Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator
Rosie Gordon-Wallace, founder, director and lead curator for Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator (DVCAI) is a recognized arts advocate and community leader with over 25 years of experience. She has created key relationships with a multitude of artists and art organizations worldwide such as Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, the Joan Mitchell Foundation and ReadyTex Art Gallery, and has served on several prominent non-profit boards. Her experiences with DVCAI are enhanced by her community work, which accelerates careers and advocates for arts funding. She is an active member of the Perez Art Museum Miami(PAMM) Fund for African-American Art and is a frequent panelist for funder Miami Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, National Young Arts Foundation, and Florida Department of Cultural Affairs. Her awards include The African Heritage Cultural Arts Center Third Annual Calabash Amadlozi Visual Arts Award, International Business Woman of the Year, and being named one of South Florida’s 50 Most Powerful Black Professionals of 2007. She is the current Art Consultant for the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, Art of Black Miami initiative.
Artists: Katrina Coombs
Katrina Coombs was born in St Andrew, Jamaica. She has an MFA in Creative Practice from Transart Institute via The University of Plymouth. Coombs has a passion for fiber and an understanding of the sensitivity of threads and fabric which has grown beyond design and into sculptural forms. Her practice focuses on the impact of the Other on the “I” and the quintessence of gender politics of the Other.
She weaves and stitches fibers and textiles into tactile and sometimes large-scale sculptural forms, engaging the sometimes ambivalent and stigmatizing ways society engages the female persona. Coombs’s current works are an exploration into the notion of the woman’s body as a form of carriage, and how the womb becomes an unspoken voice of an Other for women’s existence and identity. She explores forms of intrusion in the constructed space and psychological space of fibrous vessels, similarly to the emotional intrusion of an Other, whether it be internal or external to the body; creating a sense of presence, absence and longing within. Coombs’s work has been featured in exhibitions such as; “Young Talent 2015” at the National Gallery of Jamaica, “Re-Frame Manila”, 2016 London Biennale Pollination art project in the Philippines, the “Jamaica Biennial” in 2014 and 2017 at the National Gallery of Jamaica, and, “Voyaging Towards The Future: Living Sculpture III” ICE2018, CAG[e] Gallery, Jamaica. Coombs is also one of the co-founders of the art initiative Blaqmango Consultants, aimed at re-energizing the Jamaican art scene through exhibitions, residencies, artist career planning and the development of young upcoming artists. She was the recipient of the 2018 Davidoffe Art Initiative Residency at FLORA ars+natura Bogota and the 2019 Gilbertsville Expressive Movement artist residency in New York. She lives and works in St. Andrew, Jamaica. Visit: https://katrinacoombs.wordpress.com
Artists: Michael Elliot
Medium: Photorealism painting
In my artistic journey I often asked myself the question, what should my work express and what concepts do I bring to the table? Through the years as I fine-tuned my craft in photorealism painting the issues both current and historic, as a Caribbean citizen in the art community I believe it is important to have a voice that embodies the questions of cultural identity while nurturing a creative methodology. My work tends to use symbolism frequently as I use it to iconize my ideas. The use of teacups in the Empire Windrush series is a prime example of this and I like to challenge the viewer in engaging in my themes.
The work not only reflects ideas within the Jamaican diaspora but further afield. I tend to do themes that move me in terms of the developing story and intrigue. I consider myself like a journalist with a brush using a metaphoric way of presenting social issues. I have been producing work over a number of years since leaving the Edna Manley College of the Visual Arts in 2002, while exhibiting locally in Jamaica and abroad. I’ve continued to explore new frontiers including my work with photography, namely photo montages which are closely related to my paintings. The most recent voyage in my career has been with Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator based in Miami, Florida. In this group I get a true sense of what being an artist within the Caribbean community means and I have experienced it firsthand through dialogue and presentations with various artists, gallerists, historians and intellectuals. In 2018 I did a residency in Miami organized by DVCAI for the month of July. For more information on me and my work visit: www.studiomichaelelliott.com