Artists Fabiola Jean-Louis,Melissa Misla, Elia Alba, Lucia Hierro, and Tiffany Alfonseca will join curator Yelaine Rodriguez for a panel discussion on the AFRO Syncretic exhibition. Discussion will be followed by a Haitian Tea Party presented by Prof. Wynnie Lamour (NYU CLACS, Haitian Creole Language Institute).
About the Artists:
Fabiola Jean-Louis is a Haitian-born, fine artist and photographer currently based out of Brooklyn, N.Y. As a little girl growing up in New York, Fabiola was surrounded by art and fascinating characters. Her imagery seamlessly blends magic with the mundane and reality with the speculative to bring unseen worlds out of hiding. With a style that is haunting, moody, dreamy, magical, and mysterious, along with her talent for visual story-telling, Jean-Louis stands out as an artist to be watched. Although she has only been working at her craft for four in a half years, she is already making waves as a visionary who can manifest diverse patterns of space-time, sci-fi, costume design and surrealism within the worlds of her art. Fabiola's critically acclaimed work has already been featured in: Artnet News, Atlantan Modern Luxury, Art Critical, Atlanta Journal Constitution, BK Reader, Blavity, Fashion Studies Journal, HuffPost, MFON: Women Photographers of the African Diaspora, MOYI, and StyleBlueprint. Her current iteration of Rewriting History is being exhibited by, Smithsonian affiliated, DuSable Museum of African American History.
Melissa Misla is a native New York artist whose works acknowledge both the loss and survival of culture through colonization, immigration, and gentrification. With a focus on her Nuyorican community, the Puerto Rican diaspora in New York, she employs mixed media to create immersive works. Primarily using painting and collage in combination with animation and installation, her pieces use imagery related to the precarious nature of home within a threatened community.
She acquired her BFA with the support of the Kossok Fellowship Award at Hunter College, and her MFA at Queens College.Her show with the artist collective NeoCreos, recognized most notably by Remezcla and the Queens Tribune, held local interest touching on the socioeconomic and political conditions affecting Jackson Heights. Misla’s recent full gallery installation Apt.9D, featured in New York Latin Magazine, depicted an interactive Nuyorican apartment interior. Portions of this work has been exhibited by Plaxall Gallery and Aquarius Studios in Queens.
Elia Alba was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1962. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Hunter College in 1994 and completed the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program in 2001. She has exhibited throughout the United States and abroad. Those include The Rhode Island School of Design Museum; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; The Science Museum, London; ITAU Cultural Institute, São Paulo; National Museum of Art, Reina Sofía, Madrid and the 10th Havana Biennial. She is a recipient of numerous awards and residencies for example, the Studio Museum in Harlem Artist-in Residence Program in 1999; New York Foundation for the Arts Grant, Crafts 2002 and Photography 2008; Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, 2002 and Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant 2002 and 2008; Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) Workspace Program, 2009, and Recess Analog, 2012. Her work is in the collection of the Smithsonian Museum of Art, El Museo del Barrio, Lowe Art Museum to name a few. Her book, Elia Alba, The Supper Club, critically acclaimed by The New York Times, produced by The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation, published by Hirmer June 2019, brings together artists, scholars and performers of diasporic cultures, through photography, food and dialogue to examine race and culture in the United States. She is currently Artist-in-Residence at The Andrew Freeman Home in the Bronx and a recent recipient of the Anonymous Was A Woman Award.
Tiffany Alfonseca is a 23 year old Latina from The Bronx. Her works incorporates her environment and culture and she creates work that will empower women of color as well as celebrate them.
Lucia Hierro, Born in New York City, Lucia Hierro received a BFA from SUNY Purchase (2010) and an MFA from Yale School of Art (2013). Her work has been included in solo and group exhibitions at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, Sugar Hill Children's Museum of Art and Storytelling, and Elizabeth Dee Gallery, all in New York; Casa Quién, Santo Domingo; the Museum of the African Diaspora, San Francisco; Jeffrey Deitch, Los Angeles and most recently Sean Horton (presents), Dallas Texas. Residencies include: Yaddo, Redbull Arts in Detroit, Fountainhead Residency, Bronx Museum’s Artist in the Market program, and Casa Quién. Her work is part of the JP Morgan Chase art collection and the Rennie collection in Vancouver. Hierro lives and works in New York.
About the Haitian Tea Party:
The Haitian Tea Party is a unique experience during which we share with our guests specific information about a very particular aspect of Haitian culture – how we use the land to heal our bodies. As people of the Afro-diaspora, our connection to the land is not just tied to a history of tumultuous subjugation but also to healing, sustainable self-care, and conscious community building. The Haitian Tea Party is the space to explore all of this and more. Guests will be able to sample four traditional Haitian teas along with delicious Haitian snacks all while learning about Haitian culture and history
About AFRO Syncretic:
The Latinx Project is pleased to present its second exhibition AFRO SYNCRETIC, curated by Yelaine Rodriguez. Afro Syncretic presents the work of nine artists foregrounding the African roots of the Latinx diaspora. Collectively, the works center the vibrancy of diasporic blackness within Latinx culture urging viewers to confront dominant narratives of what it means to be Latinx.
These artists are part of a contemporary reassessment of African influences in Latinx communities that rejects trends to separate and undermine blackness. They provide pathways to appreciate the richness of contemporary Afro-syncretic interventions, breaking through dominant views of history and inspiring alternative futures.
Some of the works reference Afro-derived music, food, and religious practices. Others recreate memories that inspire new narratives about familiar, quotidian environments like a Nuyorican apartment while addressing the displacement of longtime residents. Others disrupt dominant beauty standards by challenging consumer goods. Some artists invite viewers to reflect on key social and political issues of the times by emphasizing the policing of black bodies and the problem of eroticizing and romanticizing a colonial past.
Together, these artists challenge viewers into a dialog that deliberately pays attention to African diasporic traditions in vernacular culture and their historical and living references. Most importantly, Afro Syncretic makes clear that visual artists are central to conjuring a social imaginary that centers Afro-Latinx in popular culture and all facets of life.
Artists are: Lucia Hierro, Tiffany Alfonseca, Joiri Minaya, Carlos Martiel, Fabiola Jean-Louis, Patricia Encarnación, David Antonio Cruz, Melissa Misla, and Elia Alba.
*AFRO Syncretic will be on display at the King Juan Carlos I Center through March 15, 2020.