“There’s a soft risk and contingency, and an opportunity to be social. You have to negotiate something.”
David Court is a Brooklyn-based artist and writer born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Ranging from public intervention to gallery installation, Court’s work is a form of experimentation around and within the confines of representation and display.
“One of [Michelle’s] guards saw the Obama on my chest, and I could almost see ‘stalker alert’ going off in his head. I wanted to explain it was an art project, but he had a gun and he wasn’t trying to hear it. “
Aisha Cousins is a writer of performance art scores that engage black audiences from different backgrounds in exploring their aesthetic beliefs and processing the sociological shifts affecting their worlds.
“Artists have always lived in communities that are now considered gentrified. This is more of a race issue than an arts issue.”
Laurie Cumbo is the Council member for the 35th District of the New York City Council and founder of the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA).
“I’m specifically interested in abstraction and NYC does have a long history with it, but it is by no means the only history of it.”
Matthew Deleget is an artist, curator, arts worker, and co-founder of the gallery MINUS SPACE, specializing in contemporary reductive abstract art.
“The initial idea was to break out of gallery walls, then geographic boundaries, then rigid definitions about what it meant to be a culture worker in any given field.”
Karen Demavivas is an internationalist, culture worker, and change-maker. She is the Senior Community Manager for the Americas at the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, and a World Economic Forum Global Leadership Fellow.
“The repressed global financial situation has been a quiet blessing for the arts community. It has forced people to be more creative in just managing their day-to-day lives, and in so doing, has made more people aware of their own artistic ability and/or interest.”
Keith Gill is a film producer and co-founder of the arts space FREECANDY.
“I took what I loved about the open-mic scene in Slam Poetry and decided to incorporate that communal and supportive spirit in the opera field. Opera singers need an underground scene to keep us inspired too.”
Malesha Jessie is a versatile artist of both the operatic and concert stages, an educator, an arts advocate, and founder of Muse Salon Collaborative.
“I always find the similarities between human beings and places in different locations. I believe those similarities are the important things.”
Hiroki Kobayashi is a Brooklyn-based photographer originally from Hiroshima, Japan.
“Architecture is itself a form of cultural production and as such one of the first things to consider is its impact on the community, on the institution itself, and its contribution to the city at large.”
Thomas Leeser is an architect known internationally for design innovation and the integration of new technologies into physical spaces. He founded Leeser Architecture in 1989.
“New York City is a very accepting place where you can be or do anything you like – provided you’re not bad at it. If you’re bad at it then this city is brutal.”
Martin McCormack is a Brooklyn-based mixed-media artist who hails from Northern Ireland and England, and creator of The Great New York City Mapping Project.
Syreeta McFadden is a freelance writer, a Guardian US contributing opinion writer, managing editor of Union Station magazine, photographer and adjunct professor of English.
Carla Nickerson is a Ghanian-American artist and designer of textiles used in the Obama Skirt Project.
“I think a small portion of my soul is imbued in each work I create. I regularly recall the experiences of main character Basil Hallward in Oscar Wilde’s book The Picture of Dorian Gray, as he discusses his inability to exhibit his work. ‘I know you will laugh at me,’ he replied, ‘but I really can’t exhibit it. I have put too much of myself into it.'”
Mark Reigelman is a Brooklyn-based artist specializing in site-specific product design, installations, and public art.
“The neighbors often come in and hang out while I’m working, and often someone will say, “That looks stupid.” But just as often, someone will say, “Heh, that’s what you should do with that aluminum siding,” and when I try it, it works! It might even be a kid who says it.”
Hanne Tierney is an artist and the Founder and Artistic Director for FiveMyles, a performance and exhibition space in Brooklyn.