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Posted on: June 26, 2019

New Rochelle Names Finalists in Artist Contest for One-year Free Rent

The City of New Rochelle has named three lucky artists finalists in the contest for one-year rent-free luxury living in the City’s burgeoning Downtown. Starting today via an online vote, the public will now have the opportunity to choose the grand prize winner.


The contest, which is a partnership of the City of New Rochelle and RXR Realty, will award one artist 12 months free-rent in a studio apartment in RXR’s 360 Huguenot, a 28-story, 280-unit mixed-use building slated for occupancy in July 2019.


The three finalists are:

  • Kyra Johnson – Performing artistAn established and award-winning educator, performing artist, and businesswoman, New Rochelle native Kyra Johnson is successfully utilizing her academic, business, and artistic backgrounds for the betterment of the Westchester, New York City, and national and international communities. In addition to teaching mathematics and performance for youths, performing domestically and overseas and creating workshops for community members, Ms. “J” mentors high-school and university students in the arts. View her work here.
  • Brendan Guzman – Music producer and performer  Brendan Guzman is a goal-oriented and driven music producer and performer from Burlington, New Jersey. Guzman has been performing for over 11 years in various musical and theatrical capacities, with primary focuses in songwriting, studio engineering and acting. He’s looking to take the next step in his career path in New Rochelle, helping to further reignite the creative culture and entrepreneurial spirit in the City. Guzman aims to put artists on the world stage so they can live and create on their own terms. Listen to Guzman’s work here.
  • Daniel Martinez – PhotographerA Bronx native and photographer, Daniel Martinez has pursued a career in photography since the age of fifteen. He is a full-time video editor and studio manager at Juice Pharma Worldwide, a healthcare advertising agency. He also runs his own wedding photography business and has been chosen to work with Zola, one of the largest wedding registries in the country. During his free time, Martinez works on personal photography projects and looks for different ways to involve himself in his community, such as teaching summer photography classes. View Martinez’s work here.


“The sheer volume of submissions – and the variety displayed within them – is a testament to the transformation underway in New Rochelle’s Downtown,” said New Rochelle’s Commissioner of Development Luiz Aragon. “When we created the contest as a unique initiative to highlight the creative community as a key demographic of the City’s makeup, we did not remotely anticipate the response that has resulted. Prior to the winner being identified, the contest has already confirmed that New Rochelle is making its mark as a municipality that is highly conducive to creative, entrepreneurial-spirited residents.”


“RXR Realty has a longstanding history of supporting arts and culture. Given this and 360 Huguenot’s location in the heart of New Rochelle’s historic arts district, it made perfect sense for us to use this project to partner with the City and help support the local artist community in a unique way. The submissions that have been received included some incredibly talented individuals. We are eagerly looking forward to the public’s participation in helping to name the winning artist,” said Seth Pinsky, executive vice president of RXR Realty.


Following an open call for contest entries in March, more than 100 artists submitted videos detailing why New Rochelle is the ideal creative place to live. The City received entries from a wide array of artists across the country, including musicians, actors, chefs, make-up artists, sculptors, dancers, martial artists, ceramicists, rappers and even an opera singer.


Qualifying submissions were first judged by a selection committee that identified 10 artists as semifinalists in early June. An evaluation committee then further narrowed down contestants to just three finalists, one of whom will be announced as the winner on July 10th and moved into the 360 Huguenot unit by early September.

People can learn more about the three finalists and cast their vote by visiting: https://www.ideallynewrochelle.com/contest/finalists/


Voting will begin at noon today and close on July 10th.

In addition to the contest, The City of New Rochelle continues to cultivate the artist community through a robust public arts program. Earlier this year, the City announced the completion of the Overpass Illuminated Art Project, “Radiant Passage,” a multidimensional art installation located at the overpass of North Ave. & Memorial Highway.

Oshi Rabin, the leading artist of the Public & Urban Art team at New Rochelle’s Mahlstedt Gallery, designed the overpass’s LED interactive mural and led the project’s installation in collaboration with muralist Misha Tyutyunik. 

In September, the City celebrated the addition of 15 custom NRNY sculptures designed as part of the “Stacked!” series, which began in July with the unveiling of two pieces by Charles and Heather Fazzino.

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