Juliana Castañeda, Tamina Green, Dirm Luawo, Elizabeth Peralta, Carlos Vargas

Welcome to Cozy: A Future of Softness, an exhibition celebrating the power of textile work in shaping our digital future. This show brings together a diverse group of artists of color, all under the age of 30, who have embraced traditional and contemporary techniques to create a stunning collection of soft and comforting pieces. At the heart of this exhibition lies the relationship between textile work and technology. Many people don’t realize that the roots of computing can be traced back to the Jacquard loom, a weaving machine invented in the early 1800s. The loom used punch cards to control the weaving process, paving the way for the development of the first computers. By showcasing the work of these talented artists, we pay homage to this rich history while embracing a future where softness and technology can coexist in harmony. Softness is often associated with femininity, but it is a quality that can be appreciated by anyone, regardless of gender.
In this exhibition, we challenge traditional notions of masculinity and femininity by celebrating the power of softness. From the delicate crochet work of artist Tamina Green to the bold and colorful tapestries of Juliana Castañeda, each piece in this collection invites the viewer to embrace their softer side. All of the artists featured in this exhibition are people of color, hailing from a variety of backgrounds. Through their work, they share their unique experiences and perspectives, showcasing the diversity and richness of the textile arts. We invite you to explore this stunning collection and to be inspired by the beauty and power of softness.

Dirm Luawo is a New York based creative with a focus on design. With an Indonesian background, born and raised in Queens, NY, Dirm pulls inspiration from his upbringing in New York and incorporates those visual elements in his work. Dirm has an analytical, strategic, and detail oriented eye that contributes to the work he produces. Dirm currently spends his down time to pursue his continual desire to learn and experiment with his work.

Juliana Castañeda is a queer Latinx artist and designer based in Queens, NY who merges art and fashion to explore themes of sustainability, gender fluidity, and world building. Born in Cali, Colombia, Castañeda was raised in Miami by a family of artists. They developed an interest in art at an early age and went on to receive a BFA in Fashion Design from the Fashion Institute of Technology. They are known for their bold, vibrant works inspired by personal experiences and observations. Castañeda transforms discarded materials into one-of-a-kind garments and textile pieces that honor the medium of upcycling while highlighting the environmental and social impacts of consumerism. They also blend their textile art with their painting background to create multi-media artworks.
Juliana has showcased their work in collaboration shows with fellow designers, pop up markets, and their online shop. They had their first solo show, Relics, in 2023 at Local Project Art Space in NYC.

Tamina Green is an illustrator and crochet designer and textile artist with a strong interest in color and pattern. She picked up crochet during the pandemic and has been using it as a medium for her professional projects as well as a way to encourage others to express themselves with one of a kind accessories.

Carlos Vargas is an interdisciplinary Mexican artist from the Bronx. He works with different materials such as acrylic and watercolor paint, traditional graphite and ink, clay, etc. He’s become a jack of all trades and will keep on expanding with new materials. Currently, he\’s been making a lot of soft sculptures using different fabrics and materials to construct these figures. He enjoys the process of creating and making these figures. He wants to explore what play is and what can be used as play. The realm of stuffed animals or plushies has recently been on his mind, he incorporates the idea of kitsch into his work, to give it that nudge of cute but grown-up. His work is meant to be interactive, he wants to break the idea that art belongs behind glass or hung up on a wall surrounded by rope. Interactive work brings out the inner child in one’s self.

Elizabeth Marina Peralta is a queer interdisciplinary textile artist who uses traditional and contemporary techniques to tell stories about their life. They use their art as time capsules to commemorate a period of transformation. They are inspired by their Caribbean, Nuyorican and Dominican family heritage and mixed ancestry. Peralta uses color, texture and symbolism to ritualize their work so it cultivates a healing quality.

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