Curated by Juanita Lanzo
Exhibition on view from October 26 through December 12, 2020
Bronx River Art Center (BRAC), is pleased to announce this Fall’s exhibition JUSTICE in which four artists will activate the windows and gallery space at BRAC to create artworks that document, illustrate, converse and capture our shared humanity, pain, and joy, daily life struggles, and resilience. The works in the exhibition will be developed by ongoing public interactions by the artists in everyday or regular encounters with Bronx residents, visitors, and students at BRAC.
Participating artists Laura Alvarez, Rejin Leys, Tijay Mohammed, and Tammy Wofsey will create work in the space that will be installed on the windows and other spaces at BRAC, in a wide array of media (from paintings, drawings, and mixed-media installations that will be seen by West Farm Square/East Tremont Ave area residents and beyond).
JUSTICE will be a work in progress exhibition that takes place while NYS has been in lockdown, due to COVID-19, and has partially re-opened for families to work, go to school, and live in socially distanced terms, until further notice. The artists will present work that creates a dialogue around the racial and social disparities that were exacerbated by the Pandemic, resulting in the loss of thousands of Black, Brown, Asian and Indigenous lives, the disruption or total lack of education and social services to working-class and poor families, food insecurity and urban violence and police brutality.
I was approached to volunteer for a project I thought it was genius, pair artists with expecting mothers to paint their bellies with the vord VOTE. They asked every mother why they decided to do this in the times we are living, and all of them coincide that they are doing it for the future of their children.
Voting is your civil duty and your right. So many people died so we can vote, think about that. Vote for the ones that can't, the ones that are in prison, the ones at the hospital and can't go. Use your right.
Bump the Vote
This summer has been pretty interesting due to the pandemic. All the staple events have gone virtual or have been cancelled. This year it was the 10th anniversary of the New Village Music Festival and the organizers decided to do something small with a few artists and one band.
I was happy to come out and see people I haven't seen in a while. Painting outdoors is always plus! I decided I was going to create something for a friend that is having her second girl. I always like to gift Art, I try to think of something they will be able to use now but that it will last a little longer that only when they are babies. I created this two paintings so they realize how amazing they are and that Black Girls are MAGIC!
I've always liked plants, I work for NYC Parks and still I am a terrible plant care taker. I am never sure if what I am doing is good or not, and I end up doing something wrong (or not doing anything at all) and they end up dying.
I decided to start doing one drawing a day (quick drawing) with ink, I make up plants and flowers, record them on video (and post on Tik Tok) and take a picture for Instagram.
I have several ideas of what to create with the plants once I am done... I will keep you posted!!
Hola! I just started a Tik-Tok. I had an account for a while, but I wasn't sure what to upload. I am not much of a dancer on camera, so I decided to go with what I do best. Drawing.
I have a deep love for Nature, but I have not gotten a green thumb, so I started the #greenthumbproject with the idea of drawing a (fake, invented) flower/plant a day for 100 days. I am in day 9 and you can follow the videos here TikTok
Around May there was an open call for a special show at @rockefellercenter and I decided to send a design to represent the Bronx. I took out flag and gave it a spin... They were asking about a representation of what NY is for you...
I was selected from over a thousand submissions and some great artists are part of it. The flags will be up until August 16 at Rockefeller plaza.
I consider The Bronx my home, and since I arrived from Spain in 2009, I've been part of this multicultural community. I got inspired by the Bronx flag, where a wreath encircles the Bronck family arms (founders of The Bronx). The shield of the family arms shows the face of the sun with rays displayed rising from the sea, signifying peace, liberty, and commerce.
I transformed the rays into The BX, a familiar way Bronxites call their beloved borough.
Last week through a chain of I know someone that knows someone, I got a text message if I knew anyone to paint a community fridge in The Bronx. As I am feeling better and now I can walk almost normal, I immediately volunteered.
Sara and Selma have been providing free food to their community for two months already. They saw what other communities were accomplishing by having a fridge in the street, asking local businesses to donate food at the end of the day, coordinating with community gardens to get fresh produce and checking on the fridge every day a couple of times a day to make sure it is clean and working.
While painting it I was impressed by the number of people that used it, to bring and to get food from it. We don't really know how people are struggling until you offer help.
This is a mutual aid initiative that has been pretty successful in different parts of the city and I see it is being done in other cities.
I will be hopefully painting a few more soon... This one is located at 242 Street and Broadway Ave. In the North Bronx.
We had a couple of technical difficulties to paint the fridge. The first day it was so humid that the paint I brought to paint didn't dry, so I had to come back a second time. All worth!!
This summer our outdoor plans for BxArts Factory are complicated, so we started several initiatives. One of them is a series of short weekly videos. This summer video-series is all about easy & family friendly creative activities using simple materials. Learning while having fun together!
We will be releasing new episodes every week, Mondays and Wednesdays so far.
On Monday our talented Mr. Ruddy will be teaching how to draw different shapes and things. On Wednesdays I will be using old magazines to create works of art!
There is no excuse to start creating!!
"Black Lives Matter" is a statement about police brutality against Black People, it is a statement about how after years the slavery was abolished, they still have to fight for their right to be innocent until proven guilty, they still have to go to the street to fight because the Police, the ones that should be defending them, are killing them without being punished.
It is NOT an opportunity for anyone else that is not black to bring to our attention how much that one time they suffered for whatever reason. Police brutality is happening DAILY to black people. There is no way to hide your color.
The only way to fix this is to recognize what is happening and changing behaviours. Please, and thank you.
This last months have been pretty emotional for me. Not only because of the pandemic, but because I had to move out of what was my studio for the last year and a half. This experience made me grow as an artist tremendously, it expanded my possibilities of creating and finding that space for me to think and just stare to the wall until the ideas come.
During this time of packing up the studio and weird isolation I became part of a Social Distance Bike Club on FB. Looking at all those people sharing their bike rides made me think of my own bike rides, social rides, Nature rides... and how fun is to ride with friends, how much I like to ride on my own, and how biking has been a big part of my life, since I was little until now.
Here I leave you with the last series of paintings I've done and the playlist of videos I created while painting them.
Most of the paintings are available to purchase, you can contact me if you are interested. Prices and sizes here.
I am a...
Graphic Designer, Illustrator, Educator, Community Activist... ARTIST!
All Images COPYRIGHT © 2008-2019, are property of Laura Alvarez Fernandez. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED