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Samuel Levi Jones

An engaging conversation exploring what community means to the artist, moderated by Danny Baez.

About this Event

This Zoom panel featuring Melissa Joseph, Samuel Levi Jones, and Kennedy Yanko will explore such topics as: What are the immediate or long term contributions and changes that artists can provide to theirs or other communities?  How can they support their peers? What do artists feel they and/or their work represents or want to represent, especially within the context of social responsibility and advocacy.


Danny Baez: Danny Baez is the Co-Founder and Director of MECA International Art Fair in San Juan, Puerto Rico and Co-Founder and Board Member of the ARTNOIR Collective. He firmly believes in the power of building upon community and has organized various exhibitions in New York since 2010; he recently opened REGULARNORMAL in New York City asking the question: But what if "gallery" could mean just a little bit more? A room, building, corner, wall, floor, window, or space; to display ideas and concepts, to share thoughts, to create community, to start dialogue, to nurture culture and collaboration. All of this first and foremost. And then the opportunity to showcase and sell works of art.⁣”

Melissa Joseph: Melissa Joseph is interested in connecting people through shared memories and experiences. Her work addresses themes of memory, family history, and the politics of how we occupy both physical and emotional spaces. Her practice is rooted in exercises of empathy and understanding. Melissa’s work has been shown at the Delaware Contemporary, Woodmere Art Museum, the PAFA Museum, The Growlery, Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, Rider University and featured in New American Paintings, and Friend of the Artist. She was recently an artist in residence at the Textile Arts Center and a Media Fellow at BRIC.

Samuel Levi Jones: Samuel Levi Jones (b. 1978 in Marion, IN) is an interdisciplinary artist working and living in Indianapolis, IN. Jones earned a B.A. from Taylor University, a B.F.A from Herron School of Art and Design in 2009 and an MFA from Mills College in 2012. Recent and upcoming exhibitions include; Duro Olowu: Seeing Chicago (2020), Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago IL; Mass Awakening (2019), Galerie Lelong & Co., New York, NY; No More Tokens (2019), Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA; Let Us Grow (2019), Galerie Lelong & Co., Paris FR; Left of Center (2019), The Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields, Indianapolis, IN; Personal to Political: Celebrating the African American Artists of Paulson Fontaine Press (2018), Gallery 360, Northeastern University, Boston, MA; Reclamation! Pan-African Works from the Beth Rudin DeWoody Collection (2018), Taubman Museum of Art, Roanoke, VA; The Edge of Visibility (2018), International Print Center, New York, NY; Sedimentations (2018), 8th Floor Gallery, The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation, New York, NY; One Blood, Susanne Vielmetter in Los Angeles CA, Excerpt (2017) at Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY; Burning all illusion (2016) at Galerie Lelong & Co, New York, NY, Reciprocity (2016) at PATRON, Chicago, IL; A Dark Matter at Tarble Arts Center, Eastern Illinois University, IL; Samuel Levi Jones (2016) at The Arts Club in London, UK; Trust Issues (2016) at Ronchini, London, UK; 48 Portraits (Underexposed) (2016) at EXPO Projects, PATRON, Chicago, IL; After Fred Wilson (2015) at the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art, IN; Unbound (2015) at the Studio Museum in Harlem, NY.

Jones is the recipient of the 2014 Joyce Alexander Wein artist prize, awarded by the Studio Museum in Harlem. He is also the recipient of the Sustainable Arts Foundation Grant, the Vivian and Margarita Stephenson Award by Mills College, the Mildred Darby Menz Award, by Herron School of Art and Design Indianapolis, the Junior Bratton Award by the Herron School of Art and Design, and the Evelyn V. Staton Fellowship in Fine Arts by Mills College. Jones' work is in the public collections of The Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas TX, The Smart Museum of Art, Chicago IL, Whitney Museum of American Art,New York, NY, Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis, MN, Virginia Museum of Fine Art, Richmond, VA; Chazen Museum of Art, Madison, WI, de Young Museum, San Francisco, CA, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA, The Rubell Family Collection, Miami, FL, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA, and The Studio Museum in Harlem, NY.

Kennedy Yanko: Kennedy Yanko (b. 1988, St. Louis, MO) is a sculptor and installation artist working in found metal and paint skin. Yanko deploys her materials in ways that explore the limitations of optic vision, underlining the opportunities we miss when looking with eyes alone. Her methods reflect a dual abstract expressionist-surrealist approach that centers the seen and unseen factors that affect, contribute to, and moderate human experience. Yanko has regularly exhibited domestically and internationally including at Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, University of South Florida, Vielmetter Los Angeles, Galleria Poggiali, Denny Dimin Gallery, Kavi Gupta, UICA, Grand Rapids, and a public sculpture  in New Orleans in collaboration with The Helis Foundation and the Ogden Museum of Art. In 2019, she was also named Art Forum’s “Critic’s Pick,” received a Colene Brown Art Prize awarded by BRIC Arts Media, and was featured in 100 Sculptors of Tomorrow published by Thames & Hudson. Her work can be found in various private collections including New Wave Trustee Beth Rudin deWoody, Helyn Goldenberg, David Hoberman, Juan and Patricia Vergez, the Rubell Museum, JP Morgan Chase, and TD Bank.

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