2017 ART & LAW PROGRAM FELLOWS: SPRING
Thea Andrus: Andrus is a prospective JD candidate with a vested interest in intellectual property and cultural preservation. She holds a BA in Art & Design from Columbia College Chicago, where she concentrated in 20th century art criticism and feminist theory. She currently works for Christie’s Auction House and volunteers for the Brooklyn Center for Art Law. Andrus has traveled across the United States extensively and frequently uncomfortably. She is passionate about the relationship between identity, memory and security, particularly in relation to the creation of the self-chosen communities that exist within the contemporary art world.
Tracy Fenix: Fenix is a Xicanx creative collaborator, curator and organizer born in El Paso, Texas, and graduated with a B.A in Anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin in 2015. Fenix works in the intersections of art and social practice. Fenix focuses on engaging transcultural movements, identity formations, and arts-based research in cultural organizing and restorative practices. Fenix engages shifting historical narratives and modes of gender fluidity in relationship with site-specific urban environments. Currently, Fenix is the Curatorial Fellow at Wave Hill where they assist with curating and organizing exhibitions and the 2017 Winter Workspace Residency Program. Previously, Fenix worked as a Program Assistant for the Latino Arts Residency Program (LARP) at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center in Austin, where they assisted with researching regional and national residency programs and co-coordinated the 2016 Latino Arts Residency Program.
Mary Hill: Hill is an artist living and working in Los Angeles. Her work centers on the body, mortality, and the resistance of the object -- intending to remind the viewer that he too is material. Most recently, she has been exhibited at Underdonk in Brooklyn, Vox Populi in Philadelphia, as well as with the Torrance Art Museum, Commonwealth & Council, Vacancy, and the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. Hill has participated in residencies at the Shandaken Project, ACRE, Anderson Ranch, and Ox-Bow, among others. She holds a BA from New College, an MFA from CalArts, and also attended the Mountain School of Arts.
Jessica Hodin: Hodin is a New York born and raised art consultant who received her BA in art history from Dartmouth College (New Hampshire) and her MA in art business from the Sotheby's Institute of Art (New York). Her master's thesis focused on collecting and conserving digital and variable media, a topic that has also been a consistent thread in her curatorial exploits. She has curated shows at galleries and institutions, most recently a show about surveillance art and privacy entitled Nothing To Hide? at Real Art Ways (Connecticut). Jessica has worked in various aspects of the art business including sales and advisory, curatorial, appraisals, partnerships and business strategy, and non-profit fundraising. She is currently the Crowdfunding Manager of the Art Basel Crowdfunding Initiative, a partnership with Kickstarter to catalyze support for non-commercial art projects worldwide.
Brooke Holloway: Holloway is an interdisciplinary artist whose current body of work utilizes performance, video, and the Internet. Through her alter ego, Brooke Blake, she explores themes of sexuality and desire, audience, and distribution. She received a BFA from Moore College of Art & Design and an MFA from Columbia University.
Brian McSherry: McSherry is an Art Director from Connecticut, strays from the path of the expected by approaching his work with a sense of experimentation and a knowledge of visual theory and law. He pushes the limits of design within the social and legal realms, and is constantly creating his own definitions. With a Bachelors of Fine Art in Communication Design, Masters of Fine Art, and Juris Doctorate with a focus on Intellectual Property he creates work, which challenges the law both visually and vocally through the visual use of contradictions and vagueness held by Congress and the Judiciary. Prior to his legal studies, McSherry was the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship where he researched design, language laws, and the socio-economic impact of design principals in Montreal. Brian McSherry pushes the boundaries of what the relationship between art and law have become: an entangled web spun from the ideals of true artistic freedom and a contemporary system of laws that is constantly leveraged to confine it.
Shu Cao Mo: Originally from Hangzhou, China, Shu Cao Mo is a curator and artist based in New York City. She co-founded the arts nonprofit organization, Mosaic Project, Beijing, working with museums and performance spaces to curate performing and visual art workshops in contested urban spaces in China. As a social practice artist, she has created public art interventions using storytelling and digital media. Her works have been shown in Montevideo (Uruguay), Keflavik (Iceland), and Cambridge (USA). She is a Curatorial Fellow at No Longer Empty Lab 2016. Shu Cao Mo holds a Master's degree in Arts in Education from Harvard University and a Bachelor's degree in Philosophy, Political Science and Theater Studies from Duke University.
Chris Rawson: Rawson is a founding partner of Rawson Projects, a contemporary art gallery located in the Lower East Side. The gallery is a member of the New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA). Since opening in 2010, Rawson Projects has given many notable emerging artists their first solo exhibitions in New York, including: Leah Beeferman, Ben Berlow, Lilja Birgisdóttir, Jamian Juliano-Villani, Nathaniel Mary Quinn, Davina Semo, and Lyndsy Welgos. The gallery has also collaborated on projects with many established artists such as: Justin Adian, Erica Baum, CHERYL, Barb Choit, Scott Hug, sumi ink club/Lucky Dragons, and Wendy White. Rawson Projects has also participated in numerous art fairs including: Art Cologne, Expo Chicago, NADA New York, and Untitled Miami Beach. The gallery's exhibitions have been reviewed by Artforum, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, ArtNews, Modern Painters, The New York Observer, T Magazine, and The Brooklyn Rail, among others. Chris Rawson received his BA in Fine Arts from New York University, where he studied with Robert Rosenblum. He also works at David Zwirner gallery where he manages image copyright issues for over forty artists and Estates.
Ariel Ruvinsky: Ruvinsky is an experimental costume and textile designer. Influenced by the signifiers of dress and the sociological implications of fabric and fiber process, her research and studio practice explores the relationship between costume and couture, fashion and style. Operating as both collector and bricoleur of techniques, she uses tufting, chain-stitching, knitting, printing, and pattern-making to create a body of that work that addresses hybridity, performativity, and the environment. In addition to having shown work and being published domestically and abroad, she is a current artist in residence at The Hollows (Brooklyn, NY) and Arteles (Finland). She holds an MFA in Fibers from the Cranbrook Academy of Art, and a BFA in Fine Art and History of Art from Goldsmiths, University of London.
Courtney Surmanek: Surmanek is a community organizer and multidisciplinary artist working across the fields of art, social justice, and placemaking. She divides her time between Manhattan's Lower East Side and Long Island's Suffolk County. In the Lower East Side she serves as the Manager of Programming at the Lowline and in Suffolk County she leads a collective of artists, activists, and concerned neighbors committed to advancing equity, empathy, sustainability, and social justice through art and culture called Artist Action Group. Through her installations, performances, and curatorial ventures, she offers space for people to convene and exchange ideas around, questions about, and methodologies for self-determination and collective organizing. Surmanek received a BFA in Studio Art and Arts Politics from New York University, focusing on the arts as a tool for change. She has exhibited work, performed, and organized events in galleries, venues, and public spaces across New York. Select locations include The Commons and Rosenberg Galleries (NYC), Islip Art Museum (Islip, NY), The Knockdown Center (Queens, NY), The Traffic Circle (Riverside, NY), Mills Pond House Gallery (Smithtown, NY), Theaterlab (NYC), Velvet Lounge (South Setauket, NY), and WhiteBox (NYC).