participatory portraits

From January to February 2020, NYC grant officials, agency administrators, and Palazzolo were planning to expand his artist-in-residency, where he is developing and implementing a participatory portraiture project, since 2017. A new temporary emergency shelter was slated to open in April. The new site and an extra day would be added to his project schedule at three transitional living sites in the Bronx.

The artwork includes co-creating portrait drawings with the residents, in-progress photography, color copy printing, framing, curating, and hanging art. During the transition to permanent housing, the residents share their art throughout the shelters and report that they gain agency and visibility with this project.

The COVID-19 pandemic brought an abrupt change to the plan. In early March, instead, Palazzolo embraced the opportunity to shift his entire project schedule to one Safe Haven, located in the Fort Apache section of the Bronx. He became an essential worker during the crisis when staff departures created a deficit.

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