Residency Unlimited

KODA Professional Development for Artists Symposium

Virtual Symposium | FREE and open to the public

Monday April 17, 2023 | 2:00-6:00pm EDT

KODA Professional Development for Artists Symposium program invites practicing artists to benefit from four comprehensive online seminars covering the essential business skills they need to grow their career.

This year KODA partners up again with Residency Unlimited (RU) and is inviting Public Art for Racial Justice Education (PARJE) to provide insightful and practical sessions, each lasting 45 min + 10 min Q&A, led by interdisciplinary artist Cynthia Tobar, independent curator Eva Mayhabal Davis, arts professional Hayley Ferber, and photographer Renée Cox.


2PM – Seminar #1: Building meaningful community partnerships by Cynthia Tobar
In this seminar artists will learn the nuts and bolts of building partnerships for their socially engaged projects: how to develop aims, identify community partners, and open space for community engagement throughout the process. We will discuss how to apply socially engaged art practices that can increase community collaboration and engagement with our work.

3PM – Seminar #2: Artist and Curator Relationships and Process by Eva Mayhabal Davis
Eva Mayhabal Davis will advise on the curator and artist relationship. Guiding through best practices for studio visits, building community and contacting curators for your work and interests. She will also share more on the curatorial process for solo exhibitions and group exhibitions highlighting personal experiences as an independent curator working outside institutions and in a highly collaborative mode.

4PM – Seminar #3: Demystifying the Application Review Process by Hayley Ferber
Applying for artist residency, exhibition and grant opportunities is a competitive process. Arts professional Hayley Ferber provides a juror’s point of view of how to best capture and hold the review panel’s attention. Join her for tips on how to structure your artist statement, proposal, and images to most effectively convey your work.

5PM – Seminar #4: The Art of Not Losing Your Mind While Being an Artist by Renée Cox
In this seminar Renée Cox will take the liberty to free you from yourself by highlighting the works of Eckhart Tolle and the like. To force the individual to get out of their own way and stop the incessant second guessing. To create and work from the heart and use the brain as the tool that it is in order to effectively execute ideas and reach a larger audience.


Cynthia Tobar is an artist, activist-scholar, filmmaker and oral historian who is passionate about creating interactive, participatory stories documenting social change. Cynthia has conceptualized several captivating oral history, socially-engaged art projects, and community-based archives that document social movements and student activism. Her multimedia art & storytelling work, which centers participatory oral histories as modes for resistance and place-keeping, has been shown in solo and group exhibits throughout the city. She is the founder of Cities for People, Not for Profit, an oral history project documenting gentrification and displacement in Bushwick. Cynthia was awarded two consecutive Brooklyn Arts Grants for ¿Dónde puedo ir? Searching for Home, a collaborative musical project based on oral histories that depict displacement faced by local Latine residents in Bushwick, and American Icons, a collaborative series that creates new, local musical monuments based on oral histories of NYC residents. Her work has been exhibited/screened at Flux Factory, the Greek Consulate in NYC, Kunstraum, Five Myles Gallery, and BRIC. Last year, she was a Racial Justice artist-in-residence at KODA on Governors Island. Cynthia is Associate Professor/Head of Archives at Bronx Community College, where she creates socially-engaged art programming and leads community-based archiving/storytelling projects, and Visiting Associate Professor at Queens College where she teaches oral history.

Twitter: @latona12

Eva Mayhabal Davis is a cultural advocate and curator, collaborating with artists and creatives in the production of exhibitions, texts, and events. Her cultural work strives toward interconnected conversations with empathy and intention, centering visibility, and nurturing creativity amongst artists and audiences. Recently the co-curator of ‘Bronx Calling: The Bronx 5th Biennial’ at The Bronx Museum of Arts and a co-director at Transmitter, a collaborative curatorial initiative in Brooklyn, NY. She has curated exhibitions at EFA Studio Space, BronxArtSpace, the Queens Museum, Smack Mellon, NARS Foundation, MECA Puerto Rico, and TSA New York/Chicago. Her writing has been featured in exhibition catalogs and publications such as the NYU Hemispheric Institute’s Cuadernos, Nueva Luz: Photographic Journal, and Swap Meet with Temblores Publishing, Mexico. She participated in the Art & Law Program (2018), The National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures Leadership Advocacy Fellowship (2019), and the Artistic Freedom Initiative Art & Cultural Heritage Law Certificate Program (2020).

