Brooklyn Boro

Transformative Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program names recipients

DUMBO's creative power keeps on 'giving back'

June 28, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
Share this:

The Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program announced on Tuesday the recipients of its 2022-2023 studio program residency, as well as the recipients of the 2022 Philip Pearlstein Painter recipient and the 2022 Irving Sandler Prize.

The recipients of the 2022-2023 residency are aricoco (Ari Tabei), David Atkin, Jeane Cohen, Avram Finkelstein, Jim Gaylord, Yasi Ghanbari, William Kohler, Janice Nowinski, Maia Palileo, Martha Poggioli, Erin Riley, Kathia St. Hilaire, Jonathan Torres, Grace Sachi Troxell, Margaux Valengin, Naeem Mohaiemen, Cherrie Yu. See below for more on each artist.

These 17 artists were selected from a competitive pool of 1,457 applicants by a jury comprising Ellen Altfest, Julie Curtiss, Deborah Kass, Arthur Simms, and Didier William. The residency provides rent-free studio space for a period of one year, lasting from September 2022 through August 2023, with an open studios weekend to be scheduled for spring 2023.

Last year, the Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program introduced the Philip Pearlstein Painter distinction, named in honor of Philip Pearlstein, a member of the program’s Artist Advisory Committee and co-founder of the Marie Walsh Sharpe Space Program (now known as the Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program) in 1991 alongside Cynthia Carlson, Chuck Close, Janet Fish, Irving Sandler, and Robert Storr. The award identifies an outstanding representational painter and ensures that a non-abstract painter be awarded a residency annually in recognition of Pearlstein’s commitment to referential art. This year’s recipient is David Atkin, a painter whose contemporary portraiture engages the themes and precedents of Western painting.

The Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program also announced Arthur Simms as the recipient of the 2022 Irving Sandler Prize. Founded in 2019, the $2,500 prize is awarded annually to program alumni who share Irving’s concern for the “intentions, visions, and experiences” of artists.

“We’re thrilled to recognize David Atkins as this year’s Philip Pearlstien Painter. Atkins’ remarkable and tender portraits are evidence of his dedication to the figure.” said Kate Gavriel, Director of the Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program. “We’re honored to recognize Arthur Simms with this year’s Irving Sandler Prize, who exemplifies Irving’s generosity of spirit for his students and fellow artists.”

The Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program awards rent-free non-living studio space to 17 visual artists for year-long residencies in DUMBO, Brooklyn. Developed for artists, by artists in 1991, its mission is to provide working studio space and community for artists. The program was renamed in 2014 in order to honor the legacy of Marie Walsh Sharpe and reflect the commitment of the Walentas Family Foundation as stewards of the program. In July 2020, Jane Walentas, who championed and oversaw the program’s stewardship by the Walentas Family Foundation, passed away. She was deeply dedicated to the program’s mission of supporting working artists, and her legacy continues through the hundreds of Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program alumni and all those to come. Artists interested in applying for next year’s residency should visit

Shown below are the studio spaces the artists are using, followed by a complete list of the 2022-2023 Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program awardees.

Photos Courtesy of Brad Ogbonna

2022-2023 Awardees:

aricoco (Ari Tabei)
aricoco (Ari Tabei) is an interdisciplinary visual artist based in NYC who was born and raised in Tokyo. In aricoco’s most recent solo exhibition at ChaShaMa space as a culmination of 3-month Immigrant Artist Fellowship, she showed both of her new and old works. In 2018, supported by Franklin Furnace Fund, aricoco presented a performance project and an installation piece at La MaMa Galleria. She was awarded the LMCC Creative Engagement Fund in 2020. In 2021, she received New York City Artist Corps Grant to continue working on her socially-engaged collaborative project PIPORNOT. She received M.F.A. in sculpture and video performance art from the University of Connecticut in 2007.

David Atkin
David Atkin’s figure paintings focus on internal states of mind and dreamlike moments that inform, distract from, and solidify particular meanings. Atkin paints people as a meditation on their internal lives and as a reconciliation of the artist with the one in the picture through invention and identification. While his figures exist in contemporary settings their narrative elements are immersed in a dialogue with great themes and precedents in Western Painting. Atkin recontextualizes these connections in an attempt to reveal that we are, in all our moments, more than who we are.

