Announcing our 2016 Makers Muse Awardees

Sep 07, 2016

It’s our favorite time of year: Makers Muse Artist Award season! Each year we flex our project discovery muscle, scouring the periphery of culture-making in search of work that wows the senses and stimulates the mind.

Our collaborative treasure hunt leads us around the world, to Syria, Argentina, Mexico, and back to the United States. We found a social justice punk band, a bold political muralist, linguists for the environmental apocalypse, a Syrian master musician and doctor, a techno folk telepathic painter, a barrio pen wizard, and last but not least a pop-culture photographic/performance satirist.

As if all of this weren’t exciting enough, each of these Makers Muse Awardees has been invited to participate in our Boomerang experiment. What’s Boomerang you ask? Boomerang is our latest program which combines artists and Flow Funds in an adventure that breaks open traditional forms of philanthropy.

Get inspired by this group of seven right here on our Nexus space this autumn as they each share personal stories about their work and process.

The Bureau of Linguistical Reality is a social practice artwork created by Heidi Quante and Alicia Escott. The Bureau of Linguistical Reality collaborates with the public to create new words to express the feelings and experiences people are having as our world rapidly changes due to climate change and other Anthropogenic events. The vision of the artwork is to generate new words to express what people are feeling and experiencing as our world rapidly changes so that our languages and ultimately cultures better reflect our new environments. The Bureau also uses these neologisms to inspire and facilitate conversations about the greater experiences these words are seeking to express. The Bureau of Linguistical Reality has been engaging the public since 2014 via salons in which we bring together people from diverse backgrounds to share feelings and experiences around specific issues as well as via our mobile field study office in which we bring our pop up desk to public spaces throughout the world.

The Downtown Boys are a bilingual political sax punk party from Providence, Rhode Island in the northeast United States. Rolling Stone called them “America’s Most Exciting Punk Band”. They write songs about smashing the prison-industrial complex, racism, queerphobia, capitalism, fascism, boredom, and all the things people tell us that try to close our minds, eyes, and hearts. Their latest full length LP Full Communism was released in May 2015 on Don Giovanni Records to enthusiastic reviews from Rolling Stone, NME, Pitchfork, and more. The record is filled with danceable, sax-filled anthems with vocals sung and screamed in Spanish and English. Rookie Mag praised the band, saying “[i]n a punk scene that can sometimes seem stale and beholden to trends that have been regurgitating themselves for decades, Providence, Rhode Island’s Downtown Boys re a beam of radical energy”. They recently performed live on internationally broadcasted radio and TV program Democracy Now!.

Israel Haros Lopez is a community ARTivist challenging the notions of limited resources and abundance. He has embarked on artistic adventures such as creating 1,000 poems and 500 sketches in one month periods. These creative processes are designed to be inspirational mirrors for the global community and the collective consciousness. They are intended to be full of humor, light, political statements, spirituality, and love in these turmoiled times of inner and outer wars. They challenge the notion that is raised in Lalo Delgado’s poem “Stupid America” as Israel does not want to “die with one thousand masterpieces hanging only from his mind”. His work and his local antics beg for community participation in creative action in order to probe and address the more difficult questions at both a local level and a macro level. Be on the lookout for his KICKSTARTER campaign of his next community adventure.

Jaimie Warren is a NYC-based photographer and performance artist, and co-creator of the community-engaged traveling collective Whoop Dee Doo. Warren has performed in venues including Showroom Mama (Rotterdam, NL), Vox Populi (Philadelphia, PA), Material Art Fair (Mexico City), The Hole (New York, NY), Getsumin (Osaka, JP), and Extrapool (Nijmegen, NL). Warren exhibits at New York City galleries including the Hole, Higher Pictures, and American Medium. She is a current artist in residence at the Abrons Arts Center and a 2015 fellow in Interdisciplinary Arts from the New York Foundation for the Arts. She is the recipient of the 2014 Baum Award for An Emerging American Photographer, and she is a new, featured artist in ART21’s documentary series “New York Close Up.”

Alfredo LIBRE Gutierrez is both an artist and an architect combining traditional techniques with alternate ones to create body of works where order and chaos are palpable. He was born in Tijuana Mexico and started his artistic career in street art and exhibiting in galleries in his local Tijuana as well as San Diego, CA. He then went on to paint in places like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Cuba, Colombia, Paris, Frankfurt, Croatia, Hungary, Austria, Switzerland, London and Peru. Since 2003, he has facilitated community art workshops using creativity as a tool for social change and adaptation, community cohesion as well as an educational instrument. Libre has carried out this community work both individually and in partnership with organizations like the Institute of Culture In Baja California (ICBC), Mamutt Creatividad, Infonavit, Fundacion Hogares (support for people experiencing housing issues), Fundacion ORB (youth development programs), the German embassy in Mexico City, PROSIGUE (activity centre for young people at risk of homelessness), Reclusorio Oriente (adult male prison in Mexico city), and Casa TOCHAN (shelter for Central American migrants in Mexico city).

Paula Duró es artista plástica. Vive y trabaja en Buenos Aires, Argentina. Su obra está orientado a tender un puente hacia mundos invisibles y aportar conciencia sobre la belleza y la magia  del planeta en el que habitamos. Estudió la carrera de Artes Visuales en el IUNA y realizó talleres de dirección de arte, escenografía y vestuario en el SICA. Dicta clases de pintura en su taller  La Fuerza, en el Patio del Liceo, y también se desempena como VJ para diferentes proyectos musicales.

Paula Duró is an artist who lives and works in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Her work is aimed at building a bridge to unseen worlds and bring awareness to the beauty and magic of the planet we inhabit. She studied Visual Arts at the Instituto Universitario Nacional del Arte and has conducted workshops and art direction, scenery and costumes in Sindicato de la Industría Cinematográfica Argentina. She teaches painting in a studio La Force in the Patio del Liceo and she also serves as video jockey for various musical projects.

I started music education by the age of four and specialized on the “Oud” an Arabic music instrument by the age of ten. I continued my academic musical studies in the “Higher Institute of Music” in Damascus. I established “Awj” ensemble for Arabic music with the help of my violinist colleague in Damascus in 2008. We were experimenting with mixing a traditional Arabic music set called the “Takht” with a string quartet performing our own compositions. After the war broke out in Syria, I fled to Turkey where with the help of twelve Turkish and Syrian musicians we established “Hayal Band,” a musical fusion of the Middle East. In “Hayal Band” we rearranged pieces from the Turkish, Arabic, Kurdish, Armenian, and Georgian heritages and performed it to the audience to stress the common relations between the peoples of the Middle East in this very difficult time. In the same time I established a trio called “Saba Barada” with two other musicians, were we performed our own compositions and songs in Istanbul, Gaziantep, and Antakia in Turkey – emphasizing freedom, life, and liberty. I have performed many solo concerts including three concerts since I moved to Germany in June 2016 in both Bavaria and Berlin, and I am planning to record my first album of my compositions and songs.