Donate to Codify Art Today!

Happy 2017 from all of us at Codify Art! With the new year already in full swing, we ask that you consider making a donation to our organization, to support us in continuing to foreground queer, trans, and women artists of color. There's work to be made and work to be done, and we have a lot of plans for both. Help us make it happen.

Codify Art is aiming to raise $10K this year.

We were busy in 2016: maybe you swung by OUTLET Gallery during our show WORK. Or maybe you shared your time and talent with us at our Open Mic Night. Or maybe we caught up at Codify Connects, our community happy hour for QTPOC creators. The creative labor of QTPOC and WOC has always been an underrecognized but vital act of resistance. This year, we are looking to scale our programming to reach an even larger community when it is most necessary. Our work must continue and grow because of—and in spite of—the state of our State.

We encourage a $20–$50 contribution towards our goal
but appreciate anything you can give.

Click Here to Donate

In the interest of transparency, our planned breakdown of uses for our $10k fundraising goal is as follows:

  • $500—Printed materials for marketing and publicity including business cards and posters
  • $500—Projector and Microphone for upcoming multidisciplinary collaborations aimed at community engagement
  • $1000—To cover remaining balance for production costs from 2016 (printed materials, event supplies, etc.)
  • $1000—Two $500 microgrants for QTPOC artists, to be distributed by application
  • $2000—Venue booking and production costs for 2017 events
  • $5000—Codify Saves: A Rainy Day Fund. For costs associated with opportunities that may come up throughout the year including application fees, venue booking, art supplies and materials.

Best wishes and solidarity to you and yours!

Bau Hau Semi-Annual IV: You Are Here

Bau Haus in collaboration with Codify Art is pleased to present You Are Here, featuring work by Jarrett Key, Jon Key, Kat JK Lee, and Kameron Neal. This exhibition is on view for one night only during the opening reception: Saturday, October 22, 2016, 7-10PM.

Cotton and Magnolia Leaves by  Jon Key

Cotton and Magnolia Leaves by Jon Key


@Bau Haus, 516 Bainbridge St. #1L Brooklyn

October 22, 2016

Found on subway maps to mall directories, the words “You Are Here” serve to situate the inquirer in larger spatial contexts. The subway map or the mall directory, through its confident declaration, lays claim to a specific cross-section of “here,” the viewer’s physical body in relation to the bounds of an illustrated territory. Leaving the subway or the mall does not negate your Being Here; Here is moved, or Here moves with You.

In three immersive and participatory environments, YOU ARE HERE invites viewers to situate themselves anew through the transformation of the most quotidian of spaces: the apartment room. The assemblages herein comprise a study in what it means to be present, to have come through the past to reach this point in time. The artists in this exhibition seek to create common contexts in which conversations can occur, each an intensely personal GPS marker that remains beholden to greater communities within racialized society. When You, informed by DNA sequences and collective storytelling from previous generations, navigate a Here built atop structures erected before before your birth, what map traces those collusions? What do you bring in and what do you leave out? What of those divots, protrusions, scars? To reach back for ancestry and find that extant records remember grandmother’s warmth but begin with the Middle Passage; to embody the Bear-Mother of Korea’s mythical founder in the throes of her transmogrification; to traverse a childhood in the plantation south, an adulthood under the police state, and wonder if your home is yet where YOU are home? Opening the doors into these formative intimacies, traumas, and lived realities, YOU ARE HERE is both trespasser and guest in a directory of intra-, inter-, and transgenerational experience. 

[dot]COM: A Codify Open Mic Night

[dot]COM, or [dot]Codify Open Mic, welcomes members of our community to share their talents at 440 Studios in the East Village! The first half of the night will be scheduled programming featuring dance, music, and poetry, after which we'll open it up to interested performers. 

Get excited for this very excellent lineup, and click through the links for a what-to-expect on May 31 in the room where it happens:

Whitney C. White — Music (Indie)

Odera Igbokwe — Dance

MJ Batson — Music (Indie)

Jeffrey Velez — Music (Jazz)

Jess X. Chen — Spoken Word

Marcus Bedinger — Music

Yaya McKoy — Spoken Word

Paco Salas Pérez — Poetry Reading

When and Where
May 31, 2016, 7-9PM
440 Studios
440 Lafayette Street
New York, NY 10003
$10 Suggested Donation

See you there!


Codify Art presents SOURCE MATERIALS, a show of new work by five artists, at Bau Haus, a Brooklyn-based live/work studio, community art space, and Codify partner. This show marks Bau Haus' first anniversary! Come celebrate with us at our opening and afterparty.


