Cielo Félix-Hernández, Oji Haynes, and Alexander Si
in the whirlwind or in the storm: Visual Artist AIRspace Resident Exhibition 2023–24

June 21–August 31, 2024

After ten months in residency, the Abrons Arts Center’s Visual Artist AIRspace Residents showcase a body of work that asks us to consider the relationship between hegemonic power structures, visibility, and safety. Responding to the Spring 2024 curatorial focus of “sanctuary,” these works ask if there is the possibility of a sanctuary for all, that brings with it care, agency, and freedom.

The title of the show is from a speech written and delivered by Marcus Garvey in Harlem, New York City, c. 1924.

Co-presented with Artists Alliance Inc.

Hosted at Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space
88 Essex St [inside Essex Market], New York, NY 10002
Hours: Wednesday through Saturday, 12–6pm
Closed July 4–5

    Image by Daqi Fang

    About the Visual Artist AIRspace Residency

    Abrons Arts Center's Visual Artist AIRspace Residency annually supports 4 New York City-based visual artists. Visual Artist AIRspace Residents receive an artist fee and a semi-private studio for nine months at Abrons Arts Center. Throughout the residency cycle, studio visits are arranged with critics, curators, artists and other arts professionals to foster critical and professional development.

    About the Curatorial AIRspace Residency

    Abrons Arts Center’s Curatorial AIRspace Residency, presented in partnership with Artists Alliance Inc (AAI), annually supports a New York City-based curator. The resident receives an honorarium, production budget, materials budget, and office space to develop 2 exhibitions during their residency cycle.

    About Artists Alliance Inc + Cuchifritos Gallery & Project Space

    Artists Alliance Inc fosters the forward-thinking and experimental practices of emerging and underrepresented artists and curators with funded residencies and paid exhibition opportunities. Through artist-centered programming, AAI provides a free and accessible platform to produce, experience, and understand contemporary art in the Lower East Side–a longstanding epicenter for creative experimentation and cultural diversity–and advocates for art-making that challenges how we experience ourselves and our communities.

    As an advocate of affordability and sustainability for NY-based artists and the enduring community benefits of free and accessible contemporary art, AAI offers programs within larger institutions that hold vital social and cultural significance on the Lower East Side of New York City. Cuchifritos Gallery in Essex Market and the LES Studio Program in The Clemente are strategically located to improve art access and distribution while serving emerging artists, curators, NYC’s creative communities, and the art world in general. Established as alternatives to the limitations of a commerce-oriented art world, AAI offers a professional framework for career development, self-representation, and experimental production.


    The 2023-2024 Curatorial AIRspace Residency is co-presented by Abrons Arts Center and Artists Alliance Inc (AAI). Abrons Arts Center’s Curatorial AIRspace Residency program is made possible through the generosity of The Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation, and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. This program is also supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and support from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

    Artists Alliance Inc. (AAI) is a 501c3 not-for-profit organization located on the Lower East Side of New York City. Programming support is provided by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with support from the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature. Further exhibition programming is made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts. We thank the New York City Economic Development Corporation, The Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural & Educational Center, and individual supporters of Artists Alliance Inc for their continued support. Special thanks go to our team of dedicated volunteers and interns, without whom this program would not be possible.

    Cielo Félix-Hernández

    Cielo Félix-Hernández (b.1998, Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico) is a Puerto-Rican transdisciplinary artist, living and working in Brooklyn, New York. Working primarily in oil paint, Félix-Hernández depicts figures who author their own narratives, constructed out of familiar Boricua and Caribbean iconographies. Félix-Hernández received her BFA in Sculpture + Extended Media from Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA. Recent group exhibitions include Ojos del Perro Azul, Marinaro, New York, NY (2022); Nine Lives, Fortnight Institute, New York, NY (2021); Visions and Nightmares, Simone Subal Gallery, curated by Baseera Khan, New York, NY (2021); Flame Tree, REGULARNORMAL, curated by Bony Ramirez, New York, NY (2021); I’ll Make You Sorry, curated by LaNia Sproles, Green Gallery, Milwaukee, WI (2020); documento, Embajada, San Juan, Puerto Rico (2020); My Flannel Knickers Sargent's Daughters, New York, NY (2020); and Dynasty, curated by Amy Goldrich, Christopher K. Ho, Omar Lopez-Chahoud, and Sara Reisman at PS122 Gallery, New York, NY (2019). She had her first New York solo exhibition nieta at Sargent’s Daughters in January 2022, which was reviewed by Artnet, Artsy and Platform Art. Félix-Hernández’s first museum group exhibition, DOMESTICANX was on view at El Museo del Barrio (New York, NY) was reviewed by The New Yorker, LATINA, and W Mag, amongst others. Sargent’s Daughters presented a solo booth of new works by Félix-Hernández at NADA Miami 2022. She is currently an Artist-in-Residence at the Silver Arts Projects, New York, NY. She is represented by Sargent’s Daughters.

    Oji Haynes

    Oji Haynes is a cultural practitioner with a focus in photography and installation. He attended The City College of New York along with courses at the International Center of Photography. He was awarded the CCNY Dean's Prize in Art and is the recipient of the 2022 NADA Miracle Seltzer Grant prize. He has also participated in the New York Times Portfolio Review and has been shortlisted for the annual Palm* Photo Prize which allowed his work to be included in a group show at 1014 Gallery (London, UK). His work has been featured in Oce Magazine, Feminist, Boooooom, and Nowness.

    Alexander Si

    Alexander Si is a multidisciplinary artist whose projects survey subjects in American popular culture that expose invisible labor, class and racial disparity from a queer immigrant perspective. Si has exhibited with institutions and galleries like SPACES, Untitled Art Fair, Home Gallery, Tutu Gallery, and Chinatown Soup; and has been reviewed and written up by Art in America, Hyperallergic, The Brooklyn Rail, BOMB, Artnet, and The Art Newspaper. He has been an artist-in-resident at institutions like Abrons Art Center, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and SPACES, and has received awards from the Foundation of Contemporary Arts. Si holds an MFA degree in Fine Arts at the School of Visual Arts, and two BA degrees with honors in Architecture and Media Studies at the University of Toronto.