Institute of the Arts & Sciences announces inaugural artists in the Coha Nowark Art + Science Residency Program

Left: Imani Jacqueline Brown, photo by Scott Eustis Right: Christine Howard Sandoval

The Institute of the Arts and Sciences (IAS) announces the launch of the Coha Nowark Art + Science Residency Program, generously funded by Peter Coha (Kresge, 78 mathematics) and Vicki Nowark, and the inaugural artists-in-residence: Imani Jacqueline Brown and Christine Howard Sandoval.

The Coha Nowark Art & Science Residency program brings artists and scientists together to innovate creative, social justice-oriented approaches to climate change. Through the three year pilot program, nationally significant artists, selected by University of California, Santa Cruz faculty and IAS staff, are awarded residencies at the IAS. During these residencies, the artists will develop new work in conversation with UC Santa Cruz scientists at the Friedlaender Lab studying the impacts of environmental change on large marine mammals. The residency program provides support for the collaborative conversations and projects which emerge from these partnerships, and the production of new artworks about climate change.

“Vicki and I are happy to be supporting this art + science initiative,” Peter Coha said. “While understanding the specific impacts of climate change on flora, fauna, and environment is important, we also need to consider the interrelations of these impacts across the web of life. When some threads are weakened or severed in the intricate interconnections that weave the fabric of life on Earth, how do the remaining threads and the fabric react to these changes? The IAS Art and Science Pilot Residency Program will enable artists and scientists to consider these shared vulnerabilities.”

For the first year of the program, the IAS has awarded two residencies. Imani Jacqueline Brown is an artist, activist, and architectural researcher from New Orleans, based in London, and Christine Howard Sandoval, an enrolled member of the Chalon Nation in Bakersfield, CA, is an artist and assistant professor of Interdisciplinary Art at Emily Carr University (Vancouver, BC). Both artists explore issues of ecology and the complex histories, including indigenous dispossession, slavery, and extractivism, which have contributed to climate change.

“We are grateful to Peter and Vicki for supporting this new and transformation endeavor,” Dr. Rachel Nelson, director and chief curator of the IAS says. “Bringing these amazing artists into discussion with Ari Friedlaender and other scientists and researchers at UC Santa Cruz  is reflective of our mission at the IAS to support artists and researchers in developing creative approaches to the crucial issues of our time, of which climate change is central. We need imaginative responses to the challenges we are facing in this rapidly changing world, and artists are key to that.”

The artists will visit UC Santa Cruz several times over the course of their residency and will work with the Friedlaender Lab to develop their creative and  research-based approaches to issues impacting focusing on climate resilience and community precarity. The resulting artworks and scientific research will be included in a major, group art + science exhibition at the IAS in Spring 2025.

About the Artists 

Imani Jacqueline Brown     
Imani Jacqueline Brown (b. 1988) is an artist, activist, and architectural researcher from New Orleans, based in London. Her work investigates the ‘continuum of extractivism’, which spans from settler-colonial genocide and slavery to fossil fuel production, gentrification, and police and corporate impunity. In exposing the layers of violence and resistance that form the foundations of US society, she opens up space to imagine paths to ecological reparations.

Imani makes videos and installations, organizes public actions, delivers testimony to organs of the United Nations, occupies billboards, writes polemics, performs lectures, and uses counter-cartographic strategies to map the spatial logics that make geographies, unmake communities, and break Earth’s ecologies. Her work has been presented internationally, including in the US, the UK, Poland, Germany, and the UAE, most recently at the 12th Berlin Biennale. Among other things, she is currently a PhD candidate at Queen Mary, University of London, a research fellow with Forensic Architecture and an associate lecturer in MA Architecture at the Royal College of Arts.          

Christine Howard Sandoval
Christine Howard Sandoval is a multidisciplinary artist who questions the boundaries of representation, access, and habitation, where what is held in the land and what is held within state sponsored archives negotiate shared spaces of meaning.

Howard Sandoval’s work has exhibited nationally and internationally including: The 12th Seoul Mediacity Biennial (Seoul, S. Korea), Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de la Universidad de São Paulo (Brazil), The Contemporary Art Gallery (Vancouver, BC), Oregon Contemporary (Portland, OR), The Museum of Capitalism (Oakland, CA), Designtransfer, Universität der Künste Berlin (Berlin, Germany), El Museo Del Barrio (New York, NY), and Socrates Sculpture Park (Queens, NY). Her work has been the subject of solo museum exhibitions at the ICA San Diego (2021) and Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College (2019).

Howard Sandoval currently lives in the unceded territories of the Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh, and Musqueam First Nations and is an Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Art at Emily Carr University (Vancouver, BC). Howard Sandoval is an enrolled member of the Chalon Nation in Bakersfield, CA.

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About the Institute of the Arts and Sciences
As the keystone public galleries at UC Santa Cruz, the Institute of the Arts and Sciences presents a unique vision for the arts at the forefront of social transformation. Drawing on the resources of a leading research university, the world-class exhibitions at the Institute engage the most critical issues of our time, catalyzing meaningful encounters with the arts and ideas.

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