This project explores the impact the urban environment has on an artist and how their work reflects the spirit and vitality of the community. Harlem has attitude and visceral qualities. The visual voice of the participating artists are incited by the city’s energy and translated into color, texture, movement and story. Each artist through painting, mixed medium, poetry, and music depicts the urban environment through their eyes
Urban Environment Project Artist Profiles
“I make paintings and sculpture that reflect direct interactions with my environment and the people around me. Me, the subject, and the tangible product/reaction create the trilogy: a dialogue is born between us.”
Montserrat earned an MPA at the University of Texas in 1997. She has had solo exhibitions at the Art Students League, NY, San Luis Obispo Museum of Art, CA and other galleries in NY, NJ and DC.
“I first learned to weld as a child working as a mechanic in my native El Salvador. Later in New York, I studied sculpture at the Art Student League with a focus on metal fabrication. I lean toward organic shapes and I have found welding creates earthy and rich textures.”
Pedro is currently working on a 10’ version of the POD on exhibit at FLUX, which will be installed on the median at 124th Street and Malcom X Blvd.
Leslie is a Harlem artist who presents powerful images of real people and current events. She studied at SVA and is an active member of the Harlem arts community.
Anya Roz works in a number of media, including photography, painting and various mixed media. Anya hails from Moscow and studied art in both Moscow and New York. She received her M.A. in design from Pratt Institute in 2001.
Ellen Hackl Fagan
“My work walks the balance between randomness and intention, and, like jazz music, continues to reveal limitless possibilities for improvisation. Harlem offers the energy and diversity I seek, keeping me stimulated and alert to what is going on around me.... It keeps me wanting to ask more questions, to seek deeper connections with people from different countries.”
Ellen earned a Masters of Fine Arts Degree in Painting and Interdisciplinary Media in 2005 from Hartford Art School, CT. She became a RADIUS artist at the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art in 2004 and is exhibiting her work extensively throughout New England and New York City.
Hiroshi Jashiki is a print and textile artist who was born in Okinawa, a chain of islands situated between Japan, Taiwan, and China. Jashiki went to Ryukyu University in Okinawa where he studied arts and crafts including traditional weaving and ceramics. Later he studied abroad at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, where he received his MFA in Fiber Art.
“Looking south from my apartment corner window I see the spire of the Empire State building. Looking east I see trains crossing over the Hell Gate Bridge. People say you can see sky in Harlem. Concrete jungle, thousand trees, mixed rich cultures, and the history under the wide open city sky. An immigrant like me can find his place here.”
TAFA is an award-winning painter whose work is exhibited and collected internationally. His style is characterized by a richly vivid palette and heavily textured surface. TAFA was named 2010 Sport Artist of the Year by the American Sport Art Museum and Archives. Galleries, and educational and cultural institutions in the US, Japan, Europe and Africa have celebrated and exhibited TAFA’s paintings. TAFA obtained a BFA degree from the College of Art, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana.
“Creating art is a cosmological journey. It is mirrored in the experience of the collective consciousness of all who search for the truth. Delving into my being is not paramount, what is pivotal is reaching into the internal spaces that have created eternity of memory, our primordial memories.”