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James Allister Sprang and Julie Zhu Return to Miami with a Fresh Perspective

James Allister Sprang and Julie Zhu Return to Miami with a Fresh Perspective

Above: In Process: Homecoming with James Allister Sprang (2008 Winner in Visual Arts) and Julie Zhu (2008 Winner in Visual Arts).

IN PROCESS, is a new interdisciplinary week-long residency program here on the Miami campus of YoungArts pairing alumni of different disciplines where they create brand new works-in-process. In Process provides a rare glimpse into a range of artistic processes and techniques (admission is by invitation). The program’s inaugural dates were Oct. 2–7, 2017.


Above: A closeup of work by James Alister Spring

I spoke briefly with Mr. Sprang at the beginning of the evening event to inquire about his project. “I create cairns of broken pigmented concrete after which I photograph them from above. (cairn: a mound of rough stones built as a memorial or landmark, typically on a hilltop or skyline.) They are to be displayed on concrete plinths and surrounded by the musical composition of Julie Zhu, my collaborator,” explained James Allister Sprang in anticipation to working on site at 4141 NE 2nd Avenue, in the Miami Design District.

James Sprang was feeling a special evening had arrived for him because of having attended DASH (Miami Design and Architecture High School) which is located next door to the evening’s event. Both Sprang and Zhu met and became good friends during their time at YoungArts and have wanted to collaborate on a project which came about through this project.

The evening continued with a conversation between YoungArts President & CEO Carolina García Jayaram, Dacra President & CEO Craig Robins, and YoungArts alumni James Allister Sprang and Julie Zhu.

In Process: Homecoming “Partite” was created and presented in the 4141 NE 2nd Avenue building complex on Saturday, 7 October. The artist residency dedicated to interdisciplinary collaboration. At the conclusion of the residency, the artists showcase their work in the neighborhood where they grew up or feel most connected to, further expanding YoungArts’ programs into communities throughout the city.


Above: The begining stages of the project with James Allister Sprang and Julies Zhu. Photo by Onajide Shabaka.

The National YoungArts Foundation (YoungArts) was established in 1981 by Lin and Ted Arison to identify and nurture the most accomplished young artists in the visual, literary, design and performing arts, and assist them at critical junctures in their educational and professional development. Through a wide range of annual programs, regular performances, and partnerships with some of the nation’s leading cultural institutions, YoungArts aspires to create a strong community of alumni and a platform for a lifetime of encouragement, opportunity, and support.

James Allister Sprang is an artist currently based in Philadelphia. An MFA candidate at The University of Pennsylvania, Sprang works across mediums—photography, performance, and installation—to create a parallax of high and low-brow culture. Sprang’s work mines the intersections of abstraction, black music and the politic of their documentation.