Artists to Work Grantees

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​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The Artists to Work Program supports the creation and presentation of original, new or in-process artistic work by practicing Phoenix artists.  

For this first round, we received 149 applications for the two-step application process. Only 48 applicants moved to the second step​, and only 21 were recommended funding. The awarded artists will complete a public presentation inside city of Phoenix boundaries that primarily benefits Phoenix residents. ​

 Awarded Artists

Meet the Artists to Work awardees. The 2024 artists will be working on an art project during the year 2024 and will hold a public presentation in January 2025.​​​

​​This collection transitions into artwork that captures, or documents sections of other people’s faces​ by Diana Calderon (2022)​

2024 Cohort

Carla Keaton

Discipline:  Visual and Studio Arts

Bio: Carla Keaton is a fine artist and illustrator, receiving her art degree from Arizona State University. Her work has been shown in galleries across the United States, anthropology magazines, and public art designs for several cities in Arizona. She’s inspired by recording and interpreting visually, stories experienced by human beings globally. ​

Project Description: Carla is in the process of completing her current body of work, titled The Sharecroppers and the Cotton Pickers of the Southwest. The project was inspired by her father’s experience picking cotton in the Mississippi cotton fields, beginning at the early age of six. This collection of large scale triptych paintings are being created from the stories told, during interviews​​​ conducted with individuals, in Arizona and Mississippi who labored in the cotton fields in both regions of the United States. This project aims to successfully document visually, the stories, strength and resilience of these amazing elders in our communities.

Dominique Holley

Discipline:  Performing Arts

IG: @bassisking

Bio: Dominique is someone with a strong dedication to diversity in music and a deep passion for chamber music. He enjoys exploring how his traditional training as a classical musician can be used a spring board to dive into a wide range of different musical genres and explore the place his own cultural inheritance has within them. ​

Project Description
This project will involve Dominique recording his first studio album as a band leader. The music of this album will primarily feature pieces by black composers whose works not only blur the line between classical music and other genres but also allow room for improvisation and freedom of expression from the performers. The album will feature Dominique Holley on clarinet, and bass clarinet with support from pianist Jeremiah Sweeney.

Esteban Rosales

Discipline: Performing Arts

IG: @licensedputo


Bio: Esteban Rosales is a Mexican-American multidisciplinary performance artist from Phoenix, Arizona. Infatuated by dance performances at 14 years old, he would pursue a BFA in Dance at Arizona State University where he'd discover a passion for dance as a profound art.​ As a performer, his training stems from street forms including locking, vogue femme, house, and popping.​

Fernando Lino

Discipline:  Performing Arts

IG: @Fernando.r.lino​

Bio: Fernando Lino is a dancer, choreographer, and educator from Phoenix, Arizona. His movement experiments with various styles such as salsa, belly dance, flamenco, ballet, contemporary, house, hip hop and shuffle. He currently teaches fitness and tai chi to seniors while working on incorporating breaking into his movement vocabulary. ​

Project Description: My project will create a community-building dance performance inspired by the concept of cypher. A cypher is a dance jam where participants take turns in the center of a circle formed by fellow dancers and onlookers. The intimate, circular gathering embodies a profound philosophy – that we are equals, that we are all connected, and that we all have something to contribute.   The collaboration between dancers and myself will culminate with a final performance which will be shared with the community. A post-performance class will invite the audience to continue their engagement with dance and with each other, further reinforcing the community building of this artistic endeavor.

Gabriel Vinas 

Discipline:Visual and Studio Arts

IG: @gabrielvinasart


​ Bio: Born in Parraga, Cuba, Gabriel is a sculptor whose work blends the anatomical sciences and figurative art with an emphasis on portraiture. His collaboration with scientists around the globe has yielded 3 scientific publications in peer-reviewed journals which work towards the development of reliable methods for anatomically reconstructing ancient humans.​

Project Description: My proposal for the artists to work grant 2024 is for the execution of my piece: "La Piedad" through the attendance of the Digital Stone Residency in Italy. The work is an exploration of the nature of knowledge and the barriers of human understanding. My reimagined version of this iconic sculpture grapples with the nuances of scientific epistemology as a response to five years of collaborative scientific work I produced in my MFA Thesis. It confronts the questions: How do we truly 'know' something? What may stand beyond our grasp? Furthermore, how can we find stillness in accepting incomplete knowledge?

