Former Shadowboxer Elmer Martinez curates local arts exhibit

Former Shadowboxer Elmer Martinez curates local arts exhibit

Soul Stew: An Installation at the Nook – Now thru August 21st

For Details and Ticketing Information:

SOMERVILLE, MA – Somerville Artist, Elmer Martinez, has opened an art installation in his backyard called Soul Stew: An Installation at the Nook.  The multidisciplinary art installation, curated in response to a year of creative repression brought on by the Corona Virus pandemic, will feature 11 local artists and will incorporate visual, performing and literary art.  The backyard gallery is located at 11 Stickney Avenue in Somerville and is open now through August 21st.  Tickets to the gallery tours are $10 and workshops start at $15.  The gallery is open to the public Monday through Thursday July 26th – August 12th from 1pm – 6pm and August 16th – 20th from 7pm – 10pm.  Tours and workshops must be booked at least 24 hours in advance.  For a full list of workshops and events and to book tickets to the gallery go to

“After losing my grandmother to COVID and moving back to Boston I was standing on my roof deck looking down into my backyard and it occurred to me that this would make a perfect spot for an outdoor gallery and the perfect place to begin the healing process after an extremely difficult year,” said Elmer Martinez.  “My vision was to bring artists and community together; giving our collaborators and guests a space to rejoice, process, work, learn, question, affirm, and heal after a season of universal adversity.  My hope is that Soul Stew will be able to raise awareness of the realities of being an artist during a pandemic while growing to inspire more individuals to take their creative and transformative powers into their own hands, neighborhoods and backyards,” said Martinez.

Soul Stew collaborating artists include:

Elmer Martinez – Founder of Soul Stew and an interdisciplinary working theater artist, poet and dancer. Born in Lowell, MA he developed in the spoken word and street dance communities before completing his BFA in Theater Studies focused on Lighting Design with a minor in Dance.  Post grad Elmer went on to work between Boston and New York as a freelance lighting designer and technician in local theaters, off Broadway and at universities.  He now teaches dance and lighting as well as producing works and live events as a freelancer within the arts.  Elmer now lives at “The Nook” – his creative space in Somerville Massachusetts.

Alex Ambila – A self-taught dancer who has been dancing for 14 years, debuting in the Boston dance scene while in college.  He is a popper and krumper with experience in and influence from other dance styles including (but not limited to), freestyle hip-hop, house, breaking, and urban African dances.

Melissa Q. Teng – A socially motivated artist and designer whose multimedia works explore the interdependence of memory and imagination, often with communities recovering from captivity or violence.  Currently she is working on a counter-memory documentary project called The Little Archive in Argentina with filmmakers Rodrigo Caprotti and Luisina Pozzo Ardizzi. 

Thorn Lim – A self-taught chef and a member of the Street Dance and Hip-Hop choreography community in Massachusetts since 1999.

IJ Chan – A dance artist and educator born, raised and now based in Boston.  She has dedicated her life to training and performing intensively in multiple dance genres and under many choreographers.  In her own choreographic work, IJ is interested in intersecting and exploring the Asian-American narrative.  She is committed to bringing quality dance instruction to low-income and minority youth populations within Boston.  She also works as a freelance graphic designer, visual artist and seamstress.

Xavier Robbins – An artist of many trades, a b-boy graphic designer, illustrator, actor and model who loves to write. His goal and his “Why” to what he does is to simply share the light that he has with others and uplift others through his gifting‘s. 

Jonathan Marius – Growing up in a Haitian American church, he started as a drummer when he was eight and grew to be one of the lead sound technicians.  In 2012 his drive and passion brought him to Jubilee Christian Church, the largest nondenominational church in Massachusetts where he is currently the Lighting Designer and Technical Director.  Graduating from Emerson College with a BFA in Theatre Design and Technology in 2020, he is tackling his newest endeavor at Audio Spectrum as their Lighting Designers & Technician.

Melody Hsu – From a BFA in Theatre Design and Technology to a MA in Civic Media Design—she spent the year 2020 transitioning from a designer for entertainment to a designer for the people.  As a multidisciplinary creator, Melody is soulfully inspired by impressionism and modernism.  Fascinated by the relationship between scientific research and the human experience, she looks forward to continuing to grow into the empathetic and impactful designer that she knows herself to be. 

Jasper Crystal Wizard – A multi-disciplinary 1st generation Khmer artist.  Combining storytelling with RnB Jazz vocals for a modern narrative.  The Crystal Wizards mission is to inspire freedom to all people.  Freedom of the mind, body and soul through the magic of the arts!

Fredson Sossavi – A Boston based creative with an interest in photography, dance, and martial arts.  His projects shed light on niche subcultures in urban areas and the stories of the people intertwined in them.

Victoria Awkwards – Founder and director of Roxbury-based VLA DANCE, a contemporary dance company focusing on creating pathways to Freedom for individuals of all identities.  Originally from Massachusetts Victoria trained at Impulse Dance by LuAnn Pagella and worked with Boston-based artists such as Karen Krolak.  She graduated from Goucher College with a degree in Dance, Visual Art, and Education.  She is currently performing with Jenna Pollack and the Head Dance Coach at Middlesex School.

Keep up with all the Soul Stew artists and installation process via our Social Media sites.

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