Thursday, July 25, 2019

2nd Time Around - Openings Art Residency '19

As you may or may not know, I participated in the Openings Art Residency in Lake George back in 2017 (see my previous blog post here).

I was lucky enough to be accepted into the residency for a second time this summer. It was great to return to the gorgeous grounds of St. Mary's on the Lake - to the cool mountain air and sweet waters of the massive lake. The central purpose of participating was for us to be able to contemplate, discuss and create art. There were double the amount of artists participating in the residency (18 total) since my last time, which made for really inspiring discussions and a few artistic collaborations, too.

Most of us fell into a similar routine: eat three (hearty!) meals together, work on our art, take a dip in the lake and/or walk in the woods; often ending the day around a bonfire. Sounds idyllic? It was! I felt very fortunate. Just like the first time, most days I was inspired to go into the woods and paint the nature before me in plein-air. I also once again contemplated the eternal spirits and how their presence manifest in nature and our daily lives.

In the end, all of us did a Show & Tell presentation of the art we worked on during the residency (no pressure!). Some people had continued working with familiar styles/mediums and others experimented with totally new ones. I was really impressed with the array of work created by my fellow artists. (See a small sampling of pics below.)

Big thanks to Father Frank Sabatte, the Openings Collective and all of the artists in my cohort: Michael Berube London, Anthony Santella, Oksana Propenko, Eric Jiaju Lee, Brittany Maldonado, Suzanne Stroebe, Mary Younkin, Danielle Goldsmith, Amy Hill, Stephanie Quispilaya, Debra Jenks, Maia Nero, Leah Huang, Maria Negulescu, Elim Mak, Loretta Lomanto, Norma Markley and Laura Fayer.
For over 12 years, Openings has consistently created opportunities to build community among artists and establish creative dialogue through our meet-up events and exhibitions that are inclusive to artists of all backgrounds (International artists, artists of various religions, artists of color, LGBTQ). Our exhibitions also promote artists who, although are not well known in NYC, create compelling bodies of work that deserve recognition. In addition, we organize an annual artist residency at Lake George, NY, that continues to grow in participation by artists from all over who are seeking community.  

Morning on the lake.

The residences. 

My room.

Oksana spotting me...

Me spotting Oksana.

Nighttime bonfire.

The boathouse.

Eric and Elim on the porch/studio.

Michael and Leah working on the porch/studio.

Michael's amazing Adam & Steve dyptich (WIP)

On the lawn.

A drawing/study I made about the Egyptian goddess Nut (sky) and Gen (earth).

My little spot in the woods.

My painting of the lake.

A blurry swimming pic, with noodles.

A hazy day.

The lake and greenery.

Path down to the lake.

Looking out from the doc.

Show & Tell

Show & Tell

Show & Tell

Show & Tell

Show & Tell

Show & Tell

Fireworks over Lake George

One of the many meals we shared together (photo by Laura).

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Radical Art Roundup

I can't believe we're already halfway through 2019! I haven't been every good about keeping up with my blog posts, because from January to June I was working, attending grad school and doing an internship too. I may have bitten off more than I could chew. But now it's summer - I'm taking it slow and catching up on some of my more creative interests. Even though I've been busy, I did squeeze in time to see some great art, some of which I'd like to share. The common thread in each of the three group art exhibitions featured below are the strong social justice themes employed by the curators while also choosing aesthetically compelling works.

I'll start with the show I saw most recently, Radical Love at the newly opened Ford Foundation Gallery (on view June 11th through August 17th, 2019). This show curated by Jaishri Abichandani and Natasha Becker completely knocked my socks off.

"Love, in the context of this exhibition, is defined by a commitment to the spiritual growth and interconnectedness of the individual, their community, and stewardship of the planet. Guided by the powerful words of bell hooks, 'Were we all seeing more images of loving human interaction, it would undoubtedly have a positive impact on our lives.' The works in Radical Love are grounded in ideas of devotion, abundance, and beauty; here, otherness and marginality is celebrated, adorned, and revered."

Exhibiting artists: Sue Austin La Vaughn, Belle & Jeannette Ehlers, Maria Berrio, Raúl de Nieves, Omar Victor Diop, Vanessa German, Jah Grey, Baseera Khan, Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt, McCallum & Tarry: Bradley McCallum & Jacqueline Tarry, Rashaad Newsome, Ebony G. Patterson, Jody Paulsen, Thania Petersen, Lina Puerta, Faith Ringgold, Athi-Patra, Ruga Nep Sidhu, Rose B. Simpson, Imani Uzuri, Lina Iris Viktor.

