On Tuesday, July 20, Artadia Awardee Vincent Valdez and artist Alisa Sikelianos-Carter gave a glimpse into their  year-long exchange of ideas, concerns, challenges and efforts inside their studio practice and beyond as artistic colleagues and as friends.

Vincent Valdez is a 2019 Houston Artadia Awardee, and is recognized for his monumental portrayal of the contemporary figure. His drawn and painted subjects remark on a universal struggle within various socio-political arenas and eras. He states, “My aim is to incite public remembrance and to impede distorted realities that I witness, like the social amnesia that surrounds me.” Exhibitions and Collections include: The Ford Foundation, The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, MassMOca, The Museum of Fine Arts Houston, The Smithsonian Museum of American Art, and The National Portrait Gallery, among others.
Alisa Sikelianos-Carter asserts that Black features are a manifestation of a sacred and divine technology that has served as a means of survival, both physically and metaphysically. She envisions a cosmically bountiful world that celebrates and pays homage to ancestral majesty, power, and aesthetics. Inspired by traditionally Black hairstyles, Sikelianos-Carter uses web and catalog-sourced images to construct new archetypes. Through her exploration of opulent, luminescent materials she is creating a mythology that is centered on Black resistance and utilizes the body as a sight of alchemy and divinity.