I believe that artists can have a meaningful role within their communities, spreading and sharing the joy of art-making, teaching about history, science, society, and culture, re-introducing the joy of creativity of play and engagement to adults and children alike and finally, paying tribute to the world of imagination and magic.
I have been running my art program in Jackson Heights, an independent, inquiry-based, community-based program since 2010. I have also been receiving Su Casa grants for the past four years, conducting art residencies in senior centers in Queens, NYC.
These socially engaged activities surely expand my own definition of being an artist and balance beautifully the solitary activity of art-making at the studio. The artworld is often exclusive, narcissistic and self-involved, operating much like a capitalist, well-oiled machine, driven by money and constructed definitions of success.
I would like to model some heartfelt alternatives that are beneficial for all: Bringing and sharing art where it's less expected, keeping th teaching diverse, wide open, making one's community a center of power, being entrepreneurial, self sufficient, generous.
Below are images of students that attend my art program, of seniors I have worked with and of young adults I assisted with creatuing portfolios through a CITIZEN's grant.
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