Art Omi: Artists 2023
Frederick Bamfo lives and works in Ghana where he is redefining modern art, architectural landscape, and textiles through his multidisciplinary art forms. Bamfo obtained his MFA from KNUST, Kumasi in 2014. He studied Fashion Design and Textiles from KTU, Kumasi. His work has been exhibited in many countries including China and the United States. In 2021, he won the prestigious AAmA Award for Cultural Ecology Contribution in Hangzhou, China. Bamfo’s work questions issues around slavery, spatiality, materiality, and geopolitics of the 21st century.
Jonatan Habib Engqvist
Jonatan Habib Engqvist is a curator, author, and occasional teacher who has worked extensively with residencies and several experimental artistic projects. Previously curator at Moderna Museet and project manager at IASPIS, Engqvist has curated over 50 exhibitions on four continents including several international biennales and festivals. He is editor of the Swedish journal Ord&Bild and his writing has been published widely in books and catalogues around the world in several languages.
Mucyo is a Rwandese/French contemporary visual artist. He developed his own unique style based on “the bleaching process” on textile. He makes pictorial experiences by drawing inspiration from urban art and African culture. In incisive and percussive graphic design, he draws faces, moments of life, and personalities on dark fabrics, burned by bleach, accentuating the “Vintage” effect.
THE MILTON AND SALLY AVERY ARTS FOUNDATION FELLOWSHIP
Lilian Garcia-Roig is a Cuban-born, Texas-raised artist living and working in Tallahassee, Florida, known for her large-scale, on-site landscape paintings. Awards include a 2021 Guggenheim Fellowship, Joan Mitchell Foundation Award, Blackwell Prize, State of Florida Individual Artist Fellowship, and a M-AAA/NEA Fellowship. Residencies include Skowhegan, Joan Mitchell Center, MacDowell, and the Ludwig Foundation of Cuba. She has shown across the United States in shows such as Relational Undercurrents and the Florida Prize and has work in the permanent collection of PAMM.
SELECTED FOR 2023 RESIDENCY – DENIED UNITED STATES ENTRY VISA.
FRANCIS J. GREENBURGER FELLOWSHIP FOR MITIGATING RELIGIOUS AND ETHNIC CONFLICT
Syed Hussain was born in Quetta, Pakistan and graduated with a major in Indo-Persian miniature painting from the National College of Arts, Lahore. His work mainly deals with the identity issues, and the socio-political displacement of the Hazara communities of Afghanistan and Pakistan. He has showcased works nationally and internationally, including his solo show Under the Same Sky at O Art Space (Lahore). Hussain attended the Maktab Miniature Painting School Residency at QUAD (Derby).
Tomoko Inagaki’s work explores life and death, nature and artificiality, as well as femininity through the medium of video installations with elements of performance. After graduating with a BA in Fine Art in London, Inagaki returned to Japan. Recent solo exhibitions include shows at CAS (Osaka, 2020), The Third Gallery Aya (Osaka, 2020), and the Kyoto Art Center (2013). Group exhibitions include Kawakyu Museum (2022), Casablanca Biennale (2017), and WROUGHT (Sheffield, 2016). Inagaki has attended residencies in Canada, France, and Germany.
Sandra Lapage, a Pollock-Krasner Foundation and Repaint History Artist Fund grantee, received her MFA from Maine College of Art in 2013 and has participated in exhibitions in Brazil, Europe, Asia, and the United States, including recently at Bienal de Arte Digital (Rio de Janeiro) and Galerie Salon H (Paris).
Twice the recipient of the Odyssée grant, Sandra has attended residencies at the Fondation Château Mercier, NARS Foundation, MASS MoCA, Monson Arts, Château de Goutelas, and Bogliasco Foundation, and was a visiting artist at Tyler School of Art and Maine College of Art.
Mina Nasr is an Egyptian visual artist and researcher based in Cairo. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally across North America, Europe, and Asia, including Kunstverein Leipzig, George Washington University, Centre Cívic Ateneu Fort Pienc, Akiyoshidai International Art Village, and Kunst(Zeug)Haus. He has been part of numerous art residency programs, including MeetFactory (Prague), Pier-2 Art Center (Kaohsiung), Jiwar (Barcelona), Mosan Art Museum (Boryeong-si), and RoteFabrik (Zürich).
SELECTED FOR 2023 RESIDENCY – DENIED UNITED STATES ENTRY VISA.
