American, b. 1982, Detroit, Michigan, based in Detroit, Michigan

Shaunté Gates was born on June 13,1979 in Washington, D.C. An imaginative child, he was constantly exploring, absorbing and recreating the world around him. He thrived in his studies at the renowned Duke Ellington School of the Arts, graduating as a Visual Arts major with Honors in 1997. Gates then pursued a degree in Graphic Design from Bowie State University (Bowie, MD), during which he traveled to work in Verona, Italy. Along with the city’s captivating art and architecture, a number of portrait commissions pulled him back into the painter’s perspective.

Gates served as the Assistant Art Director at the Perry School Community Service Center in Washington, D.C. for six years. Three of those years were spent encouraging numerous young artists through art courses at Terrell Junior High School. Teaching invigorated Gates; the students were a constant reminder of his own development as an artist, and inspired him to pursue new directions in his work. At this point, Gates was well-recognized for his portrait painting, but was also delving into mixed-media collage and mural painting. These processes enabled him to implement his vision across a spectrum of texture, color, and scale.

Gates often arrives at a blend of reality and fantasy in his work, aiming to capture the state of semi- consciousness right before one falls asleep. Instead of sketching in preparation, he gathers notes and writes to expand on his observations. Once his notes begin revolving around a particular concept, a blueprint emerges. Due in part to this detailed approach, and also stemming from his training in portraiture, Gates incorporates even the most subtle and fleeting elements as he builds his work.

His brushstrokes, colors and textures are applied with extraordinarily varied intensities; some pieces expose the frenzy and momentum of a dream, others the pain of stillness. It is as if Gates is exposing the action that unfolds within an instant. A viewer encounters a subject on the verge of something and is left to imagine their fate. Through his manipulation of light and depth and movement, the energy of the human psyche becomes the narrative.

Gates has exhibited in numerous solo and group shows in the Washington region, including with Parrish Gallery, Longview Gallery, The Graham Collection, Attitude Exact, Sidwell Friends School, T. Miller Gallery (Baltimore, MD), and RFA Gallery (Harlem, NY), as well as juried exhibitions with Black Artists of D.C. and The Corcoran College of Art. Major commissions include a piece for the Howard University School of Law marking its140th anniversary, unveiled by UN Ambassador Susan Rice.

Larry Cook received his MFA from George Washington University in 2013. A 2016 Sondheim finalist and former Hamiltonian Fellow (2013-2015), he has been included in various group shows including It Takes A Nation at the Katzen Arts Center (Washington, DC, 2016); To Be Black in White America at Galerie Myrtis (Baltimore, MD, 2016) and Artist Citizen at Hemphill Fine Art (2013). Cook has also had solo presentations at Hamiltonian Gallery (2015), (e)merge art fair (2014), Stamp Gallery (2014) and Pleasant Plains Workshop (2013). In 2014, he had a large-scale public artwork on view as part of Ceremonies of Dark Men, part of the 5 X 5 Project Public Art, curated by A.M. Weaver and organized by the DC Commission on the Arts. A native of Landover, MD, Larry has taught Photography at The George Washington University, American University and is currently a visual art teacher at Northwestern High School in Hyattsville, MD. He is represented by Galerie Myrtis located in Baltimore, MD.

Kimberly M. Becoat is a contemporary mixed media artist whose work is a stylistic abstraction with a conceptual investigation of new materials and visual experiences with social commentary.

Lionel Frazier White is an interdisciplinary artist and aspiring arts educator from Washington, D.C. He attended The Duke Ellington School of the Arts High School where he learned the basic fundamentals of being an artist. He will receive his BFA from George Washington University’s Corcoran School of Art and Design in May 2018. White’s work delves into topics of gentrification, race, memory, and family history. As an educator, his desire is to make a lasting impact on his students that will resonate with them for the rest of their lives.

Tajh Rust is a New Haven-based painter and filmmaker born in Brooklyn, NY.

Rust addresses the idea of truth, investigated from multiple angles. Through figurative painting, he explores physical representation — how individuals choose to represent themselves, and the role environment plays in their identities. His environmental portraits place the subjects in settings of personal significance —a collaboration between painter and sitter, where authorship is shared.

Through abstraction, he explores social representation and how the construct of race shapes geographies, histories, and potential futures. These works are often graphic responses to texts from an array of sources, including song lyrics, conversations, and book excerpts.

