About Us

Art Loisaida Foundation was incorporated on May 1st, 2008 by Mario Bustamante, Onno de Jong, and Carolyn Ratcliffe as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and it is registered with the New York State Charities Bureau. We grew out of an artist collaborative, Artistas de Loisaida, which was formed by three friends (Mario Bustamante, Carolyn Ratcliffe, and Robert Slaughter) in 1995 when we launched two shows simoulantously - one on Ave B and E. 12th Street, the other on Ave. C and East 9th Street, in conjunction with Earth Celebrations’s Rites of Spring Pagaent. We then proceeded to take on more exhibits and presented our work in various locations thoughout New York City, including a ten year stint at the Cork Gallery, Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center. Artistas de Loisaida continues as an artists’ collaboarative and uses Art Loisaida Foundation as its fiscal sponsor.

Today, we put on an average of 6 visual art/multidisciplinary events every year, we stage and mount exhibits, performances, and screenings, and we hold art slams where artists exhibit slides of their work and talk about their creative process. In 2011, we produced Preservation: Preserve or Forget at Theater for the New City (TNC), Urban Tapestry at TNC, which was supported in part by the Lower East Side Festival of the Arts, “de ja vu” at the Tompkins Square Library Art Gallery (this included a screening of David Barish’s WTC videos), an Art and Architecture Slam at the Bathhouse Studios, and an exhibit, “PROTEST” at TNC.

Art Loisaida Foundation advertises their shows to their list and posts on FaceBook, Twitter, Linkden, Plaxo, MySpace, and on the official website. If a show is not underwritten by funding, we ask for a tax deductable $50.00 donation from those who are accepted to attend the show to cover the cost of cards, the reception, gallery books, gallery guides, posters, PR, and various administrative costs. Carolyn Ratcliffe, Artistic Director of Art Loisaida Foundation, is the resident curator and she receives assistance from the Board of Directors. The work for running the exhibits is divided amongst the particiapting artists. We hang our own shows, design our own cards, set up and take down the receptions, and gallery sit to provide an opportunity for the local community to meet their native artists.

Our Mission

Art Loisaida Foundation are an arts and cultural organization based in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. We seek to expand the venues for local artists from our vibrant eclectic community and to improve access to local venues. We advocate for the arts and artists, seeking to provide opportunities for artists to ply their trade and sell their work by promoting visual arts exhibits, multidisciplinary performance, art slams, and children’s art classes. We are funded through public support: donations, art supplies from Materials for the Arts, Utrecht Art supplies, and private donors. Our website is funded through the generosity of Onno de Jong through the Greater Cincinnati Foundation and Circular Creation. All donations are greatly appreciated and they are used for the general operating support of this organization.

Board of Art Loisaida Foundation


Mario Bustamante - President of the Board of Art Loisaida Foundation
Mario is a sculptor and owner of Mario Metals, an architectural metal fabrication company located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. He is from Medellín, Columbia and he has lived in the East Village/Lower East Side since 1987. His sculptures can be seen in La Plaza Cultural Community Park and Garden on the s/w corner of E. 9th St. and Ave C, in his sculpture park in Middleburgh, NY, and in various private collections. Mario has over 48 years experience in working with metal; first working with his father in their auto accessory factory in Medellín, then he became and apprentice to a jeweler, and finally he progressed to working as a tool and die maker. Mario is one of the founders of Artistas de Loisiada and the Art Loisaida Foundation. To view Mario's work, visit his website.

