LOURDES BERNARD

Originally from the Dominican Republic, I grew up in Brooklyn, NY and attended the Syracuse University School of Architecture, graduating with a 5-year Bachelor of Architecture. After practicing architecture for several years in Washington D.C., I relocated to NYC to attend the New York Studio School on a scholarship and there studied painting and drawing for three years. I am the recipient of a Heliker-LaHotan Foundation Fellowship, a Wurlitzer Foundation Fellowship, an Abbey Mural Fellowship and a Vermont Studio Center grant. Last year my work was exhibited at the Jamaica Center for the Arts and Learning where I was an artist in residence. I’ve exhibited in various group shows including at 5 Myles Gallery, PS1 Contemporary Art Center, the Arsenal Gallery in NYC, the Courtyard Gallery in Washington, D.C., and other venues. Last year my painting Union Square was exhibited in the fall exhibition “Beauty” at St. Paul’s the Apostle Church in NYC.

PROJECT PROPOSAL
On-site live in Las Galerías from May 10 – July 30, 2017

The Dominican Republic’s war of April 1965, is the invasion that Americans don’t remember and that Dominicans will never forget. I will document the universal patterns that lead to this historical event and examine the legacy of resistance and trauma caused by political oppression during the post-Trujillo era. The normative consequences of these patterns of dictatorship, oppression and dissent, are transformative and their aftershock remain with us today. Through large format drawings and paintings, I will create a visual document of this legacy, highlighting the women of the Revolution, and drawing upon literary sources such as Alexis Gomez Rosa’s poem “La Tregua de Los Mamiferos.” The reference library at El Museo Del Barrio will be an important resource in conducting the research for this new work. Women making art is a radical act and the act of making art is a form of activism. Our very presence in a museum becomes a political statement so creating the work on-site is truly empowering.

I believe we are each like containers carrying around stories and seldom sharing them.

This project began with a profound curiosity about my parents’ experience of living under Trujillo’s dictatorship and how it became a catalyst for our immigration to NYC. I began by examining this history and decided to reclaim it by creating a new family album documenting the April 1965 revolution. I believe the past is still present and I’d like to engage the adult community and provide a collage/drawing workshop. Here they can reclaim or invent a joyful, poignant recollection of home and family from memories rooted in the sounds, sights, encounters and observations of their youth.