August 16, 2022, 6–7pm

Steven Anthony Johnson II in Conversation with Re’al Christian and TK Smith

Held in conjunction with Steven Anthony Johnson II: Getting Blood from Stone, the artist will speak with exhibition curator Re’al Christian and guest speaker TK Smith.

They will discuss Johnson’s art within the broader contexts of drawn portraiture as a symbolic language and its place within an evolving Black Southern Gothic tradition. Getting Blood from Stone presents drawings of family photographs that the artist has collected. According to the exhibition curator, the pictures are never quite complete—the painstaking detail in each sitter’s facial features contrasts with loose gestural backdrops, calling our attention to the subject while never truly revealing the full narrative of the scene unfolding. In this talk, Smith, Johnson, and Christian will consider modes of reframing Blackness and darkness as the protagonists of their stories through dream-like vignettes, as well as the relationship between Black subjectivities, historical narratives, and the surreal. 

Steven Anthony Johnson II is a draftsperson, interpretive archivist, storyteller, writer and curator living in Brooklyn, NY. They received their BFA in 2015 from the Maryland Institute College of Art, and MFA in 2017 from the New York Academy of Art. Utilizing the language of drawing, animation, and photo-documentary, their work attempts to make peace between the religious, intellectual, and humanistic ideals in relation to Blackness and “Otherness.” In so doing, they hypothesize the counter-narrative necessary to de-emphasize whiteness and “light” as the focal point of our shared intercultural narrative. Their drawings and installations utilize traditional techniques, memory, and photography to examine the intersections of Afro-ambiguity, Black mundanity, and the right to self-representation. Johnson was a 2022 artist in residence at ISCP sponsored by The New York Community Trust’s Edward and Sally Van Lier Fund. 

TK Smith is a Philadelphia-based curator, writer, and cultural historian. His curatorial projects include Roland Ayers: Calligraphy of Dreams, the 2021 Atlanta Biennial exhibition Virtual Remains, and Zipporah Camille Thompson: Looming Chaos. His writing has been published in Art in America, Monument Lab Bulletin, and ART PAPERS, where he is a contributing editor. In 2021, Smith was invited as inaugural writer-in-residence at the Vashon Artist Residency, and he was a 2022 recipient of an Andy Warhol Arts Writers Grant. Currently, Smith is a doctoral student in the History of American Civilization program at the University of Delaware, where he researches art, material culture, and the built environment.

Re’al Christian is a writer, editor, curator, and art historian based in Queens, NY. She is a contributing editor at ART PAPERS and the Assistant Director of Editorial Initiatives at the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School. Her work explores issues related to identity, diasporas, media, and materiality. Her essays, interviews, and criticism have appeared in Art in America, Art in Print, BOMB Magazine, and The Brooklyn Rail. She has written catalog and exhibition texts for CUE Art Foundation, DC Moore Gallery, Sikkema Jenkins & Co., and Performa, and has participated in public programs with Dieu Donné and the Rubin Foundation. Her recent solo and collaborative curatorial projects include The earth leaked red ochre at Miriam Gallery and The Black Index and Life as Activity: David Lamelas at the Hunter College Art Galleries. 

By visiting ISCP, you agree to abide by the following health and safety policies. Please make sure to plan ahead for your visit.
  • Four visitors are allowed in the galleries at a time, and appointments are required. Please write to to schedule an appointment.
  • All visitors are required to maintain social distancing, keeping six feet from anyone not in their party.
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  • An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 and other infectious conditions exists in any public space where people are present. Those visiting the International Studio & Curatorial Program voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19, other infectious conditions, and other hazards that may be present in a public space.

This program is supported, in part, by The New York Community Trust’s Edward and Sally Van Lier Fund; Hartfield Foundation, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council; New York City Council District 33; New York City Council District 34; New York State Council on the Arts and the New York State Legislature; The Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation; and William Talbott Hillman Foundation.


