Artist on the Edge: Tariku Shiferaw

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Tariku Shiferaw “SpaceX”, 2014-2015, Mixmedia on Canvas, 60″x48″

  1. Tell a little bit a bout yourself.
    1. I was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and grew up in Los Angeles, CA.
    2. I moved to New York for graduate school. I now live in Brooklyn and I plan to stay in New York for a while.
  2. Firstly, what is (are) your medium(s) of creative expression? How long have you been studying and working at your medium?
    1. I’m a painter. I currently make abstract paintings.
    2. I’ve painted, drawn, made sculptures for 15 plus years. Trained in traditional oil medium.
    3. In 2012, upon realizing my painting concerns were less focused on rendering and depicting reality, I began to use water based mediums such as acrylics and more. In 2014, I completely dove in the deep end making abstract paintings. That’s when I completely abandoned oil and fully turned to acrylics.
  3. What is your inspiration to begin working on a piece? Where do you go to gather inspiration? Where do you and your friends go to view art and collaborate?
    1. I have always enjoyed painting and initially it’s all the inspiration I needed. Along the way, I realized painting became a thinking space; a place where thoughts take form and vise versa. So I take my inspiration from everyday life such as conversations, relationships, the occupation of forms or marks in public and private space, the human condition, existential issues, philosophy, political issues, Western societies, current state of existence as an individual (commodity, capitalism)…the list goes on.
    2. I go to many places throughout New York. I often go to museums, galleries (small and big), friends openings, and more…the MOMA, The New Museum, Studio Museum Harlem, The Brooklyn Museum, PS1 MOMA, Chelsea galleries, galleries throughout Brooklyn…56 Bogart in Bushwick, various Bushwick galleries and Open Studios, Art fairs, NYC wide MFA Open Studios, and more…
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Tariku Shiferaw, “Untitled (Figure/ground)”, 2015, Acrylic on canvas, 60″x48″

4.Where can people contact you regarding collaborating or about your work?

5. Where can people check out your work next? I have an upcoming MFA Thesis Exhibition titled Off Pink (working title) at the Kitchen in Chelsea.

Off Pink
May 8-16th, 2015
Opening Reception: May 8. 6:30-9pm
The Kitchen
512 West 19th Street
  1. How do you define community? How has your work been inspired by said community? How important is the community to your work? How have you collaborated with community?
    1. I see community as a necessary structure of existence. Often groups of people coexisting in similar situations in life become a community. Some are more dependent on each other and more closely neat than others.
    2. Living in a modern-contemporary world, the definition of a community can be a bit blurry. One can belong to multiple communities. Nonetheless, I consider all who journey in my path and contribute to my growth and vise versa as a part of my community.
    3. Communities that I have been a part of in the past or will forever belong to, although they may not always be with me, have forever impacted the way I think and therefore it’s only fair to say that communities are important to my work.
    4. Not to mention being a part of Parsons’ MFA community has tremendously challenged and inspired me for the last two years. I have grown leaps and bounds because of the relationships that were cultivated through honest critiques and collaborations.
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Tariku Shiferaw “PaintingX”, 2015, Acrylic and spray paint on Canvas, 60″x48″

Wren Wilson: Connected and Inspiring

Wren Wilson is an entrepreneur, artist, designer, master gardener, and pet professional whose passion, talent and commitment to community centers her work and inspires those around her, like me. It was a pleasure to talk with her one evening this Fall and learn more about her connection and inspiration to the community that surrounds her in Winston, Salem, NC.


I believe in actively trying to be a part of the community and am philosophically connected to intentionally and mindfully making a positive difference in the world. Through opportunities like my work with Imagination Installations, the Master Gardeners program, and canine rescue organizations, I feel that I am able to improve things.

My artwork as well as my volunteerism forms a symbiotic relationship with the place that I live. Symbiosis is the scientific term for “You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.” Few things feel better than the notion that you might be improving lives through your actions.

My entire livelihood is connected to work in the community. Through word of mouth largely derived from volunteer activities, I continue to be successful in my goals and gain new clients and projects.

That is not to say I go out expecting people will do things for me. There’s a difference between pure-self interest and synergy/symbiosis. It’s all about mutual benefit.

