Residency Unlimited

Material Connections

Opening: Saturday September 30, 2023 | 11:00am – 5:00pm
On view: Fridays – Sundays from September 30 – October 8, 2023 | 11:00am – 5:00pm

KODA/RU House, #404B Colonels Row | Click here for access to Governors Island

Material Connections is a group exhibition that celebrates the unique creative journeys of a cohort of teaching artists who have shaped the 2023 Voices of Multiplicity (VoM) Artist Residency Program. During their residency at the KODA/RU House on Governors Island, Xavier Robles-Armas, Andrea Orellana, Josefina Palma, Niambi A. Murray and Kelly Huang organized workshops for the general audience to investigate notions of Mapping as they relate to site, to site informing artistic practices, processes, material choices and engagement with the public. The ensuing propositions range from an exploration of the artists’ relationship with body mapping, to the interpretation of an emotional cartography through the AI image generation, and experimental methodologies of creating maps through simple materials.

Material Connections simultaneously highlights the multiple paths each one follows and the collective new ways which inform how art shapes one’s sense of thinking, making and becoming. The 2023 VoM II artists cohort experimented and explored various materials and techniques, abandoning constraints, to encourage discovery in artistic practices. This exchange emphasized the dynamic nature of their practice where ideas and influences were shared, merged, and transformed. Ultimately, their collective engagement enabled forging connections between artists, audiences, cultures, and the environment to leave the participant with a unique perspective about how this intersection can inform creativity and artmaking.

Click below to see images from the exhibition

RU Exhibition: Material Connections


Kelly Huang is an artist, graphic designer, and museum educator originating from China who is now based in New York. Kelly received her BFA from Pratt Institute and her EdM from Teachers College, Columbia University. She focuses on sustainable development and younger generations in community practices, and she aspires to create artwork that connects people all over the world.

Niambi A. Murray is the founder of the Dancing Canvas and NYC educator. A lover of arts and harnessing discovery, she is finishing her EdM in Art and Art Education at Teachers College. She received her first MsED from Sarah Lawrence College in Early Childhood and Childhood Education.

Andrea Orellana is a First Gen Mestizx immigrant from Central America. She is a dancer, singer, weaver, photographer, makeup artist, and practitioner of kitchen magic.

Josefina Palma is a Chilean designer currently pursuing her MFA in Art and Art Education at Columbia University in New York. Her work bridges strategic design, art, and education, focusing on personal and cultural identity, with a special focus on Latin American traditions. Through the lens of documentary photography and community engagement, she explores the richness of diverse cultures and their impact on individuals.

Xavier Robles-Armas (b.1991 Zacatecas, Mexico), is an artist and curator, based in Queens, NY via Santa Ana, CA. He is a graduate of the School of the Art Institute, where he studied photography. With a background in Architectural Studies he is informed by Mexican-American practices of leisure, play and place-making he investigates the alchemy of becoming post-human and a landscape of memory. He has exhibited nationally and internationally. Most recently he was an artist-in-residence at Wave Hill Gardens in the Bronx and was awarded a NYFA City Corps Grant. He’s also held fellowships at the Bronx Museum and Queens Museum in NYC.


This project benefits from the support of The Brooklyn Public Library, the Roman Foundation and Residency Unlimited.
















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