Friday, April 30, 2010

Low Lives 2 /National Live & Internet Exhibit: Friday, April 30th, 2010

Low Lives 2 /National Live & Internet Exhibit

Friday, April 30th, 2010

7:00pm - 10:00pm (CST)

Curated by Jorge Rojas, "Low Lives 2" is a one-night exhibition of live performance-based works transmitted via the internet and projected in real time at numerous venues throughout the U.S. Alexis Caputo will perform live at Diaspora Vibe Gallery. Join us for her perfomance and a large screen screening of the performances from across the country.

Artists include: Amelia Winger-Bearskin, Lawrence Graham-Brown, Hector Canonge, Alexis Caputo, Vienne Chan, Osvaldo Cibils, Gabrielle Civil, Marcus Civin, Chris Coy, The Bridge Club, Francesca Fini, Linda Ford, Lynne Heller, Anni Holm, Gigi Otalvaro-Hormillosa AKA Devil Bunny, Las Hermanas Iglesias, Michelle Isava, Tina La Porta, Elizabeth Leister, Luke Munn, Olek, Wanda Ortiz, Jacklyn Soo, Michael Smith, Sam Trubridge with Rob Appierdo & Stuart Foster, Migdalia Luz Barens-Vera, Marcus Vinicius, Martin Zet, Agni Zotis

On-view nationally at:
El Museo del Barrio: 1230 5th Avenue, NYC 8:00pm - 11:00pm
Galería de la Raza: 2857 24th Street, SF 5:00pm - 8:00pm
Diaspora Vibe Gallery: 3938 North Miami Avenue, 8:00pm - 11:00pm
The Temporary Space: 1320 Nance St., Houston 7:00pm - 10:00pm
Obsidian Arts: 3501 Chicago Avenue South, Minneapolis 7:00pm - 10:00pm
Terminal: Trahern Building, APSU, Clarksville, TN 7:00pm - 10:00pm
Co-Lab: 613 Allen St., Austin 7:00pm - 10:00pm
Studio 304: 304 Boerum St., Brooklyn 8:00pm - 11:00pm

Presented by: El Museo del Barrio in collaboration with Aljira, Fusebox Festival in collaboration with Co-Lab, Galería de la Raza in collaboration with ATA, Diaspora Vibe Gallery, The Temporary Space, Terminal, Obsidian Arts and Studio 304.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

South Florida Times: Artists create “Objects of Desire”

This article was originally published in the South Florida Times.

Artists create “Objects of Desire”

by Kimberly Grant

At first glance, Rodney Jackson and Caiphus Moore (known in the art world as R. Jackson and Caiphus), look like your average 26-year olds.

In T-shirts and jeans, the duo comes off as unassuming and down to earth. On closer inspection, you come to realize that Jackson, 38, and Moore, 36, have worked in art for many years, and take it quite seriously.

“You don’t become an artist in a day. You become an artist in a lifetime,” said Rosie Gordon-Wallace, curator and owner of Diaspora Vibe Gallery in Miami’s design district, where Jackson and Moore currently have artwork on display.

“In any point of their maturation, there’s a different work of art.”

In “Objects of Desire/Doñupop,” on display at the gallery until May 20, Jackson explores desire in terms of a donut, and Moore visualizes a village.

Jackson’s donut display is an array of themes ranging from society’s desire for war, flesh, green living and materialistic ideals.

His displays, seemingly a mash-up of record shapes, have deeper meanings and ties to Jackson’s quest for the hidden meaning of desire and his hip-hop roots.

Jackson’s display is also a tribute to late hip-hop producer J. Dilla’s album, Donuts.

In Jackson’s own words, the album is “small capsules of music,” which served as a basis for his display.

In Moore’s work, he has strung up 33 tiny houses that hang from a ceiling using wire. Each house represents an aspect of pop culture.

Moore chose to use 33 because of his membership as a Free Mason. The number 33 is considered to be of the highest consciousness, because there are 33 vertebrae in a spine, which lead to the highest place, the temple.

Also, in numerology, 33 is considered the master builder number.