Gustavo Angeles

Discipline: Music

IG: @gangeles_music


Bio: Gustavo Ángeles is a passionate guitarist, singer, songwriter and producer. He can combine a fusion of Latin Rock musical styles, including Flamenco, and Latin American influences in his music.Music has taken Gustavo the world to places like Cuba, Sweden, Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, Puerto Rico, opening for international acts.

Project Description: The project I’d like to make happen is an audio/visual international collaboration. I'll be writing/composing original music using electronic beats mixed with aztec/mayan motives and sounds that I learned. I'll be collaborating with Cuban musicians that will record Afro cuban percussion and Cuban Tres guitar as well, and fusing all of these elements with Flamenco guitar. I will also shoot footage of this process and create a video showcasing the musicians that will be collaborating internationally.

Junior Toltecatl

Discipline: Visual and Studio Arts

IG: @Junior_Toltecatl


Bio: Junior Toltecatl is a self-taught Indigenous artist born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. His work is informed by his culture and traditions. He has transitioned over the years from graffiti and murals, to permanent works on canvas and exhibiting work in galleries.

Project Description: Windows of Wisdom: Indigenous Stories in Stained-Glass, aims to create an art series exploring the complex relationships between the church and Indigenous people throughout history. Each piece will be painted in a stained-glass style, traditionally used in churches to highlight an important person or event. Utilizing this aesthetic with Indigenous stories and imagery disrupts the traditional religious narrative of stained-glass, paying reverence to the stories that were almost lost due to cultural oppression. Some topics the project will touch on include loss of knowledge, creation stories, resilience, and cultural pride. The art series will culminate in an exhibition and celebration.

Liliana Gomez

Discipline: Performing Arts

IG: @lilianalupe and @lilianagomezdance


Bio: Liliana Gomez, a passionate Phoenix-based choreographer, infuses her Mexican Latina experiences into original dances. Her works grace public spaces—galleries, canals, and more—while also enriching universities, high schools, and communities. Her acclaimed production, Caminando, blends dance, music, and migration narratives, captivating audiences from Phoenix and Tempe to Joshua Tree.

Project Description: Funds from this grant will help the development of my next evening length dance show; “Quinceañera” The celebration of a girl's 15th birthday where young women and men have roles as formal damas and chambelanes, to perform special dances. I will research its history, learn traditional waltz, and observe quinceanera dances of the now. Once the research phase is done, I plan on reconstructing the special dances to a large group of professional dancers, removing gender roles, and creating a contemporary version of the dances. I will be collaborating with designers, costume artists and more to premiere the work at a wedding hall.

Mary Fitzgerald

Discipline: Performing Arts


Bio: Mary Fitzgerald is a choreographer, performer, and educator. She has been creating contemporary modern dance choreography, dance films, and socially engaged arts projects in Arizona for over 20 years. Her work has been funded by numerous organizations and has been presented at notable venues in the U.S. and abroad.

Project Description: Remember is a dance film project created by choreographer Mary Fitzgerald, designer Galina Mihaleva, filmmaker Dmitri von Klein, and 3 local dancers. The idea for the film evolved out of Haikeus, a performance installation project that explores our emotional responses to climate change and ecological crises. Using innovative costume design and dance filmmaking techniques, the project will delve into the layered histories (cultural, socio-political, and ecological) of the places we have lived, exploring how we can reimagine our relationship to the natural environment and become better caretakers of our home.

