Charlotte Street Fellows · 2023

Ruben Castillo · Sean Nash · SunYoung Park

Annually, Charlotte Street honors three exceptional Kansas City-based visual artists with unrestricted cash awards and a professionally curated exhibition at esteemed non-profit art institutions. This year's Awards and exhibition received major underwriting from the Jedel Family Foundation.

Since 1997, Charlotte Street has acknowledged outstanding artistic accomplishment and promise while providing Kansas City artists with essential, career-advancing financial support and critical attention. As of this year, 106 visual artists and 29 performing artists in the Kansas City region have received this highly regarded award.

The 2023 recipients were selected by Tempestt Hazel, Co-Director/Co-Founder of Sixty Inches From Center in Chicago, Raphael Fonseca, Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Latin American Art at the Denver Art Museum, and JoAnne Northrup, Executive Director and Chief Curator of Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art.

Ruben Castillo is a visual artist and educator investigating themes of intimacy, queerness, archival history, and the body using a range of media including print, drawing, sculpture/installation, and video. His most recent imagery draws from photographs and documents, seeing the ordinary as a site for transformative potential and feeling. Castillo’s work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally and is included in collections such as the Mulvane Art Museum (Topeka, KS), Crossroads Hotel (Kansas City, MO), Mexic-Arte Museum (Austin, TX), National Museum of Mexican Art (Chicago, IL), the Zuckerman Museum of Art (Kennesaw, GA), and the Turner Print Museum (Chico, CA). Ruben was born in Dallas, TX and received his MFA in Visual Art from the University of Kansas and a BFA in Printmaking from the Kansas City Art Institute. He has taught printmaking and drawing at the Kansas City Art Institute and Johnson County Community College and is currently an Assistant Professor of Printmaking & Expanded Media in the Department of Art at Skidmore College.

Sean Nash is a visual artist whose practice spans painting, sculpture, and social engagement with human and more-than-human worlds. His ongoing work with food, fermentation, and farming has led to the inclusion of cast vegetables in large-scale shaped paintings that describe complex ecosystems. He explores connections between fermentation, microbes, and queer and trans* identity in his visual work and published writing. Nash received an MFA from Yale University in 2005 and has exhibited nationally, including solo shows at The Kniznick Gallery in Waltham, MA, Plug Projects in Kansas City, MO, and Black Ball Projects in Brooklyn, NY.

SunYoung Park explores the space between imagination and reality. The use of diverse materials represents her visual language as she explores contrasting surfaces, emphasizing ceramics and mixed media. She says, “The contrasting qualities in my artwork create visual puzzles that suggest a multitude of meanings. I regard my practice as a journey to find the essence of an object, experience and how it relates to reality.” Park earned her BFA and MFA from Hong-Ik University Seoul, Korea and an MFA from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.

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