Each house, or shrine, as Moore calls them, is a particular theme with its own name. In “All God is one God,” Moore has put together a church pane of a woman who represents the one God, and various religious symbols to show that each religion believes in one God.

In “Beautiful Surrender,” a huge faux diamond sits atop a tiny couple in wedding garb, symbolizing the foundation needed to make a lasting relationship, rather than simply placing a ring on one’s finger.

Jackson, who was born in Coventry, England and raised by his Kingston, Jamaican-native parents in Miami, said he delved into the meaning of desire for his artwork.

“When I dug deeper, I found the spiritual aspects of longing and desire, which its root is of the heavens,” he said.

Moore, who was born in Bronx, NY and raised in Miami, and Jackson have been friends since their days in middle school. They attended New World School of the Arts in Miami, and roomed together at Maryland Institute of Art College in Baltimore, MD.

It’s almost as if this duo was destined to display their artwork together.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

'one hundred black women, one hundred actions' premieres tonight: April 24, 2010

Saturday, April 24, 2010 at 8 p.m. (Central Standard Time)

Watch live broadcast:

Conceptualized by Ayanna Jolivet Mccloud and Wura-Natasha Ogunji, 'one hundred black women, one hundred actions' is a performance of critical actions, gestures and movements from one hundred black women from around the world performed by one hundred black women in East Austin.

Black women responded to the following question: “What is a gesture of personal power, an extreme action that is necessary in your daily life?” Their actions have been archived in the form of photographs, videos and writings on a website: From these actions began the choreography of 100 movements. 'one hundred black women, one hundred actions' invokes our collective strength through a work which specifically aims to locate the presence of black female bodies as central, political, powerful forces in the world. The format of live performance coupled with simultaneous video projection recognizes the significance of repetition and reverberation, the real and the mediated to individual and collective memory and history.

'one hundred black women, one hundred actions' is presented by Fusebox Festival and funded by The Idea Fund, a project of Diverseworks, Aurora Picture Show and Project Row Houses and funded by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

DONŪPOP: Objects of Desire

Diaspora Vibe Gallery presents
Donūpop: Objects of Desire
with artists R. Jackson and Caiphus

Diaspora Vibe Gallery
3938 N. Miami Ave
Miami, FL 33127305.573.4046

April 8 - May 20, 2010

DONŪPOP: A unique art movement has emerged combining the dynamic and interrelated worlds of comics, anime and hip-hop, with elements of modern art. It celebrates its multi-cultural, international influence on science fiction, action and adventure and other confluences within and surrounding present day artistic culture. It's defined by an inspired, original approach to existing entertainment media that redefines the media itself.

In the spirit of this, R. Jackson has coined this new genre “DONŪ, in tribute to famed hip-hop producer J Dilla, whose last work, the magnum opus “Donuts” left an indelible mark on that industry. R. Jackson & Caiphus are pushing DONŪ into the realm of Pop Art.

With DONŪPOP: Objects of Desire, they explore the meaning of desire as it relates to spirituality in the context of popular culture. This new work challenges viewers to examine their desires and the reason they exist.

For more photos of the event go to or Diaspora Vibe's Flickr photostream.

Artist Caiphus

Rosie Gordon-Wallace, Jean Chiang, Rodney Jackson and Opal Comfort

Artists Jean Chiang and Rodney Jackson


Rodney Jackson's 'The Guardian of Vinyl'

Diaspora Vibe Gallery Artist Rodney Jackson featured on NBC talking about his newest sculptural feat 'The Guardian of Vinyl'

View video here: The Guardian of Vinyl

Diaspora Vibe Gallery presents 'Low Lives 2'

El Museo del Barrio in partnership with Aljira, Fusebox Festival in partnership with Co-Lab, Galería de La Raza in partnership with ATA Gallery, Diaspora Vibe Gallery, The Temporary Space, Terminal, Obsidian Arts and Studio 304 present:

Low Lives 2
Curated by Jorge Rojas

Friday, April 30th, 2010 8:00 - 11:00pm (EST)

Now in it's second year, Low Lives is a one-night exhibition of live performance-based works transmitted via the internet and projected in real time at numerous venues throughout the U.S. Low Lives examines works that critically investigate, challenge, and extend the potential of performance practice presented live through online broadcasting networks. These networks provide a new alternative and efficient medium for presenting and viewing performances. Low Lives is about not simply the presentation of performative gestures at a particular place and time but also about the transmission of these moments and what gets lost, conveyed, blurred, and reconfigured when utilizing this medium. Low Lives embraces works with a lo-fi aesthetic such as low pixel image and sound quality, contributing to a raw, DIY and sometimes voyeuristic quality in the transmission and reception of the work.

