Artist Tomashi Jackson Discusses ‘The Land Claim’

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Tomashi Jackson in her studio, 2019. Christopher Gregory photograph.

The Parrish Art Museum presents a livestream talk featuring Tomashi Jackson, the museum’s 2021 Platform artist, and Minerva Perez, the executive director of Organización Latino-Americana of Eastern Long Island (OLA), on Friday, February 5, at 5 p.m. Moderated by senior curator Corinne Erni, the talk will focus on current and historic challenges of Latinx communities on the East End as they relate to the artist’s multifaceted project, “The Land Claim.” The public is invited to join the talk, part of the museum’s Friday Nights Live! series, and take part in a live chat following the presentation. Login information is at parrishart.org.

“Minerva Perez has been a crucial partner to the Parrish for many years, in particular for the annual OLA Spanish Film Festival, and I am delighted to invite her to this conversation with Tomashi to learn more about her work with the Latinx communities of Eastern Long Island,” said Erni, who is organizing the exhibition.

In keeping with her multimedia practice of placing formal and material investigations in dialogue with recent histories of displacement and disenfranchisement, “The Land Claim” focuses on issues that have consistently linked historic and contemporary lived experiences of Indigenous, Black and Latinx families on the East End: housing, transportation, livelihood in relation to migration and agriculture. For her project at the Parrish, Jackson juxtaposes current and historical racial segregation in the region, similar to her work in the 2019 Whitney Biennial.

In her process, Jackson has been conducting research for nearly a year, interviewing community members, historians and leaders of the Eastville Community Historical Society of Sag Harbor, Bridgehampton Child Care & Recreational Center, and the Shinnecock Nation, in addition to OLA. “The Land Claim,” which will include a digital archive, publication and learning material, culminates in an exhibition at the museum this summer that will feature new paintings by the artists, video collages and site-specific installations based on archival images and documents, original drawings and transcripts of the interviews. The artist has been invited by The Watermill Center to produce part of that work in May and June 2021, as a 2021 Inga Maren Otto Fellow.

Tomashi Jackson was born in Houston and raised in Los Angeles. She earned her Master of Fine Arts in painting and printmaking from Yale University School of Art in 2016; a Master of Science in art, culture and technology from the MIT School of Architecture and Planning in 2012, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Cooper Union in 2010. She has taught at the Rhode Island School of Design, the Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, and The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, and she has been a visiting artist lecturer at Boston University, New York University, Yale University, and School of Visual Arts in New York City. She lives and works in Cambridge and New York City.

Minerva Perez, the executive director of OLA since 2016, centers her work on the protection, empowerment, and celebration of the Latino community. She has worked with Suffolk County to establish a coordinated response for the homebound and hungry across all 10 Suffolk County towns; to secure more Spanish speaking DA victim advocates for the East End; and to offer free COVID-19 testing via a mobile unit brought to eastern Suffolk where communities of color have difficulty accessing transportation. Perez created the first regional study on mental and emotional health challenges of middle and high school through direct contact with the students. Since 2016, Perez has curated the annual OLA Latino Film Festivals and created OLA Media Lab for area public schools, where students produce short films that have been screened at the festival. Perez holds a theater arts degree from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and founded a nonprofit theater company in New York City. She lives in Sag Harbor.

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