Lauren Woods is a conceptual artist whose hybrid media projects—film, video and sound installations, public interventions and site-specific work—engage history as a lens by which to view the socio-politics of the present. Challenging the tradition of documentary/ethnography as objective, she creates ethno-fictive documents that investigate invisible dynamics in society, remixing memory and imagining other possibilities. She also explores how traditional monument-making can be translated into new contemporary models of commemoration, substituting the traditional marble and granite for new media. Recently, Woods unveiled Drinking Fountain #1, a new media monument to the American civil rights movement, past and present activists/organizers, and the spirit of resistance, located underneath the remnants of a recently rediscovered Jim Crow “White Only” sign. Part sculpture, part intervention, located in the Dallas County Records Building in Dallas, Texas, the installation is part of the larger public artwork, A Dallas Drinking Fountain Project.
Born in Kansas City, Mo. and raised in Texas, Woods holds a B.A. in radio, television and film and a B.A. in Spanish with a sociology minor from the University of North Texas. In 2006, she received her Master of Fine Arts from the San Francisco Art Institute. Her work has been exhibited throughout the United States and internationally, including Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Dallas and Miami, as well as Puerto Rico, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Mali and France. She has been the recipient of grants and awards from numerous institutions including the Creative Capital Foundation, The Tribeca Film Institute, College Art Association, Alliance of Artists Communities and The San Francisco Foundation.
Amber Bemak teaches filmmaking at Southern Methodist University, and her creative work is based in experimental and documentary film, as well as performance art. Amber’s work focuses on themes of Buddhist culture, performative explorations of the body in relation to greater political systems, and cross-cultural encounters in the context of globalization. Her feature and short films have played in numerous festivals internationally, and have been seen at venues including the Brooklyn Museum’s Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, SculptureCenter, and Oberhausen Film Festival. She has taught film theory and practice in India, Nepal, Kenya, Mexico, and the United States.
Jen Rose, a native of a quirky town in west Texas, has always found ways to entertain herself through creativity and small-town capers. In 1996, Jen moved to Denton to finish her BFA and pursue an MFA in Ceramics. Jen is an art activist at heart and each body of work has roots in social commentary. Her most public works are The Blood of Heroes Never Dies which raised over $26,000 for a veterans charity and In You We Trust, a collaborative project with Marian Lefeld which raises awareness of human trafficking of minors in Dallas and the United States. In addition to her active exhibition schedule, Jen is a Professor of Art and Design at Richland College.
Giovanni Valderas is a native of Dallas and is the Assistant Gallery Director at Kirk Hopper Fine Art. He also served as an appointee by Dallas City Council as Vice Chair of the Cultural Affairs Commission. Previously, he was the Gallery Director at Mountain View College. Valderas graduated from the College of Visual Arts & Design at the University of North Texas with a Master of Fine Arts in Drawing & Painting. He has taught several painting and drawing courses at the University of North Texas, Richland, and Mountain View College. He is a former member of 500x gallery, one of the oldest co-op galleries in Texas. His work has been featured in the 2013 Texas Biennial, New American Paintings Magazine (issues #108 and #132), and Impossible Geometries: Curated works by Lauren Haynes at Field Projects in New York City. In addition, Valderas recently received a micro-grant from the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas for his guerrilla site-specific project. Most recently, Valderas was reappointed to the City of Dallas, Cultural Affairs Commission to serve under Councilman Omar Narvaez.
Nadia Granados is originally from Colombia and currently based in Mexico City. Her work explores the relationships between traditional pornography and violence and is both performative and technological, art and activism, and a mix of cabaret, intervention, and streaming video. In all of her work, she uses her body to detonate, opening up new pathways of action and shifting consciences. Among the many awards she has received are the Franklin Furnace Fund, the 3rd Visual Arts Biennial Bogotá Prize, and the FONCA award for Colombia-Mexico artist residencies. Her work has been presented in Canadá, Venezuela, Spain, Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, Berlín, Ecuador, Argentina, Perú, the United States, Mexico, Korea, Brazil, and Colombia.