by Ashley G. Reyes
Biography provided by Artist
The BxArts Factory is excited to introduce Élan Cadiz as the teaching artist for the Think/Create/Share lab! She will teach high school students whom are passionate about artistic creation and will guide them through the process of becoming a professional artist. We are excited to begin this amazing project with Elan Cadiz in the upcoming months!
Élan Cadiz is a North American Interdisciplinary Assemblage Visual Artist and her artworks are grounded in family, historical imagery and personal narrative. She use various formats of presentation: video, poetry, storytelling, artifacts, print media, photography, sculpture, drawing, painting, illustrations and installation for project series. The presentation may differ but remain in constant conversation with each other.
Élan graduated from City College of New York City with a BA in Studio Art in 2008 and will be graduating from the School of Visual Arts with a MFA in Fine Arts May 2018. She has exhibited with No Longer Empty, Harlem Arts Festival, Rush Art Galleries, El Museo del Barrio, Visual Arts Center of New Jersey and more. She most recently co-curated Spirit of Community: Art of Harlem with Barbara Horowitz, President and Founder of Community Works NYC.
Cadiz has instructed young people in the arts for 18 years and taught for Together the photographs share the energy and strength of the West Indian population and the groups influence to the political, economic and cultural vitality of the North Bronx.or was in collaboration with programs/institutions such as the Police Athletic League (P.A.L), Astoria Beacon Program, Young Adult Institute (Y.A.I), Casa Duarte, P.S. /I.S. 180, Say Yes To Education (affiliated with Columbia’s Teachers College), Harlem School of the Arts, Thurgood Marshall Upper and Lower Academies, Harlem Gems (Harlem Children Zone), No Longer Empty, Cool Culture, Bank Street College, Weeksville Heritage Center, the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York Historical Society, Center for Arts Education, Community Works NYC, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Children's Museum and now with BxArts Factory.
by Erin Hylton
As a life-long Bronx resident I was elated and proud to have curated an exhibition that celebrates my West Indian heritage. With the support of BXArts Factory and hosted by the Montefiore Fine Arts program ArtViews gallery, the exhibition was on view July 13, 2017 – Oct 6, 2017 at Montefiore Moses Campus, 90 East 210th St. Bronx, NY 10467.
Reflections: Celebrating 50 Years of the West Indian American Day Carnival celebrates and honors the history of the Caribbean carnival by reflecting on the West Indian population in the Bronx, NY and noting their impact and long-lasting influence on their community and NYC. Through the lens of 5 Bronx-based photographers, the vibrancy, tradition and impact of West Indian Americans are captured by the photographs on display. Artists Trevon Blondet, Ijeoma D. Iheanacho, Jonathan Joseph, Omesh Persaud and Harri "Indio" Ramkishun each take on a subtheme of inspiration from the West Indian community. Together the photographs share the energy and strength of the West Indian population and the groups influence to the political, economic and cultural vitality of the North Bronx.
The West Indian population of the Bronx, NY is 8% or 106,000 people from various islands lying between southeastern North America and northern South America bordering the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic and comprising the Greater Antilles, Lesser Antilles and Bahamas. The largest event in New York City that celebrates and honors Caribbean culture, arts, history and traditions is the West Indian American Day Carnival, which is comprised of week-long festivities and a grand finale. The grand finale Carnival reaches over one million people in attendance during Labor Day weekend with participants and tourists from all over the world.
The turnout for Opening night was excellent, and we had a wonderful reception for the show. Visitors have stated it made the hallways more vibrant and relatable as the images on the walls reflected their own personal and familial histories. In fact, I received a hand written note from my doctor thanking me for my work on the show.
For more information and to enjoy some photos of the event, please visit this link: https://montefiorefineartprogram.squarespace.com/artviews-gallery-1
by Ashley G. Reyes
February is the month of love and appreciation! The BxArts Factory wanted to celebrate Valentine’s Day with a Bronx and Crafts event, A Box for Your Beau or Belle.
Bronx and Crafts is a series of fundraising events that enable BxArts Factory to fund various free art and community engagement events for Bronxites of all ages. February’s Bronx and Crafts event, A Box for Your Beau or Belle, engaged participants in decorating wooden boxes for a loved one while enjoying a night out.
With the guidance from Laura Alvarez, one of our co-founders, participants were given tips and examples on how they may decorate their boxes. Fellow Bronxites were guided to use various mediums such as acrylic paint, fabrics, printed-paper and more to decorate their boxes. With the assistance of advisory committee members, the time to decorate boxes commenced. Participants worked diligently while creating their boxes for themselves, their children and partners! During this time, Bronx Draft House provided a relaxing environment with one complimentary drink (with the purchase of an event ticket), an amazing mix of music and great service to ensure that BxArts Factory had a smooth event.
