Figure + Square by Joseph Parra. Screen print and digital print. 29 x 40.

Scholastic Awards alum Joseph Parra knew at an early age that he wanted to be involved in the art world. In 2007, Joseph won the American Visions Medal. A few months after receiving a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art, he was chosen as 1 of 3 alums to participate in the Alliance’s 2012 Atelier Artists-in-Residency program – and the youngest one of them too! If that’s not enough, his work will be featured in two shows this month: at the Adah Rose Gallery on January 12 and the Current Space Gallery on January 18. Here’s his backstory!

When did you first become interested in art? I went to an art middle school and  high school, so I’ve always been making art. I decided in high school that I wanted to become an artist, so going to an art college was the only answer for me. Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) was one of the best decisions I have ever made. It was there that I started to focus more on the importance of process, and to choose one that best fulfills the concept of a piece. I became interested in different aspects of printmaking, photography, and drawing. I graduated from MICA in 2012 with a major in Painting, a minor in Art History and a concentration in Printmaking.

What inspires you to make art? It is very inspiring to be around, live, or share a studio space with other artists, and especially seeing the progression of an artist’s work, starting from the initial idea and concept to the finished piece shown in a gallery, or installed in a setting. The art community is essentially what inspires me.

What was your experience like in the Atelier? I moved to NYC for the Atelier Artists-in-Residency program in October. I was provided with a studio space with two outstanding artists – Andrea Burgay and Kyle Dunn. Getting to know my fellow residents and working with them was the highlight of the program. During the residency, I went to galleries and openings every week, which helped increase my knowledge of the contemporary art scene. I also had the opportunity to meet with New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) Program Officer Felicity Hogan and Director of Programs, Curator David Terry.

Do you have any upcoming projects? I recently completed a print for show in Baltimore at Current Space Gallery opening later this month, and I have work in a small group show at Adah Rose Gallery in Kensington. I am also going to participate in a residency program at the Vermont Studio Center in March.

We can’t wait to hear where Joseph goes next! Learn more about Joe’s journey so far here:

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