El Museo del Barrio: 1230 5th Avenue, NYC 8:00 – 11:00pm
Galería de la Raza: 2857 24th Street, SF 5:00 – 8:00pm
Diaspora Vibe Gallery: 3938 North Miami Avenue, Miami 8:00 – 11:00pm
The Temporary Space: 1320 Nance St., Houston 7:00 – 10:00pm
Obsidian Arts: 3501 Chicago Avenue South, Minneapolis 7:00 – 10:00pm
Terminal: Trahern Building, APSU, Clarksville, TN 7:00 – 10:00pm
Co-Lab: 613 Allen St., Austin 7:00 – 10:00pm
Studio 304: 304 Boerum St., Brooklyn 8:00 – 11:00pm


Contact: Jorge Rojas-

Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator Awarded a Community Grant for 'Mapping Miami'

With the support of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners, Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator presents Mapping Miami.

Mapping Miami: Historic Artist Landmarks in Miami, FL, is a community-based cultural art and scholarship project. Mapping Miami will create an archive of Miami's cultural arts history and produce an interactive virtual and physical landscape, to facilitate learning about our history and the arts. The project focus is to locate and research cultural art history through geographic spaces or landmarks - sites where artists, including visual artists, dancers, musicians and actors have lived.

Artist and anthropologist Lara Stein Pardo is heading this project. An artist, a Miami native and Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Michigan, she has both the professional and personal experiences to produce this project. Under Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator, she will develop this project as part of our mission to foster the production of work by emerging artists and cultivate projects that contribute to Miami's diverse cultural and social fabric. Starting with the period of the 1930s ­ 1950's, Stein Pardo will research and analyze the arts in Miami, utilizing in-depth anthropological and historical research methods. This time period in Miami's history is the initial focus as it is sandwiched between the founding and development of Miami from 1896 ­1920's, and the population boom after the 1960's.

Many significant artists visited, lived, and produced creative works here and these sites hold a great deal of value for the community, on both a neighborhood and county level. Locating landmarks in Miami¹s social and physical geography also helps create a sense of history and place. The landmarks are the project touchstone as they provide real places to visit and learn about this cultural arts history. Miami has been touted as the new "hot arts destination" by the New York Times, Art News, and the Miami Herald, and it's important to recognize the historical foundations of our thriving arts environment. With the recent celebration of Miami's centennial, now is the time to archive, and produce programming that brings this to the public through an interactive art and scholarship project.

At the heart of Mapping Miami are the cultural and community-based project elements. We will locate, research, and share our cultural arts history with local, national, and international audiences. In doing so, we are preserving our cultural heritage while making this history available and accessible in the public sphere, on a neighborhood level. Because the project locates itself inside neighborhoods and communities, Mapping Miami is uniquely positioned to reach out to our ethnically and spatially diverse population.


Jean Chiang and Teri Richardson Exhibit in 'A Woman's Work'

How Many Times by Jean Chiang

This review was originally published on

The Silent Voice that Roars / by Max Eternity, Guest Writer

As I stood in the midst of 4 rooms filled with works of art, all created by women, The Silent Voice that Roars, that’s what came to mind. I was attending the opening night reception of an exhibition at AVISCA fine art gallery, entitled "A Woman's Work." Located in suburban Atlanta, the venue--owned and operated by women, whose director is Byrma Braham, a native of Jamaica--is a contemporary fine art gallery specializing in artworks created by black artist in the Americas, Africa and the Caribbean. In this month--Women's History Month--such an eclectic show hosted in a uniquely intimate, elegant space, bears testament to the will of women of color--their ability to survive, create, contemplate and celebrate.

