This summer we have been profiling the talented group of artists from our inaugural cohort on the Akin blog. Today we are pleased to share profiles of four of the Year 1 artists, Jessica Thalmann, Helen Liene Dreifelds, Samar Hejazi and David Constantino Salazar. You can click here to see previous posts in the MOCA Artist Series.
Jessica Thalmann is an artist, curator and writer currently based in Toronto and New York City. She received a Master of Fine Arts in Advanced Photographic Studies from ICP-Bard College and a BFA in Visual Arts from York University. She has worked at the Doris McCarthy Gallery, Toronto International Film Festival, C Magazine, the Art Gallery of York University and Yossi Milo Gallery.
She has shown at various venues in Toronto, Vancouver and New York City including the Art Gallery of Mississauga, Flash Forward 2010, Whippersnapper Gallery, Nuit Blanche, the Artist Project, VIVO Media Arts Center, Aperture Foundation, the International Centre of Photography, Photoville, the Camera Club of New York and Printed Matter’s New York Art Book Fair.
Helen Liene Dreifelds
Helen Liene Dreifelds is an emerging artist ad workshop facilitator working in sculpture and installation based in handweaving. Positioning textiles as tools, performers, and archives, her work investigates theme related to affective labour, social geography, interpersonal relationships, and duration with attention to combined sensory experiences such as sight a touch.
Samar is a trilingual woman of Palestinian descent, born in the U.S. and raised in diverse communities in the Middle East and Canada, she uses her art to question ideas surrounding identity. Through meditations on traditional practices and her present environments, her work merges eastern and western styles to express how the crossing of cultures can form new identities. Her choice in medium follows the conceptual needs of the piece which has primarily been embroidery, but also includes works on paper and new media.
David Constantino Salazar
David Constantino Salazar is a Toronto based sculptor who holds a Master in Fine Arts degree from OCAD University. His work explores the borders between necessity and excess, desires and addiction. Salazar's goal is to create work that is approachable through humour with the intent that the viewer can explor their own relationships with desire and overindulgence through his allegorical sculptures.
You can see work by Jess, Helen, Samar and David from July 25–September 8, 2019 at the Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto Canada (MOCA) as a part of An Index. The exhibition An Index comprises work in a variety of media from sculpture, to video, to new wall murals by the first cohort of Akin residency artists who entered the year-long studio programme in September 2018.
While the participating artists’ practices range widely in terms of conceptual approach, style and media; they have also been influenced to some degree by the experience of sharing and conversing within an open-plan studio structure for the last nine months.