ghostly Marfa Lights (unexplained lights sometimes seen along the horizon in the night sky), the tiny town sits in the high desert, between the Davis Mountains and Big Bend National Park.

Renowned minimalist artist Donald Judd came here in the 1970s to escape New York City’s commercial art scene. With the help of the DIA Foundation, he acquired a former Army base. Before Judd died in 1994, he transformed the 400-acre expanse into a faceted art experience. The Chinati Foundation is a contemporary art museum designed to connect art to the surrounding landscape. Year round, visitors can explore Judd's signature boxes and installations by Dan Flavin, Rebecca Horn, Ilya Kabakov and more. We spend a few days to track down some of the artists, curators, designers and producers expanding on Judd’s singular vision.

 

Professional filmmakers Jennifer Lane and David Hollander moved to Marfa from Los Angeles. CineMarfa, the film festival they founded there, will celebrate its tenth year in 2020. We visit their home for a conversation about the genesis of CineMarfa and plans for the second annual event.

 

Ballroom Marfa is a key site of cultural production in this remote art mecca. Arts pioneers Fairfax Dorn and Virginia Leh-bermann founded the contemporary cultural arts space in 2003. Ballroom’s gallery is a converted dancehall that dates to 1927. We sit down with Ballroom’s creative team to learn more.

 

In 2019, we reach out to curator Laura Copelin to find out what happened next. Ballroom Marfa continues commissioning site specific artworks and installations—responding to the environmental, social and political ecology of the landscape that extends to the border of Mexico. One recent example is Haroon Mirza’s massive Stone Circle in the grasslands east of town. This is Ballroom’s most ambitious public commission since Elmgreen & Dragset’s Prada Marfa was completed in 2005. The stone circle will remain in the landscape for the next several years.

 

Leaving the high desert, we drive northeast through the Texas hill country, passing endless fields of bluebonnets. In East Austin, we meet designer architect Jack Sanders in his studio. Sanders talks about how the legendary architect Sam Mockbee influenced the evolution of his own life’s work.

 

Sound Editing and Special Audio Credits:

 

Destination American Southwest Sound Editor: Anamnesis Audio

 

Land Arts of the American West Sound Editor: Leo Madriz | Special Audio: 45 rpm record found by Land Art 2011 participants

 

Program Director: Chris Taylor

Students: Alexander Bingham, Luis Bustamante III, Will Cotton, Winston Holloway, Richard Klaja, Celeste Martinez, Zachary Mitchell, Carl Spartz, Rachael Wilson, Bethany Wood. Program Assistant: Adrian Larriva

 

Roswell Artists in Residence Sound Editor: Leo Madriz | RAiR acoustics: Sarah Bostwick

 

CineMarfa Sound Editor: Jay Agoglia | Sound Track: Harmony Korine, TRASH HUMPERS, 2009

 

Ballroom Marfa Sound Editor: Leo Madriz | Special Audio: Brian LeBarton, The Wind, 2010. New Year’s Film/Score Series. January 2, 2010. The Crowley Theater, Marfa

 

Jack Sanders Sound Editor: Leo Madriz | Music: Ross Cashiola, “Trains in the Grass”

Related Episodes: Fresh Talk: Joan Jonas, Fresh VUE: Austin, Land Arts of the American West, Roswell Artists in Residence, CineMarfa 2012, Ballroom Marfa Imagines a Drive-In, Jack Sanders on Slow Architecture

 

Related Links: Roswell Artist-in-Residence Program, Sarah BostwickJon-Paul VillegasBrian KlugeCorwin Levi, Sioban McBride, Chinati Foundation, CineMarfa, Jack Sanders, Sam Mockbee/Rural Studio

 

Tags: architectureAustin,, Design Build AdventureEl CosmicoJack SandersMarfaRural StudioSam MockbeeTexas, New Mexico, art podcast, Fairfax Dorn, Virginia Lebermann, Roswell, artists in residence, Chinati Foundation, Texas Tech University, Donald Judd

 

Tags: contemporary art · artist residency · New Mexico · Artist · Austin · Texas · art collection · collection · environment · community · educator · environmental installation · art podcast

Public Art Meets Poetry in O, Miami

April 29th, 2019 · Comments

Public art meets poetry in the month-long festival known as O, Miami. We sit down with visual artists Najja Moon and Michelle Lisa Polissaint and O, Miami's managing director Melody Santiago Cummings to talk about their work and introduce the spectrum of site-specific projects that bring poetry to communities.

