2020 Artistic Residency Recipient
Melvin Audaz is very passionate about the preservation of his Puerto Rican culture and a highly committed documentary artist and photographer. Through his work as Loisaida’s artist in residence, with creativity, ingenuity and a great level of sensibility, Melvin means to tell the story of Loisaida through video-portraits of community leaders, documentary photographs and short films.
The project “Proof of Character” has its own essence and set of challenges, the goal is to create a series of portraits and videos of notable individuals of the Lower East Side community, such as; Elizabeth Colón (Loisaida Inc. Co-Founder) Chino García (CHARAS, Co-Founder and Community Activist), Luis Fargas (Adela’s Restaurant Co-Owner), Rolando Politi (Community Artist and Activist) and Marlis Momber (Documentary Photographer). A journey full of endless possibilities where imagination meets no bounds, resulting in a truly unforgettable experience.
The main purpose of my residency is to showcase the voice of a community that has fought long and hard to preserve its way of life and I merely want to shed some light as to what has been done, who has done it and what is happening today in the most trustful way possible. Highlighting Different programs, events and people through the years and
how they have made this place so culturally diverse that it brings people from all over the world and harbors a safe haven for artistic people and otherwise who are both immigrants and migrants which then makes a community such as this turn strangers into neighbors. But more importantly to honor our past and therefore make a better future for
everyone. In short, this residency has turned into a love letter to the lower East side from my perspective.
The final work will be shown as an immersive exhibition, set to open March 31st ,2020 at Loisaida Inc. Center, where the viewer/audience can experience the sights, sounds and the voices of our neighborhood’s character through documenting day to day experiences of this tight-nit community.
Melvin Audaz is a Puerto Rican filmmaker that has been in the industry for the past 12 years. He studied at the Miami international University of Art and design with a major in film and digital productions and a minor in photography. His works have included a variety of projects from documentaries, commercials, portrait photography, short films and photojournalism. He found his way to the Loisaida Center by working with the Puerto Rican day parade and since then has done many projects Working closely with the Loisaida center, latea community center and has been featured in online publications specifically relating to pro Latino empowerment. Melvin is the founder of Audaz Production, a full service one-stop shop providing exceptional quality creative video production and photography.
Relevant programming and upcoming events:
“Opinions like those expressed while in a panel, presentation, performance or through artwork are expressed by the author in their personal capacity and are the author’s own. They do not necessarily reflect the views of Loisaida Inc., its affiliates or staff.”