Artadia is pleased to share our 2020 Artadia Fellows:

As our 2020 Artadia Fellowship comes to a close, we are proud to highlight our incredible 2020 Fellows: Betirri Bengtson, Gao Hang, Veronica Ibargüengoitia, Valentina Jager and Ling-lin Ku.

In 2018, the Artadia Fellowship launched in Houston as a response to the city’s diverse immigrant artist communities. It was designed to foster collaboration and discourse by connecting immigrant artists living and working in Houston with local artists and curators. The Fellows each received $2,500 in unrestricted funds and were paired artist Advisors, chosen by Artadia from its pool of Houston-based Artadia Awardees, to have a series of meetings catered to each Fellow’s specific needs.

Over the last six months, the 2020 Fellows have collaborated with their respective Artadia Advisors to further develop their artistic practice. In a series of virtual meetings, Fellows have engaged in group meetings with all Fellows and Advisors, one-on-one meetings with respective Advisors, and hosted virtual studio visits for the Artadia team, their Artadia Advisor and guest curator Ylinka Barotto, Associate Curator at the Moody Center for the Arts, Rice University.

We’d like to give a special thanks to our 2020 Fellowship Advisors Francis Almendarez, Jillian Conrad, Delilah Montoya, El Franco Lee II, and Karen Navarro; our Fellowship partner Lawndale; our Fellowship Administrator India Lovejoy and our generous Fellowship supporters, The Brown Foundation and the Houston Endowment.

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Betirri Bengtson is internationally recognized primarily by his signature ‘Futbol Series’ paintings depicting bodiless sport figures in motion. Born in Puebla, Mexico, in Houston, Betirri continued his lifelong passion for art and architecture and obtained his Bachelors of Arts in Architecture from the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture and his Bachelors of Fine Arts at the University of Houston. His work ranges from figurative to conceptual, always expressing the essence of an idea or subject. Bengtson has also studied abroad in Castiglion Fiorentino, Italy where he had the opportunity to experience and embrace the grandeur of some of the world’s greatest artists and their culture.

Born in China, Gao Hang is currently a Painting/Drawing Instructor at the University of Houston, represented artist by both Anya Tish Gallery (Houston) and The Second Bedroom gallery (San Francisco). Hang holds a Master of Fine Art degree in Painting/Drawing from University of Houston, and Bachelor of Art degree in Oil Painting from Capital Normal University. Hang’s works have been shown in different major cities in China, US and Korea among galleries and museums.

Veronica Ibargüengoitia works in oil on canvas in different formats, creating images of architectural spaces. Her large-format paintings unfold in layers, which she imagines the viewer entering, step by step, finding pleasure in the conundrum behind each geometric form. Born in Mexico City, Ibargüengoitia is currently in the Block Program of the Glassell School of Arts at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH). She is finishing her Certificate in Sculpture at the MFAH, and recently completed her Certificate in Painting at the MFAH. She has studied with many artists in different disciplines in the U.S. and in Mexico, and her work has been shown in national and international juried shows. She is a member of the Visual Arts Alliance, Houston Arts Alliance and Sociedad Mexicana de Autores de las Artistas Plasticas, Mexico. She holds a BA in Industrial Design from Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City.

Born in Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico, Valentina Jager moved to Houston to study Creative Writing in Spanish. Jager seeks to nourish a visual practice that unfolds in the borders between writing, sculpture making and performance. More than working around a fixed subject, her work explores her interests on the perception of time and space, the ephemeral, and seeking an economy of materials and the use of imagination. Jager works with old technology, ephemeral matter, rumors, dirt or light sensitive materials, wordplay, lyrics, oral narration, and storytelling. Jager’s work has been featured in several exhibitions at key galleries and museums internationally including amongst others the Paul Kasmin Gallery, 515 West 27th Street, and the Lodos Gallery.

Originally from Taiwan, Ling-lin Ku currently lives and works in Houston, receiving her MFA from the University of Texas at Austin in 2019 and BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2016. Ling-lin Ku’s studio practice plays between digital data and tangible materials through digital fabrication, using materials such as food, body parts, and products, yet through proximity, scale, texture, display structures, and material, Ling-lin upends our relationship to the known. The work slips in and out of categorization, creating a new way in which we come to understand object-hood.