Residency Unlimited

Announcing the 2023 NYC-Based Artists-in-Residence

Photo credit: T.Pelichet

Residency Unlimited announces the 2023 NYC-Based Artists-in-Residence

Brooklyn, New York, NY, March 27, 2023: Residency Unlimited (RU) is pleased to announce the 2023 NYC-Based Artist Residents. Please join us in welcoming Abang-guard (Maureen Catbagan and Jevijoe Vitug), Tatiana Arocha, Miatta Kawinzi and Jodie Lyn-Kee-Chow to RU!

The five NYC-based artists submitted applications to an open call for artists who identify as Black, Indigenous and People of Color who have research-based practices that fill in gaps in historical knowledge. During their three month residencies from April 3 – June 30, 2023, the artists will focus on the research and development of multi-disciplinary projects around the history of Little Manilla in Woodside, Queens, and the intersections of immigration, labor, and visibility; the coca plant, colonization, scientific discoveries of cocaine and the development of Coca-Cola; the links between the United States and Liberia based on personal, national and transnational histories; and the interplay of sugar cane plantation slavery in Jamaica and the sugar industry in Scotland and England through testimonies of enslaved women in Jamaica. The artists will participate in a culminating group exhibition at PS122 Gallery in June.

The artists were selected from more than 180 applicants by a panel of three arts professionals: Elvira Clayton, Rachel Gugelberger and Dario Mohr.

Click here to view the press release

Abang-guard. Photo: Happy David.

Abang-guard is a collaborative project between Filipinx artists and cultural workers Maureen Catbagan and Jevijoe Vitug that explores the intersections of immigration, labor and visibility. Reflecting on the artistic strategies of the avant-garde, they infuse personal history and art practice with theoretical humor to convey the complexity and nuances between cultural production, institutional structures, and the role of labor. The project began in 2017 through their occupation as museum guards. Since then, Abang-guard has performed in Artists on Artworks: Abang-guard at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY (2022) and Help Wanted! at Governors Island, NY (2022) and at venues including ARoS Public Atelier, Denmark (2022); at Abrons Art Center (2021) and PS122 Gallery, both in New York, NY (2020), and Flux Takeover! at Socrates Park and Flux Factory Queens, NY (2019).


Tatiana Arocha. Photo: Peter Ross.

Tatiana Arocha is a New York-born Colombian artist based in Brooklyn. Her practice is rooted in personal memory and her immigrant experience and explores intimacy between people, land and community through public art interventions and transdisciplinary knowledge exchange. Arocha’s works often vivify the tropical forests of her homeland, confronting the ecological, emotional and cultural loss caused by colonial practices and extractive economies. Her fieldwork includes communicating with plants, building a personal lexicon of textures using rubbing, photographing, preserving and tracing the forest’s bark, seeds, and leaves and conversations with indigenous people who hold both ancestral and contemporary knowledge of local ecology. In the studio, Arocha uses digital and analog approaches—drawing, frottage, digital painting—to create immersive collaged portraits of forests rendered in a monochrome palette that serves as a metaphor for the endangered natural world, with gold details as reminders of the violent cost of extractive economies.

Arocha has had solo exhibitions at BioBAT Project Space, Brooklyn, NY (2021); Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling, Harlem, NY (2019); Queens Botanical Garden, Queens, NY (2016), and has presented site-specific installations at BRIC, Brookfield Place/Winter Garden, MTA Arts, Goethe-Institut Kolumbien, and Hilton Bogota Corferias. She has participated in group exhibitions including Land Akin at Smack Mellon, Brooklyn, NY (2020) and Avifauna: Birds + Habitat at Wave Hill, Bronx, NY (2018) as well as at BRIC, The Wassaic Project, ArtBridge, KODALab, and The Clemente. Arocha has held residencies at The Lower East Side Printshop, The Wassaic Project, LABverde, Sinfonia Tropico, and Zea Mays Printmaking.


Miatta Kawinzi. Courtesy of the artist.

Miatta Kawinzi is a Kenyan-Liberian-American multidisciplinary artist working with multimedia sculptural installation, still and moving images, the voice and body, gesture, language, objects, space and sound to explore practices of re-imagining the self, identity, place, and culture through abstraction and poetics. Informed by embodied research and listening to landscapes, experimentation, and an investment in the language of gesture as an expressive tool, their work engages interior and exterior landscapes to illuminate themes of inter-connectivity, hybridity, diaspora, and queered temporalities. Kawinzi is currently developing new multidisciplinary work that thinks through the notion of liberation as an ongoing process.

