We are excited to announce the 2021 Engaging Artists (EA) cohort! A big congratulations to our Fellows, Amy Ritter, Amy Wetsch, Andrew Freiband, Bel Falleiros, Chantal Feitosa, Freya Powell, Hanae Utamura, and Hyperlink Press. And we are so happy to be working with our 2021 Artist in Residence, Sean Desiree, who is an alum of our 2020 EA Fellowship program! We look forward to a year of collaboration and growth.
ENGAGING ARTISTS is More Art’s 2-tiered, Fellowship and Residency program for artists seeking to both develop and sustain their public art and socially-engaged practice. The program curriculum encompasses a professional development series, public art commission opportunities, mentorship, and peer networking. For more info on the program, visit the Engaging Artists page.
Meet the 2021 Fellows
Amy Ritter grew up in Eastern Pennsylvania in a double-wide mobile home. She is influenced by working class people, their stories, workplaces, homes, and bodies; specifically those living in mobile homes. She has been systematically archiving mobile home parks with overarching research questions around the American Dream, specifically the myth of social mobility and the stigma and shame around places we call home.
Ritter received her MFA from The Ohio State University, her BFA from Tyler School of Art, attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2016 and currently lives in Brooklyn, NY. She has attended numerous residencies including the Vermont Studio Center, Fine Arts Work Center, LMCC, Trestle Artist in Residence, Dé Clinic International Mixer Residency, NYU Visiting Scholar, and Yaddo. She has shown most recently at the Sculpture Center Cleveland, Fleisher Arts Memorial in Philadelphia, The Porch Galley in upstate NY, The Museum of Sex (NY), BRIC (NY), Laurence Miller Gallery (NY), Socrates Sculpture park (NY), and Loyola University (MD).
Amy is a NYC based multidisciplinary artist and educator originating from Louisville, Kentucky. Her artistic practice spans from creating installations, paintings, drawings, mixed media sculptures, to publicly engaged works. Amy’s work examines the intersections of various sciences and investigates ideas of the internal and external struggles of the human body. Her work focuses on lifting chronically ill voices while shedding light on the mistrust in our modern-day medical systems. Another large facet of her practice focuses on collaborating with people in diverse scientific fields such as planetary scientists from Johns Hopkins University and NASA. She believes there is a healing power emitted when communities come together to reflect on the wonder and awe of the world around us and the power of the human imagination.
Amy received her BFA from Western Kentucky University (WKU) and her MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in the Mount Royal School of Multidisciplinary Art. Amy has exhibited her work in various galleries and museums nationally, including The Kentucky Museum, The National Academy of Sciences, The Museum of Contemporary Art Nashville, and in galleries throughout New York City. Amy has attended artist residencies such as the Trestle Art Space Residency and the Post Contemporary Residency. She was selected as a 2018 HEMI/MICA Extreme Arts Fellow, a 2018 National Academy of Sciences fellow, and selected for a 2019 European Space Agency conference in Madrid, Spain. Amy is also a lead artist on the newly selected NASA mission, Dragonfly. www.amywetsch.com
Andrew Freiband is an artist, filmmaker, producer, educator, and research-artist. He is the founder and director of the Artists’ Literacies Institute (ALI), an experiment in arts education and engagement that helps artists reframe their artistic practice as research, and then connects them to new possibilities for intervening meaningfully in social, ecological, political, civic, and economic systems.
As a critique of the instrumentalization of artists as only communicators or servants of the marketplace, the ALI seeks to discover new, more meaningful roles for artists in their society and communities.
He holds more than two decades of extensive field experience at the many intersections of art, education, media, film, journalism, literature, social impact, international development, research, and strategic design.
Bel Falleiros is a Brazilian artist whose work focuses on place, our relationship with the land, and its impact on our identities. Beyond her studio practice, she participates in collaborative projects across the Americas connecting art, education and autonomous thinking. She is currently a teaching artist at Escuelita en Casa and Dia:Beacon, and has her first public sculpture on view part of the Monument Now show at Socrates Sculpture Park in New York. www.belfalleiros.com.br
Chantal Feitosa is a Brazilian American artist and educator from Queens, New York. She works between image-making, language, and pedagogy to explore themes of belonging, idealism, and care. The processes of collage and archiving are at the heart of her practice when developing digital media, semi-fictional narratives, or socially engaged work. Her films have screened at the Harlem International Film Festival (NY), Vidlings & Tapeheads (MI), the Every Woman Biennial (NY), and the Anti-Racist Classroom’s Represent Film Festival (CA).
