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Meet Talisa Velazquez Grossman


Meet Talisa Velazquez Grossman

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Talisa Velazquez is a graduate from CUNY with a BA in Latin American Art & Performance.  A multidisciplinary artist, Talisa holds a deep devotion to play, language, community and social engagement.  Talisa is a Teaching Artist with many institutions in NYC and loves creating multidisciplinary, playful and bilingual work with and for young people. Talisa recently collaborated with One Whale's Tale in theatrical productions of QUINCE ( Abuela & Jaguar) at The Bushwick Starr and QUINCE en la Plaza (Jaguar) at Lincoln Center. In addition, she leads and helps organize One Whale's Tale's OPEN TRAINING sessions. During her time off, Talisa enjoys long walks around the city with her camera, taking dance classes, singing in her salsa band, talking to strangers, and dancing to the rhythm of life.

Tell us about your art practice and how working with children inspires you.

My art practice is mostly collage, photography and improvised dance. What I find these three have in common is that they are physical, spontaneous and in the moment. I love going on walks and observing people. I love going on walks and finding treasures around the city and using them for my collages. I love dancing and seeing what happens. Working with children inspire me because they are always doing this: collecting, creating and doing. They keep me on my toes, they keep me energised and the definitely keep me curious.

Do you have any memorable experiences of children interacting with your artwork?

I did a mask making activity in the park, a public place. We had some kids sign up and we make really funky recycled material masks. They were so proud and wore them through the playground. Minutes later many kids from the playground ran to us and wanted to make their own masks. Soon enough all the kids in the playground running around had these really funny make on. It was a wild scene strait out of a movie.

What advice would you give to young artists who wish to pursue an art practice?

TRY THINGS! Explore the world. Don't be afraid to ask questions and don't be afraid to talk to strangers. If you like someones work don't be afraid to ask questions. We learn a lot from interacting with others and the world around us.

Do you have a favorite memory of making art as a child?

I remember one time, in an art class we had to do a finger painting activity. I danced a lot as a kid and I was a very hyper child. My first instinct was to use my feet instead of my hands and the teacher looked afraid but she said yes. I danced around the paper and created these really cool shapes with my feet. I remember feeling very happy because I was able to use my favourite skill for something that scared me.

Why is children’s artwork important within the context of art history?

Childrens artwork is incredibly important to art history because art history is a way of documenting what people were feeling, thinking, believing, experiencing during that period of time. Children are not exempt from observing the world and its a way to understand, study and to create a database for future study and comparison.

What is your favorite artmaking tool for children?

Collage is my favourite because kids are collectors so it's always fun to see what they bring to add to the collage.


Noormah Jamal at Children's Workshop School

Patterns and Pop Art

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