Mic Diño Boekelmann

2021 Recipient of the Sustainable Arts Fellowship

Mic Diño Boekelmann (b. 1970, Quezon City, Philippines) 

Mic was uprooted and replanted in Germany, Israel and finally the US, where she received a BA from UC Berkeley. Her visuals incorporate the Manila envelope, which was originally made from Manila hemp or abacá. This was inspired by her mother’s memories of growing up in Bicol where she saw workers process abacá fibers. 

Her work has been shown at the Salmagundi Club, Allied Artists of America, Phillips Mill, Princeton Public LIbrary, Trenton City Museum and Sardenhaus Munich. Mic has been awarded the Sustainable Arts Foundation Fellowship, the Chautauqua Visual Arts Residency and was accepted to the NYFA Immigrant Artist Program, Creative Capital Professional Development Program and Emerging Programs Institute with the Alliance of Artists Communities. Her works are part of the permanent Campus Collection at Princeton University. As an educator, incubator and facilitator, she co-leads PAD (Princeton Artist Directory) and NExSE, a Filipino American Artist Collective). Mic lives and works in Princeton, New Jersey where she runs an artist-run space for exhibitions, panel discussions and artist retreats. 

Manila Envelopes were originally made with Abaca fiber aka Manila Hemp taken from a native banana plant (Abaca) of the Philippines. Mic’s use of the envelopes were inspired by her mother’s memories of growing up in Bicol where she saw workers process abacá fibers, which shone like gold in the heat of the sun. She also uses the shape of Jasmine, the national flower of the Philippines and Plumeria in her work. 

Like Hansel and Gretel breadcrumbs, Mic collects and connects fragments that will ultimately lead her back to a place where she belongs as a whole – a place where she can play, be safe and be visible. It is an exciting journey of unearthing, visually articulating and displaying the complexity of identity.