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Sonjie Feliciano Solomon Wins 2010 Urban Artist Initiative/NYC Fellowship
Sonjie Feliciano Solomon, "Green Hills", 2008. Organza with thread, 72 x 60 x 22 inches. Photo; Courtesy: Causey Contemporary.

BROOKLYN, NY.- Causey Contemporary announced that artist, Sonjie Feliciano Solomon has won one of the 2009/10 Urban Artist Initiative/NYC fellowships. Mrs. Solomon is a mixed media artist who creates free standing sculptures from organza and thread as well as two dimensional wall works using monofilament and mirrored acrylic. Her most recent creations entitled “cloudscapes” appeared at ARTPRIZE in Grand Rapids, Michigan where it placed in the top twenty five. The Urban Artist Initiative/NYC (UAI/NYC) is a grants program for NYC artists of all disciplines who self-define as artists of color. In the past two grant cycles, the program has given over $200,000 to over 100 talented individual artists living in New York City.

Ms. Feliciano Solomon uses industrial design principles and tools to manipulate and map points in space and plan the work. Then she employs painstaking, repetitive hand construction and finishing to complete each piece. Combining the worlds of design and craft, Feliciano Solomon’s work juxtaposes the systematic, calculated design process and the organic, ephemeral result.

The sculptural textile pieces are an exercise in balancing aesthetics and functionality. Here, sheer fabric is pieced together to create 3- dimensional quilts of soft, rolling landscapes. Composed only of fabric and thread, the structure comes from the sewn seams, and the pieces are collapsible for storage or shipping. Totally flexible and scalable in size, there is the potential to quickly change an environment and fill a whole space in minutes.

In the wall pieces, series of curved transparent lines are mounted on mirrored backgrounds and come together to form delicate, gossamer volumes. Reflection of the surrounding environment completes the illusion of shapes floating in air. And reflection of the viewer reminds us that the individual’s perception is integral to the completion of the piece in the mind’s eye.

Ms. Feliciano Solomon’s intention is for the work to speak to people first based purely on visual perception and then progress to a curiosity about deconstructing the process. Ephemerality and transformation, light and shadow, structure and collapsibility, the designed and the organic are all qualities investigated in ways to surprise and delight the viewer.

Sonjie Feliciano Solomon was born in Manila, Philippines and now lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. After receiving an industrial design degree with honors from the Rhode Island School of Design, she worked for a variety of furniture and product design companies. She has traveled extensively throughout Asia and Europe. Her work as a copywriter for traditional and interactive advertising agencies led to stints in New York, Hong Kong and Boston. Unsatisfied with staring at a computer screen all day, she craved the fulfillment of building things with her hands and returned to art school. Now she is devoting her time to developing work that straddles the lines between art, craft and design.

The Urban Artist Initiative/NYC is itself a unique collaboration of seven arts intermediaries, creates a point of entry for artists from their specific communities, some of whom have not traditionally participated in grant and service programs for artists. Because the organizations are working as one entity, an even more powerful alliance is being shaped to include and recognize the contributions and talents of so many previously under-recognized artists.

UAI/NYC has been developed by a consortium including AMERINDA, INC., the Asian American Arts Alliance, the Harlem Arts Alliance, and the Latino Artists’ Initiative (sponsored by the Bronx Council on the Arts) working in partnership with the Queens Council on the Arts, the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Bronx Council on the Arts – the project’s sponsoring organization.

UAI/NYC is part of a national effort to strengthen the infrastructure and support for artists throughout the country; it is one of the Creative Communities programs of LINC (Leveraging Investments in Creativity), a national network of cities which serves as a laboratory for projects effecting local and national change in the lives of artists. UAI/NYC is one of the major projects of the Creative Communities’ program specifically addressing artists’ of color.

Besides its generous support for this cycle from the funders listed above, UAI/NYC has been supported in previous years with funds provided by LINC via the Ford Foundation, the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, the Buddy Fund for Justice of the Rockefeller Philanthropic Advisors, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and the Booth Ferris Foundation.

UAI/NYC, a unique collaboration of seven arts intermediaries, creates a point of entry for artists from their specific communities, some of whom have not traditionally participated in grant and service programs for artists. Because the organizations are working as one entity, an even more powerful alliance is being shaped to include and recognize the contributions and talents of so many previously under-recognized artists. It provides an important mechanism to begin to bring greater attention to the individual and collective needs of artists of color.

Ms. Feliciano Solomon will use her fellowship to create a new body of work part of which will go on view in her first solo exhibition at Causey Contemporary in June 2010 at the gallery’s new location : 92 Wythe Avenue in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. NY.

Causey Contemporary | Sonjie Feliciano Solomon | 2010 Urban Artist Initiative/NYC |

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