Participating Residents

August 10, 2022, 4-9pm

2022 Summer Open House

ISCP announces Summer Open House 2022, a day of studio presentations by artists and curators currently in residence. This event is free and open to the public.

Reserve your free timed ticket here. Tickets are required for entry.

Come and celebrate a summer evening with friends and take part in conversations about international contemporary art with arts professionals from around the world in ISCP’s loft building on the border of Bushwick and Williamsburg. Founded in 1994, ISCP was established to support the creative advancement of an international community of artists and curators in New York City.

Getting Blood from Stone, a solo exhibition of Steven Anthony Johnson II’s works, recipient of The New York Community Trust’s Edward and Sally Van Lier Fund residency at ISCP, curated by Re’al Christian, will be on view in the first floor project space. The exhibition is the synthesis of Johnson’s collection of cross-diasporic narrative from different time periods, presenting drawings and sound compositions that probe and process inherited trauma, and grapple with queerness, Blackness and class issues.

In addition, Lizania Cruz: Every Immigrant Is a Writer/Todo Inmigrante Es un Escritor, a solo exhibition of works by Lizania Cruz, an ISCP International artist-in-residence, will be on view in the 2nd floor gallery. The exhibition delves into individual and collective experiences of Black immigrants and first-generation Black Americans, culminating in the artist’s five-year project, We the News. It encompasses the many creative and participatory formats that Cruz’s iterative project has taken since 2017, ranging from community story circles, a newsstand display of zines available for visitors to activate, to workshops convened for immigrants to trace their routes to get to the United States.

Summer Open House is hosted by ISCP’s Young Patrons, a dynamic group that offers unique contemporary art events and programming, and provides support for institutional programs and operations. For further information and to become a member, please contact

ISCP thanks all of the generous collaboration and funding of residency sponsors and supporters.

This program is also supported, in part, by Evelyn Toll Family Foundation; Golden Artist Colors, Inc.; Google; Grimm Artisanal Ales; Hartfield Foundation; Materials for the Arts; Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation; New York City Council Member for the 33rd District; New York City Council Member for the 34th District; New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature; and William Talbott Hillman Foundation.

Open Hours: Wednesday, August 10, 4-9pm

July 28, 2022, 6–7pm

Artists at Work: Ying Chiun Lee with Junghyun Kim

For this Artists at Work, artist-in-residence Ying Chiun Lee will be interviewed by curatorial resident Junghyun Kim about her newest neon text pieces.

At the start of Lee’s ISCP residency in March 2022, she began researching the Asian massage businesses in the New York City region. Focusing on the linguistic qualities of commercial signs, Lee responded to the erotic ambiguity by creating new neon glass works. In her conversation with Kim, she will discuss her background in the study of glass as well as how it evolved during her New York residency.

Ying Chiun Lee’s process-driven work investigates human sexuality. Her research relies on feminist theory, queer ecologies, and Mandarin and English linguistics as she explores sensuality through various imaging processes, narrative methods, and storytelling. In her practice, Lee observes the materiality of glass and uses its fluidity, malleability, and translucency to reflect on the broad spectrum of genders and sexualities.The artist has exhibited work at GMTF Film Festival, Lybster; City Art Space and Joy Gallery, both Rochester, among others.

Junghyun Kim is a curator specializing in Asian contemporary art. She is interested in the relationship between the museum and the audience’s body. Through exhibitions, on/offline performances, community-engaged art and symposiums, Kim explores themes on ways to restore human senses in the digital environment. Her curatorial work has been shown at the Seoul Museum of Art, Buk-Seoul Museum of Art, and Songeun Art Cube, all in South Korea.

This program is supported, in part, by the Taipei Cultural Center in New York; Doosan Art Center; Hartfield Foundation, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council; New York City Council District 33; New York City Council District 34; New York State Council on the Arts and the New York State Legislature; The Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation; and William Talbott Hillman Foundation.


Participating Residents