Lakou NOU Ann Pale with 2017 Artists | Recap

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On Friday, February 9, 2018 at FiveMyles Gallery, HCX held an Ann Pale | Café Conversation featuring 2017 Lakou NOU Artists in Residence Diane Exavier, Glenda Lezeau, and Jasmine Plantin. The evening featured a performance by Diane Exavier herself, reading a reflective essay on her project, and a discussion moderated by Véronëque Ignace, Programs Coordinator and former Lakou NOU 2016 artist resident.

Ignace began the conversation with the following introduction :

Who am I? – Programs Coordinator, Dancer, Public Health Practitioner, Former Lakou NOU 2016 Resident in East Flatbush

The Lakou NOU program, now in its third cycle, is a true example of what it means to provide solid opportunities for artists to engage with communities – often times their own – in such a way that embodies reciprocity. Artists learn how to create art, platform issues, and work toward impacting change. Community residents participate in the building of that work, getting exposed to high quality art built with and for them. Often times, the relationships built are durational where artists continue the work they’ve created or expect to be still developing in their Lakou.

Jumping right into it, would you each say your name, who you are as an artist, and what your Lakou NOU 2017 project was?

During the conversation, 2017 Lakou NOU artists answered critical questions about what exactly it means to be an artist in this current sociopolitical moment; how their Lakou NOU 2017 project fit within the broader context of what Brooklyn communities are facing in general and with regards to what Haitian people living in the diaspora are facing; and what the artists have been moved to do since the Lakou NOU residency period.

Following this, Lakou NOU 2018 residents – Madjeen Isaac, Richard Louissaint, Stefani Saintonge, and Sirene Dantor Sainvil – were announced and able to provide short presentations of their work. Isaac featured a slideshow of some her defining paintings. Louissaint screened a video he created to summarize the work of Lakou NOU thus far; it can be found at the bottom of this post. Saintonge showed her short film Seventh Grade. Sainvil performed a short musical set accompanied by drummer Jean Guy Rene. Read about the new cohort here.

The evening was specially catered by Idanoise Joseph, from Ida J. & Co and photos were taken by Claire Judine Saintil. View them here.

2017 Artist Biographies

Diane Exavier creates performance events, public programs, and games that challenge viewers to participate in the active realization of a theater that rejects passive reception. She is also an arts educator with a pedagogy that focuses on creating reflective spaces for young people. Her work has been presented at Westmont College, California State University: Northridge, New Urban Arts (Providence), West Chicago City Museum, and in New York: Bowery Poetry Club, Dixon Place, Independent Curators International, Medialia Gallery, and more. Her most recent play Good Blood was workshopped in residency with the Flea Theater. Her writing appears in Cunjuh Magazine, Daughter Literary Magazine, The Atlas Review, and The Racial Imaginary: Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind.

Glenda Lezeau is a lover of all things Konpa from the keyboard solos to the dance moves. She is a piano player determined to shed a different light on Haiti by sharing the sounds of Haitian music along with its beautiful culture. Her passion for music strengthens and intensifies as she advances a movement of positive, inspirational music that is powerful enough to impact others. With over 20 years of training as a pianist and violist, Glenda has performed at many high profile venues, including Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, The Plaza Hotel and New York’s City Hall. She holds a diploma in Instrumental Music from Fiorella H. Laguardia High School of the Arts and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Connecticut.

Jasmine Plantin was born and raised in New York and has been surrounded by art and design since she was a child. She attended Parsons the New School for Design and Central Saint Martins for her undergraduate degree, where she was nominated for “Designer of the Year” and graduated with a BFA in Apparel Design in 2013. While pursuing her degree she apprenticed with design studios Proenza Schouler, Altuzarra and Phillip Lim until she graduated and began designing menswear for Greenpoint based company Outlier. Her work in textiles and fashion has appeared in international publications, such as Teen Vogue and Oyster Magazine, and has been displayed in Saks Fifth Avenue and at exhibitions in Paris, France.

Meet Past Lakou NOU Artists Here.  

To learn about past Lakou NOU projects, visit our Archives.

About the author:

Veroneque Ignace is a Brooklyn-based Haitian American community arts advocate and public health practitioner. She is the creator of Kriyol Dance! Collective and centers her work on community and individual wellness. Veroneque is an alum of Suny Downstate Medical Center: School of Public Health.

For more of her work: www.veronequeignace.com | instagram.com/_kriyoldance_

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