Another exhibit I saw recently was Race, Myth, Art, and Justice at the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute, curated by Grace Aneiza Ali and C. Daniel Dawson (November 15, 2018 - June 15, 2019).

"The exhibit explores intersecting ideas of race, myth, art, and justice through the lens and unique interpretations of twelve inter-generational photographers. Via innovative contemporary art practices, the photographers engage with the premise of “race” as a social construct rooted in myth, while simultaneously interrogating its profound implications and indignities on our 21st-century lives"

Featured Artists: Kwesi Abbensetts, Faisal Abdu’Allah, Terry Boddie, Jonathan Gardenhire, John E. Dowell, Jr. Adama Delphine Fawundu, Deborah Jack, Zoraida Lopez-Diago, Radcliffe Roye, Stan Squirewell, Ming Smith, Deborah Willis. Featured Writers:  Patrick Bova, Garnette Cadogan, Christopher Cozier, Tao Leigh Goffe, Claude Grunitzky, Natalie Hopkinson, Oneka LaBennett, Bárbaro Martínez-Ruiz, Pamela Newkirk, Seph Rodney, Niama Safia Sandy, and Brittany Webb.

Last but not least, I really enjoyed having the opportunity to see part of El Museo's permanent collection at Culture and The People: El Museo del Barrio, 1969-2019 (on view April 11 – September 29, 2019), curated by Susanna V. Temkin, and co-organized by Noel Valentin, El Museo’s Permanent Collection Manager.

"In celebration of its 50th anniversary, El Museo del Barrio presents Culture and the People: El Museo del Barrio, 1969-2019, a two-part exhibition featuring selections from the Permanent Collection and a timeline contextualizing the history of the institution with related archival materials. The exhibition will reflect on the institution’s activist origins and pioneering role as a cultural and educational organization dedicated to presenting and preserving Latinx and Latin American art and culture. The exhibition borrows its title from an essay penned by one of the Museum’s founders and its first director Raphael Montañez Ortíz, who outlined his concept for the institution in a 1971 article published in Art in America."

Featured artists: Adál, Ignacio Aguirre, ASCO, Myrna Báez, Diógenes Ballester, Tony Bechara, Charles Biasiny-Rivera, Tania Bruguera, Roger Cabán, Rodríguez Calero, Luis Camnitzer, Martin Chambi, Papo Colo, Felipe Dante, Margarita Deida and Piedro Pietri, Ana de la Cueva, Milagros de la Torre, Perla de León, Bartolomé de las Casas, Marcos Dimas, Nicolás Dumit- Estévez, León Ferrari, Antonio Frasconi, Coco Fusco, Carlos Garaicoa, Domingo García, iliana emilia garcía, Arturo García Bustos, Flor Garduño, Guillermo Gomez-Peña, Beatriz González, Félix González-Torres, Muriel Hasbún, Pablo Helguera, Ester Hernández, Gilberto Hernández, Carmen Herrera, Lorenzo Homar, Graciela Iturbide, Alfredo Jaar, Ivelisse Jiménez, Charles Juhász-Alvarado, Shaun “El. C.” Leonardo, Richard A. Lou, Miguel Luciano, Antonio Maldonado, Carlos Marichal, Hiram Maristany, Antonio Martorell, Héctor Méndez Caratini, Raphael Montañez Ortíz, Arnaldo Morales, José Morales, Rachelle Mozman, Francisco Manuel Oller y Cestero, Pepón Osorio, César Paternosto, Dulce Pinzón, Miguel Rio Branco, Rubén Rivera Aponte, Arnaldo Roche-Rabell, Félix Rodríguez Báez, Freddy Rodríguez, José A. Rosa Castellanos, Fernando Salicrup, Juan Sánchez, Jorge Soto Sánchez, Taller de Gráfica Popular, Rubén Torres-Llorca, Nitza Tufiño, Rafael Tufiño, Patssi Valdez, Vargas-Suárez Universal, Rigoberto Torres, and the Young Lords Party.

My Work in Debtfair at the Whitney Biennial

A few months ago, I responded to an open call from Occupy Museums for their Debtfair project. OM is a movement born out of Occupy Wall S...