Mary Lucking

Discipline: Visual and Studio Arts



Bio: Mary’s studio work is created using cloisonné: an ancient craft combining melted glass and silver wire. She integrates cloisonné into metal and wood sculptural objects that exist in a world somewhere between toys, jewelry, and sacred objects. Mary also creates public artworks, ranging from large-scale, permanent artworks to temporary interactive installations. Her projects include art incorporated into walking and biking trails, public transit stations, and neighborhood parks throughout Arizona and across the US.

Project Description: My project explores the faith involved in the act of making art, and role of cultural artifacts in our understanding of who we are. I will use a combination of ancient and modern craft techniques to create a series of sculptural vessels. The vessels are electroformed copper over carved wax, and cloisonné enamel—an ancient craft where layers of colored glass are melted into wire designs—is applied over the copper. Using this ancient craft and bringing it into a contemporary art context, I am exploring the connections that artists from different times and places share with one another.

Mehrdad Mirzaie

Discipline: Visual and Studio Arts



Bio: Mehrdad Mirzaie is a multidisciplinary artist from Iran, based in the US, whose work predominantly revolves around the image-based medium with a deep focus on reinterpreting images of the past and the interplay between past and present. His artistic practice has shown an exploration of the power of images as vessels of historical narratives.

Project Description: I aim to create a photo installation as part of an extensive project exploring Iran's contemporary history. This venture aims to deeply investigate the collective memory of the Iranian people. The focal point will be an immersive visual narrative about the victims of the January 8, 2020 tragedy, when an Islamic Republic regime's missile downed a civilian aircraft, claiming 176 lives.

Nita Blum

Discipline: Film



Bio: A filmmaker and faculty member at The Sidney Poitier New American Film School at Arizona State University, Nita Blum boasts a fifteen-year career. During this time, she has built her expertise with renowned organizations like National Geographic, Sundance, and The History Channel, contributing to producing and editing documentary-based content. Passionate about her advocacy, she actively supports women filmmakers and artists, championing their voices and contributions within the industry.

Project Description: <"Fields to Loaves," a documentary, delves into the intricate journey of bread-making, tracing it from farmers' hands to our tables. Focused on the heroes of this local industry—the farmers, artisan bakers, and communities—we honor their role in creating this daily sustenance. Employing an observational filmmaking style, the project aims to vividly capture these individuals, serving as a visual homage to those nurturing our nourishment. This cinematic narrative serves as both an appreciation of their efforts and a meditation on the significance of this everyday staple.

Rebecca Pipkin

Discipline: Multidisciplinary Arts

IG: @pipkincreates


Bio: Rebecca Padilla-Pipkin is a Puerto Rican interdisciplinary visual artist and educator living and working in Phoenix, Arizona. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Art from the University of Oklahoma and a Master of Fine Arts at Arizona State University. After moving to the United States at age 10, she has lived a transient life and is influenced by the many places she has loved. Her work explores ecologies of place through a wide variety of materials and processes that index moments of interaction and connection between the human and more-than-human.  

Project Description: South of the Sky Harbor Airport and adjacent to an industrial park is a borrow pit (a hole created to remove earthen material to be used to fill or construct another location) which unexpectedly evolved into a wetlands, now existing as an accidental habitat. This site provides an avenue to explore our intended and unintended effects as humans in a more-than-human world.Through the creation of natural dyes, sculptural and textile works, and an archive of digital scans, I will develop a site-responsive body of work in collaboration with the ecology of the borrow pit.​

Rembrandt Quiballo

Discipline: Media and Digital Arts


Bio: Rembrandt Quiballo is a visual artist and educator based in Phoenix, Arizona. Quiballo was born in the city of Manila in the Philippines. Social and political unrest would compel his family to leave the country, eventually immigrating to the United States. He received a BFA in Painting/Photography and a BA in Philosophy from the University of Arizona and holds a MFA in Photography from Arizona State University. Through the moving image, his work explores mass media and its effects on social and political history.

