Emily Areta


MLE is a sound artist, DJ, producer, cultural historian and educator from Southwest Houston. At the core of her work is the belief that art has the power to heal and transform personal lives and communities. As a DJ and sound artist, she creates site specific healing sound installations that serve to activate collective movement and explore sonics that traverse genre and time period. Her sonic profile centers Afro-Caribbean and Afro-diasporic sounds that draw from her Panamanian heritage, upbringing in Texas, and curiosity to explore diasporic connections in music.

Piero Brignole


I’m a Peruvian photographer. I moved to the USA 4 years ago and I’ve lived in different cities and states of mind and territory. I hasn’t been always easy. I’m glad I had a camera with me. Time, practice and my own evolution have showed me that this art i as a healing and powerful one. Going to the photographer, I think, should be like going to the dentist or the barber shop where you go when you have a need. In this particular case, the need to know what dreams are you made of.

Joseph Bui


Joseph Bui (he/him) is a Houston-based editorial, documentary, and portrait photographer. Identifying as Vietnamese-American, he developed an interest in storytelling on topics of relationships between people, community, identity, culture, and the theme of “home.”

As an active listener and observer, he explores the strengths and vulnerabilities of the topics he works with, as well as their relationship to the environment they exist in. His portraiture work is informed by discovering people’s personalities and perspectives, both on an individual level and through themes that connect them. This has led him to telling the stories of the Queer Community in Waterville, Maine, and most recently his own family in Houston, Texas through his photo book and series, “I Love You. I Miss You. Have A Good Day.”

Celia Butler


Celia Butler is a multidisciplinary artist utilizing materials and techniques from fine art, craft, and culinary disciplines. She received an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan in 2011 and a BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute in Kansas City, Missouri in 2007. Before moving to Houston, Celia lived in Brooklyn, New York working in the textile design and production industry. She has participated in artist residencies at the Houston Center For Contemporary Craft and The Wassaic Project. Celia has received awards such as the Juror’s Award from Lawndale’s The Big Show, the Creative Promise Award from the Surface Design Association, and was a finalist for the Mercedes-Benz Emerging Artist Award.

Vernon Caldera


I am a multi-disciplinary artist interested in the repetition of patterns in nature both on a physical and conceptual level. I am heavily inspired by nature and all of its endless combination of patterns. I like to explore where glossy meets organic by creating different textures in the same painting, collage, interior spaces, or terrariums. I make narrative-driven work influenced by my time growing up in Mexico, Nicaragua and Houston, as well as my travels. My characters can include live plants, photographs, illustrations, and drawing from memories.

Catalina Calderon



Sola Cadoso


Ṣola, pronounced Sho-la, is a mixed media artist based in Houston, TX. Her art pays homage to her Nigerian roots and American experiences by using West African fabrics and Yoruba Adire symbols to tell modern stories. In her work, she reflects the immense beauty in the confusion, celebration, and vulnerability we feel when we start to make life choices for ourselves by stepping off the paths that have been planned for us. With her art, she takes items and ideas that have been used as labels and barriers in her life and redefines them to make them her own.

Jennifer Claussen


Celebrated Conroe Art League Member and Montgomery County Artist, Jennifer Claussen, creates sculptures that are a statement on humankind’s relationship to nature. As an eco-artist, she salvages materials from her nature-filled adventures and transforms them into art with glass, ceramic, acrylic, and metals to highlight their color, texture, and patterns.

Jennifer is hopeful that the artwork she creates will inspire the preservation of local natural spaces.

Jessica Elaine Ellison


Jessica Elaine Ellison is a dramaturg, theatre artist, and theatre scholar working within the realms of production dramaturgy and new play development as a collaborator and playwright. Their work is inspired by their own lived experiences as a black queer individual and their background as an anthropologist. They create theatre for other black queer folx and work with emerging theatre artists who have been historically pushed out of theatrical spaces. In doing so, they build upon the work of many black queer artists who came before them in defining and fully realizing a new theatrical culture; one that is both black and queer.

