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Online OnlyOct 10, 2023

Artadia Announces 2023 Boston Finalists

Boston-area artists Luis Arnías, Juan José Barboza-Gubo, Christopher Joshua Benton, Alison Croney Moses, Samnang Riebe, and Allison Maria Rodriguez are finalists for the $15,000 awards. (Partner Post)

Works of art from Artadia finalists Juan José Barboza-Gubo, Alison Croney Moses, and Allison Maria Rodriguez.

Top, left to right: Juan José Barboza-Gubo, Alison Croney Moses, Allison Maria Rodriguez. Bottom, left to right: Samnang Riebe, Luis Arnías, Christopher Joshua Benton.

Artadia, a non-profit grantmaking organization and nationwide community of visual artists, curators, and patrons, is pleased to announce that Luis Arnías, Juan José Barboza-Gubo, Christopher Joshua Benton, Alison Croney Moses, Samnang Riebe, and Allison Maria Rodriguez have been selected as the 2023 Boston Artadia Awards Finalists. 

The Finalists will each hold virtual studio visits with second-round jurors, who will ultimately select three artists to receive $15,000 in unrestricted funds. The 2023 Boston Artadia Awards are supported by the Liberty Mutual, Meraki Artist Award, Wagner Foundation, the Artadia Board of Directors, Artadia Council supporters, and individual donors across the country. 

The 2023 Boston Artadia Awards application was open to visual artists working in any visual media, at any stage in their career, who have been living and working within Bristol, Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth, and Suffolk counties for a minimum of two years. 

This year’s Round 1 jurors were Maleke Glee, Director, Stable Arts DC; Audrey Lopez, Curator, Rose Kennedy Greenway; and Gloria Sutton, Curator and Associate Professor of Contemporary Art History, Northeastern University. The Round 2 jurors will be Gloria Sutton joined by Dexter Wimberly, Curator and Co-Founder, Creative Study. 

Juror Maleke Glee remarked, “Serving as a juror for the 2023 Boston Artadia Awards provided me a peek into the rich talent of the Boston-area art scene. It is a great dilemma when creating a shortlist is challenging; the pool of applicants is rich. I am excited about what these finalists represent for the rigor and innovation happening in Boston and more excited to see how the awards progress the artists’ practice.” 

“The plurality of practices and modes of artmaking represented in this year’s submissions confirmed the dynamism and resilience of Boston’s expanding arts ecology, which is finding new purchase through artist-centric spaces and collaborative public facing projects. This ecology is vitally connected to the Boston area while remaining internationally ambitious in scope and impact,” said juror Gloria Sutton. 

“The word ‘catalyzing’ came up often in our deliberations to describe not only how an award from Artadia can be a transformative moment in an artist’s career, but also how an artist is a change agent on so many levels,” shared Sutton. “Artists are driving and shaping the conversations that we as curators, scholars, editors, designers, gallerists and funders are having right now. Artadia’s role in directly supporting artists helps untether artists from institutions, expanding where and how these conversations can unfold.” 


About Luis Arnías (he/him)
Luis Arnías is a filmmaker from Venezuela who currently lives and works in Boston, MA. In 2009, he completed the diploma program at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and in 2020 he received his Masters in Film/Video from Milton Avery Graduate School at Bard College. He has screened at New York Film Festival, TIFF, Punto de Vista, Berlin Critics’ Week (Woche Der Kritik) and BlackStar Film Festival. He was a Fellow at The Film Study Center at Harvard University and recipient of the Herb Alpert/MacDowell Fellowship 2022.

Arnías makes experimental 16mm films. He moves through space seeking what moves him. He starts a film by walking and following light. When he sees an object or person or situation in his viewfinder, there is a mutual recognition, they bring each other into being. It is laborious work. Conjuring work. A visual exploration of his enduring experience as an immigrant person of Afro-Caribbean descent living in America.

About Juan José Barboza-Gubo (he/him)
Juan Jose Barboza-Gubo is a Peruvian born artist living in Boston. He received his Bachelor’s Degree at Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru and holds MFA degrees in Painting and in Sculpture, both from Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Solo exhibitions include: Museum of Contemporary Art, Peru; Memory Museum, Peru; The Museum of Sex, New York; Inter Kultur Foto Art; Instituto Francés de Stuttgart; Museo Colonia Bogota Colombia; Galeria German Kruger Espantoso ICPNA-Peru; The Fitchburg Museum; Praise Shadows art gallery among others. Recent awards of note include the 2019 Fellowship in Photography from the Mass Cultural Council, 2019 Icpna arte contemporaneo second award, 2018 Photolucida Critical Mass: Top 50, 2016 Rhode Island State Council on the Arts Fellowship in Sculpture, 2015 Rhode Island State Council on the Arts Fellowship in Painting, and others. His exhibitions have been reviewed in publications such as The Boston Globe, Artscope Magazine, Artsy, PRI’s The World, The Huffington Post, The Advocate, The Houston Press, El Comercio (Peru), and Lenscratch. Barboza-Gubo currently teaches at Massachusetts College of Art and Design.