Take for instance South Carolina native, April Harrison. The three pieces that she’s exhibiting are mixed-media paintings in acrylic, watercolor, magazine print, old coins and other conjured material, featuring women and young girls unafraid to express their autonomy, independence and sass. The ladies depicted in Harrison's creations are a perfect parallel to her sophisticated use of substrate--a complex layering of paint on canvas with appliqués in found objects, re-purposed as funky belt buckles, earrings and necklaces.

Harrison's aesthetic is a rather painterly form of realism built upon figural stylizations that echo high-art illustrations, whereupon the shape of each person in her portraits are painted in a perspective, so that the women and girls framed within are deliberately placed well above the expected horizon, thus directing the eye of each viewer to gaze upward at the inspiring, color-filled bodies and faces. Through the hand of the artist, a relationship between gazer and subject matter easily develops, inviting admirers to experience a welcoming presence of humble grandeur, dignity and beauty. Of the women who have inspired Harrison throughout her life, she says "women contribute so much to society, yet they are expected to be silent...still, the powerful imprint of women is everywhere, as mothers, leaders, innovators and pioneers."

Hanging from above or suspended upon a wall, Teri Richardson’s sculptural collages in recycled denim capture the imagination, as does the Modern-esque paintings of Grace Kisa, whose harmonized, color-field abstractions in 2-D seem a lovely, visual throwback to the palette and playfulness of Jean Miro—also taking design cues from the carved massings of Dame Barbara Hepworth.

Yet even in the more abstract works, so much of the narrative seen in this thoughtfully-curated collection of sculpture, mix-media, paintings, drawings and prints, is exactly like the real-life narrative of everyday women who often ask themselves, am I beautiful enough, where do I fit in, do I have a right to be heard, why am I judged by the way I look, not the way I am, and why can’t I be intelligent, pretty AND strong?One exhibitor who has answers to many of these questions is D. Lammie-Hanson, a multi-disciplined artist born and raised in Harlem, New York. In her artist statement she says “My approach to most of the work that I create is a cross between socio-psychology experiment and storytelling. I focus on the beauty of womanhood without the traditional superficial trappings of appearance. In my paintings, I try to capture the woman’s true light… her personality and her soul.”

This is exactly what she does in a large 42in x 42in painting rendered on recycled tarp. In the painting, bubbling monochromatic color swirls about—baby blue to a more electric hue—coming together to form the face of a delightfully, beautiful woman. With an elegant dancer’s neck, the woman’s head gently arches to the side, expressing all at once, a state of sorrow, love, meditation, understanding and bliss. Looking it over, I see a soul laid bare, residing in a place of knowing. The piece is called “Upward Thoughts.”Another woman whose work caught my eye is Jean Chiang, a Chinese-American. Chiang sews lines of colored beads on canvas, which are patterned in an orchestrated fashion, reminiscent of abacus arrangements. Like Hanson, Chiang is also from New York, having grown up in the back of a Chinese Laundry.

Jean Chiang, "How Many Times
I was a bit confused when I first saw Chiang’s work, and I couldn’t get over the attentiveness to the detail in each of the pieces—the stillness and the silence--until I discovered that she has an interest in architecture, anthropology and archaeology. Then it all made sense, the way she constructs “historical” micro-sites, literally weaving and building her paintings as discovered artifacts, grounding each into a place of permanence. The work is here and now, but it also informs of some mysterious past. So evident is this in her diptych entitled “Inner Landscape”, created from acrylic, embroidery and beading on canvas.What a beautiful contemplation.

And that’s just it; the lights are on, shining bright, but not glaring. Wisdom is in all these exhibiting women’s minds, such as Zoya Taylor who paints her women proportioned as dolls—oversized heads with expressive world-weary, saucer-sized eyes of elders. Taylor’s take on the human imagination is that “We all have a cast of characters that define our lives…personal demons or angels--spiritual or not, there’s a commonality in these characters. They draw on human themes of secrecy, pride and hurt, but also humor and love.”