Jorge Galvan


Jorge Galván Flores is a queer Latinx visual artist whose work explores the complex intersections of identity and displacement, particularly in relation to questions of immigration, assimilation and labor. Through the use of traditional media, they aim to create works that are both visually stunning and thought-provoking through the use of an exuberant palette of color and a playful, often irreverent approach to materials and form. His work has been funded by organizations such as the Houston Arts Alliance, Puffin Foundation, Rice Design Alliance, University of Houston and Wichita State University. His latest project, Malditos Caramelos, is a fair trade candy company that works with rural goat farmers in Hidalgo, Coahuila to produce goat milk caramels and other regional products. 

Eddie "Inspire" Garcia


Inspire, aka Eddie Garcia, is a multidisciplinary artist, concert, festival and event producer. His artistic career spans theater, dance, music, photography, videography, murals, writing, and spoken word poetry, along with being a singer, drummer and lead dancer for his native tribal nation. He strives to inspire people to transform the world into a place that is generous, equitable, and non-violent. His native heritage guides him to persuade audiences to respect and protect our natural habitats for our Children and our next generations.

Inspire is currently seeking grants, fellowships, and ethical patrons for funding to launch his multidisciplinary production ventures, which combine his joy in bringing various art forms and artists together with his passion to educate and inspire Humxn Beings to more positive actions.

Hansini Krishna


Hansini known by her stage name Hansgurl is a classically trained coloratura soprano, and a hip-hop and R&B singer-songwriter. She’s a Chicagoland native who is a Houston transplant as of 2019 who enjoys a wide array outside of music including playing the piano, edm, acting, and modeling.

Brittainy Lauback


Brittainy Lauback received her BFA from University of New Mexico and her MFA from University of Georgia. She has recently shown at the Ogden Museum of Art, Georgia Museum of Art, Bo Bartlett Center, LaGrange Museum of Art, and many others . She currently lives and works in Houston, Texas.

Kenyatha V. Loftis


I am K. Ellie Mae, a social scientist and interdisciplinary social practice artist. I weave together formal and informal learning about politics, public policy, education, identity, and trauma, disaster, & distress. Integrating facilitated group critical thinking, data collection & analysis, music, literature, and craft, I create tools for communal sharing, reflection, and transformation. My culminating productions are interactive “moments” in which multi-generational, multi-interest, and/or multicultural audiences explore, embrace, and execute their visions of excellence.

Christina Macal


Christina Macal is a multimedia artist living and working in Houston. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 2011.

Professionally she utilizes her attention to detail and has worked in the archives field, where she photographed many significant objects – from rare 19th-century furniture to elaborate wigs. She enjoys learning new technical skills and is currently working in the video/photo production field as a photographer, producer, and video editor.

Exhibition venues include the Sojourn Studio (where she served as co-director after her residency), Bill’s Junk, Matchbox Gallery at Rice University, and Box13 ArtSpace.

Caroline Z. Marcos


Caroline Z. Marcos is a mom of two (ages 10&7) and a Mixed Media artist who makes “soul-scapes” surreal landscapes that express her mind, heart, and spirit and her response to nature. She’s been an artist since age ten and she has a bachelor’s degree in Studio Art. She was born in Alexandria Egypt, raised in Calif, and moved to Texas in 2007. She currently lives in the Northwest area of Houston.

I make mixed media paintings with acrylic, collage, oil stick, found objects, cold wax and sometimes encaustic. They have many layers and textures. I call them ‘soulscapes.’ As a former art therapist my work is informed by the healing power of Art. I play in the studio with the various materials with curiosity to problem solve whatever feelings or life issues at present. The resolve is the painting, a psychological topography moving from despair to hope, darkness to light.

DeWayne Martin


My name is De’Wayne Martin aka PrinceWayne. I have been dancing professionally for about 4 years, and I’ve loved every moment of it! Styles I have practice include Hip Hop, House Dance, Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary Dance, Flexing Dance, Break dance and etc. Dance is truly a passion and has saved me in many different ways, and I’m blessed to be able to share this gift with others. I’ve traveled around the U.S, Mexico, and overseas teaching and battle dancing and I love every moment of it.

