Basel, Switzerland, April 21, 2016 – The Davidoff Art Initiative (DAI) is pleased to announce Dominican artist Natalia Ortega Gamez as the first artist selected for the new residency program at FLORA ars+natura in Bogotá, Colombia. Ortega Gamez will be in residency from June 1 to August 31, 2016.

The Escuela FLORA Residency in Bogotá is the fifth international residency of the Davidoff Art Initiative and will take place annually at FLORA ars+natura. The program provides emerging and mid-career artists from the Caribbean region access to cutting-edge facilities and the opportunity to develop their practice while living and working in Bogotá. The program will also include workshops, site visits and seminars, as well as studio visits conducted for each participant by a roster of esteemed international and local art world professionals.

During her residency at FLORA ars+natura, Ortega Gamez will expand upon her current project, Los Tejedores, an investigation into traditional weaving patterns in both the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Ortega Gamez’s work focuses on artisanal processes and materials that bear a direct relationship to culture, such as clay, bamboo and fibers.

“Working with diverse techniques has allowed my pieces to seemingly come to life as they coexist within nature,” Ortega Gamez says. “I want to create objects inspired in nature, objects that resonate with it, but that at the same time express my personal and cultural experience as a Dominican artist. I look forward to the opportunity to build upon this work during my time in Bogotá.”

The addition of FLORA ars+natura to the Davidoff Art Initiative’s residency partnership program is a significant and defining step for the organization, which has supported Caribbean artists since 2013 by providing internationally recognized residency opportunities in Basel, Beijing, Berlin and Brooklyn.

“The Davidoff Art Initiative’s residency program is a foundational part of our programming, reflecting our commitment to forging creative relationships between the Caribbean and the Dominican Republic and the rest of the world,” said Paloma Szathmáry, SVP Corporate Communications of Oettinger Davidoff AG. “We are delighted to welcome Natalia Ortega Gamez as our first resident at FLORA ars+natura, where she will have the opportunity to continue to develop her work on the international stage.”

About the Artist
Natalia Ortega Gamez (b. 1980) is a Dominican artist born and raised in Santo Domingo. Ortega Gamez emulates natural processes by means of craftwork, engaging with duality and juxtaposition by designing what could be considered impossible objects. She has participated in individual and group exhibitions in Santo Domingo, New York, Washington, London, Paris and Madrid, and her works can be found in the permanent collections of the Centro León Jimenes in Santiago de los Caballeros, D.R. and at the Embassy of the United States of America in Santo Domingo, D.R. as part of the Art in Embassies Program. She studied Interior Design at Altos de Chavón School of Design in La Romana, D.R., and Product Design with a major in Furniture Design at Parsons School of Design in New York City.

About FLORA ars+natura
FLORA ars+natura is a space for contemporary arts in Bogotá, Colombia, that specializes in establishing links with the rest of the country and abroad through international residencies, commissioned projects, and educational activity. A point of reference for the local scene in Bogotá, Flora is settled in two main places: Flora’s House in Bogotá, where the library, art studios and project’s room are located, and Casa Deuxsoleils in Honda town, where residences take place.

About the Davidoff Art Initiative
The Davidoff Art Initiative supports contemporary art and artists in the Caribbean, strengthens art organizations in the Dominican Republic, shares knowledge and expertise about contemporary art and fosters cultural engagement between the Caribbean and the rest of the world. At the core of the Art Initiative, Davidoff aims to engage closely with the arts and culture of the Dominican Republic, where much of its production and many of its employees are based, bringing opportunity.

photo:Núcleos (2015) “Con el Sol” solo exhibition at
National Botanical Garden, Santo Domingo, D.R.

Núcleos (2015) "Con el Sol" solo exhibition at  National Botanical Garden, Santo Domingo, D.R.
Núcleos (2015) “Con el Sol” solo exhibition at
National Botanical Garden, Santo Domingo, D.R.

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