Artist INC Houston Peer Facilitators

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Emanuelee “Outspoken Bean” is a performance poet, writer, compassionate mentor, electric entertainer, and an educator. Bean travels the country performing his original works and inspiring creative minds. Bean is a military brat but, calls San Antonio, Texas home and since high school Bean has been producing shows and performing continuously. That work ethic has taken him to Trinidad to Off-Broadway New York City and across the Houston Metropolitan where he inspires people from all walks of life to find their voice. He is a Texas Poet Laureate nominee, ranked 9th in the Individual World Poetry Slam 2013, ranked 2nd in collaborative poetry at Group Piece Finals 2013 and, is ranked 11th at National Poetry Slam 2014 (both with Houston VIP). He started performing spoken-word in 2005. In his senior year at Prairie View A&M, Bean founded and coached the University’s first poetry slam team. In their first year, they won the title in their region and grabbed the 8th place ranking in the country at College Union Poetry Slam Invitational (CUPSI ’08). Bean has also worked with the Harris County Department of Education, Houston’s Young Audiences: Arts for Learning and Texas Commission for the Arts, and Houston Grand Opera. He serves as the Project Coordinator, Lead Coach and mentor for Meta-Four Houston, a project under Writers in the Schools’ WITS Performance program. Where professional performance/slam poets encourage self-expression and literacy among Houston’s youth through creative writing and performance.

Felipe Lopez

Felipe Lopez is a multi-dimensional self-taught artist. Born in New York, Lopez has participated in dozens of exhibitions and museums around the country. Lopez's professional career began over seven years ago with exhibitions exploring mixed media drawings & paintings. His new works are a now mix of 2D and 3D including installation, photography, large-scale monoprinted sculptures, and video with sound art. 

In his early career, Lopez was selected as one of 15 artists to participate in the TSU Youth Entrepreneurship Academy. He is a 2011 Recipient of the Young Art Entrepreneur Award from Ernst & Young and has since appeared in various print articles and editorials over the years including Houston Style magazine in which he was featured as a 2011 emerging artist on the rise.

In 2013, Felipe's work was included in two large exhibitions at prestigious institutions: the Exposure exhibition in Long Island City, NY and the African American Artist exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. That same year Lopez was selected for a well-received solo show by Houston Arts Alliance in Houston, TX. In 2014, Felipe began exhibiting a new series of paintings and sculptural works in his Hook series and exhibited work at Art Miami. 2015 included work at the African American Artist Exhibition at MFAH, Houston Fine Art Fair, Texas Contemporary, and KCAM.

Most recently, Lopez’s work has been featured at Revision Space in Pittsburg, PA, a solo show at Katy Contemporary Art Museum, and a solo at The Duende Art Project. Fall 2016 plans include installations at the Houston Art Fair and Texas Contemporary, along with a pop up show in NYC for Fashion Week.

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Mario E. Figueroa, Jr. aka GONZO247 was born and raised in Houston, Texas. GONZO was exposed to graffiti and began his pursuit as a self-taught artist in 1985. He opened Aerosol Warfare Gallery, founded The Graffiti & Street Art Art Museum of Texas (2015), produced an Aerosol Warfare video series, established a Houston Wall Of Fame (the city’s first largest art production of its kind), has participated in over 50 exhibitions and art projects while also working with top brand campaigns that speak to urban communities.  He has evolved his studio art from aerosol on canvas to aerosol on layered plexiglass using a backwards painting technique.  He creates art on a local, national and international level.  He is well known as an upstanding artist and an early-on pioneer in the graffiti and street art genres in Houston, Texas; he manages Aerosol Warfare and continues to create art, murals and team-based productions.

He has served several communities in his local hometown Houston, Texas through teaching his medium and volunteering his time to fellow artists and art groups throughout his career.  Some of the local organizations he has worked with are TEDxYouth Houston, Avenue CDC - Art on The Avenue, DiverseWorks,  Fresh Arts, Houston Arts Alliance, The Orange Show Center and Project Row Houses.  

