by Shalimar Luis


For me, music is the most impressive art form. It’s universal. It's practically magic. I’m fascinated by improvisation—the moment a musician picks up their instrument and plays what they feel. What could easily be noise becomes a melody that connects with anyone, anywhere. The discovery and creativity of self that comes from improvisation is what I am always chasing in my work.

The work of improvisation is born out of something unplanned; a moment that cannot exist again. With each painting I try to discover a completely new moment—an image in time and space that expresses a new understanding within myself, and shares that experience with the world.

I graduated from SVA in 2007 with a BFA in Graphic Design. Since then, I’ve made strides in my career as a designer and Creative Director, but I always wonder where life may have taken me if I had pursued my truest passion. Being mostly self-taught, building my portfolio in between the hours I work and sleep, and looking for virtual validation—I have always craved the structure of a true fine arts program. I realize it’s a hunger I’ll feel forever.

With this program, I hope to not only develop my craft but also deepen my understanding of myself as an artist and how I speak to my work. This residency is an opportunity for dedication, experimentation, and most importantly the chance to work alongside peers with the same ambitions. It will give me the tools I need to elevate my work and keep feeling the music of the moment.