Announcing 2017 Makers Muse Artists!
They are globetrotting creators making their work in New Mexico, Paris, Austin, Montreal, Philadelphia, New Orleans, the Amazon, Rome, Mexico, Senegal, Haiti, Pakistan… to name a small handful of spots. They are a diverse group in every sense of the word. From their backgrounds to their mediums, this is one of the most eclectic and international group of artists we’ve ever had.
They are painters, illustrators, multimedia mavens, musicians, poets, and sculptors. They are anything but ordinary. They use paint in a way that gives tough subjects a beautiful voice. They ask us pleasantly confronting questions in public spaces. They make music that transforms and poetry to keep in your pocket. They make works that quite literally glitter and they mash metaphors and break free from tradition.
To top it all off, each of these artists are participating in round deux of our Boomerang program! Mic drop.
Until then, get to know these brilliant creatures below and stay tuned, here on our Nexus and Instagram pages where, starting next week, we’ll be featuring each of these artists one at a time. You’ll get their behind the scenes, inner workings, secret images, and surprising stories.
Zahra grew up in two deserts which vary drastically and have many similarities in culture. One close to the sea, the other close to the mountains. She studied the visual arts in France, and continues various pursuits to further educate herself. She currently lives and works in the Barelas neighborhood of Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she incorporates Kuwaiti tendencies into her daily life.
At least, that’s what Saul Williams will tell you when you ask about his upcoming album and the story it’s inspired. Written and recorded between Senegal, Reunion Island, Paris, Haiti, and New Orleans and New York, Martyr Loser King is a multimedia project that engages the digital dialogue between the 1st and 3rd Worlds, and the global street sounds that yoke the two. “In Senegal, I was buying iPhones for $20, Beats for $10, because they get all the influx from China, with no regulation,” Williams explains. “So everyone’s online. Everyone’s high tech.” He cites Beyoncé, Fredo Santana, and Haitian field recordings as musical inspirations for his self-produced 6th album, straining trap hi-hats and mbira strokes together for a nuanced, entirely original sound. “I’m just letting you know what I’m reading and seeing while I’m writing. When I’m writing, the music leads.”
Williams has been breaking ground since his debut album, Amethyst Rock Star, was released in 2001 and executive produced by Rick Rubin. After gaining global fame for his poetry and writings at the turn of the century, Williams has performed in over 30 countries and read in over 300 universities, with invitations that have spanned from the White House, the Sydney Opera House, Lincoln Center, The Louvre, The Getty Center, Queen Elizabeth Hall, to countless, villages, townships, community centers, and prisons across the world. The Newburgh, New York native gained a BA from Morehouse and an MFA from Tisch, and has gone on to record with Nine Inch Nails and Allen Ginsburg, as well as countless film and television appearances.