Michael Gormley, Executive Director of the New York Artist Equity Association, announced that Savona Bailey-McClain, Executive Director & Chief Curator of the West Harlem Art Fund, and Alaiyo Bradshaw, Director of the First Year Program at Parsons School of Design of Fine Art and Vice President of the Brooklyn Watercolor Society will join the Board of Directors of the NYAE.
NYAE was founded in the 1940s by more than 160 leading American artists including Will Barnet, Thomas Hart Benton, George Biddle, Paul Cadmus, Stuart Davis, Arthur Dove, Marsden Hartley, Edward Hopper, Leon Kroll, Jacob Lawrence, John Marin, Louise Nevelson, John Sloan and the first President Yasuo Kuniyoshi. These disparate artists all agreed on one thing – they needed to band together to establish and protect the artists’ economic well-being. In the announcement, Gormley states, “The addition of Ms. Bailey-McClain and Ms. Bradshaw reinforces the association’s mission to advance career opportunities for underrepresented artists, particularly those from underserved communities.”
Savona Bailey-McClain notes, “I’m honored to be part of such an important organization, of which Harlem giants Gwendolyn and Jacob Lawrence were founding members.” Ms. Bailey-McClain is a Harlem-based curator and arts curator. She is Executive Director/Chief Curator of the West Harlem Art Fund, which for the past 20 years has organized high-profile public art exhibitions throughout New York City, including Times Square, DUMBO, Soho, Governors Island and Harlem. Her public art installations include sculpture, drawing, performance, sound, and mixed media, and have been widely covered by The New York Times, Art Daily, Artnet, Los Angeles Times, and The Huffington Post, among others. She is also the Host/Producer of State of the Arts NYC, a podcast program on Podyssey, Radio Public, Youtube, Mixcloud and other audio platforms. She is a member of ArtTable, advisory board member of NYC’s Dance in Sacred Places, Governors Island Advisory Council and new board member of African Dream Network.
Alaiyo Bradshaw has been a visual artist and illustrator for over 30 years and her career as a collegiate art teacher began in 1995. Teaching art history, painting, digital design, printmaking and adobe construction has brought Bradshaw a wide range of experiences, sharing her knowledge. She has taught at Long Island University, Montclair State, the Montclair Art Museum and at the Parsons School of Design for over 20 years. She is currently Professor of Fine Arts and Director of the First Year Program with over 300 faculty and 1400 students. During her time at Parsons, she developed a new art and design curriculum. Bradshaw now manages first year operations, overseeing the effective delivery of curriculum, maintaining and developing academic and pedagogical capacity with faculty throughout the program, building a faculty culture, and understanding and meeting the evolving needs and interests of students . She is also Vice President of the Brooklyn Watercolor Society, a prestigious association of longtime signature artists. Your role on the Board is to oversee our programs for our Associate Members, help plan our events, and organize guest speakers and gallery exhibitions along with the President, Treasurer, and Secretary. Ms. Bradshaw adds, “My experience as an artist, illustrator, executive, committee member and general staff motivates me to join Artists Equity as a board member. My focus on equity, inclusion and social justice at Parsons will become part of my role as well. I want to work with the other board members to learn from their experiences and develop new initiatives, programs and memberships.”
The Equity Gallery serves both as a gallery for artists to exhibit their work and as a community hub for delivering professional workshops and innovative programs that address important issues of interest to artists and curators. As such, the NYAE acts as a counterbalance to today’s increasing focus on the art market by maintaining an experiential space that prioritizes process over product and intent over style, allowing artists and related professionals to come together as trusted stewards working with funding of visual culture.
Ms. Bailey-McClain and Ms. Bradshaw will help the association’s artists prepare for gallery exhibitions and secure public art opportunities.