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Zócalo Apartments Artist-in-Residency Program Announces Spring 2021 Program Winners

Houston, Texas – Zócalo Apartments is very pleased to announce the 2021 winners of its second annual Artist-in-Residency program. This year’s winners were chosen by a three-judge panel from 82 applications from 23 states. The selected artists have been granted fully funded housing in a private apartment / studio, a monthly working stipend, need-based project funding, and hands-on support from the Zócalo property staff.

Full Year Residency Winner: Le’Andre Douglas

Le’Andre Douglas is a nationally accomplished dancer, choreographer, and teacher with a decade of professional dance experience. A Houston native, he has worked nationally with Grammy nominated artists such as, LL Cool J, B.o.B, Rock legend Pat Benatar, Big Daddy Kane, The Sugar Hill Gang, and many others. His work is well known in Houston where he has choreographed for Tobe Nwigbe, Bace Productions Motown, The Miller Outdoor Theater, Radio One, Dance Houston, and even the annual Star Wars Art Festival.

A resident instructor for the Katherine Dunham Technique Seminar, Douglas was previously awarded an art residency by the Broadway show “Swing Out.”

Douglas intends to use his Zócalo residency to deepen his artistic practice and plans to engage Zócalo residents in outdoor dance programs on Zócalo’s large, landscaped grounds with appropriate social distancing. Douglas explained what he seeks to accomplish. “My artistic goal is to give everybody a piece of art that they can keep for themselves within their body. Learning to move or connect through movement is one of the best gifts you can give to yourself.”

“We are thrilled to include Le’Andre Douglas in this year’s program,” said Sophia Collier, Zócalo Apartments’ co-owner. “His work is inspiring and beautiful, and he clearly has a tremendous future ahead of him. It is our honor to award him the full year residency in 2021.”

Spring Six Month Residency: Stacia Yeapanis

Stacia Yeapanis is a Chicago-based, interdisciplinary artist, educator, and writer. She describes her work as exploring “the relationship between repetition, desire, suffering and impermanence” and uses an intriguing combination of diverse media including cross-stitch embroideries, remix videos, temporary collages, and improvised, sculptural installations.

Yeapanis is an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Fiber and Material Studies at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she received her MFA in 2006.

Her first monograph was published jointly by Aperture and The Museum of Contemporary Photography in 2009. Yeapanis has been active as a resident and mentor with the Chicago Artists’ Coalition. She has had annual solo exhibitions including shows at Siena Heights University (Michigan 2013), Heaven Gallery (Chicago 2014), Indianapolis Art Center (Indianapolis 2017), Robert F. DeCaprio Art Gallery (Palos Hills, Illinois 2018), Kent State, Stark (North Canton, Ohio 2019), and Finlandia University (Hancock, Michigan 2020).

At Zócalo Yeapanis plans to create a range of temporary and improvised installations in outdoor areas of the Zócalo campus. Yeapanis explained: “Day-long, ground-based arrangements will invite participation. I want to create an art experience that is a reliable refuge from the difficulties of living in this world. As with prayer and meditation, this aesthetic practice will be there waiting.”

“It is a significant opportunity for us to include Stacia Yeapanis in 2021 program, said Sophia Collier, “It allows us to bring a strong midwestern artist to Houston. Her work is an intriguing fusion of media types and her artistic focus is highly relevant today as we enter what we hope will be the beginning of the end of the Covid era.”

Fall Six Month Residency: R’Bonney Nola 

R’Bonney Nola is a fashion designer and textile artist from Houston, Texas running an eco-conscious clothing line and that merges together textile manipulation, sustainability, and design. Nola traces her inspiration to growing up shopping at vintage thrift stores with her mother which led to her purchasing secondhand pieces and re-constructing them into new innovative designs. She studied Fashion Design and Fibers at UNT and learned to merge textile art with apparel design by transforming fabric through dying, screen printing, weaving, quilting, sculpting, heat pressing and other means.

Nola’s fabrics are sourced by recycling pre-existing clothing, scraps, or leftover bolts of fabric, modeling a low-pollution design process in stark contrast to much of the fashion industry,

Nola is also a generous teacher and has offered sewing classes through the MAKR Collective in a collaborative program between Houston non-profit design house Magpies & Peacocks and the Mayor’s Office of Human Trafficking and Domestic Violence (MOHTDV).

“We are delighted to include R’Bonney Nola in the 2021 Zócalo program,” said Sophia Collier.  “In addition to her amply talent as a textile artist, she brings an interesting economic dimension to her art. By creating a company to sell her fashions as well as teach others earn money through textiles, she is fostering, beautiful human scale art and craft in an age of highly polluting, fast fashion.” Collier continued, “Her art is not only in the physical forms she creates, but also in her larger process of engagement with the market.”

This year’s judges included: Houston interdisciplinary artist, curator, and current Zócalo artist-in-residence, Theresa Escobedo; public visual artist, curator, and muralist, Angel Quesada; and Sixto Wagan, the inaugural Director for the Center for Art and Social Engagement (CASE) at the University of Houston. 

About Zócalo Artist in Residency

TheZócalo Artist-in-Residency is one of the nation’s first artist residency programs sponsored by a multifamily real estate firm. It is the first in Houston and provides a fully funded artist residency dedicated to building community through dynamic art and ideas.

Located on the beautiful residential campus of Zócalo Apartments in the Spring Branch area of Houston, Texas Zócalo’s Artist-in-Residency program provides a single one-year and two six-month residencies per year. Applicants apply to a selection panel of local artists, curators, and arts administrators and winners are granted fully funded housing in a private apartment studio, a monthly working stipend, need-based project funding, and hands-on support from the Zócalo property staff.

With a focus on the intersection of art and community enrichment, the program strives to strengthen the connection between residents and the living spaces they share through the power of art and creativity. By granting artists stable housing and various forms of financial and artistic support, the program aims to create an inspiring and supportive environment of creative inquiry.  

“The Zócalo Campus is in a magic place in Houston where Rick Lowe, one of our most iconic arts leaders had his beginnings and it continues to be an area where artists will have the opportunity to develop and thrive.” – Chula Reynolds, Zócalo Co-Owner  

2020 Artist Residence Winners and Impact

The 2020 artists in resident were Billy Baccam & Alex Ramos from creative media lab duo, Input Output, and artist / curator, Theresa Escobedo.

 “The Zócalo Artist-In-Residency program has been a fantastic experience,” said artist Billy Baccam. “The support and resources from the program have given us the space and time to refine our artistic process, explore unfamiliar technologies, and engage the Zócalo community with new art installations and experiments that spark conversation. To be fully immersed in an environment that gives complete artistic freedom and the ability to share that creativity with a curious community has been a dream come true,he added.

For more on the Zócalo Artist-In-Residency program at Zócalo Apartments please visit our website or look for ZAIR on Facebook & Instagram @zocalo_air.