Recent exhibitions include States of Becoming at The Africa Center, New York (2022); The Condition of Being Addressable at Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA (2022) and Soft is Strong, a solo exhibition at CUE Art Foundation, New York (2021). Their work has been exhibited, screened, and/or performed at Microscope Gallery, Center for Art, Research and Alliances, Times Square Arts, BRIC, Studio Museum in Harlem, and Maysles Cinema (all in NYC), Pan African Film Festival with LACMA (CA), Ann Arbor Film Festival where she received the No. 1 African Film Award (MI), and New Orleans Film Festival (LA). Kawinzi has held residencies at Smack Mellon (NY), MacDowell (NH), POV Spark (NY/DC/Italy), the Cité internationale des arts (France) with LMCC, the Bemis Center (NE), and the Bag Factory (South Africa). She is a recipient of the 2021-22 Jerome Hill Artist Fellowship, 2021 New York Artadia Award, and 2018 Queer|Art Barbara Hammer Grant.


Jodie Lyn-Kee-Chow. Photo: T.Pelichet.

Jodie Lyn-Kee-Chow is a Jamaican-American interdisciplinary artist based in Queens who draws from nostalgia for her homeland, Caribbean folklore, fantasy, feminism, globalism, spirituality, environmentalism and colonial narratives in works ranging from drawing to installation and performance. The African diaspora, European colonialism and Chinese migration make-up significant parts of Lyn-Kee-Chow’s origin story; the ancestral convergence in Jamaica (slavers, enslaved Africans, and migrant workers) followed by her family’s immigration to the United States informs an artistic practice rooted in storytelling and the sharing of lost traditions.

Lyn-Kee-Chow’s work has been exhibited in Jamaican Pulse, Royal West Academy of England, Bristol, UK (2016); Jamaica Biennial, The National Gallery of Jamaica, Kingston, JA (2017) as well as Guangzhou Live 5: International Performance Art Festival, China (2014). Solo exhibitions include Picnic Parade at Chinese Historical Society of America, San Francisco, CA (2022) and Junkanooacome at Five Myles, Brooklyn, NY (2022). Lyn-Kee-Chow co-authored and performed in Living Histories of Sugar in the Caribbean and Scotland: Transnationalisms, Performance and Co-creation, a project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and presented in Kingston, JA, and in Greenock and Edinburgh in Scotland (2022). She is the recipient of the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship Award, Rema Hort Mann Artist-in-Community Engagement Award, Franklin Furnace Fund and Culture Push Fellowship for Utopian Practice. Lyn-Kee-Chow has held residencies at Wave Hill Winter Workspace and Triangle Arts and work has been featured in “Patchwork: Essays & Interviews on Caribbean Visual Culture” by Jaqueline Bishop, Hyperallergic, The Miami Rail and Artsy. Jodie Lyn-Kee-Chow is a 2023 sponsored artist of The Field’s Social Justice Artist Practitioner program.


Selection panelists for RU’s open call for the 2023 NYC-Based Artist Residency Program:

Elvira Clayton (RU NYC-Based Artist Alumna, 2021) is a visual and performance artist based in Harlem, New York. She has exhibited and performed her work in solo and group exhibitions throughout the United States, including the Brooklyn Museum of Art and Project Row Houses in Houston. Clayton is a 2022-2023 A.I.R. Gallery Fellow and a 2022 Robert Blackburn Studio Immersion Fellow. She has been awarded residencies with The Women’s Studio Workshop,The Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, and Blue Mountain Center. She has been both a Laundromat Project Create Change Fellow and Commissioned Artist. Clayton is a four-time recipient of The Manhattan Community Arts Fund Grant. Her work has been featured in The Killens Review, Glasstire, Callaloo Journal, and

Rachel Raphaela Gugelberger is the Curator of Visual Arts at Wave Hill, a public garden and cultural center in the Bronx, NY. With a focus on place-based practices around social, cultural, and civic issues, she has organized exhibitions including the group exhibition This Place We Once Remembered at Wave Hill (forthcoming); Storying, the culminating exhibition for the 2021 NYC-Based Artist Residency Program at Andrew Freedman Home in the Bronx; Bound up Together: On the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment at Smack Mellon, Brooklyn; Hold These Truths at Nathan Cummings Foundation in Manhattan and Jameco Exchange, a site-responsive and socially engaged education exhibition in a vacant storefront in Jamaica, Queens, among others. Gugelberger is currently an Editorial Fellow at Independent Media Institute and founding editor of &Art, a project of Earth I Food I Life which highlights the work of cultural workers who integrate art, environmentalism, food justice, and the wellbeing of the planet’s inhabitants.

Dario Mohr is a first-generation Grenadian born in the United States in 1988. Based in New York City, he is an interdisciplinary artist, educator and non profit leader. Mohr received a BFA in Painting from Buffalo State College, an MFA in Studio Art from The City College of New York and an Advanced Certificate in Art Education from Queens College. His practice converges painting, sculpture, installation, digital art and film and involves the creation of “sacred spaces” that reference his heritage and comment on the cultural zeitgeist. Mohr is a SHIFT Artist in Residence at Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, a Bronx Museum AIM Fellow, and he will begin an art residency with Tafaria Castle in Kenya in summer 2023. Mohr is also the Founder and Director of AnkhLave Arts Alliance, Inc., a non-profit arts organization for the recognition and representation of BIPOC artists in contemporary art.

The 2023 NYC-Based Artist Residency Program is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature and public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the city council.

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