Project: Mirror / Echo / Tilt

Mirror / Echo / Tilt is a collaborative project between artists, educators and individuals affected by the justice system. Using magical realism as a framework, performative vignettes are translated through the body and recorded in vacant former institutions such as empty prisons and courthouses—to consider how individuals might assert agency in the reclamation of physical and psychic space. Taking the form of video, performance, text, archive and curriculum, the work envisions new language around the way we engage mass Incarceration and inserts counter narratives into the dominant media landscape, which commonly alienates and criminalizes black and brown bodies.

Awardee: Melanie Crean

Emerging Fields, 2016

Melanie Crean is an interdisciplinary artist and teacher based in New York. Both her teaching and artistic practice explore the relationship between speech, space and social structures of control. She works with new forms of moving image, narrative and performance to deconstruct contested sites and oppressive architectures. Crean is an Assistant Professor at Parsons School of Design at The New School, teaching courses on emerging media, narrative, social engagement and visual culture. She previously directed the production studio at the arts non-profit Eyebeam; managed animation, motion capture and speech recognition teams at MTV Digital Television Lab; and produced documentaries in Nepal and India on the effects of women trafficking. Crean has received fellowships and commissions from Art in General, Performa 11, Rhizome, Creative Time, Franklin Furnace and No Longer Empty.

Awardee: Shaun Leonardo

Emerging Fields, 2016

Shaun Leonardo is a multidisciplinary artist who uses modes of self-portraiture as a means to convey the complexities of masculine identity and question preconceived notions of manhood. The portraits take the form of cutout paintings, drawings, and sculptures, while also brought to life through performance. Leonardo is a Brooklyn-based artist from Queens, New York City. He received his MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and has received awards from Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, The New York Studio School, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Art Matters, New York Foundation for the Arts, McColl Center for Visual Art, Franklin Furnace and The Jerome Foundation. His work has been presented in galleries and institutions, nationally and internationally, and was recently featured in the exhibitions Crossing Brooklyn at Brooklyn Museum, Radical Presence at Studio Museum in Harlem, and Between History and the Body at 8th Floor Gallery.

Awardee: Sable Elyse Smith

Emerging Fields, 2016

Sable Elyse Smith is an interdisciplinary artist, writer, and educator based in New York. Her practice considers memory and trauma while enacting an undoing of language. She works from the archive of her own body creating new syntax for knowing and not knowing, thereby marking the difference between witnessing and watching. To see is unbearable. She has performed at the New Museum, Eyebeam, Queens Museum, NY; and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA. She is currently a selected participant in the New Museum Seminars: (Temporary) Collection of Ideas, on the theme PERSONA. Her work has been published in Radical Teacher, Studio Magazine and No Tofu Magazine, and she is currently working on her first book. Smith has received grants and fellowships from Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Franklin Furnace Fund and Art Matters. She is currently part-time faculty at Parsons School of Design.