Category: Artist Mentor Spotlight

Our Pledge: Intersectional Sustainability

Over the last few weeks,  we have dedicated much of this pivotal time to learning about the anti-racism movement, and how we can support these efforts from within our small organization. We have pledged to continue standing in solidarity with the activists & protestors of Black Lives Matter and are committed to continual education and unlearning of unconscious racism.

This is an important time to remember that environmentalism and activism do not exist in a vacuum, and neither does art. Our work has always been found at the intersection of creativity, sustainability and social justice. We work hard to design programs that provide vulnerable populations free, artistic opportunities focused on improving their communities and amplifying their creative voices.

In that same spirit of intersectional, creative sustainability…we’re excited to share our summer program with you! 

INTERSECTIONS is a new online program from RuckusRoots that aims to amplify the voices of local artists, activists and scientists – with a focus on BIPOC communities.

We’re inviting all folks involved in the intersectional environmentalism movement to open their studios/workspaces to our community this summer (virtually, of course!) You’ll get to know each featured guest and learn about their work via Instagram Live all summer long. Pretty cool, right? We’re so excited to share the work of so many incredible voices!

If you or someone you know is an activist, visual artist, urban gardener, community organizer, writer,  or other professional working towards equality and sustainability – contact us for more information: info@ruckusroots.org 

ARTIST MENTOR SPOTLIGHT: NiNo Alicea

In our new Artist Mentor Spotlight feature, we’ll introduce you to one of our incredible teaching artists and give you an opportunity to get to know them a little better!

First up: Nino Alicea! 

In addition to his work with Ruckus Roots as a visual art and design mentor, Nino is a muralist, painter and sculptor living and working in the Los Angeles area.  With a background in graphic design and design production, Nino has been involved in production work for both television and film in the past. For several years, he worked as a Design Producer for NBC’s American Dream Builders, and in 2014, he was part of the team that installed Pae White’s “Woven Walk” at LAX. Most recently, Nino was named as art director of Ricky Martin’s current stage show!  

Nino has been essential in both our Wild Art project, a sculpture publicly installed at the Los Angeles Zoo during its Wild for the Planet event, April 23-May 22, 2016, and our latest, Chimes for Change! Check out his work with our students below, explaining the fundamentals of balance in design before they begin concept work for their chimes!

Nino says his “…ultimate goal is to inspire others to continue creating and dreaming big.” Nino’s dreams have definitely been big lately! His debut Burning Man art piece, called “Got Framed” (2016) was a huge hit on the playa last year, and was recently featured in National Geographic Travel February/March 2017 issue! In addition, we’re excited to announce that Nino is officially a Burning Man 2017 Honoraria Grant Recipient for his latest project, “Mucaro”!

Múcaro (MOO-ka-roe) or “owl” in Spanish, is both an homage to the artist’s mother, and a symbol of arts education/learning – not to mention a simply breathtaking 30ft installation! This massive owl structure will survey the playa at Burning Man with a 360 degree view by day, and emit beams of light by night. It also features spiral staircases that enables people to actually enter the structure, climb up to the lighthouse-like head, and take in the view! 

Obviously, this is a massive undertaking, and really elaborate project that Nino’s pursuing. It’s taken a lot of hard work, months of planning, and he’s almost there with the funds to achieve the last step of Mucaro! Nino and RuckusRoots are teaming up for a fundraising Gala in the coming months – the proceeds of which will be benefitting both our organization and the final stages of Nino’s piece! Stay tuned for event details coming soon – we’d love to see you there! 

Congratulations again, Nino! We appreciate all of the time, dedication and creative energy that you give to RuckusRoots! 

(P.S to learn more about the Mucaro, the project plans and the team helping to make it a reality, click here! )