Residency Unlimited

Announcing the 2024 Voices of Multiplicity (VoM) III Artist Residency Program

Starting in April 2024, RU is pleased to announce the launch of the third edition of Voices of Multiplicity (VoM) program. VoM III is dedicated to environmental justice, such as air, land, and water pollution, which demand urgent grassroots intervention. Tackling these issues involves understanding the intersection of structural and systemic problems, local cultural histories, and current ecosophical insights.

We welcome the 2024 cohort of recently selected artists, namely Dennis RedMoon Darkeem, Immanuel Oni, Tanika I. Williams, and Shanjana Mahmud (scroll down for their bios). As artists and cultural workers, they are uniquely positioned to creatively blend these diverse knowledge areas to foster activist movements within their local and international communities. Over the course of the year, they will benefit from professional development workshops, site visits, curatorial expertise, and customized support to utilize their transdisciplinary approach while developing site-specific responses to community needs centered on environmental justice.

From May through October, we invite you to visit these four artists on Governors Island in their work space at the RU House located 404B Colonels where they will invite the audience to participate in a series of workshops and art interventions.

VoM III will run from April 3 through October 31, 2024. It will be conducted by Ayelet Danielle Aldouby (social practice art curator and founder of the VoM program), Xavier Robles, (2023 VoM II resident artist and curator artist liaison for VoM III), and program coordinator Davina Bisara. Guest speakers will provide their knowledge including Marissa Gutierrez-Vicario, Arzu Mistry, Minne Atairu, Dominique Paul, Candy Alexandra González, Mark PolykovskyWhitney Barrat, Dr. Sarah Gerth van den Berg and Cynthia Colon. Scroll down for their bios.

About VoM: Launched in 2021, VoM is an annual residency program that offers support to BIPOC artists and creatives to access art resources and navigate entry barriers into the art world. In 2022, VoM I focused on Restorative Justice, Wellness Justice, and Environmental Justice, with a series of workshops for participating artists, expert-led site visits and a concluding panel at Columbia University that delved into the ethics of care of community engagement and creative practices.

In 2023, VoM II began to collaborate with the Brooklyn Public Library’s Incubator program to facilitate artistic interventions in underserved areas, leading to the creation of the ARTmobile. This innovative mobile residency brought art directly to communities in a van, hosting over twenty activities in 2023, including art interventions at Governors Island’s at the RU/KODA House. VoM II focused on mentoring local artists in Sunset Park and Red Hook neighborhoods, employing a research team to highlight community needs and identify cultural priorities. This holistic approach greatly enhanced the program’s insight into neighborhood attributes, establishing a rich artistic and community-centric educational environment.


About the 2024 VoM III artists:

Dennis RedMoon Darkeem is an American artist and educator of Black and Yat’siminoli Creek- Seminole background, whose multidisciplinary practice spans painting, sculpture, installation, and performance art. Born in the Bronx, New York, Darkeem has rooted his artistic inquiry in the exploration of his Black/ Native American heritage, personal narratives, and the broader themes of social and environmental justice. Darkeem’s work often reflects on his experiences growing up in an urban environment and the juxtaposition of his indigenous cultural heritage within that context. He employs a variety of materials and techniques, ranging from traditional Indigenous crafts to contemporary art forms, creating pieces that are both deeply personal and universally resonant. His art serves as a bridge between past and present, aiming to foster dialogue around issues of identity, community, and the impact of societal structures on the individual and the environment. Throughout his career, Darkeem has been actively involved in community-based projects and education, using art as a tool for engagement and empowerment.

Immanuel Oni is a first-generation Nigerian-American artist and space doula living in New York City, originally from Houston, TX. He believes art is not about what he is making but who he is making it for. His work explores loss, liberation, and its deep connection with place. His canvas consists of existing environmental or natural elements, such as light posts or fallen tree bark, which he repurposes to prompt dialogue on ritual, healing, and connection. He aims to fuse the spiritual realm with the physical. He has received awards and residencies from the Laundromat Project, Design Trust for Public Space, Culture Push, NY for Culture and Arts, More Art, AIA Brunner Award, Naturally Occurring Cultural Districts NY, Institute for Public Architecture, Architectural League, NY State Council of the Arts. He is the commissioned artist for the New York City Chrystie Street African Burial Ground Memorial. He is a former Director of Community Design at the New York City’s Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice and an Adjunct Professor at Parsons the New School for Design. He holds a Dual Bachelor’s in Science degree in Biology and Psychology from the University of Houston and a Master’s in Architecture degree from Parsons New School of Design. He is the co-founder and Creative Director of Liminal, a non-profit that works at the intersection of art, unity, and space.

