#ImmiGreat: Immigrants Enrich American Communities

January 2018 || The Local NYC

Opening Reception Friday, January 19th 2018 from 6pm to 10pm

Organized by Rasoulpour Torregozathe Law Firm for Immigrants by Immigrants.

www.legalease.us || info@legalease.us

 Immigrants and refugees will continue to give rise to viable communities, infusing new blood in local labor markets, filling positions at different levels of the economy, and adding to the diversity of sounds, sights, and tastes of American cities. The history of this “nation of nations” is, to large extent, the history of the arrival, struggles, and absorption of its immigrants. Despite the rising chorus of xenophobia and restrictionism as we pen these lines, the evidence points to a future that will mirror this past.
 – Alejandro Portes and Rubén G. Rumbaut, Immigrant America, A Portrait

2017 was an unpredictable year for immigrants and their advocates. As immigration attorneys in Queens, New York - the most ethnically diverse urban area in the world - we wanted to begin 2018 by celebrating the immigrant experience and showing that immigrants have always positively contributed to their communities, making America great. #ImmiGreat is our way of our providing a space to make immigrant voices heard and their stories revealed.

Thank you to all of the participating artists, including Corky Lee, Marcos Chin, ASVP Art, Dan Alvarado, Dhanashree Ghadiyar, Jayne Lies, Raphael Gonzalez, Erlin Geffrard, David Sastre, Edward Acosta, Jo Di Bona, SuperStop, and Bust the Drip.

Curatorial Advisors: Mai Kikuchi-Torregoza and Hannah McHale.

Music by Dovie Beams Lovechild.

Thanks to Mendez Printing and the Management and Staff at The Local!




Mai Kikuchi-Torregoza is an interdisciplinary arts administrator, web/graphic designer and translator based in NYC. Originally from Tokyo, Japan, she has worked at various creative projects with international, multicultural organizations both in the USA and Japan.

Besides currently working on the final project to complete her M.A. in Art History with a concentration in Museum Studies from The City College of New York, Mai is also a new mom to a baby boy. She is thrilled to be occupied in this new endeavor.

She received her B.A. in Arts Management from The CUNY Baccalaureate for Unique and Interdisciplinary Studies and B.A. in Political Science from Komazawa University.  

Instagram: @kikumai & @museumexploration

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Hannah McHale is a Queens native and museum professional with a background in museum registration and exhibitions. Concentrating in modern and contemporary art, Hannah is interested in connecting new audiences with the relevance of art and art history in the digital age.

Beginning in January 2018, she will be pursuing a career in Museum Education with a focus on Public Programming for adult audiences. Hannah received her Master’s Degree in Art History-Museum Studies from The City College of New York in June 2016 and is a current staff member of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

She is honored to help curate the work of the talented artists of #ImmiGreat and wishes all the best to the LegalEase team.



Thanks to Mai Kikuchi, Lisa Reiner, Paula Purpera, Izel Fortunato and Joao Fonseca. We'll keep updating this slideshow as we get more photos from the event.


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Edward Acosta

Edward Acosta, a New York based artist, finds inspiration in consumerism and consumption. A self-described visionary and perfectionist, his art is inspired by the fetishized world of fashion as it relates to a global affluent society.

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Bust the Drip

Bust the Drip is a French artist, originally a hip hop dancer belonging to the group Fush Wong.

Musical vibrations lead him during his creations, which recreates body movements, resulting in art that is dynamic and flowing; technical and instinctive at the same time. Bust the Drip became well-known with his graffiti and his collages. He was part of several events like "Street Art on the Roc" and "Art for Autism" in 2016, "Shakewell Festival," "Street Montmartre" and a festival for the struggle against breast cancer in 2017. His paintings are exhibited in the Young Artists Montmartre (YAM) gallery since November 2017.

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Dhanashree Gadiyar

Dhanashree Gadiyar an artist, arts administrator and educator from India working in New York. She has done fellowships with the Bronx Museum of the Arts and The Laundromat Project in the last few years. She works with stories of immigrants from different countries and uses interviews turning these narratives in form of individual portraits and large-scale installation using drawing, screenprinting painting and handcut handmade paper walls.

