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XAVIERA SIMMONS

A 2005 Whitney Independent Study Program alumna, Brooklyn-based artist Xaviera Simmons combines twenty-first-century media with traditional art forms, encompassing photography, performance, video, and installation. Her works—often collaborative and interactive—flesh out ideas surrounding constructed memory, idyllic landscape, and community engagement. During Fall 2008, YI teens participated in gallery discussions with Xaviera and museum staff, exploring the exhibition William Eggleston: Democratic Camera, Photographs and Video, 1961-2008 and what it means to be an artist in a community. Xaviera facilitated a photography project in which YI teens were instructed to go out and document the communities with which they identified. These photographs were compiled into a final collection and made into a bound portfolio.