The University of the Arts in Philadelphia is partnering with the historic National Hotel in Miami’s South Beach to mount a hotel “takeover,” I’m here waiting for you: UArts at the National. The takeover will feature new works of art by prominent artist alums including Hironaka & Suib (Nadia Hironaka BFA ‘97 & Matthew Suib BFA ‘95), Stephen (Espo) Powers ‘93 and Deborah Willis BFA ‘75.
Artworks will transform the National Hotel inside and out, and will include a rooftop neon installation, a video projection on the rear facade of the hotel, and a photographic installation throughout the first floor of the hotel. The title of the takeover, I’m here waiting for you, was coined by Stephen (Espo) Powers ‘93.
UArts will also host a VIP event on Wednesday, December 5 and a Public Reception on Thursday, December 6 with live entertainment by UArts alums including Keandra Cordero BM ‘10 and Nicholas Whittaker BM ‘10. Generous hors d'oeuvres and festive refreshments will be served.
VIP Reception: 7-10pm on Wednesday, December 5 (space is limited - RSVP)
Public Reception: 8pm - 12am on Thursday, December 6
About the Artists & Artworks
Stephen (Espo) Powers ‘93
Stephen (Espo) Powers ‘93 attended University of the Arts and is a New York City artist who at one time wrote graffiti in Philadelphia and New York under the name ESPO ("Exterior Surface Painting Outreach"). His work has been shown at Venice and Liverpool Biennials, as well as numerous shows at Deitch Projects. Powers was a Fulbright scholar in 2007. Stephen originated the title of the hotel takeover, I’m here waiting for you, and will produce a rooftop neon installation, Anything for you.
Deborah Willis BFA ‘75
Dr. Deborah Willis BFA ‘75 (Photography) is a University of the Arts alumna, and a renowned photographer and educator. As an author and curator, Deb's pioneering research—begun at UArts as an undergrad—has focused on cultural histories envisioning the black body, women and gender. She is a celebrated photographer, acclaimed historian of photography, MacArthur and Guggenheim Fellow, and university professor and chair of the Department of Photography & Imaging at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University.
Hironaka & Suib (Nadia Hironaka BFA ‘97 & Matthew Suib BFA ‘95)
Nadia Hironaka BFA ‘97 (Film) and Matthew Suib ‘95 (Photography) are University of the Arts alumni, whose largescale, often immersive movingimage installations use original and appropriated imagery and unique soundtracks to invert social conventions and scramble history. They are recipients of several honored awards including a 2015 Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, Pew Fellowships in the Arts and Fellowships from CFEVA and Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. For I’m here waiting for you: UArts at the National, Hironaka & Suib will produce a new work that will be projected on the entire rear facade of the National Hotel.
About the Performing Artists
Keandra Cordero BM '10
Keandra Cordero BM '10 is a vocalist, private voice instructor, musical director, and producer/songwriter, based in South Florida. She has been singing and performing with various corporate bands and booking agencies in the area since her graduation from the University of the Arts with a Bachelor of Music Degree in 2010. Her energetic performance, and vast repertoire, ranging from classical arias, to jazz standards, ballads, power rock anthems, current hits, and more, makes her a staple in the South Florida music industry. She will perform live on both Wednesday, Dec 5 and Thursday, Dec 6 at the National Hotel.
Nicholas Whittaker BM '10
Nicholas Whittaker BM '10 is an electric bass player who, while attending UArts, studied under Craig Thomas and Howard Thompson, performed in the Jimmy Paxson Salsa Ensemble, Justin Binek's Jazz Singers, Rick Hall's Steely Dan Ensemble and Marc Dicciani's Rumble Ensemble. After graduating from UArts, Nicholas moved to South Miami and joined Soundworthy Entertainment Corporation, a high-end corporate event and wedding band. Nicholas also writes and records his own music under the moniker Tombolo. He will perform live on both Wednesday, Dec 5 and Thursday, Dec 6 at the National Hotel.