@Bau Haus

Artists: Jarrett Key, Jonathan Key, Kat JK Lee, Kameron Neal, Hannah Lutz Winkler
Presented by Codify Art

April 30, 2016

The idea of the artist as solitary genius, working alone in their studio under the frenzy of sublime inspiration, has [mostly] been dethroned by the realities of contemporary practice. Removed from such a pedestal, artists have utilized a wealth of materials beyond those traditionally purposed for art-making—found objects, archival documents, other artworks—to create in a manner reflective of society’s holistic experience of the world. But this development introduces a complication. When the components comprising an artwork bring with them pre-existing utilities, purposes, and histories, does the artwork subsume them? Transcend them? Celebrate or fail them? Where are the edges of a composition? 

Through various mediums and from diverse directions, the five artists featured in SOURCE MATERIALS engage these questions and explore the potential for an ambiguity that enriches, rather than confuses, a finalized piece.

Jarrett Key’s paintings explicitly insert themselves into a specifically black (art) historical dialogue. With references ranging from Glenn Ligon to primary source diagrams of slave ships, Jarrett’s work does not pretend at an end in itself or an existence within a vacuum. Instead, it acts as a conduit, actively engaging in an existing conversation and leaving the door open for continuation.

Collage is an art form with an inherent tension, simultaneously a single piece and many pieces together. Jonathan Key utilizes this form to connect highly personal narratives to the nameless faces in civil rights photography. In this juxtaposition of vivid memory and the forgotten, a contemporary tableau revives that which was relegated to the archives, a second life that extends the half-life of both sides beyond their expected spans.

Drawing from such existing Internet phenomena as K-pop boy bands, fanfiction, and “mukbang” Youtube videos, Kat JK Lee creates their own canon of Korean-American Speculative Fiction in a process that directly confronts the accusations of derivativeness in South Korea’s fledgling sci-fi literary scene. This “creation-by-inference” method parallels Kat’s patchwork navigation of their racial and ethnic identity, where in every state, they find themselves as, at least partially, alien.

Kameron Neal shoots his own footage, but his videos denature completely the expected product of these filmings. Glitchy and often tongue-in-cheek, Kameron’s pieces highlight the frame as the primary unit of measure and splice the original shots in such a way as to antagonize his own material.

In Hannah Lutz Winkler’s paintings, art canvas and recycled fabrics occupy the same space in seeming disregard of their constructed differences. However, the intent is not to “elevate” the found scraps and old T-shirts. Rather, the presence of these fabrics recalls the physical intimacy and attachment humans have to textures/textiles and asks for a second look, a reconsideration, of the painting itself and painting as a form.

SOURCE MATERIALS endeavors to expand the edges of “composition” with work that showcases the histories of its components as much as the final art object; it seeks an engagement that arises from entering a dialogue as a player instead of a judge.



Codify Happy Hour: You're Invited!

Hi from all of us at Codify Art! 

Whether we're old friends or just now shaking hands, as a refresher, we are: A Brooklyn-based collective of multidisciplinary artists committed to creating, producing, and showcasing work that foregrounds the voices of people of color, particularly those of women and queer people of color.

Okay, moving on from small talk:


Before we launch into everything we have planned for 2016, we want to meet you and want you to meet us. This casual, after-work mixer is an opportunity to match some faces to names and to mingle with emerging artists and creative professionals. There'll be a short presentation at 7PM and happy hour specials throughout.

Date: February 16, 2016
Time: 6-8:30 PM
Venue: Bo's 6 West 24th Street
New York, NY

Located between 5th and 6th Avenues by Madison Square Park
Subway: Take the N, R, 1, 6, or F to 23rd Street

RSVP for Codify Happy Hour

Name *

Hope to see you at happy hour, and keep an eye out for announcements about our upcoming events!


Happy 2016 from Codify Art (and happy belated MLK day, at this point)! In the spirit of #NewYearNewMe, we're rolling out our #NewBlog with some highlights from our past year. After all, you can't have the "new" without the "old."


YELLOW PERIL BLACK POWER was a series of firsts—the first visual art show produced by Codify, the first public viewing of Bau Haus (a live/work studio cum community arts venue comprised of/run by Codify members Jarrett Key and Kat JK Lee), and the first presentation of Jarrett Key's "I AM AIN'T I" painting series.

As the title may suggest, YELLOW PERIL BLACK POWER was an unapologetic reclamation of racial identity, colored by the ways Jarrett and Kat, by virtue of their existence as black and Asian artists [people], threaten and are threatened by their frictive relationship to White America.



About Face was Codify's second art show with Bau Haus, this time with the inclusion of team member Jonathan Key. In addition to featuring new work by the Bau Haus cohort, About Face showcased Jonathan's 12, a series of 12 collages created over 12 days.

