Colombian American Artist
Yazmany Arboleda (b. 1981) is a Colombian American artist based in New York City. An architect by training, Yazmany activates communities with large scale art projects that seek to build heart-felt connections that lead to meaningful relationships. He believes that art is a verb not a noun. Over the past two decades he has created public art projects with communities in India, Japan, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, South Africa, Afghanistan, Spain, Colombia and the United States. He has collaborated with Carnegie Hall, the Yale School of Management, and the United Nations. He is a cofounder of limeSHIFT, the Future Historical Society, Remember 2019, and the Artist As Citizen Conference. He is the first artist in residence for New York City’s Civic Engagement Commission as well as the global Community Arts Network.
Read on for an exclusive Q&A with Yazmany Arboleda ahead of the Summit:
What does wellbeing mean to you?
I define wellbeing as having alignment between my thoughts, my words, and my actions.
Why are you looking forward to being part of The Wellbeing Summit?
For me the Wellbeing Summit is a kind of homecoming. My art practice has brought me into collaborations with many individuals and organizations that care deeply about how we care for each other as the earth is changing. I can’t wait to hug people. To pinch their cheeks! And to learn from all of the incredible life experiences that will be present with us.
How does your work connect to wellbeing?
Practicing the future is the foundation of my art practice.
All of my art involves the community from concept to creation. Visualizing the opportunities together and allowing all participants to co-own the idea from the beginning is paramount to the success of the project. The aphorism “a rising tide lifts all boats” is associated with the idea that improvements in the general economy will benefit all participants in that economy. The networks that have been built to create my projects have showcased time and again that collaborative processes benefit communities by enriching their ability to dream.
How does your work for the summit bring you and your audience closer to wellbeing?
The Hospital for the Soul is a direct response to the generational trauma caused by the Spanish Civil War. I am stunned to be writing this during a time when millions of people are being killed and displaced by greed and capitalism. My hope is that when people step into the Hospital the open their heart and take time to commune with the Magnolia leaves and flowers, with the bark of trunk and the blue in the sky.