Project Description: I propose to create experiential installations that integrate my time-based work with emerging projection mapping technology to foster a critical dialogue about the profound role of art in driving social and political change. My aim is to portray protest and revolution as a universal concept, molded by each society's distinct historical and cultural backgrounds, yet resonating with the innate human longing for freedom, justice, and equality.

Ri Lindegren

Discipline: Multidisciplinary Arts


Bio: Ri Lindegren is a dance and media artist, academic, educator, and DEI advocate. Ri specializes in developing social somatic experiences across movement genres and building interactive media spaces that support play and wellness. Ri opened Dances With Tech LLC, a videography and creative technology consulting company for live performance.

Project Description: This project is a four-part interactive playspace for adults to connect with four core emotions: sadness, anger, joy, and surprise. Each of the four interactive environments are designed to be pop-up and mobile. The project will include a touch-sensitive tunnel full of surprises, reclining seats that help ease sadness, a mini trampoline river that will have you jumping for joy, and a communal screambox to release anger. As participants move through the experience and encounter different structures, objects, and media, they will be encouraged to connect to their bodies and emotions through exploration, rest, reflection, and most of all, play.

Rogelio Juarez

Discipline: Literary Arts


Bio: Rogelio Juarez is a fiction writer from Phoenix Arizona, a recent graduate of Cornell’s MFA program and a MacDowell fellow, and a alumni of VONA/Voices and Tin House Summer Workshop. He’s currently at work on a short story collection and a novel.

Project Description: The State of my Heart – a collection of ten sprawling short stories about the Southwest, Mexican Americans and Mexicans and Indigenous people and whiteness, race/culture/class, embeddedness and complicity, the knots of history and the way people create new futures. Situated on both sides of the border, the collection is a microcosm of the Southwest - of documenting and upending the liminal and brutal truths of living between cultures and empires, mistakes and possibility.

Ruby Morales

Discipline: Dance​



Bio: Ruby Morales is committed to equity, facilitating life-affirming spaces, and cultivating community relationships rooted in reciprocity, trust, and love through artmaking. She's a dance artivist investigating culturally informed teaching methods, circular leadership models, and her relationship with movement as a bgirl and Mexican style cumbia. She's toured with renowned creative Liz Lerman and Yvonne Monotya. She's a company dancer and the Resource Director for CONTRA-TIEMPO and a co-founder of The Pachanga Collective. Ruby is the inaugural recipient of The Association of Performing Arts Professional's Spark for Change award and the 2023 Performing Artist Phoenix Mayor's Arts award (AZ).​​

Project Description: Por Nosotras Comemos is an intimate and powerful 40 min. dance theater piece rooted in maternal ancestry and legacy. Performed by Ruby Morales, her mom Miriam Zavala, and musician Ernie Nuñez they will take you through an evening of storytelling, love, delicious Mexican food, dance, and music. The overall piece embodies Miriam’s multiple transitions from life in Mexico to the U.S., her deep commitment to her children, both of Ruby and Miriam’s roles as eldest daughters in immigrant family homes, the lessons of love Miriam instilled in Ruby, and the powerful work they’ve done to dismantle harmful patriarchal patterns. Through solos and duets Ruby will represent the generational healing it took for her to be who she is today, a free, empowered, Mexican Bgirl, and her mom will represent the labor and love it took for this to become her truth. Using both of their cultural dance knowledge of Cumbia and Ruby’s of Breaking they’ll embody a blend of dance styles– portraying the journey of knowledge and how generations learn, grow, and surpass dreams their ancestors weren’t allowed to imagine. This work is 1 of a 4-dance legacy series that honors the divine feminine in Ruby’s maternal matriarch and the 4 generations of women that are alive today​.

Russ Kazmierczak Jr.

Discipline: Multidisciplinary Arts



Bio: Russ Kazmierczak Jr. is a cartoonist, multi-modal writer, and performer. He uses his diverse skills to inspire and teach others. He leads comic book making workshops for teens at the Phoenix Art Museum, libraries and bookstores. Since 2010, he has published Amazing Arizona Comics, which explores Arizona news and culture.