Farhad Nikfam is an Azeri painter raised at the crossroads of post-Soviet, South Caucasian, and Iranian cultures, yet influenced by a romanticized image of the western world of the 1990s and 2000s. Nikfam discovers and explores new worlds, where all of these elements coexist. Inspired by the freedom of primitivism, as well as by industrial design, he creates new forms of daily life – angular and naive at the same time.
AMERICAN DREAM FELLOWSHIP
Samuel Olayombo is a Nigerian artist who studied arts at the University of Benin. Olayombo works with acrylic paint, and his subjects are predominantly male, non gender-normative portraits. His fascination with scarification prevalent in certain Yoruba cultures, as well as toxic masculinity, is the key narrative he explores within his compositions. Growing up in a patriarchal society influenced his work in his choice of color tones, preferring traditionally “female” colors, like rose and pastel pinks, to depict his seemingly “brute” masculine subjects.
LARKIN DAWN FELLOWSHIP
Altynai Osmoeva creates new, often experimental forms in her work as a multimedia artist. Osmoeva is free in her exploration and expression of ideas in furniture, textiles, fashion, light, video, and installations. She questions how traditions and cultural heritage can translate into the present through contemporary art. Often collaborating with crafts masters, her modern experimentations exist between textiles, sculptures, and installations. Nomadic culture, philosophy, and minimalistic aesthetic serve her as inexhaustible sources of inspiration.
Eddy Ochieng is a hyperrealist artist known for creating lifelike pieces that depict everyday scenes and diverse subjects with meticulous detail. His ability to create a sense of movement and energy in his work has gained him popularity, with exhibitions in Kenya, South Africa, the United States, and Australia. Collectors and key art players have taken notice of his work, which has been collected by art enthusiasts worldwide. Eddy continues to push the boundaries of hyperrealism and hopes to have an impactful career through his art.
Javier R. Perez-Curiel
EREMUAK FELLOWSHIP AT ART OMI
Javier R. Pérez-Curiel has a background as a DJ in clubs and festivals, alongside being a musician. Six years ago, he felt the need to explore other artistic fields. These experiences have been key for him in approaching other artistic languages, mainly sculpture. In 2019 he attended a workshop led by Itziar Okariz and Jon Mikel Euba where his approach to his art process changed. Now he is wondering: how can actions embody the present, while simultaneously creating a representation of presence?
Lia Porto, born in Patagonia, Argentina, lives and works in Buenos Aires. She explores domestic spaces entangled with the natural world. She has participated in several exhibitions in Argentina, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Spain. Porto received the Janet Bass Award for Creativity and Innovation at Fiberart International 2022, Third Prize at the 109 Salón Nacional de Artes Visuales, and First Prize Acquisition at the III Salón Nacional de Pintura Vicentín. She was also awarded fellowships from the Sacatar Foundation in 2023 and the I-Park Foundation in 2022.
LARKIN DAWN FELLOWSHIP
Rama Saputra is an Indonesian-based composer and intermedia artist. He is interested in psychoacoustic, ambient-tribal electronica, Asia-Africa music practice, and cross-cultural cooperation. Recently, he finished a music and intermedia residency, exhibition, and performance at Saudi Arabia-based Hafez Gallery, Open Contemporary Art Center (OCAC) in Taiwan, the Singapore Biennale, and Indonesia-based Sacred Bridge Foundation. He performed solo as Ramaputratantra, in the duo Sundialll, and the band GAUNG.
MCKNIGHT FOUNDATION FELLOWSHIP
Juliane Shibata is a ceramic artist and educator from Northfield, Minnesota. She was awarded a 2021 McKnight Artist Fellowship for Ceramic Artists, the Tile Heritage Prix Primo award at the 23rd Annual San Angelo National Ceramic Competition, and received First Place in the 62nd Arrowhead Regional Biennial. Her work has been included in the 2019 Blanc de Chine International Ceramic Art Award exhibition in Beijing and is in the permanent collection of Northern Arizona University’s Art Museum and the Brown-Forman Collection.
ART OMI AUSTRALIA COMMITTEE FELLOWSHIP
Gemma Smith is an Australian artist whose abstract paintings and sculptures explore the interaction between color and surface, intention and chance. Since 2000, Smith’s work has featured in more than 100 exhibitions and she has produced several public artworks. Her work can be found in major museum collections throughout Australia. Smith has exhibited regularly with Sarah Cottier Gallery (Sydney) since 2006 and Milani Gallery (Brisbane) since 2008.
