KLEAVER AND WALTER CRUZ: “BROTHERS, ACTIVISTS, & ARTISTS”

Twins. Activists. Power Players.

HOW WOULD EACH OF YOU DESCRIBE YOURSELVES?

KLEAVER: Right now, the description that I’m giving myself is black, queer, latinx, male (whatever that means), and committed to being my best self.

WALTER: Black, latinx, male, and I’m committed to using visual arts to communicate the messages that need to be told about our communities.

WHEN DID THE BOTH OF YOU REALIZE WHAT YOUR MEDIUMS WERE?

W: I would say about five years ago we both had graduated, traveled abroad for a little, then came back and I landed a regular 9-5 job for a non-profit. While I was at the nonprofit, Kleav started at The Future Project and at the time they had a mentorship model programming, so I signed up for this program to be a “future coach”. The student I was assigned was really into art. The program tries to match you up with a young person who shares similar interests with you. I was assigned a young man who wanted to make his own art show. I had personally never done an art show, and I didn’t know how to coach a person to do something that I’ve never done, so I needed to pull it off first. I attempted to grab a bunch of creative people that I knew and saved up a bunch of money and I put on this art show with the help of Kleav and a bunch of our friends.

It was a huge success and the first time I had ever made art for a specific show and exhibited it publicly. I sold my first two pieces. Aft