Autumn McIlraith


I am a self-educated mixed media collage artist living in Houston, Texas. I use my collage practice to explore my experiences with chronic physical and mental health conditions. I also playfully engage with what it means to be a human being, part of the human world but also deeply connected to other living things and dependent on those relationships. I use vivid colors and I play with the shapes and textures in found images to create new visual stories.

Sonny Mehta


Sonny Mehta is the founder of Riyaaz Qawwali, a US based qawwali ensemble. His concerts are held at universities, music festivals and museums. He has been using film to further the reach of his work, delving into narrative work and documentaries. He is at instructor at the Riyaaz Academy, an educational institute focused on exploring the folk arts.

Kemi OG


Kemi OG is a dance artist, choreographer, and creative director. She is the Afrodance Instructor at the Institute of Contemporary Dance and the founder of three ventures: Afrobeats with Kemi OG, an Afrodance program teaching technique and fusion choreography, AFROBEAT at JHU, a Zumba-inspired Afrodance fitness program based on Afro -Caribbean rhythms, and OG Creatives, a creative studio using art to explore BIPOC narratives. She is the grant recipient of the Houston Art Alliance’s 2020 Individual Artist Grant, Houston in Action’s 2020 #Htownvotes initiative, Dance Source Houston’s 2021 Spark Dance Grant for Choreographers, and Diverse Works 2022 Idea Fund Grant. Her dance credits include Tiwa Savage, Oritse Femi, Toofan, Yemi Alade, Eddy Kenzo, Afro B, Mr. Eazi, Kizz Daniel, and Yvonne Orji. Kemi is passionate about sharing African culture and history through dance and using the intersection of African art, Afrodance, and technology to tell stories that encourage discourse and catalyze empowerment and social change.

Ivette Roman-Roberto


Over the course of my art career, my voice work has undergone a slow but consistent change. I started out with a strongly performative style, but gradually moved towards a more minimalist approach. Despite this evolution, there has always been a continuous unresolved tension in my work. This tension is rooted in my desire to challenge the colonial programming that I inherited through my upbringing, while also maintaining a deep reverence for certain aspects of that programming.

While this tension can be difficult to navigate at times, I believe that it has also been a source of growth and evolution in my work. My voice is my primary art venue – it’s the space I create for myself within the art world. Through voice improvisation, I’m able to access a place where there are no limitations. It’s a place where I can be the person I always wanted to be, free from the script of discrimination that so often dominates our lives.

Although I don’t consider myself a teacher or a director, I do see myself as an elder of the village. I want to share the wisdom that I’ve gained through my own journey and to observe others as they navigate their own creative process. Ultimately, I hope that my work can serve as a source of inspiration and healing for others, as well as for myself.

Julia Rossel



Vanessa Sanez


Hola, I’m Vanessa Sanez, I’m a visual artist from Venezuela. my connection with color is tangibly intuitive so every time I paint, I allow myself the opportunity and the freedom to capture the beauty of it and do something interesting and unique far from graphical traditional interpretation to construct exciting and dynamic artwork.

Jean Shon


Jean Shon is an interdisciplinary artist and educator, working in installation, photography, text, and image-based works. She earned her Master of Fine Arts from the University of California-Irvine and a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She has participated in several residences over the past year, including the Galveston Artist Residency, Surel’s Place, and Prairie Ronde Artist Residency. She recently exhibited at Phase Gallery in Los Angeles and the Galveston Artist Residency in Texas, as well as solo and group shows at various locations from Southern California to Idaho and Michigan. She currently teaches at the University of Houston and San Jacinto College.

Shannon Grey Williams


Shannon Grey Williams is a Houston based makeup artist and mixed media painter. Shannon’s abstract mixed media paintings are colorful explosions that are a mix of acrylic, paper and often makeup makes it into her work. Whether Shannon is working on a traditional canvas or skin, she has a deep appreciation for how color, texture and light bring joy and beauty to the world and how people feel and react to both mediums.

2023 Artist INC Application Selection Panel:

Dana Caldera (Mixed Media Visual Artist), Robert “RUEBOB” Jackson (Third Ward Cultural Arts District Manager), Monica Melgar (Visual Artist), Jeremy Johnson (Operations & Exhibitions Manager at Lawndale Art Center), and Tamer Ghoneim (Multidisciplinary Artist).