CHARLOTTE STREET FOUNDATION FELLOWSHIP
Harold Smith is a multidisciplinary artist based in Kansas City. His work focuses on exploring the simultaneously complementary and contradictory narratives that Black men must navigate, externally and internally, to survive and flourish in America. Smith retired from teaching in 2021 after 36 years.
Painting and mixed media are his primary mediums. He also writes fiction and has created documentary films which he calls “abstractumentaries”.
Christopher Stackhouse is an artist, curator, teacher, poet, essayist, and independent critic. He is author of a volume of poems Plural (Counterpath Press). He is co-author of image/text collaboration Seismosis (1913 press), featuring his drawings with text by writer/translator John Keene. His writing has appeared in – Hambone, American Poet – The Journal of the Academy of American Poets, Pfeil Magazine, Modern Painters, Art in America, and The Brooklyn Rail, among others. Recent credits include The Basquiat Reader: Writings, Interviews, and Critical Responses edited by Jordana Moore Saggese and The Wayland Rudd Collection: Exploring Racial Imaginaries in Soviet Visual Culture edited by Yevgeniy Fiks. Stackhouse serves as an advisory board member at FENCE Magazine and a contributing editor at BOMB Magazine. He teaches in the Department of Art, College of Arts and Sciences at Ohio State University.
Nicolina Stylianou is an artist and independent curator working at the intersection between performance, sound, and sculpture by creating objects (body-sculptures) and situations (performances, happenings) whose configuration is activated with the use of the human body. The spectrum of her interest lies in the absurdity of existence and the in-betweenness of bodies, objects, things, spaces, networks, and subjects as states of transition, transformation, and noise.
Sameer Tawde is a visual artist currently based out of Mumbai, India He has a multidisciplinary practice in photography, video, sculpture and installation and his work has been exhibited in solo and group shows in
India and internationally at museums, photography biennials, and film festivals. His work largely involves a fictional approach centering humor and play, which is always interlaced between the parallel worlds of the real and the imaginary.
ART OMI FELLOWSHIP FOR AN ARTIST LIVING AND WORKING IN CROATIA
Ivana Tkalčić is a multimedia artist and art researcher who holds both a Master’s degree in Economics (2012) and a Master of Fine Arts (2016) from the University of Zagreb. She gained recognition through participation in numerous exhibitions both as an independent artist and as part of group shows and biennales. Her work has been well-received both in her local community and internationally, earning multiple awards and nominations.
Maria Lulu Varona
Puerto Rico/United States
Maria Lulu Varona, born and raised in Puerto Rico, lives and works between New York City and the island. She learned embroidery techniques from her grandmother growing up, now applying them to make works addressing contemporary conditions. She currently studies theater and visual arts at the University of Puerto Rico. Varona’s work is currently on view as part of no existe un mundo poshuracán: Puerto Rican Art in the Wake of Hurricane Maria, curated by Marcela Guerrero,at The Whitney Museum of American Art. She has participated in numerous art residencies.
Katayoun Vaziri lives between the United States and Mexico. Since receiving her MFA from the Yale School of Art in 2009 she has had solo and group shows in New York, London, Mexico City, and Dubai and has attended residencies including Skowhegan, Eyebeam, and Radio28, among others. Capitalism and our roles as agents/objects of socio-economic inequalities are repeated themes in her works. Currently Vaziri is part of Lucha Libre: Beyond the Arenas at ASU Art Museum.
TRUST FOR MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING FELLOWSHIP
Vangjush Vellahu is a visual artist born in Pogradec, Albania. He studied art and design in Bucharest and Kiel and currently lives between Berlin and Tirana. His practice is focused on different forms of storytelling particular to specific communities. Vellahu’s work intertwines urban histories of entities that, from an ideological and political standpoint, remain on the margins of recognition. His travels often take the shape of journal-like reconfigurations that attempt at redefining the understanding of what borders and territories represent today.
ART OMI AND KUNSTHALLE PRAHA FELLOWSHIP
In the year when Tschernobyl exploded, A.D.1986, Martin Vongrej was born in Slovakia. In 2003, convinced by the exhibition of Stano Filko, he decided to continue and dedicate his life to visual art. In 2012 Vongrej received a Master of Fine Arts from the Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava. Despite negative experiences with private galleries and artscene of the periphery, he still continues to live as an artist. Vongrej presented his work at Manifesta 8, ReMap 3 (Athens), and Biennale Matter of Art (Prague) and in the group exhibitions Orient at the Bunkier Sztuki Gallery of Contemporary Art (Kraków) and The Art of Diminished Difference at House of Arts Brno.