Some of his most recent achievements include curator & founder of The HUE (Houston Urban Experience) Mural Festival (2015) and The new Graffiti & Street Art Museum (GASAM) of Texas (2015).  Exhibitions and projects Houston Zoo Washed Ashore Mural (2016), City of Houston, Parks & Recreation - Elephant Park Art (2016), HOLA Houston, Houston First, Murals throughout Mexico (2016), Houston Dynamo, Paint It Black Mural and Poster Art (2016), Williams Tower Parking Garage Mural, Hines (2016), NCAA Final Four Houston Art Installation/Sculpture (2016), The Houston Zoo’s Gorilla Art Campaign (2015), City of Houston Office of Cultural Affairs, Spreading the Love exhibit (2015), Parliament of Owls, DiverseWorks Art Space (2015), Saint Arnold Brewery, Several projects & Beer Can Designer for Art Car IPA (2011- present), MARCO Museum, Monterrey Mexico (2015), SXSW Public Art Installation (2015), Texas State Capitol Senator Ellis Art Gallery (2015), SCOPE Miami (2014), Lobby Art Installation, The Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau (2014), Esperson Gallery, (2014), Metro Retro Furniture, Graffiti Patina (2014), JW Marriott Houston Art Collection in Picasso Gallery (2014 - Present), Zino Platinum, The Make of Texas Cigar Box Artist (2014), the design and painting of the popular, recognizable “Houston Is…” Mural with The Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau (GHCVB) (Houston, TX 2013), Downtown Public Library Parking Garage Mural (Houston, TX, 2011); City of Houston Art Collection at The Houston Permitting Building; interview for the Center for Arts Leadership - Master of Arts Leadership program and Archives at University of Houston, (2013); mentioned in The History of American Graffiti, (2011), his oral history was recorded for The Houston Metropolitan Research Center and much more.  Full list of achievements available upon request.

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Tami Merrick has lived and worked for the past 16 years at her studio in the First Ward Cultural Arts District in Houston Texas.  She has studied extensively at Art League and completed a certification at MFAH Glassell School of Art with major in painting and sculpture.  In addition, she has a Master of Architecture degree.  Recently Merrick received a Houston City Initiative Grant for an international collaboration project. “Rorpost Collaboration Project” was created with her artist critique organization called Art Chatter.  She is completing a two artist collaborative sculpture commission at the Geroge R. Brown convention in Houston for September 2016.  

Mollie Miller - Photo by Les Campbell

Mollie Haven Miller is a dancer, educator and arts administrator from the Houston area.  She received her BS in Dance from Texas State University before returning to Houston.  As a dancer she has performed works by Sara Draper, Rebecca French, Lydia Hance, and Ashley Horn, as well as her own choreography. Mollie has taught a wide range and variety dance genres, and still continues to work preschool age children through creative movement classes. She has worked for Dance Source Houston, a service organization that promotes and supports Houston's professional dance community, for six years and was recently promoted to Interim Director.  In her expanded role with DSH, Mollie produces the Barnstorm Dance Fest, facilitates the organization' s programs and services including membership, residency, dance writings, and professional development workshops, as well as serves as the face of the organization and advocate for the local dance community.

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Lori Yuill is an independent choreographer, performer and teaching artist.  Her work challenges audiences to look at dance in new ways, and aims to create and connect to community through movement. She did her undergraduate work at TCU and then moved to Guatemala to perform and teach with Momentum Danza Contemporanea.  In 2000 Lori returned to Houston and performed with Suchu Dance.  In 2003 Lori moved to NY to pursue a masters degree at Sarah Lawrence College. She spent the next decade in New York and DC performing for Sara Rudner, Anneke Hansen, Milka Djordjevich, Stephanie Miracle, and Daniel Burkholder/The Playground.  Lori’s choreography has been presented internationally in Paraguay, Guatemala, Brooklyn, NYC, and Houston.  She was a 2014-2015 Artist in Residence at Dance Source Houston and received an Artist Project Grant from Houston Art Alliance to make “The Story of a Space”, a site specific piece set in Tranquility Park.