Artists Alliance Inc. (AAI) and Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural & Educational Center (the Clemente), with Embajada, are thrilled to announce a new collaborative residency program dedicated to arts professionals from Puerto Rico.
Extending the resources of AAI’s existing LES Studio Program within the Clemente building, this shared initiative includes 6- to 12-month fully-funded studio-based residencies to artists, writers, and curators living in or from Puerto Rico, along with programmatic opportunities, including exhibitions, workshops, lectures, and additional site-responsive activities throughout their stay. To launch this new residency program, AAI and the Clemente are partnering with San Juan-based gallery/project space Embajada, founded in 2015 by Manuela Paz and Christopher Rivera.
Given AAI’s longstanding history of providing support for creative experimentation and Clemente’s continuous dedication to the cultivation and preservation of Puerto Rican and Latinx culture, this joint initiative marks a significant commitment from both organizations to provide meaningful opportunities to underrecognized and emerging Puerto Rican voices for whom resources are often limited. This new residency program, the first of its kind in the Clemente, will provide a platform for the development and presentation of new conversations, methods, and ideas.
The Lower East Side has a long history of creative and artistic innovation. AAI and the Clemente’s joint residency expresses both organizations’ commitment to reflecting the community in which they are embedded and aims to address the social and political forces that have impacted Puerto Rican and Caribbean culture-at-large.
July – September 2018
During his residency, González will be expanding on a series of works from Ayacabo Guarocoel, an installation that grows through a series of exchanges, based on readings, conversations, and workshops, for Pacha, Llaqta, Wasichay: Indigenous Space, Modern Architecture, New Art, currently on view at the Whitney Museum of American Art. The works proposed by González for Artists Alliance, Inc. at the Clemente relate to his interest in openwork fabric, a traditional needlework of Puerto Rico. For the past several months, González has worked collectively in learning and employing this technique, through an exercise of translating indigenous motifs from Taíno ceremonial artifacts. For his work in the residency, González will consider Clemente Soto Vélez’ proposition for Spanish Grammar (phonetic method).
Jorge González received his BFA from the Puerto Rico School of Visual Arts in 2006. In 2012, he was invited to La Practica, a nine-month residency program at the San Juan based non-profit Beta-Local and has worked with them since to forge pedagogical connections with the public university system of Puerto Rico. In 2015, as part of Beta Local’s residency at ISCP, González was invited to New York for a presentation on his practice. González has exhibited internationally including Art Rio (2012) curated by Pablo Leon de la Barra and Julieta González, el Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña (2014), Die Ecke (2015) in Chile, Kunsthalle Osnabruek, Germany (2015), and SITELines, the 2016 SITE Santa Fe Biennial. Last year González participated in the spring 2017 Davidoff Residency Program in Bogota and was included in documenta, Kassel 14 in a program hosted by ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen) entitled Under the Mango Tree: Ulterior Sites of Learning, a gathering, and publication that addressed new sites for learning. Gonzalez is currently included in the group show Pacha, Llaqta, Wasichay: Indigenous Space, Modern Architecture, New Art curated by Marcela Guerrero at the Whitney Museum through September 30.
September – October 2018
For her residency, Natalia Viera will work with materials from the 1970s-1980s in the archives of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies, focusing on Puerto Rican culture and heritage. The Center, located in upper Manhattan is a research institute dedicated to the study and interpretation of the Puerto Rican experience in the United States, producing and disseminating relevant interdisciplinary research.
Viera is an independent curator based in New York. She received her MA in Curatorial Studies from the School of Visual Arts (SVA) in spring 2018. She currently works as the art program and research assistant at the Center for Puerto Rican Studies (CENTRO) at Hunter College, New York. Viera is also currently the curatorial and publications fellow at the Socrates Sculpture Park for Virginia Overton’s exhibition Built. She has worked in various cultural institutions from the private, nonprofit and government sector in New York City, Colombia, and Puerto Rico. Her curatorial practice addresses contemporary social issues focused on Latin American, Caribbean and Hispanic communities. She was the assistant curator for the 4th Poly/Graphic Triennial of Latin America and the Caribbean in Puerto Rico where she worked directly with curators Gerardo Mosquera, co-founder of the Havana Biennial; and Chilean curator, Alexia Tala. Her recent projects included Isla Imaginaria, an exhibition that questioned notions of paradise, landscape and the idea of progress in the island of Puerto Rico. Other projects included leading the workshop Breaking and Unveiling the Immigration Glossary of Severalty with the collective Se Habla Español at the 8th Floor gallery.
October – November 2018
For her residency, Cristine Brache will create a series of portrait studies of her grandmother, Juliana, in an effort to redress the systemic cultural erasure often experienced generationally by diasporas. This body of work serves to identify and place cultural characteristics specific to the Caribbean in contemporary art discourse.
Cristine Brache (b.1984, Miami) is an artist and writer of Puerto Rican and Cuban descent living and working in Toronto. She holds an MFA in Fine Art Media from the Slade School of Fine Art (London, UK). Recent exhibitions include FIERMAN, New York; Team Gallery, New York; MOCA, Miami; Bow Arts, London; The Museum of the Moving Image, New York; Collectif Jeune Cinéma, Paris; and Kestner Gesellschaft, Hannover. Her poetry has been published in Publishing Genius, New York Tyrant, Fanzine, Apogee, and E Ratio Postmodern Poetry Journal, among others. Writing about her work has appeared in The New Yorker, and Cordite Poetry Review.
Employing technology, sound, and different materials, Adorno’s installations explore various topics, from the convergence of sound and space awareness to the parallels between the aesthetics of beauty and lethality: signs and poetic contents that arise when catastrophic events, such as climate change or torture, show flashes of sublime beauty. During her residency, Adorno will continue to explore these themes.
Rebecca Adorno is a New York-based artist born and raised in Puerto Rico. As an undergrad student, Adorno attempted to study Electrical Engineering, but after three years in the program, she realized that she was bored due to the lack of hands-on experience; therefore she made a significant switch in concentrations to Fine Arts in the University of Puerto Rico. There, she was encouraged to mix her engineering knowledge with her conceptual approach to create art. In 2008, she moved to New York City to pursue an MFA in Computer Arts from the School of Visual Arts, where she graduated with honors in 2010. Her work has been shown in New York, Montreal, Puerto Rico and is part of the Museum of Ponce’s permanent collection.
ABOUT THE CLEMENTE
The Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural and Educational Center Inc. (the Clemente) is a Puerto Rican/Latino cultural institution that has demonstrated a broad-minded cultural vision and a collaborative philosophy. While the Clemente’s mission is focused on the cultivation, presentation, and preservation of Puerto Rican and Latino culture, it is equally determined to operate in a multi-cultural and inclusive manner, housing and promoting artists and performance events that fully reflect the cultural diversity of the Lower East Side and the city as a whole.