As a multidisciplinary artist, Barboza-Gubo’s artistic pursuits resemble the search for a mirror in which everyone can reflect. Barboza-Gubo asks questions about the relationship between the self and other, sexuality, the body, nature, and the landscape. Through the artistic process, he seeks to strip away the repressive social constructions of the self and the natural environment. The people, the animals, and the land are the source of his artistic preoccupations, however, as a migrant between Peru and the United States, he works through a lens that questions anthropocentrism in both countries, which historically has served as the justification for other forms of prejudice. Visibility and shadows animate this work, making the dynamics of light both theme and material for sculpture, painting, photography, and sound. Barboza-Gubo’s artistic practice is an offering, a revelation of the complexity and beauty that resides within each of us. It is an attempt to break free from imposed limitations and find a unique voice, a journey that reflects the very essence of the human condition and our interconnectedness with the vast environment that surrounds us.

About Christopher Joshua Benton (he/they)
Christopher Joshua Benton is a sculptor, filmmaker and researcher focusing on diasporas. He’s a graduate of the MIT program in Art, Culture, and Technology and has exhibited all over the world including Jameel Arts Centre (Dubai), BLOCKHOUSE (Tokyo), and Palazzo Franchetti for the Venice Biennale (Italy).

Using the tools of artistic research, social practice, academic publishing, and installation, Benton creates alternative archives that platform the narratives of diasporic people. His work incorporates themes of identity, labor, and homeland, where his 10 years of living in the UAE is sometimes a point of departure. These stories materialize in sculpture and film, all in a sensitive practice guided by a belief in community collaboration and working-class solidarity.

About Alison Croney Moses (she/her)
Alison Croney Moses creates wooden objects that reach out to your senses—the smell of cedar, the color of honey or the deep blue sea, the round form that signifies safety and warmth, the gentle curve that beckons to be touched. Her work is in the collections at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. She is a recipient of the 2022 USA Fellowship in Craft and has been featured in American Craft Magazine.

Moses strives to create situations and objects where people are compelled to interact, to express, and therefore challenge themselves to heal, to stand taller, to build community, and to work toward a more just future. Whether this occurs in a classroom where her presence shows that art and woodworking is a valid pursuit for young people who look like her or when she brings together mothers of color in Boston to build solidarity, support, and friendship while we navigate raising Black and Brown children to value their own identities in a white society. Bringing together people to learn, to laugh, to cry, is as much of Moses’ art practice as what takes place in the woodshop and this community activation shows up side by side the wooden sculptures.

About Samnang Riebe (he/they)
Samnang Riebe is a Visual Artist based in Boston, Massachusetts. He earned a BFA from the University of Massachusetts Lowell in 2010 and an MFA from the Massachusett College of Art and Design in 2015.Born to an immigrant family, and who’s upbringing was split between the city of Phnom Penh, Cambodia and the Greater Boston area, Riebe utilizes a creative practice of painting and sculpture as a means for introspection and investigation of ritual, tradition, and expression to navigate the intergenerational complexities of community and identity in today’s America.

Being of a place, being of a family, belonging to–– or conversely being ‘of-or-on the other side’; there is richly packed meaning within these ideas that Riebe has found worth investigating through painting and object-making. Riebe’s material sensibilities derive from personally significant domestic objects that function as intriguing tensions or wrinkles, in consideration to his own multi-racial identity and multi-cultural upbringing in America. These objects are rejiggered and reappropriated toward an abstract visual language that speaks to the customs, language, and color from his Khmer heritage, along with the frustrations, tensions, and challenges of a life between two cultures.

About Allison Maria Rodriguez (she/her)
Allison Maria Rodriguez is a first-generation Cuban-American interdisciplinary artist working predominantly in video installation. Rodriguez is a 2021 Brother Thomas Fellow of The Boston Foundation and has also previously been awarded an Earthwatch Communications Fellowship and the grand prize at the Creative Climate Awards sponsored by the Human Impacts Institute. Earlier this year she was the 2023 International Guest Artist-in-Residence at Digital Arts Studios in Belfast Northern Ireland and she is currently the inaugural Artist-in-Residence for the Biology of Trauma Initiative at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.

Rodriguez creates immersive experiential spaces that challenge conventional ways of knowing and understanding the world. Operating at the intersection of environmental and social justice, her work focuses extensively on climate change, species extinction and the interconnectivity of existence. Through video, digital animation, photography, drawing, performance, sculpture, collage and installation, Rodriguez merges and blends mediums to create new moments for aesthetic, emotional and conceptual exploration.

About Artadia
Since its founding in 1999, Artadia has awarded over $6 million in unrestricted funds to over 390 artists nationally. Celebrating visual artists and their foundational role in shaping society, the Artadia Award benefits three artists annually in seven major US cities with high concentrations of creative workers—Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Press Contact
Maya Teich | Program and Communications Assistant, Artadia | maya@artadia.org
Press-approved images of each artist’s work are available here

For more information, visit artadia.org