Recounting Artists as Citizens

Wednesday Oct 26th, 2016

Blog > Recounting Artists as Citizens

The first Salon talk of the season – “Artists as Citizens” – brought over 100 creatives, supporters, community leaders and arts enthusiasts together at Ted’s in the YoungArts Tower for a vibrant conversation about art activism and social practice. “Artists as Citizens” featured internationally renowned artists Teresita Fernandez, Mel Chin, and YoungArts alumnus Chat Travieso (2003 Winner in Visual Arts & U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts), and moderator Carolina García Jayaram, YoungArts President & CEO.
After an introduction by García Jayaram, each of the artists introduced their respective practice and shared insight into their interpretation of social practice and activism in art. Fernández, a Miami native and 2005 MacArthur Foundation Fellow, discussed her immersive and experiential site-specific installations, her non-binary approach to beauty and political art, and her understanding of community. Said Fernandez: "Real change happens when there's reciprocity .'Community' isn't free." 
Mel Chin also discussed the importance of his art’s dialogue with the audience and community: “It’s more important when a project forms around your hands by the people for whom it is meant.” He shared some of his main concerns and approaches as an artist. Chat Travieso defined his work as “socially engaged architectural installations.” Travieso’s works are site-specific and participatory, always engaging the respective community. “The projects are meant as small interventions that can act as catalysts for longer-term projects and give people, especially people that have been systematically excluded from decision-making processes, agency in defining their environment.”

The participating panelists in “Artists as Citizens” found a way to truly and intimately communicate to their audience, thereby connecting the audience members and also YoungArts as an organization to an important, larger discourse on the connectivity between the arts, advocacy, community and agency.

Notable attendees included Debra Koch and Andres Fanjul Jr. from YoungArts Corporate Partner JP Morgan Private Bank; Patricia Garcia-Velez Hanna from YoungArts Visual Arts Discipline Sponsor Related Group; Marisa Fort from YoungArts Design Discipline Sponsor Arquitectonica; and Lisa Schejola Akin, Dan and Kathryn Mikesell, Martin Rozenblum, and YoungArts panelist, master teacher and curator Robert Chambers. Starr Catering provided bites and beverages.
Join us for our upcoming Salons:
November 9 | Salon Series: Rebellion & Innovation - Buy Tickets
February 15 | Salon Series: Discovery & Emerging Talent
April 12 | Salon Series: Women & Words
May 17 | Salon Series: Art & the Next Wave
Los Angeles
December 8 | Salon Series: Rachel Moore
February 8 | Salon Series: Rules of the Game
New York
March 5 | Salon Series: Critical Junctures: Visual Arts
May 14 | Salon Series: Critical Junctures: Music
June 4 | Salon Series: Critical Junctures: Performance