Who’s The Fool? How To Patch A Leaky Roof: Moon and Polissaint create a Little Haiti Cultural District version of the blue umbrellas distributed for free in the Design District, a burgeoning retail development that is rapidly reducing the footprint of a community established by thousands of Haitian immigrants beginning in the 1950s. The artists imagine a dual role for the 1,000 bright red umbrellas they had fabricated. Mobile shelters from the rain and shields against the impact of urban development, the Little Haiti umbrellas feature a Creole proverb alluding to the false promise of urban development in the district. As if placing a flag on the moon, or drawing a line in the sand, Moon and Polissaint proclaim the identity of the community they call home and construct a monument to those fighting to preserve the district. The artists will go door to door with their gifts, inviting their neighbors to join in addressing the larger issue of gentrification in Miami. 

O, Miami projects introduced in this episode: Who's the Fool?Chiquita PoemasThe Last Ride of José MartíThe Beach is a Border; The Sunroom, poetry in schools

Sound Editor: Anamnesis Audio | Special Audio: Michelle Lisa Polissaint, Moonlight Moanin'; O, Miami: Ivan Lopez, The Last Ride of José Martí; Mia S. Willis, "hecatomb;" Sandra March, with Jose Olivarez, The Beach is a Border; The Sunroom

Related Episodes: Poetry, Art and Community JusticeCultural Complexity in Little Haiti

Related Links: O, MiamiNajja MoonMichelle Lisa Polissaint

 

 

Tags: Fresh Talk · contemporary art · Miami · public art · identity · Artist · invisible communities · project · curator · podcast · street performance · performance · community · educator · art podcast · spoken word · Live Radio

Live from the Everglades, Part Two

April 1st, 2019 · Comments

South Florida’s subtropical wilderness inspired us to stage a remote radio broadcast from the Everglades. On February 24, 2019, we brought live and pre-recorded conversations with artists, scientists, rangers, educators and Miccosukee activists to a live audience on the porch of the Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center.  

Voices in Part Two (alpha order): Warren Abrahamson, Miguel Alejandro Castillo, Robert Chambers, Houston Cypress, Jose Elias,  Nathan Fox, Ellen Harvey, Jenny Hipscher, Lori Marois, Deborah Mitchell, Cristina Molina, Adam Nadel, Paula Nelson-Shokar, Sarah Michelle Rupert, Dara Silverman, Hilary Swain

Sound Editor: Anamnesis Audio | Special Audio: Jack Tamul & James T. Miller, Voices of Everglades National Park

This episode is supported, in part, by Artists in Residence in Everglades (AIRIE) and Everglades National Park. Fresh Art International’s Cathy Byrd, AIRIE Fellow, February 2019, lived in the Park for one month as curator in residence.

Related Episodes: Live from the Everglades, Part OneRobert Chambers on Art, Ancient Plants and New TechnologiesGustavo Matamoros: Inside Miami’s Sound ChamberDeborah Mitchell: The Artist as Guide to the EvergladesJenny Larsson on Searching for Arctic WinterAdam Nadel on Getting the Water RightArtist Residency in EvergladesArt and the Rising SeaJorge Menna Barreto on Environmental SculptureRauschenberg Residency on Rising WaterAndrea Bowers on Environmental Activism

Related Links: Artist in Residence in Everglades (AIRIE)Everglades National ParkJolt Radio

Tags: contemporary art · public art · activism · invisible communities · curator · podcast · environment · community · educator · Change · political art · art podcast · history · Live Radio

Live from the Everglades, Part One

March 18th, 2019 · Comments

South Florida's subtropical wilderness inspired us to stage a remote radio broadcast from the Everglades on February 24, 2019. We brought live and pre-recorded conversations with artists, scientists, rangers, educators and Miccosukee activists to a live audience on the porch of the Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center. This episode is Part One of our two-hour program.

Voices in Part One: AIRIE Creative Director Deborah Mitchell, Miccosukee activist Betty Osceola, Celeste DePalma of Audubon Florida, Park Rangers Daniel Agudelo, Nathan Fox, Leon Howell, Lori Marois and Emily Wong, Park volunteer Barbara Hedges, Park hydrologists Steven Tennis and Adam Thime, and AIRIE Fellows Grant Livingston, Gustavo Matamoros and Christina Pettersson.

Sound Editor: Anamnesis Audio | Special Audio: Jack Tamul & James T. Miller, Voices of Everglades National Park

This program is supported, in part, by Artists in Residence in Everglades (AIRIE) and Everglades National Park. Fresh Art International's Cathy Byrd, AIRIE Fellow, February 2019, lived in the Park for one month as curator in residence.

Related Episodes: Robert Chambers on Art, Ancient Plants and New TechnologiesGustavo Matamoros: Inside Miami's Sound ChamberDeborah Mitchell: The Artist as Guide to the EvergladesJenny Larsson on Searching for Arctic WinterAdam Nadel on Getting the Water Right,Artist Residency in EvergladesArt and the Rising Sea,  Jorge Menna Barreto on Environmental SculptureRauschenberg Residency on Rising WaterAndrea Bowers on Environmental Activism

Related Links: Artist in Residence in Everglades (AIRIE)Everglades National ParkJolt Radio

Tags: Fresh Talk · contemporary art · sound art · artist residency · Artist · curator · podcast · environment · community · educator · political art · art podcast · history · exhibition · art tech

Creative Time Summit Miami 2018

February 25th, 2019 · Comments

In 2018, when the annual Creative Time Summit unfolds in Miami, we’re thrilled to participate. On Archipelagoes and Other Imaginaries: Collective Strategies to Inhabit the World brings together artists, thinkers, activists, and cultural producers whose practices stimulate change through planetary thinking.

