We are the founding members of the new Relative Arts Community Center, located in New York's historic East Village. Our mission is to provide a collective community space to celebrate and foster the advancement of contemporary, sustainable textile and Indigenous art through education and representation.
Majority Indigenous owned, founding members Korina Emmerich (Puyallup), Liana Shewey (Muscogee Creek), and textile artist Rachel Leal have been working towards developing an education space, design showroom, and community center. As NY designers and artists, we see the need for a peer-run accessible space for our relatives in the arts. The space will be utilized to host classes on sustainable textile techniques and design, and Indigenous guest instructors from beadwork to fish tanning. In celebrating these practices we will also be a showroom dedicated to Indigenous and sustainable designers. Featuring a diverse in-house showroom as well as a digital showroom. We will be an accessible atelier for visiting fashion designers, in order to hold fittings and do in-house alterations. We will also host gallery events, poetry readings, intimate musical performances, and knowledge-sharing events, in a comfortable and safe environment.
Korina Emmerich (Puyallup) is the designer and founder of EMME Studio whose interdisciplinary artwork is centered on expression, art, and culture, with a focus on social and climate justice. Emmerich serves as a special advisor and educator with The Slow Factory Foundation and a community organizer within the urban Indigenous community. Her work has been featured in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Moma PS1, The Denver Art Museum, Vogue, Elle, Instyle, New York Magazine, and more. Because of the accolades and celebration of Korina's work, she sees it necessary to foster and promote the work of other incredibly talented Indigenous designers and relatives. Korina works as the creative director of Relative Arts as well as the showroom manager and curator.
Liana Shewey (Mvskoke) is the programming and design manager at Relative Arts. Presently working as an outreach educator at the New-York Historical Society, Shewey uses inquiry-based and hands-on learning to teach NY history to K-12 students. Shewey is a committed community organizer and has led educational events, teach-ins, and speak-outs to create awareness around missing and murdered Indigenous relatives, the damaging effects of fossil fuels, and Indigenous liberation. She has also worked in music and event production for more than 15 years and will be bringing those skills and relationships to Relative Arts to host events featuring artists of all forms, and to develop progressive educational programming.
We successfully secured our East Village location, 367 E 10th St. New York, NY 10009, on November 1st, 2022, and have been planning our budgets.
As we build out Relative Arts we are confident the online community will join us in supporting the celebration of Arts and Education in an intimate and safe space. With our hard work, we have been able to watch this seed grow into a beautiful sprout. Will you help us continue to grow Relative Arts?
Your Relatives in NYC
Korina and Liana
Relative Arts acknowledges the land designated as "New York City" to be the homeland of the Lenape (Lenapehoking) who were violently displaced as a result of European settler colonialism over the course of 400 years. The Lenape are a diasporic people that remain closely connected with this land and are its rightful stewards. We also recognize that New York City has one of the largest urban Native American / Indigenous populations in the United States.