Two Jamaica Plain residents were two of 10 artists selected for the second year of Boston AIR, the city's artists-in-residence program.
Salvador Jimenez-Flores and Maria Molteni, both of JP, were chosen by a selection committee of current Boston AIR participants, local arts professionals, Boston Centers for Youth & Families (BCYF) leadership and city staff. Firsthand knowledge of the cultures and communities of Boston was a factor in the artists being selected.
Jimenez-Flores, an interdisciplinary artist born and raised in Jalisco, México, is currently participating in a two-yearlong artist residency at the Harvard Ceramics Program through the Office of the Arts at Harvard University. He is also a resident teaching artist at Urbano Project, and his art exhibition, I Am Not Who You Think I Am, debuted at the Urbano Project on April 29th in its Jamaica Plain gallery space as part of ArtWeek Boston. He's also an instructor at Wheelock College, Massachusetts College of Art and Design, and Harvard University's Ceramics Program.
Maria Molteni, a multimedia artist, educator, and organizer -- works "from fiber to found-object sculpture, puppetry to pedagogy, movement to publication," and uses "tactile and tactical processes to encourage participation over spectatorship."
Her work has been featured in Boston's Museum of Fine Arts, the DeCordova Museum, Boston's Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) and much more.
"Check out the rad basketball court mural... With the amazing help of Randi Shandroski, Giancarlo Corbacho, and Alicia Casilio, I painted a full-scale half court topped off by Cara Kuball's gorgeous 'Infinity' Net Work," said Molteni on her website. The Clubhouse is an 18-month pop-up project that debuted in April 2016 that Molteni worked on with her collective New Craft Artists in Action. "Soak it up and sink some baskets before this former-auto-mechanic shop turns into condos!"
Each artist receives a $22,500 stipend for a nine-monthlong residency to create and test ways that creativity can meaningfully impact the work of the public sector and society at-large. Each artist will be paired with one of 10 designated BCYF community centers and receive studio space at that center. The Curtis Hall Community Center is one of the 10 BCYF centers involved in the program.
"Arts and culture form the building blocks that make our city thrive. They encourage us to engage with each other and connect to the larger community," said Mayor Martin Walsh. "Boston AIR brings this creative practice into the work of our city departments. I am excited to announce the new Boston Artists in Residence and look forward to seeing the positive impact they will have on BCYF.
The other artists include (bios provided by City of Boston):
- Lina Giraldo, a Colombia-born, Boston-based artist, she explores the questions of being Latino in the US. This is why for over 15 years her work has been focused on creating messages where she depicts the fragility of our environment, immigration concerns, and community equality.
- Jennifer De Leon has worked as a teacher in Boston Public Schools, a public speaker, a college access counselor in Roxbury, a GrubStreet Creative Writing instructor, and most recently, as the Associates of the Boston Public Library Writer-in-Residence. She currently teaches at Emerson and Berklee and is working on two novels and an essay collection.
- Marjorie Saintil-Belizaire is a Haitian-American mixed media artist who lives and creates in Mattapan. Her work is driven by her fascination of color and the physicality of texture. With art degrees from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Boston University, she believes the making of art is an ongoing experiment in an ongoing process.
- Cornell Coley, M.Ed. is an experienced drummer, dancer, teacher, and public performance artist whose influences include the traditions of West and Central Africa, the Caribbean, and Brazil. Also a trained HealthRHYTHMS facilitator and certified by the Drum Circle Facilitators Guild, he works in community-building, education, and therapy.
- Charles Coe is an author and poet. His poetry and prose has appeared in a number of literary reviews and anthologies and has published two books of poetry. He is in the second year of a three-year term as an Artist Fellow for the St. Botolph Club, an organization that supports arts and the humanities in Greater Boston.
- Ann Hirsch is a public artist, sculptor and educator creates site-specific works that integrate historical and contemporary practices. Ann gained wide recognition with a sculpture on the plaza of Boston City Hall dedicated to the legacy of human rights activist and basketball champion Bill Russell. She teaches at Rhode Island School of Design.
- John A. Walsh tells stories with and pictures. John is the co-author and illustrator of the graphic novel The Bad Times, a story of love and friendship set during the Irish Famine. His graphic narratives often explore the intersection of racism, religious bigotry, and immigration.
- Rashin Fahandej is a multidisciplinary artist and filmmaker whose projects include feature documentaries, video-sound installations, photo, sculpture, and painting. Fahandej is currently a research fellow at the MIT Open Documentary Lab where she is researching new forms of documentary filmmaking and developing a transmedia project based on the narratives and stories in the city of Boston.