The theme of About Face was two-fold, the first literally being "about face," as many of the pieces were portraits. However, the personal history and narratives explored in the work spoke to "about face" as in "turn around," or even as in "losing face"—a look back at the forces that shaped us and a 360-degree exploration of the visages encountered through multiple layers of performance.



We Are Bullet Proof is a manifesto as much as a project, offering a narrative of strength amidst the struggle and vulnerability of the Black Lives Matter movement. Jonathan Key headed this initiative in collaboration with Codify to create a series of posters and hoodies. In them is a message of empowerment and solidarity, and with all proceeds going to support Black Lives Matter organizations, We Are Bullet Proof is a call to action couched in a long history of protest design. For more information, read Jon's feature on ADC Global and visit the WE ARE BULLET PROOF website.


In addition to our work as a collective, we want to highlight some individual projects undertaken by our team in 2015 as part of our mission to foreground work by creators of color.


Jonathan Key's Personal Narrative and Heritage Portraits books were included in Yale University's Odds and Ends Art Book Fair. Of Personal Narrative, Jon says, "I want to investigate the ways people and myself carry the remnants of our pasts, cultures, and identity and how these ideas perpetuate through the way we talk, move, and think about ourselves." Heritage Portraits is a collection of individual and unique stories about the influence of family, home, race, and orientation, and an investigation of how we perform these aspects of identity in our daily lives.

Jon was also invited to teach at two different workshops with graphic designer Wael Morcos. The first was a Type Workshop at the Children's Museum of the Arts during its annual Spring Benefit: a fun-filled day of collaborative art-making between children and art professionals. The children—aged three to nine—were asked to interpret the work of Henri Matisse and Franz Kline using paint or letter cutouts. The results were then collected and digitized into two working typefaces: one for Matisse and another for Kline. These fonts were then gifted to the museum for use by participating children and CMA's marketing materials.

Jon and Wael then traveled to Beirut to hold a 3 day Graphic Design Workshop at the Lebanese American University. Working with LAU's Graphic Design Senior Class, the two helped students develop the visual storytelling for their thesis design projects. Topics ranged from the Syrian Refugee crisis to identities focusing on wellness and spirituality.


Leandro Zaneti worked as a producer for The Broken Record, a play written by Jonathan Louis Dent and directed by Megan Sandberg-Zakian for the 2015 New York International Fringe Festival. Set in present day New York City, The Broken Record grapples with the relationship between police and young black men, and as a well-reviewed piece, offers a point-of-entry into conversations around police brutality.

Leandro also returned to produce for Studio 42's Unproducible Smackdown for the second time. For the Smackdown, the authors are given a list of "ingredients" to work into each script, and after 1-2 rehearsals, all plays go up in a night of boozy fun where a winner is crowned! Leandro's piece was titled STAR TRIPS! by Adam Szymkowicz and directed by Pirronne Yousefzadeh.


FIND YOUR BAE CABARET was a night of love songs produced by Chantel Whittle in the intimate space above La Luz in Brooklyn. In Chantel's own words, the goal "was to explore the joys and complications of love, particularly infidelity, all while singing some of my favorite love songs." Chantel performed as lead female vocalist alongside Ben Freeman (male vocalist + pianist), Annie Kocher (supportive vocalist), Danielle Deluty (bassist), Daniel Friedman (guitarist), and Natan Last (drummer).


Beyond the two Codify-produced Bau Haus shows, Jarrett Key has presented his "I AM AIN'T I" series at the Artists Against Police Violence show at the EMW Bookstore in Cambridge, MA and at MATTERING: An Arts Forum at NYU. Artists Against Police Violence was the first exhibition put up by the organization of the same name; it was curated through a national open call for artists to rise up against anti-Black police violence, in urgent response to the numerous protests erupting in Ferguson and across America. MATTERING was presented by the Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue (IACD) and their Founding Director Anna Deavere Smith. The two-day forum explored what effect the Black Lives matter and All Lives matter movements had on artistic imaginations and highlighted developing works that considered race relations in America.

Jarrett also performed in two plays: Delilah (What is Love? Baby Don't Hurt Me), presented as part of the 2015 HOT! Festival at Dixon Place, and FOXTROT FOXTROT WHISKEY, a new algorithmic performance at CPR-Center for Performance Research.


Kat JK Lee was featured in November's issue of Playbill as part of an interview with Hamilton star Leslie Odom, Jr. Earlier in the year, Kat had donated portraits of Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr, as portrayed by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Leslie Odom, Jr., to the Public Theater to present to the actors as closing night gifts before Hamilton's move to Broadway. Their illustration is now hanging in Odom, Jr.'s Broadway dressing room.