Project Description: My team is creating the graphic novella Dog Tales, a sequel and spinoff of Dog Years. Unlike the singular narrative of the original, Dog Tales will be an anthology graphic novella with three parts, though it will continue the tradition of depicting inmates as anthropomorphic dogs. The first parts expands the original story, following the main character’s struggles after his release from prison. It will center structural impediments ex-convicts face while trying to reintegrate. The second part explores my experience helping prisoners and ex-prisoners turn their stories into comics. The third part collects minicomics created by inmates at workshops.

Samaria Winans

Discipline: Visual and Studio Arts

IG:@samwfilm​ and @bauhausbashas

Bio: Samaria Winans is Latinx photographer born & raised in Phoenix, Arizona. Photography has allowed Samaria to control the narrative of themselves and the communities that make up their identity. Samaria’s photography takes memories drenched in a grim reality and contrasts them with welcoming customs and decor from Latino culture that help them to heal and resolve conflicts that traveled with them outside of West Phoenix.

Project Description: I will be photographing numerous individuals & families of several trailer parks in Phoenix to encapsulate their trailer park lifestyle. The series of pictures I’ll capture will be portraits of the community members. Additionally, the interior and exterior of their mobile homes will be photographed to document the differences of each individual or family in the community. I’ll also capture each member carrying out a couple of their most important daily activities as naturally as possible. All my images captured will be printed as large photos to be displayed for the public’s viewing.

Shomit Barua

Discipline: Intermedia: Installation + Performance, TechArt


Bio: Shomit Barua is an intermedia artist specializing in eco+bioacoustics, responsive environments, and emergent narratives. Combining everyday technologies with esoteric programming languages, he blurs the line between installation and performance, weaving together sound, object, and image. Digital and analog techniques are fused to investigate his principle subject: the presence of the mind and body in a physical space.

Project Description: SCATR is a vertically-integrated, cloud-based platform for the deployment of distributed, location-aware, immersive, audiovisual experiences. This platform can be controlled by any device that can access the internet (cellphone, tablet, laptop) and can be experienced on any phone without downloading an app. SCATR is a web-based application that is a critique of the technologies associated with networks and surveillance; processes that could be used to infringe one's privacy are repurposed and appropriated for creative audiovisual texturing and spatialization.

Tiesha Harrison

Discipline: Visual and Studio Arts


Bio: Tiesha Harrison is a Storytelling Visual Artist who uses art to engage, educate, uplift and transform the community. She facilitates healing art workshops and experiences to bring awareness to important topics like mental health and domestic violence. Her purpose is to use art to connect with the trauma-informed community.

Project Description: Sunflower Soul Project is an art immersive experience that will bring 27 families together to share stories who lost a loved one to gun and/or domestic violence. My sister, Delores Smith was 27 years old when she was murdered on December 19, 2021.This project will serve as a healing experience for grieving families and be a resource to express raw emotions through storytelling, community-building, collaboration and most importantly ART. I will collaborate and connect through trauma-informed activities with the families to create mixed media collage portraits in celebration of their loved ones. Healing through Art.

2023 Cohort

alejandro acierto

Photo credit:  Colleen Keihm​
Discipline:  Visual art (or interdisciplinary artist)

alejandro t. acierto is an artist, musician, and curator whose work is largely informed by legacies of colonialism found within human relationships to technology and material cultures. Working within and across expanded forms of documentary, new media, creative scholarship, and sound, his works have been shown internationally at the Havana Biennial in Matanzas, Cuba, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco), ISSUE (NYC), Radialsystem (Berlin), and MCA Chicago, among others. He is Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Arts and Performance at Arizona State University, New College located on ceded territories of the Akimel O’odham and Pee Posh peoples.