Shanjana Mahmud was born in Chittagong, Bangladesh in 1983. She received her MFA from the University of Pennsylvania in 2008 and BFA from Southern Methodist University in 2005. She attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Her art practice spans drawings, videos, installations, and advocacy. Currently, her work centers the water. To her, the ocean is home— unlike the United States, where she lives, and Bangladesh, where she was born. An evermoving non-place, an abyss, the ocean interrogates our notion of belonging and ownership. She often collaborates with her life partner, Luke Eddins, on water-based works at Seaweed City. They farm seaweed in NYC for remediation and restoration of our waters. They design and install mussel habitats along our seawalls, researching and thinking about the texture and shape mussels like to settle into. They advocate for living shorelines and biophilic materials: what attracts marine life? Their projects seek to make an impact rather than theorize about it. They dare to materialize in natural spaces that can be observed and noted and leave a place better than it was. They are in dialogue with biologists, environmental activists, eco-tech bros, climate news journalists, urban planners, and policymakers. This is a great place to be, in the intersection of art making, nature-based climate solutions, and advocacy amongst those interested in how we relate to nature and the natural in the face of a climate catastrophe.

Tanika I. Williams (b. St. Andrew, Jamaica; lives and works in Brooklyn, NY) is an award-winning filmmaker and performance artist. She investigates women’s use of movement, mothering, and medicine to produce and pass on the ancestral wisdom of ecology, spirituality, and liberation. Williams holds a BA from Eugene Lang College, New School, and an MDiv from Union Theological Seminary. Her films have been screened in national and international festivals and broadcast on American television. Williams has been awarded fellowships and residencies at NYU Tisch School, New York Foundation for the Arts, Hi-ARTS, Cow House Studios, MORE Art, and BRIC. Her additional awards and appearances include En Foco Media Arts Fund, 99.5 WBAI, Art in Odd Places, Creative Time, Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, Civic Art Lab, GreenspaceNYC, Let Us Eat Local, Just Food, and Performa.


About the Guest speakers:

Minne Atairu is an interdisciplinary artist and researcher who investigates under-examined art historical gaps using generative artificial intelligence.

Whitney Barrat is a seasoned non-profit place maker, planner, and strategist with over 15 years of experience building and transforming physical spaces, organizations, programs, and operations. She has produced over 40 public art projects in Manhattan and Queens and believes art is a fundamental cornerstone of any community and an important indicator of its well-being.

Cynthia Colon is an artist and activist based in Red Hook

Candy Alexandra González is a Little Havana-born and raised, NYC and Philadelphia-based, multidisciplinary visual artist, poet, activist, and trauma-informed art educator.

Marissa Gutierrez-Vicario (she/her) is the Founder and Executive Director of Art and Resistance Through Education (ARTE). As a committed human rights and peace-building activist, artist, educator, and advocate for youth, Marissa officially launched ARTE in 2016 to help young people amplify their voices and organize for human rights change in their communities through the visual arts.

Arzu Mistry is an educator and artist and maintains a high level of dedication and enthusiasm for the arts as mediums for pedagogy, advocacy, transformation, and intervention for the building of sustainable, inclusive communities. Arzu teaches at the Srishti Manipal Institute for Art Design and Technology in Bangalore, India. She runs the Art in Transit and Accordion Book Project and co-authored Unfolding Practice: Reflections on Learning and Teaching. She is currently a doctoral student at Teachers College, Columbia University, and a Printmaking Fellow in the TC Print Studio.

Dominique Paul PhD, visual artist, socially engaged art and decline of biodiversity: photography, collage, performance, interactivity, wearable, video and animation

Dr. Mark Polykovsky‘s expertise includes Biofuel Production, Biorefinery Cellulase, Bioprocess Engineering and Fermentation Technology, Bioprocess and Biochemical Engineering, Polysaccharide Hydrolysis, Fermentation, and Biomass Conversion.

Dr. Sarah Gerth van den Berg – Educator and curriculum designer focused on research in curriculum theory and design. Program Manager of the Black Paint Curriculum Lab at Teachers College, Co-Director of the Creative Community Care Artist Residency at Walls-Ortiz Gallery, and Director of the City Learning Ecology at City Seminary of New York.
Her research focuses on the significance of affect, senses, and materiality in curriculum design and learning.


The 2024 VoM III Artist Residency Program is supported by The Brooklyn Public library (BPL) and the Roman Foundation. 

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