Thursday, June 29, 2017

Thursday's Three on Art

Today, Thursday's Three introduces you, via video interviews, to three artists: Sophia Dawson, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, and Vaimoana, each of whom explores through and is dedicated to using her art to heighten awareness of social issues. All three are worthy of greater recognition.

Sophia Dawson (aka "Wet Paint") of Brooklyn, New York, uses art to tell the stories of people seeking to overcome the barriers and other injustices they face.

Tatyana Fazlalizadeh is a painter, muralist, and illustrator who addresses in her street art social issues such as racism and sexism. Her recently exhibited project Not Going Anywhere, a series of wheatpasted portraits of American artists and activists, aims to challenge post-election misogyny and xenophobia. Another of her projects, Stop Telling Women to Smile, concerned with street harassment, was exhibited in the city streets of Brooklyn, Chicago, Atlanta, Paris, and Mexico City. Be sure to take a look at Fazlalizadeh's recent portraits in oil on canvas. Fazlalizadeh is a 2015 "Forbes 30 Under 30" recipient.

✭ Tongan Vaimoana, who was among more than 40 artists and scholars who in 2016 participated in the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center's "Crosslines: A Culture Lab of Intersectionality", describes herself as a community muralist. Her Sunset Park, Brooklyn, project We Come From the Future, featuring women, women of color, indigenous women, and immigrant women examined women's relationships, especially those of mothers, grandmothers, and daughters, by celebrating their voices and sharing their often-too-invisible stories. The project came about when, in 2014, Vaimoana received a grant to produce a mural for the community-based nonprofit organization Turning Point, which offers free housing, health, and social services programs to the community. Vaimoana completed her project in 2015.

Vaimoana also is a poet, writer, actor, playwright, filmmaker, and educator.

(My thanks to the Brooklyn-based cultural programmer BRIC | BRIC Arts Media.)

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