Jeane Cohen
Jeane Cohen is an artist based in New York City. Her paintings are charged with immediacy and vitality. They record her process of integrating perceptions, imaginal experiences and emotions into the picture plane. Cohen has received grants from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation and the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation, while also winning first place in the Yeck Young Painters Competition. Cohen has exhibited at Miami University, The Center for Maine Contemporary Art, Slag Gallery, Julius Caesar Gallery, Able Baker Contemporary, Vox Populi, Flying Object and Edgewood College. She received her MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2018, and her BA from Hampshire College in 2011.

Avram Finkelstein
Avram Finkelstein is an artist and writer, and a founding member of the Silence=Death and Gran Fury collectives. His work has been shown at MoMA, the Whitney Museum, the New Museum, the Metropolitan Museum, David Zwirner, the Shed, the Museum of the City of New York, Kunsthal KAdE, and the Migros Museum. He has written and spoken about art, social practice, AIDS activism, LGBTQ cultural production, and the American Left at Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Princeton, and NYU.

Jim Gaylord
Jim Gaylord is a painter and sculptor whose current work is created from cutout paper, assembled into sculptural reliefs. Using elements of formalism, geometry and ornamentation, he constructs spaces that are simultaneously elegant and strange. Gaylord received his MFA from the University of California, Berkeley, and a BA from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. He has exhibited at Deanna Evans Projects, New York, NY; Jeff Bailey Gallery, New York, NY; Gregory Lind Gallery, San Francisco, CA; DC Moore Gallery, New York, NY; AMT Gallery, Milan, Italy; and Pavel Zoubok Gallery, New York, NY.

Yasi Ghanbari
Yasi Ghanbari is an artist, educator, and administrator. Through video, performance, and installation, she explores personal and cultural expressions of privilege, identity, and engagement. Ghanbari has shown her work nationally and internationally at venues such as the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), Centre for Contemporary Arts (Glasgow), NURTUREart (Brooklyn), and The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts (New York). Ghanbari received their BA from Oberlin College and their MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Film, Video, and New Media.

William Kohler
Born in Boston in 1962, Kohler has exhibited internationally including in New York, Chicago, London, Paris, and Charlotte, NC. He is the recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Grant in 2020, and attended the DNA artist residency in Provincetown, MA in 2019. He has taught drawing, painting, and art history at numerous schools including the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, American Academy of Art, and at Indiana University Northwest. He has an MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (’87) and a BFA from The Maryland Institute College of Art (’85).

Naeem Mohaiemen
Naeem Mohaiemen combines film, photography, archive, and essays to research the many forms of utopia-dystopia (families, borders, architecture, and uprisings)– beginning from Bangladesh’s two postcolonial markers (1947, 1971) and then radiating outward to transnational alliances and collisions in the Muslim world after 1945. He is author of Midnight’s Third Child (Nokta, forthcoming) and Prisoners of Shothik Itihash (Kunsthalle Basel, 2014). Naeem is Associate Professor of Visual Arts at Columbia University.

Janice Nowinski
Janice Nowinski paints from snapshots and found photographs, and also transcribes art historical paintings. Her work investigates the interiority of private lives and family scenes. She studied at the New York Studio School of Painting and Sculpture and received her MFA in painting from Yale University (1987). Her work has been exhibited at the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the National Academy Museum, and the American University Museum. She has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Riverside Arts Center Freeark Gallery, Chicago, Illinois; John Davis Gallery, Hudson, New York; and the Washington Studio School Gallery, Washington, D.C. She is the recent recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship (2022).

Maia Cruz Palileo
Influenced by the oral histories of their family’s arrival in the United States from the Philippines, as well as the colonial relationship between the two countries, Maia Cruz Palileo’s paintings infuse these narratives with memory and care. Deep blues and reds evoke a hybrid sense of place and serve as metaphors for migration and the persistence of tacit knowledge in the face of assimilation. Palileo is a recipient of the Nancy Graves Grant, Art Matters Grant, Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters & Sculptors Grant, Jerome Foundation Travel and Study Program Grant, Rema Hort Mann Foundation Emerging Artist Grant, NYFA Painting Fellowship, Joan Mitchell Foundation MFA Award and the Astraea Visual Arts Fund Award. They received an MFA in sculpture from Brooklyn College, City University of New York and BA in Studio Art at Mount Holyoke College, Massachusetts.

