Alexis Mena is an Afro-Latino interdisciplinary artist, born and raised in East New York. From an early age, Alexis gravitated towards art as a means of escape and meditation to cope with the day-to-day struggle of living in poverty. Introduced to graffiti in his adolescence, he began gracing the walls of New York’s landscapes and seeking refuge in the city’s transit system. Unhappy with the education of the New York public school system, he decided to self educate. By studying his environment, he acquired an interest in architecture, design, people, philosophy, class, and culture. In 2011, Alexis and a team of artists opened Kustom Journey, a business incubator that served local artists and the community as an event space and consignment-based retail shop. This past summer Alexis served as the project manager of Mi Tierra, an urban planning initiative that transformed a 10,000 sq. ft. vacant lot in East New York into a vibrant green space available for use by its underserved community. The park was built with sustainable practices, including the installation of solar panels and use of recycled materials for the design components and features a miniature golf course, a stage, and an outdoor gallery. Alexis currently teaches art history and studio art at Norman Thomas High School in Manhattan and is affiliated with various schools and non-profits in tri-state area.