Feitosa received her BFA in Film/Animation/Video from the Rhode Island School of Design with a concentration in Literary Arts & Studies. She has been an artist in residence at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Residency Unlimited, and Smack Mellon’s Artist Studio Program as a Van Lier Fellow. www.chantalfeitosa.com
Freya Powell uses time-based and linguistic platforms to explore language and its relationship to memory, myth, and history. Her work has been exhibited in solo shows at Art in General, Brooklyn, NY (2017), Herron School of Art, Indianapolis, IN (2017), and Arts Santa Monica, Barcelona, Spain (2014.) She has participated in group shows at institutions including EFA Project Space, New York, NY, Queens Museum, Corona, NY, Socrates Sculpture Park, Long Island City, NY, #1 Cartagena: the First International Biennale of Art, Cartagena de India, Colombia, and the Bronx Museum, Bronx, NY, among others. Her work is in the collections of the New York Public Library; the Joan Flasch Artists’ Book Collection; and the Franklin Furnace Archive. Most recently she was awarded a development residency at MoMA PS1 and a New Work Grant from the Queens Council on the Arts (2019). Powell holds an MFA from Hunter College, New York, NY. www.freyapowell.com
Hanae Utamura is a Japanese interdisciplinary artist. Utamura works in video, performance, new media installation, and sculpture. She connects human beings and earth, using the body as a conduit. The negotiation between nature and civilization, and how the will of life manifests itself in its processes has been the central focus of her practice. She reflects on our relationship to nature, focusing on how we imagine, experience, and affect the natural world through scientific development and historical narration.
She received her MFA at Chelsea College of Art and Design in London and BFA at Goldsmiths, University of London. Utamura has received support through numerous international residencies and fellowships including Akademie Schloss Solitude (Stuttgart, Germany), Künstlerhaus Bethanien (Berlin, Germany), PACT Zollverein (Essen, Germany), Art Omi (Hudson, U.S.), Santa Fe Art Institute (Santa Fe, U.S.), Aomori Contemporary Art Center (Aomori, Japan), National Museum of Contemporary Art, Changdong Art Studio (Seoul, S.Korea), Seoul Art Space_GEUMCHEON (Seoul, S.Korea), Florence Trust (London, U.K.) and more. She has been awarded the Shiseido Art Egg Award, Axis/Florence Trust Award, UNESCO-Aschberg Bursary Award, NYFA Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program, Bunkacho Grant by the Japanese Ministry of Culture, the Pola Art Foundation, Nomura Art Foundation, i-style Art and Sports Foundation, and has been exhibited extensively in Asia, Europe, and the United States. She was a visiting scholar at New York University in 2019, supported by the Japanese Ministry of Culture, as part of the Japan – United States Friendship Exchange Program in the Arts. www.hanaeutamura.com
Inspired by South Korean online LGBTQ communities in the 2000s, Hyperlink Press is an online publication and curatorial collective to create intersectional platforms to showcase work by artists navigating the in-between spaces. Hyperlink Press’ mission is to empower the underrepresented history, experience, and identity in the tech field, and art gallery system. Founded by Taehee Whang, Jeong Yoon Lee, and Minsoo Thigpen in 2018, Hyperlink Press would like to share the time of utopic excitement, that we felt back in our shared childhood of 2000s, for an equal world, breaking free from the traditional forms of community building. www.hyperlinkpress.com
Meet the 2021 Artist-in-Residence
Sean Desiree is a self taught artist and furniture maker, born and raised in the Bronx. They use wood from found pallets, demolished buildings, and discarded scraps to create works that range from 2D pattern based pieces to 3D sculptures that put race, gender and safety at the forefront. Their most recent solo show LIFTED: Public Housing, an Aerial Perspective was a collection of two-dimensional works depicting aerial views of seven public housing units in Hudson, NY. Profits from the sales were used to give a grant to an artist/maker living in Hudson Public Housing. In the summer of 2019, they expanded their skills by learning timber framing. They were a co-facilitator in the Black Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) Builders Immersions at Soul Fire Farm in Grafton, NY, where they learned how to build shelters/homes. Through the craft of woodworking, they aim to design life-size structures and sculptures that act as sanctuaries, protectors, and symbols of empowerment for BIPOC queer, trans and nonbinary people. In 2020, they were an Engaging Artist Fellow at More Art and currently a 2021 Workspace Residency at Wave Hill in New York City.