Martha Poggioli
Martha Poggioli is an interdisciplinary artist and designer from Brisbane, Australia, based in Chicago. Exploring systems of production and cultures of consumption, she works across sculpture, new media, installation, and performance. Her current research is deeply invested in legacies of intellectual property and industrial design in health, with a focus on contraceptive, prosthetic, and surgical devices. Awards include the Chicago DCASE Individual Artist Grant and the Australia Council for the Arts Career Development Grant. Martha has exhibited at Rhona Hoffman Gallery, RMIT Design Hub, Mütter Museum, Julius Caesar, MaassArt Art Museum, SPACES and Kunstgewerbemuseum, among others. She holds a BFA from Queensland University of Technology and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Erin M. Riley
Erin M. Riley is a tapestry weaver living and working in Brooklyn, NY. Erin received a BFA from Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston, MA, and a MFA from Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, PA both in Fibers. Riley is represented by P.P.O.W Gallery, New York, NY and had solo exhibitions there in 2018 and 2021. Riley is a 2021 United States Artist Fellow, and her work was collected as part of the 2021 Academy of Arts & Letters Purchase Prize.

Grace Sachi Troxell
Grace Sachi Troxell is a sculptor based in New York. In her current work she uses clay and found objects to explore entanglements between organic and inorganic materials, form and deformity, and digestion. She received a BS in Studio Art from Skidmore College, a Post-Graduate certificate in painting from the Glasgow School of Art, and her MFA from Cornell University. She was the recipient of the Warren Mackenzie Advancement Award from the Northern Clay Center.

Kathia St. Hilaire
Kathia St. Hilaire was born and raised in South Florida and currently lives and works in Brooklyn. She received a MFA in Painting/ Printmaking at the Yale School of Art and BFA in Printmaking at the Rhode Island School of Design. She has lived in a predominantly Caribbean and African American area all her life and her experiences growing up with tension between African American and Caribbean subcultures has influenced her to evaluate how her history exists within the black diaspora. In addition to drawing from her own personal experiences, St. Hilaire looks at western art for historical constructions, modalities of thought, and contemporary discourse to inform her practice. Her practice is an exploration into the relationships between materials, locations, and cultural processes.

Jonathan Torres
Torres was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1983, received his BFA in 2009 from the Escuela de Artes Plásticas, San Juan, and his MFA from Brooklyn College in 2012. Nominee of the Joan Mitchell Foundation grant, Torres was selected for the Biennale Mercosul (Brazil 2016), won the Charles G. Shaw Award (NY, 2012) and the Arcos Dorados Award (Argentina, 2011). His work has been featured in Flash Art, Beautiful/Decay, and Art Observed, among other publications.

Margaux Valengin
Valengin examines the boundaries of the abstract and the figurative. Valengin’s paintings depict the persistence of organic forms such as female bodies, flora and fauna under the strictures of capitalist modernity. Through a collage-based process, rooted in both physical and digital archival research, she assembles dreamscapes of the collective unconscious to confront urgent questions of class and gender. Margaux Valengin had solo exhibitions at Y2K Group (New York), SPRING BREAK ART SHOW (New York), Galerie PACT (Paris, France), and Union Gallery (London, UK). Group exhibitions of Valengin’s work include Haras National du Pin (France), Galerie PACT, FUTURE Gallery (Berlin, Germany), Olhão Space (São Paulo, Brasil), SIGNAL and Greenpoint Gallery Terminal (both in New York).

Cherrie Yu
Cherrie Yu is a 27 year old artist born in Xi’an, China. Her films and performances have shown at Chicago Cultural Center, the Museum of Contemporary Photography, the Arts Club of Chicago, Wassaic Project in New York, Mint Museum in Charlotte NC, and Chengdu Times Museum in China. She has been an artist in residence at ACRE Residency, Contemporary Calgary Museum, Monson Arts, Yaddo, McColl center, and a visiting artist at Emory University. She is the awardee of the 2021 Kala Art Institute Media Award Fellowship.

Arthur Simms, Irving Sandler Award Recipient
For over three decades, Arthur Simms has developed a singular approach to assemblage, producing a prolific body of sculpture, as well as dimensional paintings and works on paper. Born in Saint Andrew, Jamaica (1961), Simms was inspired in early childhood by the improvisationally constructed carts he saw transporting goods to and from the market. Simms’ sculptures both capture a breadth of cultural information and reflect the fractured, diffusive effects of the diasporic experience.  Arthur Simms is the recipient of many prestigious grants and awards including The Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award (2007); The American Academy of Arts and Letters (2006); The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship (1999/2000); Prix de Rome (2002/2003); The Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant (1997); and many others. He is Program Director and Professor of the Arts at CUNY, LaGuardia Community College, New York.

Leave a Comment

Leave a Comment