In support of our mission to provide an ever-changing line-up of talent, we enlist the help of a new Selection Committee for each edition. A team of art-world experts who bring their respective talents and differing perspectives, our committee chooses our final artist line-up from hundreds of applications. We’re delighted to introduce you to our November 2023 Committee.
India Balyejusa is an Associate Curator at Saatchi Art. She has a B.A. in Art History from Boston College and a Master’s degree in Urban Education from Union University. India taught high school math and art history in Memphis, TN and Beijing, China for 7 years prior to coming to Saatchi Art. Her favorite contemporary artists are Mickalene Thomas and El Anatsui.
Johnny Thornton (he/him) is an artist and curator who lives and works in Gowanus, Brooklyn. Born in Connecticut, he spent his childhood in Johannesburg, South Africa, before moving to Tucson, Arizona, where he studied Fine Arts at the University of Arizona. He received his MFA from Parsons School of Design, The New School in New York City. Thornton has exhibited and curated exhibitions throughout the United States and his artwork is part of several collections. Currently, Thornton works out of his studio and is the co-owner & head curator of Established Gallery in Brooklyn. Thornton is also the Executive Director of Arts Gowanus, a non-profit organization working to support, promote, and advocate for local artists and a sustainable arts community in Brooklyn.
Founded in Brooklyn, NY, in 2011, 3walls exhibits and promotes significant new work by local artists who have achieved excellence in their field. Through regular pop-up shows in homes, galleries, and commercial spaces, the three partners, Whitney Carr, Bevin Cline and Macon Jessop, seek to create an intimate atmosphere that encourages dialogue and exchange of ideas between artists and patrons. 3walls makes affordable art available to individuals and businesses, providing access to our artists via exhibitions, studio visits, online platforms and private consulting services.
Right Meets Left Design Studio
Right Meets Left Interior Design is an award-winning full-service design firm led by Founder and Principal Courtney McLeod. The Manhattan-based firm, located in the heart of the Flatiron District, focuses on luxury residential interior design and high-end new development condo staging. Courtney serves as a Trustee of the New York School of Interior Design. In 2022, Courtney debuted on both the ELLE Decor A-List and the 1stDibs Top 50. She has been named a 2022 D&D Rising Star. The name Right Meets Left perfectly reflects her approach to the design process – rooted in the balance of creative design (right brain) and analytical rigor (left brain). The spaces she designs express both her client’s unique tastes and her vivid, collected aesthetic.
Krista Scenna is an independent curator and gallery owner based in Brooklyn, NY. She earned her BA in Art History and Spanish from the University of Pennsylvania and her MA from New York University’s XE: Experimental Humanities & Social Engagement program. Scenna has worked for the ICA in Philadelphia, the Queens Museum, and the New Museum in various capacities. Past exhibitions include collaborations with BRIC, NURTUREart and Lesley Heller Workspace and site-specific exhibitions in alternative forums such The Old Stone House, DUMBO Arts Festival, SPRING/BREAK Art Show and the Cigar Factory, LLC. Scenna also connects local emerging artists with new art buyers as the Co-Founder and owner of Ground Floor Gallery based in Park Slope, Brooklyn from 2013-2020. The gallery continues to operate as an advisory platform specializing in commissions, professional development for artists and art consulting for new art buyers. Scenna is also a proud member of the Association of Women Art Dealers (AWAD) and was recently a guest curator at The Old Stone House, a historic exhibition space in Park Slope, Brooklyn.
Image credit: Abigail Ekue
New Futures Selection Committee
Sadaf Padder is a Brooklyn-based South-Asian-American independent curator, writer, and community organizer. She is the founder of Alpha Arts Alliance, a hyperlocal multidisciplinary collective and creative coaching service that pledges a percentage of all proceeds to youth arts initiatives.
Padder has curated throughout the country including 12 Gates Arts in Philadelphia, Glass Rice in San Francisco, NYAMA Fine art in Chelsea and Knowhere Art in Martha’s Vineyard. Her critical writing and curation centers underrepresented art histories and contemporary movements – particularly from the South Asian and Caribbean diasporas. She focuses on themes of neo-mythology, ecology and social justice.
Her curations have earned mentions in LA Weekly, Hyperallergic and ArtNews and resulted in acquisitions of BIPOC women artists by the Baltimore Museum of Art, Northwestern University and the Nion McEvoy Foundation. She is a Create Change Alumna with the Laundromat Project and a 2022-23 Emily J. Hall Tremaine Curatorial Fellow via Hyperallergic. You can find her writing on ARTSY and Hyperallergic.
Bed Stuy Art Residency
Bed Stuy Art Residency is a family-run art residency in Bed Stuy, Brooklyn. For several years, we have provided a month-long live/work space along with a stipend for artists to create, explore and make connections. Rooted in compassion for artists’ struggles and a deep love of art, our family-run initiative ensures a supportive, welcoming, inspiring environment where artists can experiment and examine their artistic practice. We showcase amazing artists in whom we believe and admire to help them amplify their voices, gain exposure and build their careers.