NWSA BFA graduate Rafael Domenech receives “Tulsa Artist Fellowship”

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Rafael Domench paintingRafael DomenechMiami, FL – New World School of the Arts 2015 BFA visual artist, Rafael Domenech, is among the 12 artists who comprise the Tulsa Artist Fellowship's (TAF) inaugural class, announced The George Kaiser Family Foundation in Tulsa Arizona. Hailing from nine different states, the class includes artists specializing in weaving, sculpting, installations, painting and public art.Possessing a wide variety of experiences and talents, the fellows will be immersed into the local art scene through gallery shows, community-wide artfestivals and First Friday Art Crawls.
"We couldn't be more pleased with the high-level of talent and diversity this group of artists has to offer," said Stanton Doyle, senior program officer at George Kaiser Family Foundation. "The TAF selection panelists had a tough job and they approached it very carefully and deliberately. In our inaugural year, to have more than 300 applicants is truly remarkable. We can't wait to get the 12 selected artists to Tulsa and involved with the art community."
A Tulsa-based artist recruitment and retention program, TAF offers a generous package to early- and mid-career artists. The selected artists will receive a stipend ranging from $15,000 to $40,000 and, in most cases, free housing and studio workspace. The program seeks talented and diverse voices to support Tulsa's expanding arts scene. The fellowship willbegin on January 4, 2016.
Rafael Domenech attended the San Alejandro National Academy of Fine Arts, in Cuba, where he was recognized for his achievements in contemporary art, including his participation in the 9th and 10th Biennial of Havana. After graduating with high honors as sculptor, painter, and draftsman, he was accepted at Havana’s prestigious Superior Institute of Fine Arts (ISA). Rafael immigrated to the United States in 2010, to reunite with his mother who lived in West Palm Beach, Florida. He has had numerous exhibitions in groupshows including Detras del Muro/ Behind the Wall, 11th Havana Biennial, Havana City, Cuba; Walls of Artseen, Artseen, Miami; Rising Stars Exhibition, New World School of the Arts Gallery, Miami; Ya see leer, Arteamerica Art Fair,Miami; League for Innovation, Miami Dade College Kendall Campus, Miami and BFA Exhibition in Wynwood. Rafael received his BFA on April 2015 from New WorldSchool of the Arts, majoring in painting. He was the NWSA BFA class of 2015Valedictorian.

Rafael Domenech is an artist who focuses on the history of places and its connection to the place in his art. Comfortable working with multiple materials on different scales, he aims to create a connection between geographical locations and their social history through large-scale installations. Rafael's work has resulted in five solo exhibitions and seven group exhibitions, along with several collections. He was also the recipient of the Wolfson Family Scholarship in 2012.
Domenech is an avid reader who owns an extensive library of “reference” books on art and his work and has been influenced by Russian constructivism and by the German Bauhaus school – famous for its approach to design. He has also sought inspiration from artist Richard Serra and minimalist Donald Judd, from contemporary artists including photographer Maria Martinez-Cañas, faculty member at NWSA, and from his personal friend Peter Menendez.

"The TAF selection panel, which includes expert art historians, curators and artists, made their decisions after a thorough and rigorous process," said Julia Kirt, executive director at Oklahomans for the Arts and TAF committee member. "The panel agonized to ensure the class consisted of the highest caliber of artists who would also be a good fit for the community. The selected artists possess a diverse set oftalents and will only enrich the local art scene."
The seven-member selection panel included Tom Borrup, Dr. Lara Evans, Gloria Groom, Dr. Sylvester Ogbechie, Jennifer Scanlan, Raechell Smith and Hamza Walker. Their combined expertise is extensive and represents a broad range of exposure to all kinds of contemporary gallery- and public-oriented visual art.
About George Kaiser Family Foundation: George Kaiser Family Foundation (GKFF) is a charitable organization based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Type I 509(a)3 supporting organization of the Tulsa Community Foundation, dedicated to providing equal opportunity for young children in our community through investments in early childhood education, community health, social services, and civic enhancement.
About Tulsa Artist Fellowship: The Tulsa Artist Fellowship (TAF) is a program established by the George Kaiser Family Foundation to enhance the local art scene by retaining artists and recruiting artists to Tulsa. For more information, visit http://www.gkff.org/taf/.
About New World School of the Arts – visual arts program: Through gifted, emerging artists and unique programs, New World School of the Arts has become an educational and creative beacon of the arts. Trained by nationally renowned practicing artists, students are encouraged to develop a personal, artistic and aesthetic vision while mastering their own technical skills in traditional and new media. Areas of concentration for students seeking a four-year BFA college degree include drawing, digital media, graphic design, painting, photography and sculpture. More information available by calling the NWSA Visual Arts division at (305) 237-3620 or at http://nwsa.mdc.edu/
New World School of the Arts was created by the Florida Legislature as a center of excellence in the performing and visual arts. It is an educational partnership of Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Miami Dade College and theUniversity of Florida.