JLUSA’s Ninth Annual Benefit Gala auction


May 24, 2023

We are excited to auction pieces from young artists generously donated by the Assembly program at Recess Art at our Ninth Annual Benefit Gala!

​Founded in 2016, Assembly offers system-impacted young people aged 18-26 an inroad to art and connections to working artists, while serving as an alternative to incarceration and its intersecting systems of oppression. The curriculum empowers young people to take charge of their own life story and envision a future through art. The program diverts both misdemeanor and felony charges and in 2020 expanded to include a peer-to-peer referral model.


Tai Lee (he/him): Tai Lee is a native NYC based artist, musician, and designer working primarily with text based paintings and designs. From a young age, Tai has been drawn to the way creativity and language intersect. How it can be used to convey complex emotions and ideas around identity through both lyrics as a musician, and lines as a painter and designer. Working primarily in painting, Tai creates intricate pieces that are both visually stunning, emotionally charged, and full of his own personality and experience. Tai’s Art has become his soul, happiness, and spirituality. His work features bold, colorful, graphic text that jumps off the canvas, demanding the viewer’s attention through intricate maps, shapes, codes, and lines. Each of Tai’s pieces are a dynamic living conversation, with layers of meaning and emotion that reveal themselves over time. Whether Tai is exploring themes of race, identity, storytelling, or culture, their work is a powerful reminder of the ways in which language can bring us together. Exploring the complexities of each line and his own experience, Tai finds common ground in our shared struggles and triumphs. Tai has genuinely dived into the work we do at Recess Assembly with an open heart, curiosity, hard work, and has provided substantial support as a Peer Leader and community advocate.


Nathan Bernard (he/him): Nathan Bernard is a native NYC based multidisciplinary artist and print-shop educator. He excels as a lead print-shop artist in Assembly’s community-based art center, working with system-impacted youth and teaching valuable skills in clothing design and other art forms. Nathan is a true master of his craft, excelling in hand-stitched bags, hats, clothing, screen printing and pulling, and more. His unique designs are a reflection of his exploratory creativity as he is constantly pushing the boundaries of what is possible with his work. Nathan’s work often incorporates different artist movements, medieval gothic undertones and techniques that illustrate an empowering story about time, life, death, and the human experience connected to the Black experience.  Whether he is storytelling through his dynamic prints, making clothing, or working with young people to develop their own artistic talents, Nathan Bernard’s work transcends a mere canvas and incorporates immersive collaboration and unique story-telling.


Auction instructions coming soon!