Participants and the BxArts Factory members created beautiful pieces for Valentine’s Day and commented on each other's work. At the end of the night, participants also shared their thoughts through a survey. Here are some of things they said!
What did you like the most about the event?:
“The dope supplies and lovely people…”
“The facilitators are awesome. They were friendly and helpful and had great energy. I liked the venue. The idea was cool and the supplies were great.”
“The unity of being together making art.”
All who attended rated the event as Excellent!
This Bronx and Craft’s event was an artistic night of love and crafts. The BxArts Factory sends a Thank You to all whom attended and made this event possible!
Thanks to the purchase of the tickets, there will be many more opportunities for many to join the BxArts Factory in free art events, workshops and programs. Continue to follow us on Instagram and Facebook (@BxArtsFactory) to keep up with future Bronx and Crafts events and many more community engagement opportunities!
By: Tiffanee Thompson
The vision statement here at the BxArts Factory is simple yet profound, “…to become a preeminent Arts Institution in the Bronx, committed to supporting local artists and art projects focused on making art accessible to communities in the Bronx and using art to address social and economic inequities in the Bronx.” Since our inception, the beauty of community and the arts have been what drives forward.
On November 18th, 2017, we organized an amazing event titled “A Sea of Color: Community Floor Artwork” at Tremont Park with a beautiful artistic installation. Members of the BxArts Factory and our supporters came together on a cold and rainy afternoon to install beautiful panels that created a vibrant work of art by the artist Alexis Mendoza. A few days later it was vandalized.
On December 3rd, 2017, we shook off our frustration and marched out to Tremont park again, armed with fearlessness, hope and a positive attitude. We encouraged our supporters and the community to come out again with us to reinstall the beautiful art piece concluding with performances by poets, dancers and other artists to bless this space. The day was filmed briefly by Bronx 12 News so that our borough can get a glimpse of our dedication. On December 5th, we learned that once again, the art had been vandalized.
It’s natural to see this as a frustrating situation with thoughts of stopping or altering the way we put on public events. But this has only shown us how important it is to rally the community to align them with our mission and vision and let everyone know that we are in this together. So how can YOU help? Here are a few tips sprinkled with some words of encouragement for us to come together as a community and protect the arts:
1. PARTICIPATE - The Bronx is booming with creativity! BxArts Factory is just one of many non-profit organizations that are highlighting positive people and events in our community, for the whole family! There are so many ways you can get involved to feel more connected to our organization, the Bronx overall and the interests you or your families’ members may have. Participation can be through financial donations, volunteering on events like the one mention here or supporting us through social media! From our experience, when you have a hand in the improvements in your community, the increased likelihood you will care about what happens to installations like “A Sea of Color.”
2. SPEAK OUT - Having a voice is key to being an artist and we want all Bronxites to speak out on the injustices in our community. The vandalism of Alexis’ beautiful installation, after all the hard work that went into displaying it, really hurt but it also motivated us all to keep moving forward. The BxArts Factory pushed on and took part in a lot more events like Dia de los Muertos at Virgina Park, #WhatsMyArt: Street Gallery Exhibition and our Bronx & Crafts series to name a few. The point is that we keep on using our voices and art to express ourselves! We are invested in the beautification of our amazing borough and you should be too! Let people know that protecting our buildings, streets, businesses and people will only benefit us all!
3. PROTECT THE BRONX - Are you Bx A.F.? We are and want to make sure that our community operates like a unit when it comes to pride and public programming. Our events and programs are open to the public so sticking together and having each other’s back to have fun and spread knowledge is important! We engage so much as a community online via social media but it’s so important to see and feel the artistry of our Bronxites. Protect the Bronx and watch things flourish!
We have to make a negative a positive and keep moving forward for the sake for the arts! #BxArtsFactory
A MUST WATCH! BxAF Team members answer questions about art in the community, art in the Bronx and Art as a voice for communities of color. In our Advisory Committee Meeting on March 31st we had the chance to reflect on some of these topics and we would like to share some of our thoughts.
Part of di●Arts●pora Documents Blog - Launched April 1st, 2018
Margarita Cuevas Cruz
Yolanda L. Rodriguez
Karen KayLove Pedrosa
Ana Rebeca Castillo
Ashley Gabriela Reyes
Special thanks to Tasha Douge for the idea and execution of this video.
We are also grateful to the Andrew Freedman Home for their hospitality.
Bringing Art to Every Household.