www.nyugensmith.com

Bio

As an artist, I am interested in the confluence of cultures and sensibilities of the African and European experience within colonial and postcolonial contexts. As an American of Caribbean descent, I am particularly interested in the Caribbean American population and its relationship to issues of integration, migration, education/re-education, and identity. Sites of conflict, language endangerment or vitality, psychological trauma and methods of coping with such trauma, and the high modernist language of visual art with its reliance on African models are all addressed in my work, which utilizes collage, drawing, painting, performance and assemblage. My commitment to the production of assemblage, collage and painting remains central to my practice. I work to propose new ways to use materials while engaging and challenging urgent contemporary questions. The act of deconstructing existing images from varied sources and recontextualizing them poetically is vital to my art making process. Appropriating parts of images and recorded histories and reassembling them enables me to construct new narratives which respond to different questions, and evokes fresh meaning.

LRMFA Summer Residency Experience

The structure, content and design of the six-week residencies provided me with opportunities for deep intellectual exchange with students, faculty, staff and visiting artists. Having the majority of the visiting artists return three years in a row was a wonderful way to build relationships with them, for the Low Res community to learn about their current projects and for the visiting artists to also bear witness to students' development over time. I also can't say enough good things about the fabrication instructors. The skills and wealth of knowledge they possess are a tremendous asset to the program and combined with their generosity and eagerness to be of assistance is like having a specialized team by your side every step of the way. Over the three summer residencies, my art practice has grown to incorporate new methods of working, deeper understanding of materials and processes and assisted in my ability to frame my work in varied context in conversation and writing has grown tremendously.

LRMFA Online Experience

My fall and spring classes have played a vital role in strengthening both my academic and personal/creative writing. Through a varied curriculum, I was introduced to content that was challenging, engaging, mostly enjoyable and even in the material I did not find pleasurable, I have learned a lot. These classes have impacted my studio practice as the criteria for most assignments/required responses allowed for a great deal of freedom in the way students were able to respond. I was encouraged to experiment while being held to a high standard in connecting my responses to the core ideas of the readings and other course material.

Post-Graduation Updates

I have been awarded with the Leonore Annenberg Arts Fellowship award which will support my artistic research and studio practice through 2018. In spring 2017, I am an invited artist for Festival International d’Art Performance, Martinique. I will extend my visit to the island for research and art production. In summer 2017, I will spend a month as an artist in residence at the Fresh Milk International Artist Residency in Barbados.

 

Disclaimer: All work represents the views of the INDIVIDUAL ARTISTS & AUTHORS who created them, and are not those of the school or museum of the Art Institute.