Thursday Oct 27th, 2016
By Delali Ayivor
Photo by Esther Park
On October 15, YoungArts provided a rare glimpse into the artistic creation process to invited guests. The evening marked the culmination of “In Process,” a new residency program pairing YoungArts alumni of different disciplines to create new works together on the YoungArts Campus for one week.
For this first edition, YoungArts turned to Delali Ayivor (2011 Winner in Writing & U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts), who chose Nicole Mouriño (2006 Winner in Visual Arts) as her collaborator. Their initial interest lay in the intersection of their disciplines and their personal experiences with Miami: Delali moved to the city a few months prior to the residency program, while Nicole had grown up in Miami her whole life but now lives in New York.
So what was this residency like for our alumni? Read Delali’s account of the experience below:
“In Process” will, to me, always mean the Calle Ocho Home Depot. Aside from Ted’s at YoungArts, the stunning space on the 7th floor of the YoungArts campus with panoramic views of Biscayne Bay and Midtown Miami, I spent most of “In Process,” a new, week-long artist-in-residence program for YoungArts alumni, in the Calle Ocho Home Depot, getting accustomed to my new family, the ones in the orange vests. It was at the Calle Ocho Home Depot that Nicole Mouriño (my collaborative partner) found a cup of Panther coffee that she had left next to a stack of concrete slabs 3 hours previously and seamlessly repurposed it into her afternoon cold brew. It was at the Calle Ocho Home Depot where the two of us had an artistic breakthrough that led us to impulse-buy a 12-by-30 foot roll of florescent green astroturf. It was at the Calle Ocho Home Depot where we realized that same roll of astroturf would inevitably not fit into the elevator that led up to Ted’s. And it was at the Calle Ocho Home Depot when, while signing up to rent a moving van to transport the astroturf, a man behind the counter, perhaps my new brother, or a vaguely related cousin said, “Oh are y’all the ones buying that humungous roll of green carpeting?” It was at this moment in the Calle Ocho Home Depot that I had a revelatory thought, that it was confirmed for me that making art forces our world into a closer intimacy. Then I left.
Photo by Delali Ayivor
What to say of the process of “In Process” except that it is the kind of dream that you don’t even have the imagination to dream? For a week, Nicole and I grew the kind of trust that leads to self-examination. I, a somewhat lapsed writer who can’t cut in a straight line, painted a sculpture with paints that I had mixed myself. Nicole, who doesn’t normally work with sculpture, the written word, or digital media, immersed herself in all three. The results, I think, speak for themselves. In the end it was stunning to see our individual artistic practices, things that had once seemed so insular and individual, coexist as though they were born to do it. Working on this project gave me a feeling that I had only had once before and that, predictably, was also ignited by a YoungArts project: the feeling that true, creative collaboration disables the impossible.
Detail of The Faint Affinity of Dark-Skinned Girls, Delali and Nicole’s work-in-progress showcase at the end of their residency.
To learn more about our Alumni Porgramming, visit our 2016-2017 Season Calendar.