Koyoltzintli Miranda-Rivadeneira, The mountain I am, Urku ñuka kani

BRIClab 2020/2021 Contemporary Art Cohort artists: Destiny Belgrave | Jasmine Murrell | Koyoltzintli Miranda-Rivadeneira | Lizania Cruz | Sarah Nicolls


Destiny Belgrave, Dreamscapes

Destiny Belgrave explores themes of Blackness and spirituality through paper cutting and mixed media. During her BRIClab residency, Destiny Belgrave created Dreamscapes, a series centered on maternal figures and holy vessels reflecting Black culture through a lens of warmth and wonder. Dreamscapes is a series of blue, black, and white digital illustrations printed on satin fabric and composed with papercut figures. The satin fabric references durags, bonnets, and headscarves, as well as  slumber and rest. Presented in a triptych format reminiscent of church altarpieces of the Italian Renaissance, the work conveys narratives of mysticism and tenderness in conjunction with the iconography of Black motherhood.

Belgrave (she/her) was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. Belgrave’s work has been featured in group exhibitions at Spring Break, Field Projects Gallery, Hashimoto Contemporary, Olympia Gallery, Trestle Projects, and the New Museum, all in New York; John Fonda Gallery, Reginald F. Lewis Museum, and Creative Alliance in Baltimore, Maryland. She has been a resident at AIR Gallery and will be a resident at Smack Mellon in the Fall.





Jasmine Murrell

Jasmine Murrell’s sculptural and video work is deeply tied to the language and memory entrenched within nature and indigenous cosmologies. For the projects created during the BRIClab residency, she traveled to Guatemala to document Indigenous female artists exploring stories of spousal abuse and physical trauma through their theatrical performances. The video work is being created in tandem with work in her studio on large scale mirrored monoliths and immense Black hands covered in soil that emanate from the earth. The performances of resilience by the indigenous women will be projected onto the hands and monoliths, connecting and illuminating these two different forms of survival held within the land.

Murrell (she/her) is a Brooklyn-based visual artist originally from Detroit whose work integrates a wide range of media, among them sculpture, photography, and multidisciplinary installations that work to obscure any identifiable divisions between history and mythology. Murrell’s work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally in venues such as Smack Mellon, Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts, International Center Of Photography, Whitney Museum, and Bronx Museum, all New York, NY; Museum Contemporary Art Chicago, IL; The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Detroit, MI; Art Contemporain Guadeloupe, French Caribbean; Kunstinstituut Melly, Rotterdam, Netherlands; and KARST Gallery, Plymouth, UK.



As part of the 2020 BRIClab Residency, we published a number of personal responses to the artwork created by this year's cohort. Read "Echoing Through Poison" by Semaj Brown, a commissioned essay that responds to Jasmine Murrell's project, here



Koyoltzintli Miranda-Rivadeneira, The Mountain I am Urku ñuka kani

Koyoltzintli Miranda-Rivadeneira is an Ecuadorian artist from Queens, New York investigating Indigenous ways of relating to the land, through photography, video, ceramics and sound. This sets her memory-focused work in motion with her additional background as a curandera, healer and shaman. In The Mountain I am Urku ñuka kani the artist is captured within a multifaceted exchange between herself and the land, achieving levels of intimacy as both a creator and a subject, an intimacy that is often withheld through the Westernized lens of photography and video’s colonial bias. In developing these images: emotion, language, knowledge are newly identified within the visually stitched and molded symbols and iconographies of the land and body

Koyoltzintli Miranda-Rivadeneira (she/her) has exhibited in the United Nations, Aperture Foundation, both NY; the National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC; and the Photographic Museum of Humanity. She has been an artist in residence in the US, France, and Italy and has taught at CalArts, SVA, ICP, and CUNY. Miranda-Rivadeneira is a recipient of multiple awards and fellowships including the NYFA Fellowship, the IA grant by the Queens Council of the Arts, and the Photographic Fellowship at the Musee du Quai Branly in Paris. Her first monograph Other Stories was published in 2017 by Autograph ABP, in the fall of 2020, her work was featured in the Native issue of Aperture Magazine (no. 240), and her work was included in the book Latinx Photography in the United States by Elizabeth Ferrer published in January of 2021.





Lizania Cruz, Investigation of the Dominican Racial Imaginary

Dominican artist Lizania Cruz, participatory artist and designer, centers her practice around migration and belonging, employing various methods of research and image-making. Her project during BRIClab, Investigation of the Dominican Racial Imaginary involves the examination of both national and personal archives, as well as collections of oral histories and testimonies serving as evidence to draw traceable links between racial tension within the island of Hispañola (Dominican Republic/Haiti) and a racial imaginary for the land that has been actively repressed via law, policy and general socio-political rhetoric. Cruz’s investigation moves away from a linear treatment of history; highlighting a multi perspective approach to ways of seeing within the context of time, where the past, present and future are acknowledged as one. Finally, through printmaking techniques such as etching, photolithography, and silkscreen, as well as photocopies of documents and images pinned to a “murder wall”, the installation of Investigation of the Dominican Racial Imaginary presents artworks like a crime investigation that ultimately performs as evidence for the cultural arguments she is making.

Cruz (she/her) has exhibited at Cue Art Foundation, El Museo del Barrio, Jenkin Johnsons Project Gallery, The Highline Chelsea, Bronx Art Space, and Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop, Recess, all NY; VisArts in Rockville, MD; Arlington Arts Center in Arlington, VA; The August Wilson Center in Pittsburgh, PA; Project for Empty Space in Newark, NJ; Southern Exposure and CTRL+SHFT Gallery in Los Angeles, CA; Supplement Projects, Miami Beach Art Fair, ArtCenter South Florida, all in Miami, FL; Sindicato and ASR Galería de Arte Contemporáneo in the Dominican Republic. Additionally, Cruz is the recipient of prestigious artist grants, residencies and awards, among them the Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop, Stoneleaf Retreat Residency, IdeaCity:New Museum, Design Trust for Public Space Fellowship, and The Laundromat Project.





Sarah Nicolls, Works on Water Series

Sarah Nicholls publishes editions of informational pamphlets printed from a moveable metal type and hand carved block prints. During her BRIClab residency, Sarah Nicholls is creating Works on Water Series documenting the South Brooklyn coastline on a map inspired by Henry David Thoreau’s large-scale scroll map of the Concord River from 1859. Combining hand papermaking with visual narrative and video documentation, Nicholls is conducting walking tour interviews with botanists and historians from the community and maps the natural environment that is often invisible or unseen because of its location under bridges or located in an industrial zone. Twinned with these invisible spaces are the histories and stories from South Brooklyn are especially personal to Nicholls, whose relatives worked in the area as merchants and factory workers.

Nicholls (she/her) lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Nicholls’ work is in collections of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, Brooklyn Museum, and Columbia University, all New York, NY. It has been exhibited at Guttenberg Arts, NJ; Fountain Gallery, NY; and the New York Art Book Fair at MoMA PS1. She has also participated in residencies at the Center for Book Arts, NY; Chicago Center for Book and Paper Arts, IL; and Guttenberg Arts, Guttenberg, NJ. She currently teaches at the Pratt Institute and Parsons School of Design.