The Nueva Luz Study Center Commissioning Fund Awardees

En Foco is proud to announce the winners of the Nueva Luz Study Center Commissioning Fund 2024. The Nueva Luz Study Center Commissioning Fund was designed to commission three artists to create new works by using the Archives and Nueva Luz Study Center as a catalyst to explore the historical context, artists, and themes from a contemporary point of view. Selected artists include Shiloah Coley, Lisa DuBois, and collaborators Rejin Leys and Thiago Szmrecsanyi. 

The awardees were chosen from a pool of 24 applicants by panelists, Felicity Hogan, Director of NYFA Learning at New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), Michael Palma Mir, from Repertorio Español, and Niama Sandy, multidisciplinary curator, artist, and educator. Awardees will receive $2,500 stipends, an additional $1,000 for project costs, a feature in the Nueva Luz Fall 2024 Issue, and become part of the Study Center and digital archives. 

The Nueva Luz Commissioning Fund is an effort to promote and demonstrate the vast applications of cultural archives when used for creative purposes, as a catalyst for preserving and honoring the histories of artists from diasporic backgrounds. The En Foco Archives are an important resource that make En Foco’s 50 year legacy of serving artists accessible via the Nueva Luz Study Center, which contains all Nueva Luz issues, from 1985 to the present, information on over 400 artists, writers and curators with vibrant voices and distinct points of view who have been featured in Nueva Luz, information on past exhibitions, and exhibitions featuring artists and themes from the archives.

Meet the Awardees

Lisa DuBois – Lisa a visual artist and curator born and based in Harlem, showcases her diverse talents across various genres, including traditional photography and digital surrealism. Her work has been exhibited nationally and in countries such as India, France, and Greece.

Rejin Leys – Rejin a Haitian-American mixed media artist and papermaker based in New York. She has exhibited in museums and galleries internationally, and her work is included in several public collections.

Thiago Szmrecsányi – Thiago is a Brazilian-American visual artist working primarily as a sculptor. Thiago has been a resident artist in the Lower East Side Clemente Soto Velez Center since 1994. He holds a BA in Visual Arts from Hunter College.

Shiloah Symone Coley – Shiloah is an artist-scholar and cultural worker dedicated to tending to and cultivating community through storytelling. Her mother taught her to use her voice. Her father taught her to listen. Her grandmother taught her to ask questions.

Meet the Panelists

Felicity HoganDirector of NYFA Learning at New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA)

Niama Safia Sandy – New York-based cultural anthropologist, curator, producer, multidisciplinary artist and educator. Niama’s work delves into the human story, often with stories of the Global Black diaspora at its center.

Michael Palma Mir – Repertorio Español, Artist, Arts Administrator