New Project Studio artists Shani Shih and Michelle Chen present In Our Eyes, an interactive workshop series centered on the power of the arts to express identity, values, and personal/collective histories and visions. Artists will lead participants in reflection on the stories that shape who we are and who we are becoming, and guide participants in the use of visual language to tell stories.
For the second installment of this series, New Project Studio artists partner with VA grassroots organization NAKASEC for a special session for young adults. Participants will take part in an interactive painting/multimedia arts activity that explores individual and collective experiences of erasure and invisibility.
Sunday, September 9
3 pm – 4:30 pm
In partnership with National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC)
The workshop is FREE but limited spaces are available.
The National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC) is a grassroots organization that works with Korean and Asian American communities to achieve social, economic, and racial justice. In Annandale and wider Fairfax county, NAKASEC works closely with community members who are low-income, undocumented, limited English proficient, recent immigrants, and youth, women and seniors. Their work and services are centered around immigrant rights, civic engagement, and parent/youth organizing.
About Shani Shih
Shani Shih is a multidisciplinary visual artist in Washington DC. Her personal artwork speaks at a visceral level; it features bold linework, gritty textures, and expressive human figures intertwined with harsh industrial structures, and represents everyday social and bodily experience in the stratified landscapes of the modern world. Through her creations, she aims to communicate a shared experience of suffering and endurance, as well as everlasting love and hope – providing comfort, strength, and acknowledgement to all.
Shani is also dedicated to supporting communities in need through public art, teaching and community arts, with a focus on serving underrepresented Asian Pacific American communities. During the 2016 primaries, Shani co-curated Bern the System!, a street art showcase that featured 70+ regional artists and uplifted messages of social change. She then served as a lead organizer for a four-city mural campaign centering the message of the indigenous-led Water is Life movement—which led to the 2017 founding of the 411 Collective, a graffiti/street art collective that supports local and national community advocacy initiatives with public art. In 2018, with the help of 1882 Foundation/Chinese American Citizens Alliance, she founded the Chinatown Art Studio, a youth art space servicing Asian Pacific American youth through multimedia art instruction and creative empowerment programming.
About Michelle Chen
About the New Project Studio
This community-focused arts incubator space inside the Torpedo Factory Art Center offers a short-term location to test new program ideas, spotlight underrepresented voices, and enhance community engagement. Projects will rotate on a regular basis and are considered based on the following goals:
- Support new creative collaborations with neighboring organizations and partners
- Strengthen the connection between our resident artists and the greater creative community
- Provide opportunities for new audiences to engage with our building and artists
- Inspire the next generation of artists, innovators, arts supporters, and diverse voices