Blanka Amezkua

Blanka participated as a Visual Art Fellow for AVR1 (June 2020). Click here to see Blanka’s program.

Blanka‌ ‌Amezkua‌ ‌is‌ ‌a‌n artist, ‌cultural‌ ‌promoter,‌ ‌educator,‌ ‌and‌ ‌project‌ ‌creator ‌based‌ ‌in the‌ ‌South‌ ‌Bronx with exhibitions at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, Queens Museum, El Museo del Barrio, Art Base; Brussels, the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, San Diego Art Institute, and the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, among others. Amezkua’s ‌practice‌ ‌is‌ ‌greatly‌ ‌influenced‌ ‌and‌ ‌informed‌ ‌by‌ ‌folk‌ ‌art‌ ‌and‌ ‌popular‌ ‌culture, and in‌ ‌2008‌ ‌she‌ ‌began‌ ‌an‌ ‌artist-run‌ ‌project‌ ‌in‌ ‌her‌ ‌bedroom‌ ‌called‌ ‌the‌ ‌Bronx‌ ‌Blue‌ ‌Bedroom‌ ‌Project‌ ‌(BBBP).‌ ‌BBBP‌ ‌ran‌ ‌from‌ ‌2008-2010.‌ Between 2010-2016, s‌he lived in Athens, Greece where she initiated FoKiaNou 24/7, now FokiaNou Art Space, in the center of the Hellenic capital. Blanka currently‌ ‌operates‌ ‌‌AAA3A‌‌‌(Alexander‌ ‌Avenue‌ ‌Apartment‌ ‌3A)‌ ‌an‌ ‌alternative‌ ‌artist-run‌ ‌project‌ ‌which‌ ‌offers‌ ‌food,‌ ‌dialogue,‌ ‌workshops,‌ ‌and‌ ‌art‌ ‌in‌ ‌her‌ ‌living‌ ‌room.‌ Mentions of ‌her‌ ‌work‌ ‌and‌ ‌projects‌ ‌can‌ ‌be‌ ‌found‌ ‌in‌ ‌various‌ ‌notable‌ ‌publications including HYPERALLERGIC, The New York Times, ART NEWS, HuffPost Arts, The International Review of African American Art, and  Time Out New York. ‌

Collaboration, radical pedagogy, and community building are central to her art practice and projects. Her identity, experiences, and artistic decisions are shaped by the reality that she is an immigrant Mexican born-American Latinx artist living in New York City.

Formally trained as a painter, her creative practice is greatly influenced and informed by folk art and popular culture, from papel picado to comic books. She combines traditional and contemporary art practices and techniques, as well as sociocultural-based mythologies and philosophies as a way to preserve evidence of the past, not for sentimental reasons, but as a form of nourishment for the creative spirit of the present. Through art, she want to create alternative, yet accessible, and inclusive dialogues around the challenges and controversies we experience in society. 

As the field begins to turn attention to decolonizing museum spaces, she is invested in the ways in which we re-indiginize our own practices as artists. What are the tools of survival we inherit from our ancestors and their traditions?  What can they teach us, not only about how we make work, but how we move in the world, how we share and create space.