Rust holds a BFA from The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art (2011) and in currently pursuing graduate studies in painting at Yale University School of Art, Painting.

Rocío Olivares Iriarte is a multidisciplinary artist born in Santiago de Chile in 1990, who received her BFA from Universidad Católica de Chile. Rocío has centered her attention in asymmetrical distribution power and information, in the context of an asymmetrically globalized world. Her work has been shown at venues such as Museo de Artes Visuales (Chile); Galería Bicentenario, Estación Mapocho (Chile); Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Quinta Normal (Chile), among others. She recently completed a Fulbright Fellowship to complete MFA at Columbia University in New York City in 2017.

Sara Jimenez is a multi-disciplinary Filipina-Canadian artist, currently living and working in New York. Through performance, installation, sculpture, and drawing, she investigates relationships between material impermanence and trans-cultural memory. Throughout her projects, she is interested in complicating and re-imagining existing narratives around concepts of home, absence, and origins.

She received her B.A. from the University of Toronto (2008) and her MFA from Parsons the New School for Design (2013). Residencies include Brooklyn Art Space (2014), Wave Hill’s Winter Workspace (2015), a full artist fellowship to The Vermont Studio Center (2016), and the Bronx Museum’s AIM program (2016). Jimenez has exhibited at the Pinto Art Museum (Philippines), Rush Arts Gallery (NY), The Brooklyn Museum (NY), FiveMyles Gallery and Wayfarers Gallery (NY). She has performed numerous venues including The Noguchi Museum, Dixon Place, and Smack Mellon.

Working at the intersection of sculpture, performance and filmmaking, Asif Mian explores the imprint that masculinity, competition, spirituality and violence has on contemporary culture. His recent work reconfigures religious, sports and societal rituals to overlap and intersect with each other.

His work has been exhibited at Bitforms(NYC) and FiveMyles (Brooklyn) galleries, as well as OneDotZero, SXSW, Los Angeles, Slamdance, Future and Krakow film festivals.

​He is a 2018 MFA candidate at Columbia University in New York City.

Lavett Ballard is an artist, art historian, curator, and author. She holds a dual Bachelor’s in Studio Art and Art History with a minor in Museum Studies from Rutgers University as well as an MFA in Studio Arts from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.

Her artwork has been exhibited in galleries, public and private institutions nationwide. She was a regional finalist for both New York & Philadelphia for the Bombay Artisan Emerging Artist competition. Her art has been included in literary, film, theater productions, and TEDx’s Philadelphia ‘City’ Catalogue.

Ballard’s work is a diverse collection of narrative illustrations of people of African descent in a historical context. She uses formal elements of paint, charcoal, oil pastel, and collage, and combines them with reclaimed items.

Ballard works in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York.

Reaching her threshold and becoming ultimately frustrated with hearing the same narratives but from different authors, Tasha Dougé turned to art as a means of expression and unrestricted messaging – she can take something that is familiar and nostalgic to the audience and then completely transform its meaning. Driven by conceptual ideas and with the use of mixed media, Tasha makes art that challenges the audience to grapple with the ideals of tradition and conventional ways of thinking. By using interactive materials, Dougé has been able to integrate her audience into her some of the works during the process or as an integral part to bringing the piece(s) to life. With women’s empowerment initially being the focal point, her work has evolved to address issues of social injustice, activism, racism and those that overall speak to the Black experience. Tasha continues to create provocative works that will elicit authentic, raw and at times, uncomfortable feelings. It is with those feelings that Tasha wishes to spark open and honest conversations that will lead to change and furthermore, REFORM.

Pamela Council was born in Southampton, New York in 1986. Her sculptures, prints, and performances have been featured at Williams College Museum of Art, African American Museum of Philadelphia, Fort Gansevoort Gallery, Southampton Historical Museum, VOLTA and MoCADA. She has created commissions for and is in the collections of Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and the Studio Museum in Harlem. She earned a B.A. from Williams College, an M.F.A. from Columbia University, and was a participant in Adidas Group’s global Footwear Creation Trainee program. She has been an Artist-in-Residence at Mana Contemporary, Catwalk Artist Project, eWassaic Project and will be Artist-in-Residence at Galveston Artist Residency.