Category Archives: Venue Facilitator

the LIFESTYLE Farewell

Dear Friends and Family,

After three years of facilitating the LIFESTYLE arts collective, we’ve reached a point at which we’ve decided to move on from this project in light of other endeavors. Although our website will continue to exist as a historical reference of the artists and artwork that were featured in this space from 2011-2014, we will no longer be collecting or publishing new content. However, before we officially sign off, we’d like to take some time to look back at what’s been an incredible experience connecting and building with you all.

When we launched the LIFESTYLE in August of 2011, our goal was to create a space for dialogue, expression, collaboration, and artistic exchange rooted in the active processes of Reflection and Response through the arts. We sought to create an interactive, inspiring, and open space where artists from around the world would be able to share their work and their thoughts, centered around the idea of Reflection and Response. We also wanted to maintain the LIFESTYLE as an independent operation, free of ideological constraints or financial directives.

Our various projects have included the Artist Feature Series, Events from the Collective, Talk of the Town, Snapshots from the Collective, Original Mondays, and the Porch Swing Residency. The way we see it, all of the posts in these series add up to a dialogue exploring Reflection and Response from the perspectives of different people, art forms, mediums, and locations. Each person’s contribution to the LIFESTYLE served as a showcase of individual creative expression, while also functioning as an interactive piece of a larger-scale discussion.

We structured the LIFESTYLE around the framework of Reflection and Response – a concept that we believe drives artistic expression, yet rightfully remains open to interpretation. We believe art – in all its forms – serves as a venue through which people express themselves based on their experiences, perspectives, feelings, thoughts, and desires. However, art is often cautiously viewed as a simple, trivial aesthetic activity, providing a basis for it to be marginalized in educational institutions and omitted from broad economic discussions.

The concept of Reflection and Response stands in direct opposition to these traditional views, positioning art instead as a result of an artist’s active, unique processes of reflecting on their surroundings and their experiences, and, in turn, responding through creating something new, and inherently powerful – whether that’s a painting, an installation, a performance, a poem, a song, or any other creative output. Although these processes can be consciously harnessed, they also often indirectly affect a person’s work. We think this concept of Reflection and Response helps explain the essence of creativity.

We’d like to thank all of you who participated in this project as artists and readers, and we hope this space has served and inspired you as powerfully as it has on our end. We’ll forever respect the views and artworks that were shared here, and we’ll continue to build from this foundation as we move forward with future projects. Much love!

Reflection and Response.

– V & P

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Artist Feature: Joanna Poz-Molesky

Joanna Poz-Molesky

JUNTOS addresses the need for human connections to inspire one another to create positive change and simultaneously to heal suffering…By using community outreach in art, I hope to offer expression, inspiration, healing, sharing, and most importantly, love.

– Joanna Poz-Molesky

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

JPM: I was born in Berkeley, California and currently reside in Oakland. Although I spent most of my life there, I’ve also lived in Guatemala and New York City. 

I recognize that as artists, we all share part of our story and message. I was born into a bi-cultural household – my father a Maya from a rural village in the Guatemalan highlands who finished high school, my mother an ex-nun with her Ph.D from a middle-class San Francisco family. I realize that as a bi-cultural woman, life presents me with wonderful opportunities to experience the richness and understandings of various heritages as well as offers me possibilities to communicate with these cultures. I recognize art as my way of celebrating my heritage as well as sharing my knowledge, especially with those living in isolation.

What does Reflection and Response mean to you?

JPM: I really do believe that if anything has a chance to create a more peaceful world, it’s art. We don’t decide to be artists: we are called. Our voices are all so different – each stemming from past experiences, how we view our environment, time we share with individuals, and cultures we are surrounded by – but each voice speaks to its own truth. We have a responsibility to respond to hate, violence, and pain we humans bring this world. If we use our varying voices to speak to these issues, we shine light that becomes truth and beauty. I have come to recognize artists as therapists for the soul, spiritual versions of chiropractors. Art is healing and we are its vessel. Sometimes, we too are the ones that are in need of this healing and when we create and share, we gain strength and knowledge.

How does your work fit in with that definition?

JPM: My work is not an individual piece of art. I founded and direct JUNTOS Collective – a non-profit dance company that empowers individuals and inspires community building across national boundaries with a strong focus in Latin America through teaching, learning, and exchanging dance.

