Torpedo Factory Art Center Welcomes 2020 Cohort to Post-Grad Residency Studio

By East City Art Editorial Team on January 28, 2020

For the sixth year, Torpedo Factory Art Center welcomes four emerging artists to participate in the Post-Grad Residency Program: Ashley Llanes, Luis A. Navas-Reyes, Fanni Somogyi and Vi Trinh.

This competitive juried program provides three months of exclusive access to a studio in the Art Center. Therein, artists can create and sell work, interact with the public and connect with other arts professionals. The residency is unique for addressing the critical post-graduation juncture in an artist’s career, offering an opportunity for professional development, networking and a chance to define their practice outside of the academic context.

Applications were open to recently graduated students who earned a bachelor’s or master’s art degree from an accredited university. Submissions were accepted from across the nation, provided artists submit proof of their permanent residence in the area and/or commitment to contributing to the future of the region’s arts scene.

“This program is about hosting and supporting rising artists within our creative community,” said Brett Johnson, director of Torpedo Factory Art Center. “The residency has many opportunities for innovation and collaboration, between artists and visitors alike. We hope this studio continues to be a place where people exchange perspectives, techniques and ideas.”

The 2020 program culminates in a group exhibition in Target Gallery, the Art Center’s contemporary exhibition space, December 19, 2020 through January 17, 2021.

The jurors were Nehemiah Dixon III, president and CEO of Nonstop Art, LLC, and Stefanie Fedor, executive director for Visual Arts Center of Richmond.

2020 Post-Graduate Residents

Vi Trinh, Escape, 2019

Vi Trinh: January – March
University of Richmond, 2019
Bachelor of Arts in Visual and Media Arts
Vi Trinh is an interdisciplinary artist who works in digital and traditional media. Her work explores ideas of aesthetics in relation to ecological and social patterns. For example, the internet is a space that is promoted as democratic and free. Trinh focuses on the growing exclusionary nature of it, increasingly constructed by fewer and more profitable players. She tries to find balance in areas that are antagonized in the current social context. Her storylines focus on objects and spaces that surround humanity, but not humanity itself, as a peek into the contemporary world’s archaeological legacy.

During her residency, Trinh will be working on an interactive digital media piece called The Station, which inserts the viewer into a fictional space station after life on earth has been destroyed. The Station references Albert Camus’ The Myth of Sisyphus and postmodernist philosophy to explore nostalgia as a tool for propaganda. Trinh will create different digital rooms that are idealized interpretations of what life was like on earth. In doing so, she asks the viewer to question the intention the fictional powerbrokers who created these rooms on the space station. Do these idealized versions of earth deflect from humanity’s role in its destruction?

Ashley Llanes, La Quinceanera, 2019.

Ashley Llanes: April – June
Corcoran School of the Arts & Design at George Washington University, 2019
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fine Art Photography
Ashley Llanes is a queer-identifying artist who makes political work about her Cuban-American identity, her affinity for Miami’s culture, and her upbringing as a Cuban Catholic and the strict cultural expectations that come with it. She shares her narratives through photos, collage, ‘zines and bookmaking.

During her residency, Llanes will continue her exploration of materials and focusing on the concept of intergenerational trauma. She will have the space to create large scale collages that incorporate family photos and found objects. Researching her family history, she’s mapping out how her life relates to those of her ancestors. In hand with this, she’s exploring the concept of parenthood and what role and responsibility that may play in contributing the next generation’s lived experiences

Luis A. Navas-Reyes, Sombras, 2017.

Luis A. Navas-Reyes: July – September
James Madison University, 2018
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Printmaking
Luis A. Navas-Reyes creates abstract and narrative compositions that explore themes of identity, culture, environment, abstraction, power structures and history. He works with a variety of media including printmaking, drawings, ceramics and bookmaking.

During his residency, Navas-Reyes will be working on his Burnt Pages series. In it, he invites Latino Americans to write their stories. He will copy them, then burn the pages. In the shared past of the Latino community, stories were burnt, lost and fragmented due to colonialism and nature. For Navas-Reyes, Latino Americas are the conquerors and the conquered, the traitors but also the resilient. His process gives the stories life, but everything is lost to time again, which is a cycle often found in Latin-American history.

Fanni Somogyi, Intangible Realities, 2019.

Fanni Somogyi: October – December
Maryland Institute College of Art, 2019
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interdisciplinary Sculpture
Born in Hungary, Fanni Somogyi is now based in Baltimore. She creates geometric and figurative sculptures that investigate how humans and technology have developed a symbiotic relationship. This results in the constant presence of electronic devices in one’s life and affect relationships with space and other people. Working with metal and digital fabrication as well as image manipulation and projections, she explores themes of networking systems, modes of connection, and acts of remembering.

During her residency, Somogyi will continue to explore organic and inorganic networks, and experiment with sustainable materials such as mud, wax, and reed for her lost-wax casting process. She is also developing performative aspects of her sculptures that allude to networks within the body, too. Multiple bodies can recreate systems and interact within a space to push her work in different directions.

(via Torpedo Factory Art Center. Photos courtesy of Torpedo Factory Art Center.)