Four are named first Mellon Arts Non-Resident Practitioner Fellows at CCSRE

The inaugural 2021 Mellon Arts Non-Resident Practitioner Fellowship cohort at the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity (CCSRE) is an interdisciplinary collective of four visual activists of color who work in multiple mediums – including film, poetry, photography and archival materials – to engage with race, ethnicity and indigeneity. Their projects tell stories of fortitude in the face of trauma and demonstrate important connections between individual and community experiences, histories and healing.

From top left, Latipa, cai thomas, Sandra de la Loza and Mary Valverde are 2021 CCSRE Mellon Arts Fellows. (Images courtesy CCSRE)

The four CCSRE Mellon Arts Fellows are Sandra de la Loza, Latipa, cai thomas and Mary Valverde. They will be a part of the Stanford community throughout the spring quarter.

CCSRE is organizing programs to present the artists’ projects during this quarter and in the fall. A virtual showcase with all four Mellon Arts Fellows will be June 11. Details of the event will be forthcoming.

“Each of these brilliant artists attends to the transformation of the environment from an indigenous perspective, allowing us to engage the world anew and understand that racial matter imbues every space with meaning,” said JENNIFER DEVERE BRODY, director of CCSRE. “We look forward to sharing the artists’ projects with the Stanford community in the coming months.”

CCSRE’s Mellon Arts Practitioner Fellowship is part of the Centering Race Consortium, a collaboration between race-focused centers at Brown, Chicago, Stanford and Yale and supported by the Mellon Foundation.

The artists and their projects are:

Sandra de la Loza is a Los Angeles artist who investigates underlying power dynamics embedded in social space through multi-media installations. Her fellowship project, Our Past is Our Future: Archival Glimpses of Abolitionist Futures, explores the reclamation of three sites in the L.A. area that were formerly prisons.

Latipa (born Michelle Dizon) explores memory to reflect on historical dispossession and migration. In the wake of the killing of six women of Asian descent in Atlanta last month, Latipa is writing a book, A Refractive Index of Femicide, centering on Asian femmes and the intergenerational passage of colonial gender violence.

cai thomas is an observational documentary filmmaker and tells stories about Black youth and elders at the intersection of location, self-determination and identity. Her film project, Change the Name, tells the story of a Chicago neighborhood, which organized to change the name of a park honoring a slave owner. The protagonists are young Black freedom fighters and the community that builds around them.

Mary Valverde is an interdisciplinary artist based in New York. During her fellowship with CCSRE, she is creating a “Huaca” installation as an addition to a series inspired by pre-Columbian designs and motifs inside Huaca structures. A Huaca is an object that represents something revered such as a monument or a natural location.

Read the full article on Stanford Today.