Thanks to support from the Consumers Energy Foundation and an anonymous donor, ACWL-Nuveen is offering its third annual Emerging Artist of Color Residency. We’re excited to provide support for two artists this year instead of just one artist, as was the case in years past. Lorena Flores and Bryce Thompson, both recent graduates of Muskegon High School, are working with Mentor Tatsuki (Taz) Hakoyama who will help guide the artists towards the creation of a body of work that will be exhibited at the ACWL-Nuveen within six months of the completion of the residency.
“I’ve always made art,” says Bryce. “I grew up having the newspapers spread out and playing with watercolors or acrylics.” Lorena also started making art at a young age and her interest recently gained momentum thanks to the encouragement of her art teachers. “In high school, it got more serious because I had more art teachers who were pushing me to do more. It kind of developed more when I had more opportunities.”
Both artists are eager to learn from Taz’s experience. “I’m looking forward to having a new perspective and new eyes on my work,” says Bryce. Lorena says she’s already started to learn from her time with Taz. “Last night we took a class with Taz and I tried oil painting for the first time. That’s something that I’ve been interested in but haven’t done because I haven’t had the opportunity to. I’m also getting some guidance on college because I’m going to college for art and Taz is a professor so he’s kind of giving me what to look forward to and what’s coming up for me."
Both artists have already started to develop their goals for the residency. Bryce plans to put together a four-part story through illustrations while Lorena wants to work on her understanding of color theory. When asked what they enjoy about making art, both Lorena and Bryce express a love of art’s endless possibilities. “There’s really no right or wrong. You can kind of do whatever you want with whatever you can make,” says Lorena. Bryce added that the only restrictions on an artist “are the ones you put on yourself.”