Fourth AVR Features Sofia Dona, Groana Melendez, Curated by Stamatina Gregory

NEW YORK – The fourth ARCAthens Virtual Residency (AVR) featuring Greek artist Sofia Dona and Bronx artist Groana Melendez, curated by Stamatina Gregory begins Monday, May 3.

ARCAthens developed the AVR program in spring 2020 with the intention to bridge the constraints imposed by the pandemic by offering opportunity and support, inviting a curator to select artists and challenge their isolation, freely discuss their hopes and fears, and engage in a creative and productive inter-continental dialogue during this period of social distancing and dynamic social activism.

The Fellows’ month-long cross-cultural exchange will be posted daily on Instagram, follow their visual conversation @arc_athens. The Fellows would love to hear from you! The conversation is also available on the ARCAthens website, in its archived documentation: https://arcathens.org/about/aa-virtual-residency/arcathens-virtual-residency-4/.

The Residency culminates on Saturday June 5, Noon EST, with a live Zoom conversation which will be open to the public’s participation. The recording will be uploaded to the ARCAthens website as well as the YouTube channel: shorturl.at/ciFIR.

Sofia Dona is an artist and architect. In 2018, she was awarded with the City of Munich Prize for Architecture and in 2015 with the Fulbright scholarship. Her work is exhibited in various spaces such as the Μunicipal Institute of Art and Culture in Tijuana (2019), the Neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst (nGbKin Berlin (2017), the Foundation Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Torinο (2016) and the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Athens (2013). In July 2020, Dona presented the work Macho Sounds/Gender Noise at the Staatsgallerie Stuttgart museum in collaboration with Daphne Dragona. In 2019, she presented her solo exhibition Voyageurs at the Kunstpavillon in Innsbruck, and the site-specific work Applaus at the Munich Central Train Station, in the context of the public art program of the City of Munich. In 2021, Dona is invited to the Bauhaus Residency Dessau. Since 2018, she co-curates the Aphrodite* queer-feminist film festival in Athens. As a member of the Errands group, Dona has participated in exhibitions with projects such as the Epicurean Garden (Matera Cultural Capital, 2019), Summer Ladders (1st Istanbul Design Biennial, 2012) and Transporting Utopia (2nd Athens Biennale, 2009).

Groana Melendez is a lens-based artist whose work explores hybrid identities through self-representation. Raised between New York City and Santo Domingo she holds an MFA in Advanced Photographic Studies from the International Center of Photography-Bard Program. Melendez has participated in group exhibitions in Guadalupe, the Leslie Lohman Museum for Gay and Lesbian Art, and currently at El Museo del Barrio. She has also had solo shows at the New York Public Library, CUNY, and ICP-Bard’s studio in Queens. Melendez works and lives in the Bronx.

Stamatina Gregory is a curator and an art historian, whose work focuses primarily on the interrelationship of contemporary art and politics. She has taught art history, critical theory, and writing at The New School, the School of Visual Arts, the University of Pennsylvania, the Steinhardt School at New York University, and the Sotheby’s MA Program, where she teaches currently. Gregory has organized exhibitions for institutions including The Cooper Union, FLAG Art Foundation, Austrian Cultural Forum, the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, and the Santa Monica Museum of Art. Gregory was the curator of New York photographer and activist Brian Weil’s retrospective at the ICA, Philadelphia, and was the Deputy Curator of the inaugural pavilion of The Bahamas at the 55th Venice Biennale. Gregory is currently the Chief Curator and Director of Programs at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art.

“As a curator that has worked both in and outside institutions for the past fifteen years, I have organized projects across radically different contexts: traveling exhibitions, biennials, educational spaces, virtual spaces, and other sites both visible and marginal, Gregory said. “Wherever projects happen, my practice always centers artists, who do the vital work of reimagining ways of being in the world. Ideally, curating creates a space where we can learn from artists–in ways that are intuitive, participatory, haptic, and unexpected.”

More information about ARCAthens is available online: https://arcathens.org.


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