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Corky Lee

Corky Lee is a second-generation Chinese American from Queens. He became interested in photojournalism when in the 1960s he saw a well-known photograph commemorating the 1869 completion of the Transcontinental Railroad with no Chinese workers documented in the picture despite thousands of them working and sacrificing their lives in its construction. From that moment on, he has devoted his art to making the accomplishments of immigrant Americans more visible.

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Siker began graffiti in 1990 in Toulouse alongside Tilt, Der, Ceet, Soon. He left a few years later to Canada where he is considered one of the pioneers of this discipline. He belongs to the closed community of "trainers" whose favorite supports are trains and other subways. He traveled Europe and went to meet his pairs, activists themselves and real engines of the underground graffiti scene. For Siker, graffiti is an engaged, moving art whose values are spontaneity, surpassing oneself and, above all, solidarity. From this practice, Siker retains the risk-taking, the adrenaline, the dark atmosphere of the night that he tries to transpose in his work on canvas.

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Dan Alvarado

Dan Alvardo is a painter, printmaker, and illustrator, who creates mixed works of political satire and bright imagery.

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Marcos Chin

Marcos Chin is an award-winning illustrator whose work has appeared as surface and wall designs, on book and CD covers, advertisements, fashion catalogues, and magazines. He has worked for MTA Arts for Transit, Neiman Marcus, Fiat, Budweiser, Time, Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, GQ, Sports Illustrated, and The New York Times. He has given lectures and workshops throughout the U.S. and abroad and currently lives in New York where he teaches illustration at the School of Visual Arts.

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Erlin A. Geffrard

Mr. Geffrard was born and raised in West Palm Beach, Florida, into a Haitian-American family of Baptist and Voudoun religions. He is an ordained Haitain Voudon priest struggling to understand his divine title, and through his art, he re-appropriates religious, cultural, political and historical allegories and symbolism.

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Jayne Lies

Jayne Lies is a New York City based artist whose work includes video direction, creative direction, photography, and everything in between.

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Self-taught multidisciplinary artist, SuperStop, is an artistic director, illustrator and painter.

His fragile spray can lines search for a spontaneous and realistic result. These representations are timeless scenes, aiming at the mere evocation of sensations and universal emotions. Active for more than ten years on the walls of his city, Toulouse, France, SuperStop has participated in various festivals and exhibitions of urban arts internationally.


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ASVP Art is a Brooklyn-based artistic collaboration. Since its formation in 2009, ASVP has become known worldwide for creating graphic images with nods to advertising, pop and comic book culture, juxtaposed with layers of organic abstraction. A combination of painting and printmaking remain central to their approach. Their art has been featured internationally in auction houses and galleries: Doyle New York’s Annual Contemporary Sale, Digard Paris, 2015 Art Basel Festival (Switzerland) and Dallas Contemporary.

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Jo Di Bona

Jo Di Bona is the new emblematic face of the Parisian streetart scene. He owes his dazzling success to the unique technique he invented himself: popgraffiti. His work associates collages, diverse graffiti influences and the pop culture he is deeply immersed in. Fauvist of the modern times, he mixes colors and movements to create faces filled with poetry, emotions and joie de vivre. He was awarded the prestigious “1st Prize of Graffiti” from the EDF Foundation. Jo was also one of the first Street Artists to exhibit his work at the United Nations in NYC in January 2017.

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Raphael “Zurbaran1” Gonzalez is a Queens-based photographer who creates intriguing, visually dynamic images of streetart, often focusing on the artists at work.


David Sastre

David Sastre is a New York based photographer originally from Colombia. His work, which explores the interaction between his subjects and their working environment, has been published in the New York Times.

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Dovie Beams Lovechild

Dovie Beams Love Child is the NYC-based instrumental project from Juan Torregoza & Lito Vales. Formed in 2008, quiet soundscapes lay the foundation of the music, injected with sudden noise outbursts. 


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