JUNTOS Collective

JUNTOS Collective

JUNTOS addresses the need for human connections to inspire one another to create positive change and simultaneously to heal suffering. It is the first collective comprised of university students at various competitive dance conservatories dedicated to creating community across international borders through dance. In partnering with various communities in Central America and the United States, JUNTOS introduces an innovative method in which participants maintain and strengthen national and international relationships while encouraging individuals to become persons serving others. JUNTOS recognizes the many problems humanity faces and attempts to reconcile differences, offering a new method to create change.

JUNTOS Collective

JUNTOS Collective

By using community outreach in art, I hope to offer expression, inspiration, healing, sharing, and most importantly, love. Being in love does not consist of loving everything; being in love with life and with what you do exerts kindness, imagination, drive, how you live your life and can lead to a compassionate and honest world. I propose to offer a piece of this love with my company. I hope to inspire others to share love, weave communities, people, and differences together to create a more peaceful world.

JUNTOS Collective

Who or what inspires you?

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Artist Feature: Ebonie Smith

In November of 2013, I was lucky enough to be in the audience for a panel discussion at the Hip Hop Think Tank III that featured New York-based music producer and composer Ebonie Smith. She dropped important information about the relevance of remixing and technology in sound production, and we’ve connected since the event to have her share some of her inspiring work with the LIFESTYLE Collective. Ebonie brings us ideas on how the power of sound can be used to reflect on and respond to the past, evident in her sampling voicemail messages from her late grandmother on her track “Circles of Robbie.” This track and appears on the melodic and impressive production beat tape Carnelian, one of Ebonie’s many dope projects. Between producing for Atlantic Records, running her own boutique music production and publishing company Eudora House, and founding Gender Amplified, a movement that supports female music producers, Ebonie holds it down on multiple fronts.

Ebonie Smith

Reflection and Response refers to one’s ability to adapt aspects of the past to impact the present. As a music producer and engineer, my work attempts to translate the past through sound and music technology.

– Ebonie Smith

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at? 

ES: I currently reside in New York City. I am originally from Memphis, Tennessee.

What does Reflection and Response mean to you?

ES: Reflection and Response refers to one’s ability to adapt aspects of the past to impact the present. As a music producer and engineer, my work attempts to translate the past through sound and music technology.
How does Carnelian fit in with that definition?
ES: Carnelian is a production beat tape that exemplifies this definition in many ways. For example, the track “Circles of Robbie” is an ode to my grandmother, who unexpectedly died late last year. The track features samples from her voicemails to me. It also features samples of the music that helped me through that time. The track is a means of preserving her voice and elements of our special relationship. I use music technology and production skills to reference the past in an attempt to move forward.

What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?

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Artist Feature: Óscar Sánchez Lozano

Óscar Sánchez Lozano es el dueño de La Eriza, un taller de encuadernación ubicado en Malasaña, Madrid, España. Decidió entrar en el mercado de la encuadernación en Madrid después de unos años fuera viviendo en Londres. Cuando volvió a la ciudad quería crear su propio espacio y abrió su taller La Eriza. Mezclando el oficio de encuadernar con exposiciones de varios tipos de arte gráfico en el espacio del lugar, La Eriza representa un simbiosis de galería y taller. Le damos la bienvenida a Óscar que nos cuenta la historia interesante e original detrás de su taller único, La Eriza.

Óscar Sánchez Lozano is the owner and operator of La Eriza, a bookbinding workshop located in Malasaña, Madrid, Spain. Óscar decided to enter the market of bookbinding after living abroad in London for several years. Upon returning to Madrid he opted to establish his own space and opened his workshop La Eriza. Mixing the trade of bookbinding with expositions of different arts on the walls of his space, La Eriza represents a symbiosis between gallery and workshop. We welcome Óscar as he provides the interesting and unique story behind La Eriza.

Óscar Sánchez Lozano

Nosotros lo hemos planteado en términos de consolidación y calidad, lo que hace que nuestra fórmula parezca más estanca sin realmente serlo, pues cada encargo, cada pedido en sí, es un paso hacia delante en creatividad, experiencia laboral y atención al cliente.

We decided to focus on consolidation and quality – a formula that can make it seem like the business is more at a standstill than it really is. [Part of this formula is that] we consider each bookbinding order a step forward in creativity, work experience, and customer service.

