VOLTA Cares – Social Activations at the Fair

VOLTA endeavors to refine the social practice potential of contemporary art fairs by launching several initiatives at the upcoming New York edition, under the umbrella project VOLTA Cares.

Onyedika Chuke, teaching artist and Foster Pride Outreach Director is designing a special edition VOLTA NY tote bag, featuring an original artwork rendered in silver on black canvas and produced by Kayrock Screenprinting. 300 of these tote bags will be for sale at the fair during previews Wednesday, March 7, while supplies last, with full proceeds going to Foster Pride. Since 1993, Foster Pride has helped over 10,000 children and teens in foster care create brighter futures through mentoring relationships and the arts, opening up a supportive and nurturing network with prestigious local institutions including the Whitney Museum of American Art and New York University’s Stern School of Business.

  • image: Onyedika Chuke, Photo courtesy of the artist.

    image: Onyedika Chuke, Photo courtesy of the artist.

  • image: VOLTA Cares tote bag, 2018 edition, Artwork by Onyedika Chuke, Design and printing by Kayrock Screenprinting. Benefiting Foster Pride.

    image: VOLTA Cares tote bag, 2018 edition, Artwork by Onyedika Chuke, Design and printing by Kayrock Screenprinting. Benefiting Foster Pride.

A graduate of Foster Pride programs, Chuke was awarded a $40,000 grant from the New York City Public Artists in Residence program, which will enhance his ongoing collaboration with incarcerated individuals on Rikers Island, providing both access to the arts as well as open dialogue between New York City policymakers and those in their custody. Each year, a new artist will be commissioned for this tote bag activation, designing a limited edition to highlight significant and personal philanthropic endeavors. VOLTA is pleased to cultivate this project, advocating for a talented artist as well as a worthy cause.

In concert with their production of tote bags, Kayrock Screenprinting will showcase their Freshprint series of signed and numbered fine art editions alongside their artist designed political action shirts and tote bags, with a portion of sales donated to Democratic candidates in swing districts for the 2018 election.

Likewise VOLTA is proud to announce the launch of #FREE4FAM, opening fair doors early Sunday March 11 at 11AM for the communities of Cultural Partners, Children’s Museum of the Arts (CMA), Brooklyn Museum, and Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, and their families. The morning event will include refreshments from Littleneck, Boxed Water, and Go-Go Squeeze. Additionally, CMA will produce a limited edition button-making workshop for the kids. A special lounge environment, created by kinder MODERN and featuring the design studio’s child-friendly Lunar Table and Eclipse Chairs, rounds out the experience.

#FREE4FAM is indicative of VOLTA’s continued interest in offering the most active conversations in contemporary art, beginning with the deep reads fostered by solo-artist presentations and extended to a variety of socially engaging programming. Through practice and active engagement of materials, as well as the respective efforts of these esteemed institutions, VOLTA is likewise pleased to welcome these cultural partners to the event.

  • images left: Jasmine Wahi, Project For Empty Space co-director and co-founder credit: Anthony Alvarez image right: Rebecca Pauline Jampol, Project For Empty Space co-director credit: Anthony Alvarez

    images left: Jasmine Wahi, Project For Empty Space co-director and co-founder credit: Anthony Alvarez image right: Rebecca Pauline Jampol, Project For Empty Space co-director credit: Anthony Alvarez

Concurrent with VOLTA NY’s Video Wall program, Jasmine Wahi and Rebecca Pauline Jampol of Project For Empty Space (Newark) host a special screening on Friday, March 9 at 6PM, featuring artists from the New Jersey nonprofit arts space’s residency and exhibition programs. Entitled It is astonishing the lengths to which a person, or a people, will go in order to avoid a truthful mirror, Wahi and Jampol selected artists who, in their respective ways, echo James Baldwin’s quote (from “This Morning, This Evening, So Soon”, first published in The Atlantic Monthly in 1960) as well as the persistent bigotry and pain throughout the American landscape. Artists featured are Bang Geul Han, Melvin Harper, Amy Khoshbin, Shaun Leonardo, and Kambui Olujimi. This one-night screening reflects further potential to the Video Wall’s public engagement and supports the multilinear endeavors of this Newark creative hub.