Dear Democracy...
curated by Alexis Mendoza

Chashama cordially invites you to attend the opening reception of the group exhibition Dear Democracy… on Friday, June 21 from 6-9PM. The project is curated by Alexis Mendoza and includes works by Ed Andrade, Alex Fernández, Gina Goico, Alain Licari, Yali Romagoza and Luis Stephenberg. The exhibition addresses contemporary socio-political issues and challenges traditional boundaries and hierarchies imposed by individuals and groups in power; the exhibiting artists believe that art opens space for marginalized groups to be seen and heard, especially in the current political climate. Dear Democracy… explores the conversation that unlocks all other conversations; what participation in democracy means today.

About the Artists
Ed Andrade
Born in Quito, Ecuador, Andrade started drawing, painting and sculpting at an early age. His family moved to the United States in 1979, and he’s been living in New York and working as an artist ever since. Andrade studied at the School of Visual Arts, where he earned his BFA in 1991, and has shown his work on numerous occasions at venues around New York. In 1995 Andrade pivoted his practice, and since has dedicated his time to mastering woodcarving.

For more information about Ed, visit him online at

Alex Fernández
Dominican and New York-born, Fernández is a self-taught multimedia artist. Fernández’s interest in art began at an early age, and the comic books of his childhood still bear major artistic influence in his practice. During his youth he spent some years in the Dominican Republic, where he was influenced by artistic carnival traditions and the costumbrista style. Later in adulthood, Fernández started to explore 19th Century European art movements. Today, Fernández’s artwork explores societal issues influenced by our current world through the lens of his divided Dominican and American heritage and love of 19th century European art. He uses allegory, symbolism, and impactful images to compose works that critique world cultures, religion and social/political issues, striving to capture the human emotion response to these conflicts.

For more about Alex, visit him online at

Gina Goico
Goico’s practice encompasses collage, installations, ink drawings, and performance art, pulling patterns, fabric and imagery from her Caribbean home. Goico’s body of work is the result of a constant questioning of her cultural identities and navigation of the spaces she exists in the Dominican Republic and the United States. Currently, her work Imagined Identities is part of the #ATABEY project, which explores Dominican women’s desire, survival, aggressions and rebellions through participatory research, creating new artistic and academic narratives about the lived experiences of women in the Dominican Republic and its diasporas.

For more about Gina, visit her online at or follow her on Instagram.

Alain Licari
Born in France, Licari has lived in Spain and now resides and works in New York City.  Licari is a self-taught photographer, and draws inspiration from traditional black-and-white humanist photography, particularly Sebastião Salgado and Raymond Depardon. In traveling around the globe, Licari creates photo essays—a hybrid of art photography with photojournalism. After spending time in the United States, Licari’s work started exploring topics related to politics, migration and the diversity of the American Continent, both the North and the South.

For more about Alain, visit online at or follow on Instagram.

Yali Romagoza
Romagoza is a Cuban-born artist currently based in Queens, NY and La Habana, Cuba. She graduated with an MFA in Fashion from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2013-20015) and a BA in Art History from the University of Havana (2001-2006). Her works have been included in the Gothenburg Biennial (2007), Havana Biennial (2009), Bétonsalon, Paris, (2009), Liverpool Biennial (2010). She has performed at Links Hall Theater, Chicago (2012), White Box, NY (2012), Teatro LATEA, NY (2018), Art in Odd Places, NY (2018), Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, NC (2018). She premiered her documentary/video-performance/fashion “Normal Is Good (I like America and America like me)” at Gene Siskel Film Center, Chicago (2015). She has collaborated with Carmelita Tropicana and Ela Troyano in “Post-Plástica” at El Museo del Barrio, New York (2012) and “Schwanze-Beast,” Vermont Performance Lab, Vermont (2015), UCRArtsblock (2017), Queens Museum (2019). Romagoza has been granted numerous awards and residencies including Cátedra Arte de Conducta by Tania Bruguera, La Habana (2007), Bétonsalon Centred’art et de recherché, Paris, (2009), NYFA Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program (2017), NY.

For more about Yali, visit her online at

Luis Stephenberg
Born in Puerto Rico, Stephenberg graduated from the Puerto Rican Culture Institute School of Fine Arts and earned a Master’s degree in painting from the Instituto Allende, Universidad de Guanajuato, Mexico. Since the beginning of his career in the arts, Stephenberg demonstrated an interest in experimental and mixed media practice, which he has maintained throughout his professional development. Stephenberg co-founded the Movimiento Sintesista Actualizado in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and the Manifestación Internacional Sintesista for the Arts, at the Human Solidarity School in New York City. He is also one of the organizers of The Bronx Hispanic Festival and The Latin American Art Biennial in the Bronx. Stephenberg uses painting, photography, and installation as a form of communication between people and cultures and as a method for documenting and memorializing history. Stephenberg lives in New York, where he has participated in several national and international shows. He also is a curator/alternative exhibit space developer focused on community-oriented projects.

For more about Luis, visit him online at

About the Curator
Cuban-born Bronxite Alexis Mendoza is an interdisciplinary artist, independent curator, and author. Mendoza has exhibited his artworks in museums and galleries around the world, including in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, England, France, Germany, Mexico, Netherlands, Peru, Romania, Spain, Switzerland, and United State. He is the co-founder and co-creator of the Bronx Latin American Art Biennial, and a founding member of BxArts Factory. Mendoza has curated exhibitions and art projects at The Bronx Museum of Art, Museum of Piraguasu Paulista (São Paulo, Brazil), Museum of Satu Mare (Romania), The Point (NY), Bronx Art Space, Boricua College Art Gallery (NY), and many more. Mendoza is also an author. His published works include Latin America, The Culture and the New Men, Objective Reference of Painting: The work of Ismael Checo, 1986-2006, and Reflections: The Sensationalism of the Art from Cuba. Mendoza lives and works in the Bronx.

For more information about Alexis, visit him online at

This exhibition has been sponsored in part by:

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