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Assembly x NYU 2021: Art and Abolition


Assembly Program, workshop & performance, Whitney Museum, New York, NY, 6/22/18. Photo by Andrew Kist. Courtesy of Whitney Museum.
Assembly Program, workshop & performance, Whitney Museum, New York, NY, 6/22/18. Photo by Andrew Kist. Courtesy of Whitney Museum.

Assembly Program, workshop & performance, Whitney Museum, New York, NY, 6/22/18. Photo by Andrew Kist. Courtesy of Whitney Museum.

March 11, 18, & 25, 2021

Workshops hosted by The Gallatin Galleries and Assembly, with Shaun Leonardo and Peer Leaders. On Zoom. Open to all.

What role can art, the image and performance play in understanding the abolition movement? How can creative practices serve as a conduit from the present carceral state and police apparatus to abolition? In these three midday workshops, peer leaders, artists, and educators will come together with students and faculty and the broader public to interrogate ways the idea of embodied performance, visual art and storytelling can help us reimagine a world in which the possible is not limited to that delineated by the legacies of oppression, colonialism and racism.

Workshop 1: Storytelling. March 11, 1pm-2:15

Utilizing a game of cause and effect, participants will delve into the historical emergence and growth of the New York Police Department, while questioning our collective memory of racially-charged events in the city and their resulting outcomes.

With an introduction from Gallatin Professor Leila Buck.

Workshop 2: Performance. March 18, 1pm-2:15

Utilizing visual storytelling, participants will create gestures which embody episodes of police activity, while problematizing our reliance on law enforcement and seeking alternative solutions to safety.

With an introduction from Gallatin Professor Michael Dinwiddie.

Workshop 3: Visual Art. March 25, 1pm-2:15

Visualizing scenarios that involve intensifying conflict, participants will learn various de-escalation techniques, while developing a practice of listening toward both internal and external conflict resolution.

With an introduction from Gallatin Professor Stephen Duncombe.

About the artist




Ana Teresa Rodríguez (she/her) is an illustrator and artist from San Juan, Puerto Rico. She specializes in drawing, painting, and murals. The imagery in many of Ana's works are directly inspired by the confusion and uncertainty she feels when facing the socioeconomic and political reality of her homeland, Puerto Rico. Some themes explored in her personal work are the connection between beings and nature, the contrast between what is industrial and natural, and the human sentiment.

Wow Quisqueya (they/them) is a Brooklyn born and bred multifaceted artist with the mission of bringing light to color, sound and touch in relation to each other to share their unique and often relatable experiences. Their physical and visual art is often aligned or accompanied by poetry, thoughts and/or sounds. Wow works with acrylic paints, watercolors, ceramics, waste materials, and voice to embrace all 6 senses.

Clay Floyd (he/him) is a novelist, hip hop artist and multi instrumentalist as well as fellow in Recess focused on the creation of worlds, stories, and characters meant to inspire the viewer. Clay is also the accountant/ a member of 3LS3WH3R, a music collective out of New York City.

Hoshy (he/him) is a stylist and visual artist based in New York City born and raised in Ethiopia. As a passionate visual artist and stylist, he navigates the intersection of creativity and style, transforming visions into tangible expressions through photography, storytelling, and fashion.

Grim (she/her) is a digital artist, tattoo artist, and print shop lead at Recess Art based in Brooklyn NY. Specializing in technical printing as well as digital illustration, Grim creates dynamic designs and works - a deep passion since 2nd grade.

Tai Lee (he/him) is a native NYC based artist, musician, and designer working primarily with text based paintings and designs. From a young age, Tai has been drawn to the way creativity and language intersect and how it can be used to convey complex emotions and ideas around identity through both lyrics as a musician, and lines as a painter and designer. Working primarily in painting, Tai creates intricate pieces that are both visually stunning, emotionally charged, and full of his own personality and experience.

Baruch Bourdeau (he/him) Baruch is an experienced musician, studio engineer, photographer & aspiring actor with a strong taste for detail and a passion for capturing beautiful sounds and images. Baruch is skilled in both traditional and digital photography, proficient in post-processing, sound production, software engineering as well as being a community organizer and band leader.

Founded in 2016, Assembly offers system-impacted young people aged 18-26 an inroad to art and connections to working artists, while serving as an alternative to incarceration and its intersecting systems of oppression. The curriculum empowers young people to take charge of their own life story and envision a future through art. The program diverts both misdemeanor and felony charges and in 2020 expanded to include a peer-to-peer referral model, allowing us to broaden our reach.



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November 11, 2023–January 25, 2024

Session & Assembly Collaboration: BARRO

Marcela Torres and Assembly

Torres in collaboration with Assembly will explore the history of New York through its soil and natural clay deposits.

May - June 2022

For Freedoms: Another Justice By Any Medium Necessary


This For Freedoms billboard campaign will culminate their series of creative programming exploring dimensions of carceral justice.