Kraig Blue was born in 1968 in The Bronx, New York, politicized in Washington, DC, and liberated in Los Angeles, CA. He is a multimedia sculptor using found materials as metaphors to explore complex socially constructed ideologies and paradigms; creating multilayered sculptural assemblages as altars to become vehicles for quiet contemplation and dialogue.
After graduating Mount Saint Michael Academy, at sixteen years old, he attended New York Institute of Technology as an architecture major, but soon realized his true freedom existed in image making; he took a year off and applied to Fashion Institute of Technology, and in 1989 was accepted as an illustration major. At “FIT” he was able to learn portraiture, figure drawing and painting, oils, acrylics, watercolor, graphic design, and a commercially driven work ethic.
For twenty-five years he has been a published illustrator, arts educator, and exhibiting visual artist. In 2015 he received his BFA at the Laguna College of Art & Design in figurative sculpture, painting, and drawing. While there he received the Plotkin Award for Excellence in Fine Art.
In December 2019 he received his MFA in Studio Art from The City College of New York. He has been the recipient of two Conner Scholarship awards and in 2018 the Therese McCabe Ralston Conner Fellowship to study abroad throughout Cuba.
Currently he is working at the Brooklyn Museum with their criminal justice diversion program Project Reset.
Jannette Jwahir Hawkins is an artist who lives and works in Harlem, New York City. Trees are her main medium and hold a fascination due to the way a tree grows, and releases to the earth. Sensitive to a multilayered visual rhythm in the tree, its fragility and strength is a dichotomy Jwahir’s work relies on for a gestalt of compositions that express movement and stillness as one. The wabi-sabi aesthetic, which finds beauty in the impermanent, imperfect, and unconventional, is a primary motivation for Jwahir in choosing the tree. Equally important are the common characteristics of traditional African art – call and response, repetition, rhythm, and concealment – which are foundational to Jwahir’s artistic practice and strongly reflected in her work. An award winning alumni of the City College of New York with a BA and MFA in Studio Art, Jwahir is currently pursuing a post-graduate residency in Studio Art at City College with studies in Community Engaged Art (Art Education), in addition to facilitating TArt (Talking Art) Salon, an intellectual student discussion group. Jwahir is an Artist-in-Residence/Curator for the Children’s Art Carnival, a 40-year old organization that provides exhibition opportunities for emerging and established artists as well as offering art education for children in the Harlem community.
Dario Mohr is a painter, assemblage and installation artist. He is a Brooklyn, NY based artist born in 1988. Mohr combines nostalgic personal objects of varying heights with found materials to form shrines. These occupy the space in varying ways, leaning against walls, hanging from the ceiling, and existing as free standing sculptures with an architectural aesthetic. They also contain altars with organic offerings, symbolically designating them as devotional objects. Although created from a personal vantage point, the work functions publicly to open the audience’s perspective to ways they can reimagine nostalgic objects as symbols for memories, people, and experiences that can take on a spirituality of their own when revered in a way that is decontextualized from religion.
Adin Kachisi is an emerging artist living in New York City. His artwork is an expression of rhythmic flows of human emotions and philosophical explorations into the nature of reality expressed and depicted mostly through bright vivid colors and captivating geometrical forms. His uses geometric abstraction to express the inner world of human thought and emotion, as well as the possible invisible landscape that forms dimensions of existence beyond 3D. He studied Urban Design at the University of Hertfordshire in the UK.
Katharine Pettit Creative – KPC spotlights social injustices using dance as our universal language, changing minds by opening hearts through movement.
Our most established piece is I COULD NEVER LOVE ANYONE… a dance musical told in 40 minutes to R&B as a narrative based story through movement and music, designed as a tool for healing and recovery from substance use disorder.
Our Black Lives Matter protest piece, “OutCry”, has lived and traveled around the five boroughs of NYC and to Detroit and will be hitting the streets again amidst the protests in light of George Floyd’s murder. We’ve been performing “OutCry” since the summer of 2016.
Our newest work in progress, and what we would love to continue to develop on Governors Island with your opportunity, is UNTITLED GIRL NARRATIVE.
UNTITLED GIRL NARRATIVE tells the story of three girls (“X”, “Y” and “Z”) as they navigate childhood and adolescence in America today. Spotlighting the Black female identifying Queer experience versus the White privlege perspective, their struggle between societal expectation and true purpose drive this three act dance musical.
Hilary Brown-Istrefi is a New York City based choreographer and performer, originally from Toronto. She graduated from École de danse contemporaine de Montréal, and has since performed for international dance and visual artists, such as Bouchra Ouizguen, Jillian Peña, Doug Elkins, Linda Tegg, and Candice Breitz.
In 2013 she co-founded the award-winning performance collective, Same As Sister (S.A.S.), with Briana Brown-Tipley. Based in Toronto and NYC, S.A.S. was initiated to make experimental narrative performance accessible to a diverse audience through collaborative and interdisciplinary practices. S.A.S.’s commissions have been presented at venues in the United States, Canada, France, Italy, and Greece including POP Performance: Women in Motion at Gibney, NYC; Dancing Platform Praying Grounds: Blackness, Churches, and Downtown Dance (Platform 2018), curated by Judy Hussie-Taylor and Reggie Wilson at Danspace Project, NYC; BRIClab at BRIC Arts | Media House, NYC; Fresh Tracks at New York Live Arts, NYC; Test Drive at Dancemakers Centre for Creation, Toronto; Open Studios at Centre d’Art Marnay Art Centre, Marnay-sur-Seine, as well as Video Art Miden exhibitions at Ibrida Intermedia Arts Festival at Marmo – Libreria d’Arte Contemporanea, Forlì; Videolands at MOMus – State Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki; and From Zero to Infinity! Festival at the Archaeological Museum of Messenia, Kalamáta. They are the recipients of a Queens Council on the Arts’ 2020 Queens Art Fund New Work Grant in Multi-Disciplinary Performance; a New York Foundation for the Arts’ 2019 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship in Choreography; a Foundation for Contemporary Arts’ 2017 Emergency Grant in Dance; and were a Finalist for the Jerome Foundation’s 2019-20 Jerome Hill Artist Fellowship in Dance.
Yehuda Hyman is a playwright, choreographer, actor, dance activist and Artistic Director of Mystical Feet Company. He was born in Los Angeles to immigrant parents from Russia and Poland. Plays include The Mad Dancers, Center of the Star, Swan Lake Minnesota, David in Shadow and Light (co-written with composer Daniel Hoffman), and Max, Rapunzel and the Night. His work has been produced at McCarter Theatre, Mark Taper Forum, San Diego Repertory, Theater J, Mixed Blood and Actor’s Theatre of Louisville. Honors include the Kennedy Center New American Plays Award, the NEA/TCG Playwright-in Residence Grant, Playwrights’ Center of Minneapolis Jerome Fellowship and LABA Fellow/14th St Y. Yehuda received his M.F.A. in Dance from Sarah Lawrence College (2014). He currently teaches Devised Theater at Manhattan School of Music and has taught ballroom dancing to 4th and 5th graders in New York City with Dancing Classrooms. His essay/memoir, “Three Hasidic Dances” was published in Dance in America, A Reader’s Anthology (Editor: Mindy Aloff; Foreword by Robert Gottlieb), Library of America. His essay about his site-specific dance activism in Freiburg German, “Dancing on Smoke” will be published in a forthcoming anthology on Jewish dance to be published by Oxford University Press in 2021. Yehuda lives in Brooklyn under the BQE.