Spotlight Asia: Ring in the Year of the Monkey

Head to the American Museum of Natural History on February 21st at 12pm or 3pm for a free afternoon of programming to celebrate the Lunar New Year.

Award-wining Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company rings in the Year of the Monkey, a year characterized by cleverness, curiosity, and playful mischief. The Museum’s Lunar New Year festival celebrates Asian art and culture through contemporary choreography, traditional storytelling, and hands-on activities taught by local artisans.

Watch Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company here:

Artist on the Edge: Sophia Dawson

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Credit: Sophia Dawson

Sophia Dawson is a dynamic and innovative artist whose artwork and vision continues to inspire me. Below you will find snippets of a conversation with the artist and images from her repertoire:

  1. What inspires you?
  • God the Creator
  • I went from discovering my talent and not knowing I had it
  • Some of my pieces come in visions
  • In my studio late at night I pray over my pieces and work
  • I am a co-creator with God.
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Credit: Sophia Dawson

  1. Why are you making work?
  • To serve
  • People in my paintings have gone through some sort of injustice, struggle, difficulty so I make the pieces known to everyday so that these individuals and their stories become known as well.
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Credit: Sophia Dawson

  1. Tell me about your process.
  • Lots of playing
  • I use documentaries and books as research to get to know who these people are and to learn  how they have overcome  and it moves me to action.
  • Documentaries I remember distinctly inspiring me to act include “Central Park 5” and “Every Mother’s Son”
  • Lots of work comes from stills from documentaries.
  • For practice I draw and paint people from life.
  • My work involves layers, which involves projection, a photograph, having people sit and painting
  • In my practice I have the freedom to switch up what is or is not working so my style often varies and the viewer may or may not be able to tell that it is the same artist.
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Credit: Sophia Dawson

  • Acrylic and oil paint used almost interchangeably on a canvas and a new technique I am using called canvas collage.
  • Inspired by the work of AFRICOBRA in creating a space inspired by many creative art forms. My space, Wet Paint, will be a space where creative minds come together.
  • I didn’t know I could paint until I was 16. I can do things really quickly, such as in 24 or 48 hours. Experimenting within my practice keeps it fun.
  • I also include the individuals in each painting in the process.  Whether that means sitting down with them, a phone call, a visit to a prison institution etc.
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Credit: Sophia Dawson

  1. Advice or wisdom for young people.
  • If you want to be an artist, you have to do the work. You have to keep creating. Encourage yourself and be inspired. There is no perfect moment to create art. You have to keep moving and create 100%.
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Credit: Sophia Dawson


Instagram: @iamwetpaint

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Credit: Sophia Dawson

¡Presente! The Young Lords in New York

So excited for this upcoming survey of The Young Lords Organization, which will be held at The Bronx Museum of the Arts, El Museul del Barrio, and Loisada, Inc. Below is the information describing the show from the press release:

¡Presente! The Young Lords in New York
The Bronx Museum of the Arts, El Museo del Barrio, and Loisaida Inc.
¡Presente! The Young Lords in New York
is a multi-venue artistic and cultural survey of The Young Lords Organization—a radical social activist group founded by Puerto Rican youth in the 1960s that demanded reform in health care, education, housing, employment, and policing. Exhibitions of art and archival materials at three cultural institutions in New York City will explore how the Young Lords’ activities, community-focused initiatives, and their affirmation of Puerto Rican identity inspired artists from the 1960s to the present day, and had a major impact on the City and the social history of the United States.

Young Lords will include public and educational programs across partnering venues to build awareness of the Young Lords’ innovative contributions to the struggle for civil rights and influence on contemporary artists, and to spark conversations about grassroots community activism today. The institutions partnering in ¡Presente! The Young Lords in New York are all located in neighborhoods where the Young Lords were most active, and each exhibition reflects on the Young Lords’ activities in that part of the City.

UNBOUND: A Tribute to Aaron Swartz


Super excited to see this exhibition take place! It is so important and will share wonderful information and community time. The art work will also be brilliant!

From the website of Latino Social Innovation :

A physical exhibition of “Unbound: A Tribute to Aaron Swartz” will be presented in New York City at ThoughtWorks, a progressive technology company built by a community of passionate individuals whose purpose is to revolutionize software design, creation and delivery, while advocating for positive social change. This is the company where Aaron Swartz worked, building software in support of grass-roots political movements. We are thankful to ThoughtWorks for giving this exhibition a physical space and for granting us with the opportunity to bring people together to honor Aaron’s legacy under one roof. We are also thankful to ThoughtWorkers Jared Hatch, Andy McWilliams and Amy Schantz for helping to make the physical exhibit a reality.

Unbound: A Tribute to Aaron Swartz

Exhibit Duration: March 28 – May 30

Opening Reception: March 28 6PM – 9PM

Viewing Hours: Noon to 3PM on March 29, April 5, 12, 19, 26 or by appointment:

Jared Hatch, Connector

Eliana Godoy, Exhibit Curator,

Clara Rodriguez, Artist Advocate

Current Exhibitions at The Studio Museum in Harlem

Current Exhibitions at The Studio Museum in Harlem

Visit The Studio Museum in Harlem for the last weeks of the Fall/Winter 2013-14 season! Come see The Shadows Took Shape, Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art,  and Harlem Postcards: Fall/Winter 2013-14 before it ends on March 9, 2014.

Photo Caption: Jamal Cyrus “Texas Fried Tenor (Learning to Work the Saxophone)” 2012 Tenor saxophone, flour, water, egg, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, foam adhesive (Photo by Erin Hylton)