“A Woman’s Work” runs through April 30th, 2010.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Rosie Gordon-Wallace interviewed by NEA Arts Magazine

Designs on the Future
The Design and Architecture Senior High in Miami, Florida
By Sally Gifford

In what looked like a scene from Project Runway, high school students in a fashion design class were constructing handbags from beaded, painted canvas. But this wasn’t just an academic exercise. The students’ creations were one-of-a-kind pieces to be sold by the global fashion company Fendi, enhancing the original design painted by Parisian graffiti artist André Saraiva.
“They will be quite a precious commodity,” observed Stacey Mancuso, principal of the Design and Architecture Senior High (DASH) in Miami, Florida. She could say the same of the students at DASH, which is ranked among the premier magnet schools in the country, and produces students who go on to success in both college and careers in design and the arts.

NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman visited DASH in early February as part of the NEA Art Works tour to see how cities are putting art at the center of their revitalization efforts. One of the areas he toured was the burgeoning Design District—where DASH is located—home to more than 130 art galleries, showrooms, and design services firms.

DASH’s focus on the arts, specifically design and architecture, attracts serious art-minded students. But if you think the students just sit around all day pondering art projects, think again. DASH students take eight courses a year as opposed to the six courses other Florida high schools require, and the school consistently achieves an “A school” rating in the state’s school accountability program. Nationally, DASH received a 2007 Blue Ribbon award from the U.S. Department of Education, and was ranked as the #2 magnet school in the country (and #15 of all high schools nationwide) in the third annual “Best High Schools” report by U.S. News & World Report. Not only that, but 99 percent of students enroll in college with many receiving scholarships from top art and design schools. So not only do DASH students work harder, they achieve more.

And make no mistake, making art is work, as senior fine arts student Keith Clougherty can tell you. His film classes, for example, have taught him just how much work is involved in making movies. “When you’re just watching a movie, it looks really like, ‘Oh, I could do that!’ But then when you think about the scripting and the casting and the filming, editing, lighting, sound—there’s just so much that goes into making a movie.”

The interdisciplinary nature of the curriculum ensures that the students get a well-rounded immersion in the arts. “There are so many different kinds of arts and artists,” said Clougherty. “Being exposed to artists and art at a high school level really prepares you for college and then also for life as an artist.” Clougherty continued, “I’m always talking about my art, or other people’s art, and commenting on art. You learn what it is like to communicate and react and live in an artistic environment. Otherwise, I would not know anything about art, really. It’s been a huge help.”

Clearly being at DASH has helped Clougherty— he had the distinction of being selected as one of ten Visual Art finalists in the 2009 YoungArts program, a prestigious national competition sponsored by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts (NFAA). As the sole nominating agency for the Presidential Scholars in the Arts, YoungArts selects two of the ten finalists in Visual Arts to travel to Washington, DC, as Fine Art and Performance Presidential Scholars.

Added Clougherty, “Coming to DASH, and really being part of this art community, just in the middle of the Design District, you learn so much from not only the school and what’s happening around the school, but the other kids. It’s a magnet school, so it pulls kids you would never have met from all over the city.”

When asked what makes Miami the perfect location for a school like DASH, Mancuso said, “I’ve had 25 years of working in the school system to figure this out. What is it that makes Miami different? I think it is that incredible mix of cultures within this city that makes the visual art, the dance, the theater, the music so vital, so strong, so important. I think that we embrace our multicultural in here. I think we’re one city that really can say we’ve done a good job with that.” Mancuso noted that roughly 80 percent of the student body are of an immigrant background.

Rosie Gordon-Wallace, DASH advisory board member and director of the Diaspora Vibe Gallery, a local arts organization serving emerging artists from the Latin American and Caribbean Diaspora, agreed that the vibrancy of cultures is part of DASH’s success. “We don’t have to suppress our culture in order to become artistic. We can enhance a culture by what is out there.”
DASH senior Blondine Jean is an example of how the cultures merge. A first generation Haitian-American, she incorporates her traditions into her textile work. “I’m concentrating on my Haitian culture,” she said. “The idea of making something out of little to nothing.” Like Clougherty, she is working across disciplines to hone her ability. “We’re taught how to get past our boundaries and just go places where we won’t normally go.”