Jada Renée Allen

Photo credit:Jada Renée Allen
Discipline: Literary arts and multidisciplinary arts


Jada Renée Allen is a writer, educator, and two-headed Black girl from Chicago, Illinois. A 2022 92Y Discovery Poetry Contest winner, she has received fellowships, scholarships, and support from Tin House, the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop, Community of Writers, and VONA, among others. Her work either appears or is forthcoming in the Academy of American Poets' “Poem-a-Day," Hayden's Ferry Review, Paris Review Daily, Virginia Quarterly Review, Wildness, and elsewhere. She has received grants from the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture and the Arizona Commission on the Arts. Currently, she lives on U.S.-occupied O'odham Jewed, Akimel O'odham, and Hohokam lands.

Diana Calderon

Photo credit: KatieAnn Franklin, 2020
Discipline: Interdisciplinary art


Diana Calderon is an interdisciplinary artist and educator. Her art explores the human condition, ancestral roots (personal history, stories, location), her migrant journey, processes, disrupting traditional instruction and personal filters or patterns. Calderon's pieces can be described as archiving and documenting on abstract books, creating sculptural installations, performance art, sometimes murals. She holds a BFA in intermedia plus one year and summer-mester towards an MFA. Calderon is a former charter school administrator currently teaching creative workshops for all stages and coaching developing professionals. Has been featured in Southwest Contemporary Magazine, KJZZ Fronteras Desk & Sounds of The City, ASU State Press,, as well as speaker for Creative Mornings.​

Isaac Caruso

Photo credit:  Kelly Ferry
Discipline: Murals / storytelling for experimentation / innovation


Hello, my name is Isaac Nicholas Caruso. I’m a 34 year old artist and creative director born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. I am currently creating the first picture book ever illustrated entirely with murals. 52 pages of the book are being painted across my home state, all telling one cohesive story. It is a love letter to the Southwest and a book written for the neurodivergent demographic. I hope it will inspire people of all ages who, like me, love to daydream.​

Joshua Castañeda

Photo credit: Isaac Torres
Discipline: Multi-disciplinary


Being inspired by public artwork I began working with artists around me, learning, as well as refining my skills through various mediums. With those lessons I found my artistic voice. I use the world around me to represent a moment in time with small visual icons, connecting moments to a physical tangible object. Today I am currently living and working in Phoenix Arizona using my projects to connect with the community through art.

Raquel Denis


Photo credit: 𝖢𝗁𝗋𝗂𝗌𝗍𝖺𝗅 𝖠𝗇𝗀𝖾𝗅𝗂𝗊𝗎𝖾 𝖯𝖺𝗌𝗁𝖺𝗂𝖺𝗇

Discipline: Music/poetry


Raquel Denis is a singer-songwriter and poet based in Akimel O'otham land. Her heart-centered folk songs range from meditative to visceral and offer raw expressions of grief, worth, forgiveness, defiance and familial love.

Francisco Diaz

Discipline: Upcycle and textile art 


Francisco Diaz is a slow fashion sewist and founder of Thems. - a queer collective aimed at amplifying queer creativity in Phoenix and beyond.

Estrella Esquilín

Photo credit: Zhane'l Speaks
Discipline: Multi-disciplinary visual art


Estrella Esquilín (she/her) is a multi-disciplinary visual artist, arts administrator, and independent cultural strategist with experience working to support arts workers within large and small universities, local government and nonprofit organizations. Esquilín is intuitively inspired by spatial justice with a curiosity for how people interact with, relate to, and impact each other in built and natural environments. She embeds her values of integrity, compassion, candor, community, service and creativity into her studio practice, administrative processes and creative professional development to narrow gaps of inequity within the arts and culture sector. She holds a Master of Fine Art degree in Interdisciplinary Studio Art from Arizona State University and a Bachelor of Fine Art in Printmaking from Kansas City Art Institute.