– Óscar Sánchez Lozano

Para empezar con algunos puntos básicas, de dónde vienes? Dónde estás?

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

OSL: Vivo en Madrid, y aunque nací en esta ciudad pasé unos años en londres (que fue) algo decisivo para el nacimiento de La Eriza.

OSL: I live in Madrid, and although I was born here I spent some years in London, which was a formative experience for the creation of La Eriza.

La Eriza

La Eriza

Que quieren decir “reflexión,” y “respuesta,” para ti y cómo se mete tu arte y la Encuadernación La Eriza en esta definición? 

What does Reflection and Response mean to you, and how do you locate those ideas in your artwork and your bookbinding workshop Encuadernación La Eriza?

OSL: La reflexión es el proceso por el que se generan respuestas a un planteamiento. El planteamiento en este caso, como muchas decisiones vitales, es la conjunción de varias circunstancias. Por un lado la creación del taller surgió como respuesta a mi decisión de venirme a vivir a Madrid por unas razones totalmente ajenas a mi situación laboral o creativa. Podría haber buscado trabajo en talleres que ya existían, pero mi visión de la profesión y mi planteamiento de vida no iban a casar con la estructura gremial de este oficio en esta ciudad. Así que decidí crear mi propio espacio.

La reflexión me dio la oportunidad de dar forma al proyecto. Ubicación en el mercado, concepto, imagen, estrategia…la respuesta fue lo que hoy es La Eriza: un conjunto de muchos matices interconectados.

OSL: Reflection is the process through which you create responses to your plans. The plan, in this case, like many important decisions, came from a combination of several circumstances. On one hand, my plan for creating a [bookbinding] workshop emerged as a response to my decision to move to Madrid (for reasons completely unrelated to my work situation or my creative state). I could have looked for work in the various workshops that already existed in Madrid, but my vision and life plan did not fit in with the structure of the trade association in the city. Because of this disconnect, I decided to create my own space.

Reflection gave me the opportunity to form the project: a presence in the market, a concept, an image, a strategy…the response became what La Eriza is today: a combination of a bunch of different interconnected parts.

La Eriza

La Eriza

Que más estás haciendo actualmente o tienes planeado para La Eriza? Que proyectos estás pensando trabajar próximamente? 

What else are you working on currently, and what plans do you have for La Eriza? What projects are you thinking about working on next? 

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Artist Feature: Ruben García

Tuvimos la buena fortuna de conocer a Ruben García en 2013 en Granada cuando Ruben me invitó a pinchar en su bar, La Iguana. Ruben nos dio la bienvenida a su bar que utiliza su espacio para ofrecer buenas vibras junto a exposiciones, conciertos, sessiones de DJ, y varias otras actividades creativas. Ruben y la Iguana representan un núcleo creativo en esta ciudad activa y estimulante. En la entrevista abajo, Ruben nos da la bienvenida al Colectivo y comparte sus ideas sobre la importancia de Reflexión y Repuesta, su papel como facilitador de lugares de expresión, y mucho más.

We had the good fortune to get to know Ruben García in 2013 in Granada when Rubin booked me to spin in his bar, La Iguana. He welcomed us to his bar that harbors good vibes while also utilizing its space to present expositions, concerts, DJ sets, and other forms of creative expression. Ruben and la Iguana are an important creative nucleus in this active and stimulating city. In our interview below, Ruben welcomes us into his world and shares his ideas about the benefits of Reflection and Response, his role as a venue facilitator, and other themes.

Ruben García

Y creo, sinceramente, que hay que apoyar a los nuevos valores. Todo el mundo se merece una oportunidad y me siento muy orgulloso de poder hacerlo.

I sincerely believe that we need to support new principles. Everyone deserves an opportunity and I feel very proud to be able to provide that.

– Ruben García

Para empezar con algunos puntos básicos, de dónde vienes? Dónde estás?

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

RG: Nací en Madrid, España, donde he pasado la mayor parte de mi vida. Una ciudad increíble que te ofrece un montón de cosas, pero que en el día a día, en la época que nos ha tocado vivir, se hace un poco difícil la supervivencia…

Un buen día, hace ya 10 años, decidí irme a Granada de vacaciones y desde entonces estoy  aquí. Se ha convertido en mi hogar y estoy muy agradecido por las oportunidades y vivencias que esta ciudad me ha dado.

