The Latin America CAPE team sponsored a research visit by Colombian artist Nicolás Paris Vélez from 11-21 December 2018, in preparation for his work as Creative New Zealand’s 2019 International Artist-in-Residence at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery in New Plymouth. The Govett-Brewster has hosted bi-annual residencies for Pacific Rim artists since 1992.

During his research visit, Nicolás met with educators, curators, and community members in order to shape the focus of his residency at Govett-Brewster. The research visit allowed him to explore potential artistic inspiration while also giving Kiwis a taste of the modern art scene in Colombia. The artist said he was greatly inspired by a visit to Parihaka in Taranaki.

Nicolás will participate in a twelve-week artist residency and present a major solo exhibition opening in April 2019 at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery. As Artist-in-Residence, he will lead activities for local schools and communities for the gallery’s education programme, in addition to creating artwork using suspended structures, drawings, videos, activities, and plants native to New Zealand. Nicolás will also deliver a seminar at The Adam Art Gallery at Victoria University of Wellington later this year.

A feature of his work focuses on education and pedagogical strategies, and includes drawings, sculptures, and installations. He draws on his experience in architectural education and as a school teacher in rural Colombia, where he developed experimental education techniques. Nicolás' creations have been featured in art galleries in Europe, South America, and North America, including New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).

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