Colección: "Everybody's My Friend" organized by NIAD's Art & Justice Class (online exhibition)

a drawing of a rainbow and two white birds

About the Exhibition

Carlota on Esme: “I like Esme’s painting and the colors she uses, the hearts she paints and draws. It's beautiful. Appreciate the way Esme works hard”

Esme on Carlota: “I like her drawings. I like the paintings of squares and triangles. I eat lunch with her. She is nice.” 

Lupe on Art & Justice: “mara is beautiful and nice. I like their style. I love [mara and the class]. They are my friends.” 

Listening to our favorite songs, laughing, to be happy, lots of tickles, working, we have fun. We just have fun talking to each other every day.

Liking other NIAD artists' work, honoring artists who have passed on, remembering good times with them. 

Sharing close friendships with other artists that we miss

Things that tickle our interest.

Eating lunch together. 

Making each other laugh. 

Laughing so hard we choke on the water while we’re drinking. Makes us laugh more.

Friendships for many years and long standing friendships at NIAD.  


Organized by

Carlota Rodriguez, Deatra Colbert, Esme Silva, Lupe Soto, mara poliak, MiaMya Dawson, Ocean Escalanti, Shawna Kinard, Shantae Robinson, and Sylvia Fragoso


About Art & Justice

Art & Justice was formed by myself (mara poliak) and co-facilitator nan collymore in Fall 2020, deep in early pandemic times, amidst the ongoing uprisings against white supremacy and police violence, and when we were all working together on zoom for the foreseeable future.

We envisioned A&J as a space to talk, think, and dream together about disability, accessibility, race, gender, land, bodies, and community. We looked at art by so many amazing disabled, Black, Indigenous, queer, and POC artists; we talked about abolition and conflict intervention on large and small scales, and worked on developing a de-escalation protocol for NIAD; we watched movies like ‘Crip Camp,’ and hosted the directors for a class visit; we created a lot of art, and dreamed big together.

When nan moved to New York in 2021, Ocean Escalanti stepped in as a co-facilitator, and A&J continued to evolve and grow. We began to view the weekly NIAD online exhibition together, and appreciate the breadth of work by NIAD artists past and present.

This led to curating our own online show, centered around NIAD artists' ongoing commitment to collaboration, friendship, and supporting each other's creative and personal growth. ‘Everybody’s My Friend’ is the culmination of this project, and a truly collaborative effort.

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