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2012-13 A/P/A Artist-in-Residence Welcome Featuring Roger Shimomura with Michael Ray Charles

Join us in welcoming 2012-13 Artist-in-Residence Roger Shimomura to the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU. Acclaimed for his poignant, bright-colored prints and paintings, award-winning artist Shimomura challenges constructions of the racialized “other” and calls attention to the power of material and pop culture to normalize whiteness. He is joined by renowned painter Michael Ray Charles, whose work incorporates and interrogates racist mass media images of African Americans. The artists will address the power of art to expose stereotypes and create new visual vocabularies.

Roger Shimomura’s paintings, prints, and theatre pieces address sociopolitical issues of ethnicity. He was born in Seattle, Washington and spent two years of his early childhood in Minidoka (Idaho), one of ten concentration camps for Japanese Americans during World War II. He has had over 135 solo exhibitions of paintings and prints, and has presented his experimental theatre pieces at such venues as the Franklin Furnace in New York City, Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and The Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. He is the recipient of more than 30 grants, of which four are National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships in Painting and Performance Art. Shimomura has taught at the University of Kansas, where he was designated a University Distinguished Professor (1994), and Carleton College. He is the recipient of awards from the College Art Association, Seattle Urban League, Kansas Governor’s Office, Asian American Arts Alliance, University of Washington, and, in 2011, was designated a United States Artist Fellow. Shimomura is the 2012-13 A/P/A Artist-in-Residence.

Artist Jana Haimsohn will provide a performative introduction and NYU Professor Arlene Davila will moderate the conversation.

Please RSVP by Monday, September 17, 2012 using the form below. Reservations are also accepted via email (apa.rsvp@nyu.edu) or phone (212.992.9653).

Co-sponsored by the Institute for African American Affairs at NYU, NYU Center for Multicultural Education and Programs, Japanese American Association of New York, and Asian American Arts Alliance.

Roger Shimomura’s paintings, prints, and theatre pieces address sociopolitical issues of ethnicity. He was born in Seattle, Washington and spent two years of his early childhood in Minidoka (Idaho), one of ten concentration camps for Japanese Americans during World War II. He has had over 135 solo exhibitions of paintings and prints, and has presented his experimental theatre pieces at such venues as the Franklin Furnace in New York City, Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and The Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. He is the recipient of more than 30 grants, of which four are National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships in Painting and Performance Art. Shimomura has taught at the University of Kansas, where he was designated a University Distinguished Professor (1994), and Carleton College. He is the recipient of awards from the College Art Association, Seattle Urban League, Kansas Governor’s Office, Asian American Arts Alliance, University of Washington, and, in 2011, was designated a United States Artist Fellow. Shimomura is the 2012-13 A/P/A Artist-in-Residence.

 

Michael Ray Charles was born in 1967 in Lafayette, Louisiana, and graduated from McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana, in 1985. In college, he studied advertising design and illustration, eventually moving to painting, his preferred medium. Charles also received an MFA degree from the University of Houston in 1993. His graphically styled paintings investigate racial stereotypes drawn from a history of American advertising, product packaging, billboards, radio jingles, and television commercials. Charles draws comparisons between Sambo, Mammy, and minstrel images of an earlier era and contemporary mass-media portrayals of black youths, celebrities, and athletes—images he sees as a constant in the American subconscious. “Stereotypes have evolved,” he notes. “I’m trying to deal with present and past stereotypes in the context of today’s society.” Caricatures of African American experience, such as Aunt Jemima, are represented in Charles’s work as ordinary depictions of blackness, yet are stripped of the benign aura that lends them an often-unquestioned appearance of truth. Charles says, “Aunt Jemima is just an image, but it almost automatically becomes a real person for many people, in their minds. But there’s a difference between these images and real humans.” In each of his paintings, notions of beauty, ugliness, nostalgia, and violence emerge and converge, reminding us that we cannot divorce ourselves from a past that has led us to where we are, who we have become, and how we are portrayed. Charles lives in Texas and teaches at the University of Texas at Austin.

 

Arlene Davila is a Professor of Anthropology and of Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University. She is a cultural anthropologist interested in urban and ethnic studies, the political economy of culture and media, and consumption studies. Her books include Culture Works: Space, Value, and Mobility Across the Neoliberal Americas, Barrio Dreams: Puerto Ricans, Latinos, and the Neoliberal City, and Latinos Inc: Marketing and the Making of a People.

 

 

 

New York performance artist Jana Haimsohn has presented her stories, poetry, text, characters, dance, rhythms, and music, (composed and improvised), performing solo and collaborating with jazz greats Don Cherry, Ed Blackwell, Mal Waldron, Don Pullen, and others.  Her work has been shown in the U.S., Canada and Europe, at various art, music, dance, theater, literary and performance venues, including among others, the Whitney Museum of American Art (NYC), The Louisiana Museum (Denmark), Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), and Festival d’Automne (Paris). The themes of her writings generally address social justice issues.

Jana has received grants/fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts (Visual Arts Performance, Choreography, and Jazz Study), New York Foundation for the Arts (Music Composition and Performance Art/Multi-Disciplinary Work), Foundation for Contemporary Art Performance, Creative Artists Public Service (Music Composition and Mixed Media), Beard’s Funds (Music/Performance), and Christophe de Menil (Performance Art).

She teaches performance/dance/voice/improvisation workshops for adults and youth, gives lecture demos, and is currently working on film and video projects.

Organizer: A/P/A Institute at NYU
Venue: NYU Casa Italiana
Address:
24 West 12th Street
New York, NY 10003 United States
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