Eric Velasquez

Teaching Artist-in-Residence, Summer 2019

During his residency, Eric Velasquez will lead a series of art workshops for the public inspired by Can I Get a Witness: Photographs by Herb Snitzer. He will introduce concepts and techniques that encourage participants to see the world much like Herb Snitzer, whose images make impactful statements about civil rights movements, social justice, and the essence of genius.

Participants will be encouraged to create artwork that simultaneously looks inward and outward, making statements about their own personal environment and the world around them, exploring different mediums such as collage, watercolor, pencil, and photography. The workshops will also introduce various techniques that will aim to “capture the perfect moment” as documentarians and create compelling works of art.

Eric Velasquez was born in Spanish Harlem to Afro-Puerto Rican parents. His upbringing in dual cultures has given him a rich and unique cultural perspective. Driven by his love of drawing, music, and film, Velasquez earned his BFA from the School of Visual Arts. He has been illustrating for more than thirty years, including many children’s books that have won awards, including a Coretta-Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent, a NAACP Image Award, a Pura Belpre’ Award, and a Walter Award from the We Need Diverse Books organization.

Velasquez lives and works in New York and teaches at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York City.


Saturday, June 1, 1:30–3:30 pm
Collage Workshop: Make It Personal

Eric Velasquez leads a mixed-media collage workshop inspired by the exhibition Can I Get a Witness: Photographs by Herb Snitzer. Participants combine newspaper, photos, and drawings to tell a narrative chronicling aspects of their life, based on Snitzer’s Black Chronicle, 1991, and are encouraged to bring copies of photos from home to incorporate into their collage.

Saturday, July 6, 1:30–3:30pm
Capture the Moment!

Inspired by Herb Snitzer’s photographs on view, Velasquez leads a workshop that guides participants on how to take the perfect shot and capture the sentiment you’re going for. Bring your smartphone and have your photos printed on the spot so you can evaluate and share in a group critique.

Saturday, July 27, 1:30–3:30pm
Photography in Paint

Select one of Herb Snitzer’s photographs as inspiration for a painted image and then use your imagination to make a social commentary or convey the beauty of the moment. By using the expressive medium of watercolor, explore the many steps in balancing the concept and execution

Saturday, August 10, 1:30–3:30pm
Giving Voice

Explore the visual language of reportage, or documentary drawing, with Eric Velasquez. Through the simple process of drawing with charcoal on newsprint, make a strong and meaningful statement, crystallizing your hopes, dreams, and beliefs, inspired by Herb Snitzer’s photographs and his commitment to social justice.