The nearby Caribbean Archipelago serves as the perfect context within which to question colonial and postcolonial ways of seeing and thinking. The Summit delves into Miami’s historical connection to the Caribbean and, by extension, to Latin America and the entire world.

Voices, in order of appearance: Justine Ludwig, Fredo Rivera, Edwige Danticat, Elvira Dyangani Ose, Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, Daniela Ortiz, Colibrí Sanfiorenzo-Barnhard, Brigada Puerta de Tierra, Houston Cypress, Roc LaSeca, Edwige Danticat

Sound Editor: Anamnesis Audio | Live Performance Audio, in order of appearance: Drag en la Frontera, Samuel Tommie, Daniela Ortiz, Krudas Cubensi

Related Episodes: Where Art Meets ActivismLIVE from Dominican Republic with Tilting AxisMapping Caribbean Cultural Ecologies

Related Link: Creative Time

Tags: Fresh Talk · contemporary art · Miami · identity · activism · Artist · curator · podcast · environment · educator · political art · political performance art · art podcast · history · Caribbean

Deborah Mitchell: The Artist as Guide to The Everglades

June 4th, 2018 · Comments

Today, we take you to meet to artist Deborah Mitchell in her studio on Miami Beach, to talk about the ways that Florida’s southwest coast inspires her. The contested landscape, endangered by encroaching urban development and sea level rise, is where she engages as an artist and an advocate for North America’s only subtropical wilderness: The Everglades. Mitchell’s mindful practice expresses her affinity for this fragile ecology, and her desire to learn, share and preserve its science and history.

Sound Editor: Anamnesis Audio | Special Audio: Deborah Mitchell | Photographs courtesy the artist and Fresh Art International

Related links: The EvergladesBig CypressDeborah MitchellArtists in Residence In Everglades (AIRIE)

Tags: · Fresh Talk · contemporary art · artist residency · photography · activism · Miami Beach · curator · podcast · installation · writer · environment · community · educator · art podcast

Cultural Complexity in Little Haiti

March 2nd, 2018 · Comments

In this conversation, we talk about how the island country of Haiti has long inspired contemporary art, books and films and how the cultural complexity of immigrant communities is a creative force in South Florida. Come with us to the heart of Miami's Little Haiti neighborhood for a walk about with Carl Juste, a local cultural activist, photojournalist and artist whose family comes from Haiti and Cuba. Haitian-born writer Edwige Danticat introduces Foreigner's Home, a new film to premiere at the 35th Miami Film Festival. Miami-based curators Marie VicklesEdouard Duval-Carrié and Tosha Grantham (with family ties to Greece and Africa, Haiti, Asia and America, respectively) talk about connecting cultural history to contemporary art in exhibitions at the Little Haiti Cultural Complex and share what sparked Visionary Aponte: Art & Black Freedom, the traveling exhibition that recently premiered in Miami. Cuban-born Lissette Mendez and Carl Juste share some of the stories behind the collective exhibition and book project Havana, Haiti and the annual Little Haiti Book Festival.

Tags: Fresh Talk · contemporary art · Cuba · film · identity · Havana · invisible communities · curator · black culture · black art · podcast · museum · community · educator · political art · art podcast · history · exhibition · film festival · Live Radio

Fresh Talk: Creative Mornings Miami

April 7th, 2016 · Comments

Cathy Byrd talks about change as a creative opportunity when she makes an appearance at Creative Mornings/Miami. She recorded this Fresh Talk episode with rapt listeners in a secret garden at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens.

Sound Editor: Guney Ozsan | Sound effects: Creative Mornings/Miami

Tags: Fresh Talk · contemporary art · Miami · internet · Miami Beach · curator · podcast · writer · France · community · educator · Creative Mornings · Change

Fresh Talk: The Origin Story

January 21st, 2016 · Comments

Curator Cathy Byrd and architecture historian Sarah Rovang talk about the origins of Fresh Art International—what sparked the launch of our website, our Fresh Talk podcast and our digital guide to contemporary art, Fresh Art International NOW.

Rovang, a PhD Candidate in Brown University’s History of Art and Architecture Department, is a contributing editor for Fresh Art International NOW.

Sound Editor: Kris McConnachie

Tags: Fresh Talk · contemporary art · internet · Artist · curator · podcast · writer · educator