RG: I was born in Madrid, Spain, where I’ve spent most of my life. [Madrid is] an incredible city with lots of stuff going on, but in the day-to-day in the era that we live in, survival is a bit difficult.

One good day 10 years ago, I decided to travel to Granada on vacation and I’ve lived here ever since. It’s become my home and I’m very grateful for the opportunities and experiences that this city has given me.

Qué quiere decir “reflexión,” y “respuesta,” para ti?

What does Reflection and Response mean to you?

RG: Son dos palabras que podrían ajustarse al ideal de cambiar el mundo, pero sinceramente, esto me parece un poco utópico. Creo que para cambiar el mundo,  puesto que es evidente que la mayoría de la gente no estamos de acuerdo con cómo están las cosas, estas palabras deberíamos utilizarlas con honestidad. Empezar por cambiar todo aquello que no nos guste de nosotros, principalmente, y aplicar ese cambio a nuestro día a día. En las cosas pequeñas. Sobre todo con la gente con la que nos relacionamos y la forma que tenemos de hacerlo.

Reflexión: Qué estoy haciendo con mi vida? Me gusta lo que hago y cómo lo hago? Podría mejorar y aportar algo para hacer mi vida y la de los demás, si no más fácil, más divertida?

Respuesta: SIEMPRE SE PUEDE MEJORAR. Y SI CREES EN ALGO, VE A POR ELLO. NADA ES IMPOSIBLE.

RG: These are two words that fit in with [an overall] goal of changing the world, but frankly, this seems a bit utopian to me. I believe that in order to change the world – since it’s evident that the majority of people don’t agree with the way things are – we should use these words honestly. First off, we need to begin by trying to change things about ourselves that we aren’t satisfied with, and apply these changes to our daily lives, [especially] in small ways. More than anything, [we should focus on] people whom we come in close contact with, in the ways in which we do so.

Reflection: What am I doing with my life? Do I like what I do, and how I do it? Can I improve [on what I do] and contribute something more in order to make my life, and the lives of others more pleasant, if not a bit easier?

Response: YOU CAN ALWAYS IMPROVE YOURSELF. AND IF YOU BELIEVE IN SOMETHING, GO FOR IT. NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE.

Cómo se mete tu arte en esta definición?

How does your art fit in with that definition?

RG: Bueno… No puedo definirme a mí mismo como un artista. Eso es tarea de otros.

Sí puedo decirte que soy una persona multidisciplinar, a la que le gusta “jugar” en diferentes campos, relacionados de alguna manera con el arte: diseño gráfico, sesiones de música, fotografía, moda… Pero lo de considerarme un artista, me viene un poco grande!

Con mi proyecto actual, un bar llamado LA IGUANA,  intento ayudar y darle una oportunidad a gente que tiene algo que enseñar o que decir. No es sólo un bar. Es también una plataforma donde artistas de diferentes disciplinas pueden mostrar sus ideas. Ofrecemos un espacio en el que quien quiera, es bienvenido y valorado. Colaboramos con músicos, fotógrafos, pintores, disc jockeys… Tengo la suerte de vivir en una ciudad que cuenta con gente muy activa y con muchas ganas de hacer cosas. Y creo, sinceramente, que hay que apoyar a los nuevos valores. Todo el mundo se merece una oportunidad y me siento muy orgulloso de poder hacerlo.

Tienes una idea y no puedes mostrarla? Vente a La Iguana!

RG: Well…I can’t really call myself an artist. That’s other people’s job.

I’d tell you [instead] that I’m a multidisciplinary person who likes “playing” in different fields, in some way connected with art: graphic design, music, photography, fashion…But to consider myself an artist seems to me a bit profound!

With my current project, a bar called La Iguana, I’m trying to help out and provide opportunities to people who have something to teach or say. It’s not just a bar. It’s also a platform where artists from various disciplines can share their ideas. We provide a space where anybody that wants to [participate] is welcome and valued. We collaborate with musicians, photographers, painters, DJ’s…I’m lucky enough to live in a city with people who are very active and have strong desires to do things. I sincerely believe that we need to support new principles. Everyone deserves an opportunity and I feel very proud to be able to provide that.

Have an idea and aren’t able to show it anywhere? Come to La Iguana!

La Iguana

La Iguana – Granada, España

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