Fausto Fernandez

Photo credit: Michael Woodall
Discipline: Mixed media paintings and site-specific public art


Fausto Fernandez was born in El Paso, Texas, and grew up in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, he currently lives in Phoenix Arizona. His artworks include a variety of paintings, public art, and community engagement projects.

Fernandez ideas develop from questioning his upbringing and are inspired by communities and societies that expand beyond his cultural identity. He has created artworks inspired by mathematical equations, technology, preservation of culture and mythology.

In Arizona, his paintings are included in the collection of The Heard Museum, Phoenix Art Museum and Tucson Museum of Art. Public art works include Scottsdale Public Art Canal Convergence; the terrazzo floor at The Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport; a sculpture at Helios Educational Foundation; and a sculpture for the Alamar park in Avondale.

Aileen Frick


Discipline: Mixed media


Aileen Frick is a 2D mixed media collage artist that creates art using torn pieces of magazines and handmade paper, overlaid with acrylic, and oil paints. The influence of impressionism is reflected in the use of paper which at a distance mimic palette knife. She allows her intuition to guide the selection of printed materials for collage. Close up, the collage pieces become more focused, and the viewer discovers the messages that are included in the imagery. The result weaves in words and images that tell a story whose meaning reflects the intention of the final piece.

Erin Kong


Photo credit: Ceci Cruz
Discipline: Culture worker - music, poetry, performance


Erin Kong is a diasporic Korean interdisciplinary culture worker based in so-called phoenix, arizona. Their work explores family mythology, vengeance, and love. Their independent music project, 'DOE', was released in summer 2022 under the name SOOJUNG. Their work is forthcoming in Sonora Review, and they have been featured as a visual artist at Modified Arts. They love boiling-hot soups, crying, and making music. [] or @soojungsoup on Instagram. 

John Lafferty

Photo credit: Criss Robles (IG: @akidnamedcriss)
Discipline: Multi-disciplinary art

Born in Phoenix with Lakota roots, John Lafferty is a multi-disciplinary artist that blends modern design and traditional indigenous motifs via his brand, YEK.

Through fashion and other forms of design, John provides a sense of spiritual protection to all that receive and carry his products. A microcosm and affirmation for the safety of home that is always with us as we step out into the world.
John believes art is where community meets creativity. His constant experimentation and innovation continue to give birth to new styles, designs and ideas, hopefully creating an impact and influencing the following generation.

Charissa Lucille

Photo credit: Josh Loeser
Discipline: Multimedia art


Charissa Lucille is a multimedia artist who earned their BFA in Journalism and Mass Communications from Arizona State University in 2014. They are currently sewing, self publishing, and running Wasted Ink Zine Distro and Paper Jam + Print. Lucille uses textiles, photography, bookmaking and zines to explore their identity and activism as it relates to disability, neurodiversity, and queerness. Their artwork has been exhibited locally at Northlight Gallery, First Studio Gallery, and Raiz Gallery and has been published in Love Quilting Magazine, UPPERCASE Magazine, Bolt Zine, Femme Fotale, among others. Find their work at [].

Gloria Martinez-Granados

Photo credit: Sam Gomez
Discipline: Interdisciplinary art


Born in Guanajuato, Mexico, raised and based in Phoenix, Arizona. Gloria is an interdisciplinary artist creating with indigenous practices, adding a contemporary approach by including printmaking, assemblage, installation and performance to the more traditional arts of beadwork and weaving. Through this process, she develops themes around identity, dreams, place, home and land.

In 2019 she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Printmaking from Arizona State University’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. Martinez-Granados is currently exhibiting at the Phoenix Art Museum from September 2022 till May 2023 as a recipient of the inaugural Sally and Richard Lehmann Emerging Artists Awards Exhibition.

Sean Medlin


Photo Credit: Nina Paz, IG: @ninapazphotography

Discipline: Poetry & Rap


Sean Avery Medlin writes raps, poems, and sometimes essays, while teaching young folks to do the same. Their art questions the limitations of Black masculinity, media representation, and personal narrative. Medlin’s work has been featured in Los Angeles Review of Books, Chicago Tribune, Afropunk, Blavity, and Teen Vogue. 

