Next May 18 I will be part of a pretty cool panel at Hostos Community college organized by the Bronx Council on the Arts. Get your free tickets here.
Join us as we partner with PEN America's NYC Literary Action Coalition for a moderated panel discussion with Bronx-based artists sharing how they have leveraged their own creative voices to address structural inequities and inspire social change. Award-winning literary artist Alejandro Heredia will engage internationally renowned movement artist Ana "Rokafella" Garcia, and internationally exhibited visual artist Laura Alvarez in a broad discussion about the intersection of arts and social justice.
Alejandro Heredia is a queer Afro Dominican writer and community organizer from The Bronx. He has received fellowships from Lambda Literary, VONA, the Dreamyard Rad(ical) Poetry Consortium, and the Dominican Studies Institute. In 2019, he was selected by Myriam Gurba as the winner of the Gold Line Press Fiction Chapbook Contest. His book of short stories, You’re the Only Friend I Need (2021), explores themes of queer transnationalism, friendship, and (un)belonging in the African Diaspora. Alejandro’s work has been featured in Teen Vogue, Lambda Literary Review, Tasteful Rude Magazine, and elsewhere.
Ana "Rokafella" Garcia is a NYC native who has represented women in Hip-hop dance professionally over the past three decades. She co-founded Full Circle Prod Inc – NYC's only non-profit Break Dance Theater company with her husband, veteran Bboy Kwikstep, generating theater pieces, original poetry, and local dance related events. She performs music based on her experiences growing up in Hip-hop's birthplace and has had her poetry published in a Bronx Poets anthology. In addition to directing the documentary about Bgirls (women who Breakdance) "All the Ladies Say," she is hired internationally to judge Break dance competitions based on her mastery of the classic Hip-hop dance style. Presently an adjunct professor at The New School and a Hip hop dance instructor at Peridance Studios in NYC and NJPAC, she motivates aspiring dancers to understand and to learn the business side of being an independent artist.
Laura Alvarez is an illustrator, author, designer, visual artist, muralist, community activist and educator. In NYC, she juggles her city job, her artist career, and her commitment to her Bronx community. Laura is the Co-Founder, Vice-President and COO of BxArts Factory, a non-profit organization whose mission is to make art accessible to everyone in the Bronx. She is also part of the Board of Directors of Artbridge, a non-profit that empowers local artists to transform prominent urban spaces into gallery-quality exhibitions, focusing on New York City’s 300+ miles of construction fencing and scaffolding. She has received several awards and grants that she has used to promote the arts among Bronx youths and to create work that starts a conversation about ecology, womanhood, racism, tradition, inequality, and immigration.
Join me for a Volunteer Paint Day! We will start a 1000 sq. feet mural to brighten the neighborhood!
This June 5, I will be starting a new asphalt mural with the Jerome Gun Hill Bid and everyone is welcome to paint!
Come prepared, with your messy clothes, painting skills, a hat and some sunscreen. We will provide water and some light snacks, but there are plenty of businesses to get food around the area.
Go to this link to SIGN UP, You can choose between the 4 shifts and get ready to get your hands dirty!
Once on site, you will be asked to sign a waiver in order to participate.
First come, first served basis.
Sunday, May 1, 2022 // Celebrate Independent Bookstore Day with us!
Join Bronx Bound Books and the Riverdale Y Sunday Market for a day filled with nutritious food for the body and for the soul!
From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. I will be signing my picture book "Eggie's Adventures at Poe Cottage" and I will have some surprises too! Come and meet author Tara Tatelbaum and learn more about her book "Putting My Heels Down".
This is going to be a great Sunday!
Last week I was interviewed by Gary Axelbank for The Bronx Buzz at Bronxnet TV. We talked about "Eggie's Adventures at Poe Cottage" and it was as always a pleasure to chat with Gary for a little bit!
Join me and the Bronx Library Center, right across the Poe Park, where the Poe Cottage is located, for the exhibition of the Spanish version of my children's book "Las aventuras de Eggie en Poe Park. La Casa Museo de Edgar Allan Poe" We will have a reading and a Q&A after.
Come to the 4th floor and read the book that will be exhibited at the Puerto Rican Heritage Collection and Gallery, together with some of the images used for the promotion of the kickstarter.
If you come to the opening I will have a surprise for you!
Exhibition open from November 1 to November 30.
Opening Reception - November 5 from 5:00 to 6:00pm.
Closing Reception - November 30 from 5:00 to 6:00pm.
Bronx Library Center
310 E. Kingsbridge Road
Bronx, NY, 10458
ArtTime Episode 4 is premiering on Saturday, March 20th at 2pm!!! This is a collaboration project between BxArts Factory and BronxNet Television! A Monthly docu-series of episodes featuring local Bronx artists telling their stories and teaching you their craft!
You can watch March's episode with artist Laura Alvarez on BronxNet Bx OMNI channels Optimum 67 and 2133 on Verizon!
Streaming Online at BronxNet.tv/watch
BxArts Factory's Channel: https://www.youtube.com/bxartsfactory
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.
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.
I am a firm believer that tradition is very important in our lives. The Bronx area has a big immigrant and blue collar community. What they have in common is the manual labor, earning the bread with your hands. I always remember the older woman in my family working at home taking care of the families but also sewing, crocheting and knitting. My grandmother used to make this crochet flower mats for everything. That's the inspiration for the background flowers, that lay on top of the blue of the Mediterranean Sea I grew up looking at. On top, the flowers to remind us that Spring always come and we can look forward good times. Finally I also wanted to pay homage to the neighborhood and the borough by using the frames already on the wall to write their names.
Thank you Artbridge for this opportunity and for coordinating the whole thing. The installation took 3 full days to complete, aided by numerous community volunteers. It was funded by local council member Andrew Cohen, as part of the council’s NYC Cleanup Initiative. All paint was generously donated by Liquitex Professional. Thank you local resident Elisabeth von Uhl’s prodigious efforts were the spark plug for this project. We need more people like you.
Sometimes there are projects that happen and you don't know how much fun they are going to be until they happen. The preparation for this mural was somehow long and uncertain because of the design. We went through several sketches and I wasn't even sure if the one we went with was what the school wanted.
After all that work, my process is always “let it flow... there’s nothing wrong in art” you are working with kids, so whatever ideas you have in your head, most likely won't be what they want to do. I gave them some directions, and some of them were disregarded (like keep the hand prints in the sun) so we incorporated that in the design. I think after all, it ended up looking great. Over 30 kids participated in this community mural during period of 2 hours. They painted and wrote words that school inspired them and we all had an awesome evening.
I am a...
Graphic Designer, Illustrator, Educator, Community Activist... ARTIST!
All Images COPYRIGHT © 2008-2021, are property of Laura Alvarez Fernandez. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED