SSF 2016 Featured Photographer Jen Ramos

Jen Ramos spent her early years in hard scrabble, blue collar Elizabeth, NJ. In order to escape harsh realities of her home, enduring abuse and poverty, she immersed herself in art and photography. At 16, she began studying artists such as Frida Kahlo, Georgia O’ Keeffee, and William Klein, all of which have influenced her style and artistic voice. Her work is a fusion of her personal experiences, capturing her emotions, while touching upon subjects of love, religion, death, the struggles of women, and survival It blends the grittiness of the inner city and South Florida’s tropical vibrancy.

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Whether she's hosting a spoken word event, music festival, or playing the role of a santera or vixen, Deborah Magdalena makes every emotion super real. This performance artist has acquired impressive TV & Film credits for the past twenty years including Sesame Street (CTW), Apollo Comedy Hour (Tribune Entertainment), Safe Harbor (Warner Brothers), Striptease (Castle Rock), Holyman (Caravan), and For Love or Country (HBO). As a published spoken word artist Deborah has released three CDs, a chapbook, and the spoken word musical FUNKdalena. As an artist-activist she’s the founder of Spoken Soul Festival, a twelve year old, three-day festival that helps women artists go from novice to professionals. As an educator Deborah for the past eight years has led in-school presentations in numerous high schools for the National YoungArts Foundation, is the co-founder of Piano Slam, and led various workshops for local art organizations like Miami Light Project and Institute of Contemporary Art Miami. Most recently and for the seventh year in a row, she was invited by the Arsht Center and Ailey Arts & Education Foundation to serve as the Creative Communication instructor for Ailey Camp Miami.

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