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The Immigrant Artist Biennial Announces a New Patron Circle and Curatorial Team for its Second Edition

The Immigrant Artist Biennial Announces a New Patron Circle and Curatorial Team for its Second Edition

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The Immigrant Artist Biennial Yali Romagoza
The Immigrant Artist Biennial Yali Romagoza
Event at The Immigrant Artist Biennial’s booth at Art & Social Activism featuring Yali Romagoza, 2019. Photographed by Alex Sullivan. Image courtesy of The Immigrant Artist Biennial.

The Immigrant Artist Biennial (TIAB) has announced that it will continue for a second edition in 2023 with an expanded curatorial team and a robust fundraising program to be supported by a brand new Patron Circle. Broadening the biennial’s commitment to amplifying the voices of US-based immigrant artists, the second edition will also include artists born to immigrants.

In its inaugural edition, Here, Together!, held from March to December of 2020, TIAB successfully transitioned to a hybrid virtual and in person model. Through powerful performances, diverse exhibitions, and rich panel discussions, Here, Together! showcased over 60 artists and produced two publications. In person locations included the Brooklyn Museum, EFA Project Space, and Greenwood Cemetery.

Reflecting on the first year of TIAB, Founding and Artistic Director, Katya Grokhovsky, realized that funding was a crucial concern for longevity. She explained: “TIAB is essentially artist run and fully grassroots and needs new external funding for each iteration. The premiere TIAB in 2020 was supported mainly through crowdfunding and donations and, although we are consistently open to accepting tax exempt donations through NYFA, I am now also interested in shifting towards a different model, that of a Patron circle. I think it can build an ongoing community that is invested and interested in supporting the project long term. We are hoping to have ongoing events for patrons, maintaining a level of continuous engagement and commitment to sustaining our work.”

Laura Day Webb
Laura Day Webb, The Immigrant Artist Biennial’s new Development Officer for Patron Group and Gifts. Image courtesy of The Immigrant Artist Biennial. 

To launch the Patron Circle, Grokhovsky has hired Laura Day Webb as Development Officer for Patron Group and Gifts. Webb explained how the group will benefit TIAB and its artists: “Patronage creates a supportive ecosystem for a growing organization that can help nurture its development and create longstanding partnerships. TIAB’s Patron Circle provides an opportunity for individuals from a wide array of backgrounds and experiences to come together to learn about our participating artists and support them in their work. Our hope is that the Patron Circle will form a community of its own that continually fosters the growth of immigrant artists.”

The Immigrant Artist Biennial
The Immigrant Artist Biennial 2023 Curatorial Team: Anna Mikaela Ekstrand, Bianca Abdi-Boragi, Katherine Adams, and Meghana Karnik. Photographed by Yann Chashanovski.

Returning to the curatorial team are Katherine Adams and Anna Mikaela Ekstrand, as well as TIAB 2020 artist Bianca Abdi-Boragi. They are joined by Meghana Karnik, formerly of The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts and FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art. The curatorial work continues to be supported by TIAB 2020 team members Mary Annunziata as advisor and grant writer and Alexandra Sullivan as digital manager.

With the inclusion of second generation immigrant artists, TIAB 2023 will further explore the important issues and multifaceted experiences of immigrant artists. Discussing this shift, Adams said, “I’m eager to zone in on those aspects of the immigrant/migration experience that are hard to pin down in terms of identity–to hold space for subjective positions that are extremely hybrid and perhaps appear contradictory in terms of how they challenge ideas of origin and shared heritage.”

Ekstrand added, “Together with my co-curators, I am interested in approaching multiculturalism from various directions, infrastructures of cultural preservation and care, cultural cross pollination, and considering how themes of utopias, post-gender, posthumanism, and post-culture are approached by immigrant artists.”

After persevering despite many Covid-related setbacks in 2020, TIAB with its expanded team and new Patron Circle has undoubtedly stepped into a promising new chapter.

Join The Immigrant Artist Biennial’s Patron Circle here. Membership dues are $225, or $175 for artists.

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