Imagination Installations’ mission is to have people connect to their dreams, to each other, and help people move towards making those dreams a reality. We do this through public art installations, creative activities, and concretely inviting them to share their dreams within our installations. Some of our pieces are as simple as a wall filled with rectangular sheets of paper asking the audience to “Imagine When” their dreams come true and the wall becomes filled with their individual hopes for the future. Others are more elaborate or guerilla-inspired, like a “Dream Journal” that we’ve been leaving in a special mosaic vessel in public places or the current project we’re working on leaving giant doors around town and painting them with chalk-board paint and inviting people to write on them. We even have a billboard spot that shares people’s dreams now!

These days I’m still following the idea that inspired my senior thesis in college that just by existing you are changing the world in one way or another and it’s better to intentionally have a positive impact!

The installation “Imagine When… Winston” just left the New Winston Museum to make way for a new exhibit (which Wren Wilson designed the panels for!), and Imagination Installations is searching around for another venue to show “Imagine When… Winston”.

Links are below:

  • Here is a link to Wren Wilson’s website.
  •  Here is the link to Imagination Installations’ website.
  • Here is the link to Imagination Installations’ lead volunteer Dr. Cyndi Briggs’ TedX talk.
  • Here is the link to an article which ran in the paper on the installation “Imagine When… Winston”- it also includes a video interview from Wren Wilson.
  • Here is a ton of Facebook photos of the installation “Imagine When… Winston” and the opening of the show.
  • Here is a longer article from Imagination Installations which includes information about the project, including the second section from the bottom which Wren Wilson wrote for the signage that went with the installation. The blog post also includes some linked videos of the kids who wrote the pieces talking about their motivations with the project.
  • BONUS: here is Wren Wilson’s podcast with Dr. Briggs in which she discusses her financial philosophy as a young creative doing what she loves.

Rotten Apple TV

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The Rotten Apple TV logo. 2013.

Full of new discoveries and talent, Rotten Apple TV has positioned itself as a force within the urban entertainment website genre and is gearing up to take on the main stream entertainment websites soon as well. Led by a team of three young entrepreneurs from Brooklyn, Rotten Apple TV is a definitive choice as a stop for entertainment with a keen ear for unsigned hype. Get to know more about Rotten Apple TV below!

What is The Rotten Apple TV?

The Rotten Apple TV is an entertainment website. We share music videos, comedy, skits, spoken word artists (preferably people that do things on the internet). Primarily, we are dedicated to unsigned hype music artists. Not solely dedicated to hip hop and R&B but that’s what is sent to us.

We like people who are looking to be discovered, and we enjoy supporting their journey through Rotten Apple TV.

Are you solely an urban site?

People look to us as an urban site but we are not solely designed as that. We are dedicated to music, art, talent. That is the lane we like to go! Our connection is to entertainment and not a negative connotation of what is “urban”. We are not your typical website.

How much of your content is audience driven?

90% of our content is audience driven. Social media is a driver of most websites (what people are talking about) and that is directly linked to what goes on the website.

Who is your audience?

Our audience is multi-level and interested in entertainment. Right now our content like our audience are those interested in the urban community.

Word association

Miley Cyrus = twerk Miley Miley twerk

Jay Z = genius

Brooklyn = the nucleus

Rotten Apple TV = the future

Hip hop = my first love

What do you think about Eminem’s new album?

I’m excited for the album. He’s going to take another angle than what he usually does. Not as dark an angle, which is exciting and refreshing. He’s going to take it to the raw essence of hip hop where it was all about having fun, dope lyrics. He is a true student of the game. Nothing but greatness from him. Great album to come!

Do the BET Hip Hop Awards mean anything for the genre?

Should be more of a grand stage of hip hop and more prestigious, instead of just a small sectional to highlight and not give enough shine. Do the awards because they have to.

What do you think of Snoop Dogg hosting?

Not sure how it will work but should be interesting.

Who would you put in a Rotten Apple cypher?

Abso The Great



Preme da Prez


Evan Black

Kendrick Lamar

Meek Mill

What impact do you want Rotten Apple TV to have?

We want Rotten Apple TV to be a part of careers of artists who are hardworking, talented and dedicated to their craft and give artists a chance to be discovered and heard. One major way we do that is through not charging artists for their submissions to the website.

Listen to a full playlist on the ArtEdgeNYC Facebook page from Rotten Apple TV! Click here to listen to more music!