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Art Alumnus Juvenal Reis Wins Award; Gives Back to SMU

Alum Wins 44th Queens Annual Benefit in NY, Provides Two-Week Residency Annually for Selected Grad Student

Art alumnus Juvenal Reis (M.F.A. 2000) has been selected as one of three honorees for the 44th Queens Annual Benefit in New York on May 13. The benefit is held each year by the Queens Council on the Arts, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to foster and develop the arts in Queens County and to support arts organizations and individual artists in presenting their cultural diversity for the benefit of the community.

Reis is being honored for his exemplary commitment to the arts. In January 2002, Reis started his project in Long Island City, building five studios exclusively for artists in a warehouse space. The building now features 185 studios in various sizes, an experimental gallery, a “dirty room,” a communal library and a coffee area. Reis developed the space out of a longstanding desire to create a community of contemporary artists to which he could also belong. It now hosts nearly 200 artists working as painters, sculptors, photographers, animators, illustrators, architects, writers, graphics and fashion designers, and installation and video artists from 20 countries. Reis’s studios continually encourage new projects to interact with the greater community of Long Island City, including artist talks, workshops, open studios, group and solo shows, internships, residencies and programs for visiting artists and curators.The studio building is located just four blocks from the prestigious P.S. 1, a focal point for contemporary art in New York.

"This honor from the Queens Council on the Arts is a great recognition for our past nine years of hard work in making a positive contribution to the development of our Long Island City arts community,” Reis said. “Our space today hosts the largest community of established and emerging artists in New York and is the preferred source of artists for curators, gallery directors and all art lovers. It would not be possible without the belief, support and encouragement of our artists and friends."

Reis has continued to “give back” to SMU as well. For the past four years, Reis has collaborated with the Meadows School to provide a two-week residency in New York every spring for a selected graduate student from the Division of Art. Along with the free use of a studio in the Long Island City building, the student is invited to mount a one-week exhibition in the gallery located within the building. In addition, the student receives a stipend from the Division of Art for airfare and living expenses during the residency.

"This residency is a fantastic opportunity for an M.F.A. candidate," said Michael Corris, chair of the Division of Art. “It enables an outstanding art student to spend several weeks in New York, working and learning about the scene there and making connections with other artists and galleries, all of which will be invaluable later on in their career."

Competition for the residency is intense and the selection, conducted by Division of Art faculty, is based on a student’s body of work and statement of interest and intent. Past winners have been John Dickinson, Aqsa Shakil, Vance Wingate and Jill Foley.

For more information about the Juvenal Reis studios, visit http://www.juvenalreisstudios.com.

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