All of Medlin’s work is available online at []. 808s & Otherworlds: Memories, Remixes, & Mythologies is their debut collection of essays and poetry, available in audio and print everywhere books are sold in the U.S., the U.K., and Canada.

Jessica Palomo

Photo credit: Jeff Chabot
Discipline: Drawing


Jessica Palomo received her BFA in Sculpture from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and her MFA in Drawing from Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ. Her work deals with the grief of losing a loved one, a trauma that can overload and fracture the conscious mind, causing a shattered emotional state. Through abstraction and mark-making, she explores the dynamics of this ruptured reality that place identity and emotion in a liminal, ambiguous space. Her work has been exhibited internationally at the Palazzo Rinaldi in Italy, the Contemporary Art Space in China and locally at the Phoenix Art Museum and the Tucson Museum of Art in Arizona. Jessica Palomo currently lives and works in Phoenix, Arizona, her work is represented by Bentley Gallery.

Christina Ramirez

Photo credit: Christina Ramirez
Discipline: Painting


Christina Ramirez is a process artist interested in the experimentation of paint, mixed media, and sculpture. Her inspiration is taken from Nature and the light of the AZ skies. She received her painting degree from ASU and exhibits in many alternative spaces and galleries in Phoenix. She has received grants from Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture, Arizona Commission on the Arts, Vermont Studio Center and Contemporary Forum, and was included in the New American City exhibition at the Arizona State University Museum. She lives and works in the historic Garfield Neighborhood with her two children and artist-husband, Brian Boner.

Philip Gabriel Steverson

Photo credit: Philip Steverson
Discipline: Multidisciplinary Artist


Philip Gabriel Steverson is a multi-disciplinary artist from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Early signs of creativity presented itself through poetry when he was 10 years old with influence from Langston Hughes. Growing up on the streets of West Philadelphia, Philip experienced more than an average child before the age of fifteen, which matured him faster than his peers. Since his adolescent years, he never allowed his environment, or situation, to influence the paths charted for his future.

By using education, Philip Gabriel honed his artistic practice, experienced different cultures, and built a network of artists that collaborated and supported his future. His growth as a young man is a symbol of hope not only for those following after him, but to himself as he continues to prove his belonging in this world. Philip’s work takes shape through fashion design, poetry, contemporary art and other collaborative outlets. The paintings he creates range from the stigma of institutionalized youths, his religious background, loss, and the highs of being black in America.

Lisa Tolentino

Photo credit: Jill McNamara

Discipline: Multi-disciplinary 


Lisa Tolentino is a conceptual artist, musician and interaction designer in Phoenix. Her work embeds computational and algorithmic processes to create new music, performances, and textile designs that directly innovate on traditional forms from her Filipino heritage.Tolentino co-directs urbanSTEW, a Phoenix-based arts-technology non-profit with award-winning installations commissioned by national and international venues including Phoenix Art and the Heard Museums in Phoenix; Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston-Salem, North Carolina; and the Open Ears Festival in Kitchener, Canada. You can find her performing regularly with music groups Crossing 32nd Street and vocal-electronics duo, Rules of Play. []

Lucretia Torva

Photo credit: Jessica Abril
Discipline: Painting

Lucretia Torva has lived in the “Valley” for 25 years, painting murals from Scottsdale to Chandler, Mesa to Goodyear. She had the good fortune of growing up in Europe, experiencing some well-known highlights of Western Art and Architecture. Upon receiving her MFA, she held a college teaching position for several years at a liberal arts college on the east coast. A circuitous path led her to becoming self employed as an artist in 2000 and she hasn’t looked back. Along with painting for income, she maintains a fine art practice and exhibits her art regularly.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​


Staff Contact

Sarah León Moreno,
Grants and Community Engagement Director,

Schedule virtual meeting​