BRIClab 2023-2024 Contemporary Art Artists

Headshot Alex Dolores Salerno-credit-Francisco echo Eraso

Alex Dolores Salerno

Born in Washington D.C., based in Brooklyn

Alex Dolores Salerno's artistic practice centers on critiquing societal norms and values through interdependence and their queer-crip perspective. Using bedding as a primary medium, they explore the bed as a site of care, protest and collective action, redefining conventional notions of work. Salerno's interdisciplinary approach blends materials like diamond-plate flooring, coffee beans, and memory foam to confront the tensions between societal expectations of self-reliance and endless productivity, and true well-being. Their art cleverly navigates the politics of visibility, challenging pathologizing demands for explanation from marginalized groups. As a chronically ill autistic trans individual, Salerno's work advocates for slowness and the recognition of suppressed needs, while championing a more inclusive and anti-capitalist approach to time and value.

Salerno has exhibited at CCProjects, the Ford Foundation Gallery, Gibney, and The 8th Floor, all NY; Franklin Street Works, Stamford, CT; Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt, Germany; Espacio de Arte Contemporáneo de Castellón, Spain; and the argos centre for audiovisual arts, Brussels, Belgium; among others. Salerno is a recipient of the 2022 Wynn Newhouse Award. They have participated in residencies at Abrons Arts Center, the Museum of Arts and Design, and Art Beyond Sight. Salerno holds an MFA from Parsons School of Design.

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CAO-headshot- hand drawn photo by yanki

Chinese Artists and Organizers (CAO) Collective 离离草

Lead artists: Laura Li嘟嘟 and huiyin zhou徽音
Participating artist: fran yu/jiao jiao

Chinese Artists and Organizers (CAO) Collective 离离草 creates art to empower relational community healing. They make space for nuanced narratives rooted in China, the Sinophone diaspora, and other experiences from the margins. As cultural organizers, they explore social justice-oriented theorizing and narrativizing through communal and processual art practices. CAO’s interdisciplinary praxis interweaves collective poetry, performance, food art, clay, sound, and installation. They reimagine memory/memorials, rituals, intimacy, and queer/feminist kinship to (re)build sustainable community infrastructures. CAO's Ciba Punch 女拳手打糍粑 performances encourage a diverse audience to engage with food as a vessel for social commentary, cross-cultural connection, community building and healing.

离离草艺术小组 Chinese Artists and Organizers (CAO) Collective 通过集体艺术创作赋能及疗愈社区。我们扎根于中国、华语离散社群及多重边缘的身体经验中,为多元、幽微的叙事创造空间。作为艺术家和社区组织者,我们结合诗歌共写、表演、食物、陶泥、声音及装置艺术等形式,以探索来自社群、服务社群的伦理、理论和叙事,并邀请社群一起重新想象身体/记忆、纪念/仪式、距离/亲密感,重构可持续的、酷儿女权主义式的亲缘关系,集体共创以关怀为基础的社群支持网络。


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Cinthya Santos Briones-HEADSHOT

Cinthya Santos Briones

Born in Tulancingo Hgo., Mexico, based in Brooklyn

Cinthya Santos Briones is a visual artist, educator, and cultural organizer with indigenous Nahua roots. Santos Briones’ interdisciplinary practice includes photography, historical archives, writing, ethnography, drawings, collage, embroidery, and popular education.With a background in ethnohistory and anthropology, she worked as a researcher at Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History, focusing on issues of indigenous migration, codex, textiles, and traditional medicine. Santos Briones’ ongoing collaborative project Migrant Herbalism investigates traditional medicine practices among Mexican migrant communities in New York City. Using cameraless photography, ancient codex, workshops, and embroidery, the project documents the community's reliance on ancestral knowledge and plant-based therapies for healing.

Santos Briones has participated in exhibitions at El Museo del Barrio, the Museum of the City of New York, the International Center of Photography, the Latinx Project, and Paul W. Zuccaire Gallery, Stony Brook all NY; Sky Blue Gallery, Portland, OR; and the Trout Museum of Art, Appleton, WI. Santos Briones is the recipient of fellowships and residencies from the Magnum Foundation, En Foco, Wave Hill Public Garden & Cultural Center, National Geographic Research and Exploration, We Woman, National Fund for Culture and the Arts of México. She is co-author of the book “The Indigenous Worldview and its Representations in Textiles of the Nahua community of Santa Ana Tzacuala, Hidalgo,” and the documentary, The Huichapan Codex. Santos Briones is Adjunct Faculty at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY. She holds an MFA focus in creative writing and photography from Ithaca College-Cornell University.

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Pelenakeke Brown-headshot-credit Emily Parr x PAPA clothing

Pelenakeke Brown

Born and based in Aotearoa, New Zealand

Pelenakeke Brown is a Sāmoan/Pakehā, crip, interdisciplinary artist guided by the profound Samoan notion of vā and crip time. Her captivating practice converges disability theory and Sāmoan wisdom through visual art, text, and performance. Brown's works traverse mediums, blending poetry, visuals, and choreographic scores, challenging boundaries and envisioning their coexistence. For example, Brown’s collaboration with Yo-Yo Lin, Channels, explores the crip, cyborg body using digital technologies.

Brown has exhibited at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art, Marian Goodman Gallery, and Flux Factory, all NY; Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland, OH; Schwules Museum, Berlin, Germany; and Helmhaus Zürich, Switzerland. Brown has also performed at The Shed, Gibney Dance Center, The New York Library for the Performing Arts, all NY; and Sophiensaele, Berlin, Germany. She has participated in residencies at Eyebeam, Kampnagel, Denniston Hill, The Laundromat Project, and the Vermont Studio Center, among others. In 2020, Brown received the Creative New Zealand’s Pacific Toa Award.

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Steven Anthony Johnson II-Headshot

Steven Anthony Johnson II

Born in Baltimore, based in Brooklyn

Determined to reshape Black narratives, Steven Anthony Johnson II's work fuses drawing, animation, and contemporary printing. Johnson reconciles religious, intellectual, and humanistic ideals with Blackness and "Otherness." Their drawings embrace traditional methods with abstracted temperature and value, achieving a sense of modern realism. Intimate scenes challenge white desirability and spotlight Blackness/darkness. Through their own Transfemme exploration of motherhood/mothering, Johnson’s portraiture in Dear Beautiful Black Baby envisions a future liberated from colonial influences for their children.

Steven Anthony Johnson II has exhibited work at the International Studio & Curatorial Program and Field Projects, both NY; Inbreak, Los Angeles, CA; and Notre Dame of Maryland University, Baltimore, MD. They received their BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art and an MFA from the New York Academy of Art.

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