Carolyn Ratcliffe - Treasurer of the Board of Art Loisaida Foundation and Artistic Director
Carolyn earned her Master of Science degree from the Milano School of Management, The New School and her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Alabama, where she majored in Painting and minored in European History. She was the Executive Director of La Plaza Cultural Community Park and Garden from 1995-2003 and while there, she founded/directed the La Plaza Cultural Performance Festival from 1996 and until 2003 (it hosted events such as Tamar Rogoff's Demeter's Daughter, Yoshiko Chuma's Neighborhood Living Room Project, Dance Space 's Urban Bushwomen Dance project, and Lincoln Center Out of Doors). She founded Artistas de Loisiada in 1995 with Mario Bustamante and Robert Slaughter when they mounted two art shows in store fronts on Ave B and Ave C, in conjunction with Earth Celebration's Rites of Spring Pageant. They continued to show the work of various Lower East Side/East Village artists, including a 10-year stint at the Cork Gallery, Avery Fisher Hall, and Lincoln Center. In 2008 Carolyn, Mario Bustamante and, Onno de Jong incorporated Art Loisaida Foundation as a non profit and she has continued to organize art exhibits, screenings, garden events, and monthly children's art classes at Tompkins Square Library. Carolyn is also the President of the Board for the Lower East Side Performance Project, on the Steering Committee for the Lower East Side Preservation Initiative, and the Chair of the 9BC Tompkins Sq. Block Association. She serves as the Chair of the Landmarks subcommittee, as well as on the Parks Recreation and Culture committee and the Arts and Culture Task Force of CB#3. Her photographs and articles have been published in the Villager and City, and shown in all of the shows organized by Artistas de Loisaida and Art Loisaida Foundation, as well as solo shows at Tompkins Sq. Library, and Planet One Cafe. She has also operates as a development consultant for Downtown Music Productions, The Lower East Side Performing Arts and the Lower East Side Preservation Initiative.

Kris Enos - Assistant Treasurer of the Board of Art Loisaida Foundation
Kris has been a resident of the East Village for over 26 years. He works as an assistant cameraman on films such as “Black Swan”, “Spiderman 2”, and “25th Hour”. In his spare time, he is a freelance still photographer and he shows in numerous Art Loisaida Foundation exhibitions. Kris lives with his wife Kathy and their two sons. You can view Kris' portfolio on his website.

Elodie Lauten - Secretary of the Board of Art Loisaida Foundation
Elodie is a composer, performer, producer, and media artist. She has taught at NYU and is on the faculty at CUNY's New York City College of Technology. She has over 20 years of experience as a composer and producer of recordings and live events. She serves as the artistic director of Lower East Side Performing Arts. Elodie holds a Bachelor's degree in Economics and Finance from the Paris Institut d’Etudes Politiques and a Master's degree in Composition from NYU. She aims to bring forth a progressive and viable vision for the future of classical music and art. She has received awards from the National Endowment for the Art, the Massachusetts Council on the Arts, Meet the Composer, ASCAP, the American Music Center, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and the Argosy Foundation. Elodie also writes a blog for the music internet magazine Sequenza21. She can be reached via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., phone (212-388-0202), through her website.

Robert Slaughter - Member of the Board of Art Loisaida Foundation
Robert is the founder and president of Arts Olympus. Rob has worked for over twenty years pursuing his dream of launching a “Ship of Global Goodwill” through the cultural arts. Early in his career, he started working with the Los Angeles Inner City Cultural Center, helping stage concerts with such legends as Stevie Wonder and Sarah Vaughn. He, himself, has performed as a Jazz vocalist on cruise ships. While in Miami, Robert helped produce the first International Film Festival and orchestrated the kickoff events for the now famous Art Deco District of South Beach. In New York City, he produced many events including countless art salons, cabarets, the first International Humanitarian Film Awards, and co-hosting a cable television talk show. As a New York art dealer, he represented master works from Rembrandt to Picasso and was the North American correspondent for the Latin American issue of “Art and Antiques” magazine. Rob’s creative experience profoundly and spiritually influenced him to volunteer teaching art in an inner-city elementary school, hang art exhibits with the mentally-challenged, and sit on the board of the Poverty Awareness Coalition. He assisted in taking an American delegation of underprivileged children to participate in a “World Children’s Conference” in Stockholm, Sweden. Robert has also participated in events at the United Nations in New York City and Geneva, Switzerland. These included the “World Conference of Indigenous People” and the “Artist for Peace”, thus crystallizing his vision of a “Ship of Global Goodwill”. You can visit the Art Olympus website here.