San Juan, Puerto Rico
Awilda Sterling’s work encompasses mediums of painting, drawing, mixed media, installation, dance and performance. A native of Puerto Rico, Sterling completed an MFA in Painting/Studio Art at Pratt Institute (1979), where she became interested in performance. She trained in Caribbean dance in Puerto Rico with Sylvia del Villard, and in workshops in Cuba, Trinidad, Barbados, St. Lucia, and St Croix. In 1982, she became a founding member of Pisotón, the first experimental dance artists’ collective in Puerto Rico. In 1985, Sterling was awarded the NEA Choreographers Fellowship. Her work has been presented in Latin America, Europe, US, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. She is a recipient of various awards and artists residencies including the US Artist Fellowship (2010), Tree of Life Artist Grant (2019), Beta-Local's El Serrucho (2019), MASS MoCA Residency (2023), and Rauschenberg Residency (2023). Her latests works include en-cierro (2016-19), a multi-media performance installation; Lacks Criticality (2018), a multimedia dance performance commissioned by Temple University, to be presented at the Whitney Museum in 2023; “con y ton son” (2019), a solo exhibition at Liga de Estudiantes de Arte de San Juan, and ...blindfolded (2019-ongoing), a performance exploration of architectural spaces, presented at the 2022 Whitney Museum Biennial.
Joan Mitchell Fellowship, 2022
My installations and performances intertwine marginalities of self-representation and resistance, confronting the silencing and invisibilizing of Afro-Caribbean women. Working with multidisciplinarity, and feeding from Yoruba Caribbean traditions, I transgress the boundaries between drawing, painting, and performance through a decolonizing practice that challenges conventions in Puerto Rican fine arts traditions.”