Instagram: @evamayha

Hayley Ferber is a contemporary arts leader, curator, educator and artist living in Brooklyn, New York. In her current role as Associate Director of Operations at The Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural and Educational Center and previous role as Deputy Director of Chashama, she supports a creative community of multidisciplinary artists. She is currently a Guest Curator at Residency Unlimited, and has curated exhibitions for Equity Gallery, New York Artists Circle, Robert Berry Gallery, and the Yard: Williamsburg, among others. As a visiting curator, Hayley has worked with artists from the NARS Foundation, Kunstraum LLC and ChaNorth, and has served as guest juror for Apexart, the Brooklyn Arts Council, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs and Queens Council on the Arts and as guest speaker for Paradice Palase, SVA, NYFA and POWArts. Hayley’s personal artistic practice centers around book arts and printmaking and her works have been shown at Kalamazoo Book Art Center, Superfine Art Fair, 92Y and Aqua Art Miami. She received her MAT in Art & Design Education from the Rhode Island School of Design, BS in Studio Art from New York University and is a New York Community Trust Leadership Fellow.

Instagram: @hayleyferber

Renee Cox (b. 1960, Colgate, Jamaica; lives in New York) makes photographs, collages, and installations that draw on art history, fashion photography and popular culture. Her work invokes a critical vision of female sexuality, beauty, power and heroism through nudity, religious imagery and symbolism that inform her interdisciplinary process. She is most noted for her larger than life photographs of female bodies. She reexaminations the black female figure in the context of structures of power. Inspired by critical epochs and artistic styles, her works are often reimaginations of art history, ranging from the Italian Renaissance such as Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, to Cubism (Picasso), Modernism (Édouard Manet) to traditional West African Art (Dogon, Mali, Cross River section of Nigeria). Cox utilizes a mélange of photographic styles in the vein of fashion photographer Richard Avedon, German portrait photographer August Sander, as well as summoning Harlem Renaissance photographic practices, inspired by James Van Der Zee, Gordon Parks to the obscure ritualistic three-dimensional sculptural collages of Bettye Saar. Cox’s work is a celebration of the spectrum of the black female body. Her work challenges how women are seen respective to time, place and the intangible spaces between representation and reality.

Renee Cox received her BA from Syracuse University, (Syracuse, NY) and MFA from the School of Visual Arts, (New York, NY). She was a participant in the Whitney Museum of American Art, Independent Study Program, (New York, NY). Her work has been included in solo and group exhibitions at prominent institutions to include Tate Liverpool (Liverpool, UK), The New Museum of Contemporary Art (New York, NY), Brooklyn Museum (Brooklyn, NY), and Harvard University (Cambridge, MA) and the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York, NY) to name a few. She received the Artists Fellowship Award, New York Foundations for the Arts, The MacDowell Colony, (Petersborough, NY) and the Aaron Matalon Award, The National Gallery of Jamaica (Kingston, Jamaica) among others. She is an associate professor at Columbia University and has lectured at Yale College of Art (New Haven, CT), New York University (New York, NY) and Parsons School of Design (New York, NY) to name a few. She lives and works in Manhattan and Amagansett with her husband,and their dog, Dogon.

Instagram: @reneecoxstudio


KODA is a social practice nonprofit arts organization focusing on conceptual mid-career artists ingrained in social justice. KODA offers survey exhibitions as well as tailor-made and community-based artist residencies, through collaborations with socially engaged partners. The nonprofit serves the community with contemporary art events and outreach to strengthen arts education. In its overall mission to support the artistic and professional growth of artists, KODA acts as a laboratory for creative concepts, reflecting its core values of curiosity and collaboration.

Instagram: @koda.lab


Residency Unlimited (RU) supports the creative process and promotes exchange and diversity through its unique customized residency program and year-round public programs. We nurture local, national, and international artists and curators at all stages of their career. RU is particularly committed to promoting multidisciplinary practices and building lasting connections between residents and a broad range of communities. Collaboration and partnerships are at the heart of our mission.

Instagram: @residencyunlimited

Public Art for Racial Justice Education (PARJE – pronounced like BARGE) brings communities together to achieve racial justice and develop programs that empower diverse and equitable community building through art. PARJE is a group of volunteers based in Connecticut, their programs partner with local museums, libraries, and schoolsrange to paint large scale murals, host artist talks, and offer family friendly art events. In 2022, PARJE began a career development program and will be posting a full free curriculum for artists later this year.

Instagram: @racialjusticeart

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