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Announcing Firstdraft Directors 2019-2020

Firstdraft is thrilled to announce the 2019/20 board of directors: Athena Thebus, Claudia Roosen, Jamey Nguyen, Julia Mendel, Nadia Hernández, Ohni Blu and Soo-Min Shim. Together they join Justine Youssef, Tahjee Moar and  Tian Zhang as Firstdraft continues to present innovative work across our Exhibition, Curators, Writers and Public Programs. We warmly welcome our new directors and look forward to the creativity and leadership they will bring to their new roles at Firstdraft.

Athena Thebus’  is an artist who works with sculpture, photography, video, and writing. Her practice harnesses the productive force of Desire. The works often have an undercurrent of celestial Catholicism as influenced by her Filipina mother. Her recent exhibitions of solo and collaborative work include; Next Wave Festival, Sugar Mountain Festival, Liveworks, and Campbelltown Arts Centre Real Real #3. She is a Scorpio with a Sagittarius rising and a Capricorn moon.

Athena Thebus’ is an artist who works with sculpture, photography, video, and writing. Her practice harnesses the productive force of Desire. The works often have an undercurrent of celestial Catholicism as influenced by her Filipina mother. Her recent exhibitions of solo and collaborative work include; Next Wave Festival, Sugar Mountain Festival, Liveworks, and Campbelltown Arts Centre Real Real #3. She is a Scorpio with a Sagittarius rising and a Capricorn moon.

Claudia Roosen  is a young arts worker with a background in advocacy and engagement and a passion for creating holistically inclusive spaces. Following the completion of a Bachelor of Art Theory from UNSW A&D, she gained 4 years of experience working for small galleries, major institutions and most recently Australia’s peak advocacy body for artists, the National Association for the Visual Arts. She brings a community focus to all of her work. Outside of work, she likes to collaborate with her community on art projects and spark conversations

Claudia Roosen is a young arts worker with a background in advocacy and engagement and a passion for creating holistically inclusive spaces. Following the completion of a Bachelor of Art Theory from UNSW A&D, she gained 4 years of experience working for small galleries, major institutions and most recently Australia’s peak advocacy body for artists, the National Association for the Visual Arts. She brings a community focus to all of her work. Outside of work, she likes to collaborate with her community on art projects and spark conversations

Jamey Nguyen  is a Sydney-based marketer, specialising in strategic communications. She has over 6 years experience in commercial advertising and experiential events and activations. She has worked closely with state government departments and bodies such as City of Sydney, and has managed various community engagement programs that include an array of local commercial and contemporary artists. Jamey holds a Bachelor of Business, with a double major in advertising and marketing. She is extremely passionate about supporting local contemporary and emerging artists and brings a unique and diverse set of skills and knowledge to Firstdraft.

Jamey Nguyen is a Sydney-based marketer, specialising in strategic communications. She has over 6 years experience in commercial advertising and experiential events and activations. She has worked closely with state government departments and bodies such as City of Sydney, and has managed various community engagement programs that include an array of local commercial and contemporary artists. Jamey holds a Bachelor of Business, with a double major in advertising and marketing. She is extremely passionate about supporting local contemporary and emerging artists and brings a unique and diverse set of skills and knowledge to Firstdraft.

Julia Mendel  is a creative producer whose work is focused on socially engaged practices and community led projects. She is currently Public Programs Producer at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Previously she held the position of Community Engagement Producer at Information and Cultural Exchange (ICE), Parramatta, where she initiated the All Girl Electronic program for Western Sydney female, transgender and non-binary youth, offering training and mentorship in electronic music production. From 2015-2017 she co-directed the Critical Animals Creative Research Symposium as part of This is Not Art, Newcastle. In 2012 Julia graduated from the Australian National University with a Bachelor of Art History and Curatorship (Honours).

Julia Mendel is a creative producer whose work is focused on socially engaged practices and community led projects. She is currently Public Programs Producer at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Previously she held the position of Community Engagement Producer at Information and Cultural Exchange (ICE), Parramatta, where she initiated the All Girl Electronic program for Western Sydney female, transgender and non-binary youth, offering training and mentorship in electronic music production. From 2015-2017 she co-directed the Critical Animals Creative Research Symposium as part of This is Not Art, Newcastle. In 2012 Julia graduated from the Australian National University with a Bachelor of Art History and Curatorship (Honours).

Nadia Hernández  is an emerging artist whose visual arts practice is informed specifically by the current political climate of her home country and her diasporic experience as a Venezuelan woman living abroad. Articulated through textiles, paper constructions, painting, music, installations, sculptures and murals, her identity allows her, or perhaps encourages her, to create work that negotiates complex political narratives through the personal, the institutional and their intersections. Nadia holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Queensland University of Technology and Certificate IV in design from Shillington College. She has partaken in both solo and group exhibitions across Australia, most recently at Firstdraft, and was selected as the official artist for City of Sydney’s NYE 2017. She is a successful recipient of the Bundanon Trust Artist-in-Residence program and will undergo her residency in 2019.

Nadia Hernández is an emerging artist whose visual arts practice is informed specifically by the current political climate of her home country and her diasporic experience as a Venezuelan woman living abroad. Articulated through textiles, paper constructions, painting, music, installations, sculptures and murals, her identity allows her, or perhaps encourages her, to create work that negotiates complex political narratives through the personal, the institutional and their intersections. Nadia holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Queensland University of Technology and Certificate IV in design from Shillington College. She has partaken in both solo and group exhibitions across Australia, most recently at Firstdraft, and was selected as the official artist for City of Sydney’s NYE 2017. She is a successful recipient of the Bundanon Trust Artist-in-Residence program and will undergo her residency in 2019.

Ohni Blu  is an emerging artist, curator and events producer currently based in Sydney, Australia. They are passionately committed to collaboration and community focused events and outcomes. They have just finished a Bachelor of Visual Arts at Sydney College of the Arts and plan to continue their studies. Their work and projects explore themes of gender & identity, radical healing, disability, rituals of care, community relationships and the power of vulnerability.

Ohni Blu is an emerging artist, curator and events producer currently based in Sydney, Australia. They are passionately committed to collaboration and community focused events and outcomes. They have just finished a Bachelor of Visual Arts at Sydney College of the Arts and plan to continue their studies. Their work and projects explore themes of gender & identity, radical healing, disability, rituals of care, community relationships and the power of vulnerability.

Soo-Min Shim  is an arts writer based in Sydney currently completing her Bachelor of Art History and Theory (Honours) at the University of Sydney. Her research interests are focused around contemporary Asian art and she has written for several Australian and international publications including Art & The Public Sphere, The Artling, Art + Australia, Art Almanac, Runway Conversations, un Extended, and Running Dog.

Soo-Min Shim is an arts writer based in Sydney currently completing her Bachelor of Art History and Theory (Honours) at the University of Sydney. Her research interests are focused around contemporary Asian art and she has written for several Australian and international publications including Art & The Public Sphere, The Artling, Art + Australia, Art Almanac, Runway Conversations, un Extended, and Running Dog.

 
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