As Jean has found out, to do that requires sacrifices perhaps other high-schoolers aren’t making. “We came here to learn and grow. If you want to, say, watch a show that you really like, you have to give that up in order to get projects done. Like painting, for example. I lost a lot of sleep learning how to paint.”
Though all the students who attend DASH have talent, what the school administrators are looking for is something more than that—the passion and drive to achieve. The rigorous audition process, which includes presenting a portfolio, drawing something right there at the audition, and a personal interview, helps to identify those students. “One of my favorite portfolios in my career here,” said Mancuso, “was one that was done on napkins, paper napkins, with a ballpoint pen. [It] was a young man who came with his stack of paper napkins. He had those because his father was a dishwasher in a restaurant. And he would go after school and wait for him to be finished, and draw the people in the restaurant. And that portfolio will remain with me forever. It was as worthy as the most refined pristine portfolio that has been presented.”

DASH also offers the students a chance to work with artists in a professional setting through an internship program. “Up to 100 professional mentors work with our students,” said Mancuso, “and our students work with them to gain that true professional experience that we cannot provide in the school site. And I think that gives them a special edge when they go off to college—they’ve actually worked in a professional arena.”

As Gordon-Wallace pointed out, “DASH is about nurturing young people who are on a path to excellence.” And students like Jean want to share that excellence after they move on from DASH—she is considering postsecondary studies in both art school and occupational therapy. She said that she can “teach what I’ve learned here. I could just do anything now— there’s no limit on what I can do. I don’t think I would have felt the same way if I went to another school. I don’t think I would have been who I am now.”

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Objects of Desire: New Works by Caiphus and R. Jackson

Join us on Thursday, April 8, 2010

Objects of Desire
New Works by Caiphus and R. Jackson

Opening Reception:
7:00- 10:00pm
Diaspora Vibe Gallery

Artists Talk: Saturday, April 10, 2-4pm
Exhibition Dates: April 8 - May 20, 2010

Friday, April 2, 2010

Opening Reception: As Far As the Eye Can See at the Universidad del Sagrado Corazon Gallery

As Far As the Eye Can See
Artists at the Opening Reception, Friday, March 15, 2010

photographs courtesy Selina Roman

The Caribbean’s vastness inspired Curator Rosie Gordon-Wallace to dub this year’s theme, “As Far as the Eye Can See”. She says: “When I think of the Caribbean, I think of endless space. And I think, all of that is ours. We can imagine whatever we want,” she said.

Exhibiting Artists:
Jean Chiang
Carol Campbell
Selina Roman
Rodney Jackson
Jenni Lewin-Turner
Teri Richardson
Wura-Natasha Ogunji
Benari Kamau Stewart
Danny Ramirez
Alejandro Contreras
Jacquenette Arnette
Carlos Alejandro
Patricia Roldan
Aaron Lebos
Rodolfo Zuniga
Deborah Jack
Gail Ruiz
Chantal James

Danny Ramirez

Special musical guests The Hongs

Alejandro Contreras and Danny

Deborah Jack

Jean Chiang

Jacquenette Arnette


Thursday, April 1, 2010

As Far As the Eye Can See: Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator Puerto Rico Biennale

The Universidad del Sagrado Corazon in Santurce, Puerto Rico, hosted this year’s DVCAI International Cultural Exchange, in association with Professor of Photography Nitza Luna, and Rosie Gordon-Wallace, Director, Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator of Miami, Florida. During their stay on the island, 26 artists from diverse backgrounds, working in various media, converged to explore the concept of “cultural Diaspora,” intellectually and creatively. This was the fourteenth exchange organized by Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator, and the second for Puerto Rico.

Upon arrival in Puerto Rico, artists go directly to the gallery at the Universidad del Sagrado Corazon to install their work.

Professor Nitza Luna in the gallery with Rosie Gordon-Wallace

Carlos Alejandro installs his work

University President Dr. José Jaime Rivera speaking with Diaspora Vibe Artists

Students at la Universidad created a courtyard exhibit of over 400 photographs.

Artists at the evening reception on Friday night

Professor Nitza Luna's opening remarks, with Rosie Gordon-Wallace and Diaspora Vibe Gallery artists