Patricia Cazorla & Nancy Saleme
Patricia Cazorla & Nancy Saleme began working together in 2010 focusing on immigration issues. Since then, they have been awarded exhibitions and commissions such as the 2012 Juried exhibition at the Hammond Museum & Japanese Stroll Garden, North Salem, NY; 7th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art, Berlin, Germany; Art in City Hall, Philadelphia, PA; Jose Cuervo Traditional Mural Project, NYC; Armory Artsweek by Lehman College Art Gallery at Andrew Freedman Home, Bronx, NY; The Garment District NYC, Not Festival 2013, Copenhagen, Denmark, Market Street Convergence at Gallery Aferro, Newark, NJ, Pierro Gallery, South Orange, NJ and the Puffin Foundation, Teaneck, NJ. Their work has been reviewed in Univision News, Remezcla, EFE Spanish international news agency, El Diario – La Prensa, Univision 41, Daily News- New York-Bronx, and Riverdale Press. They have participated in the DUMBO Arts Festival 2013 and lately they have been commissioned a public art piece by Taller Puertorriqueño, Philadelphia, funded by the Knight Foundation. They have been awarded with the NFA Artist/Ensemble Project Grant by NALAC for the public art project Lighting the Road at the Port Authority of NY & NJ commissioned by the Garment District NYC.
Anne Dushanko Dobek is a multidisciplinary conceptual artist whose installations, focus on issues of social justice and/ or the environment. The source material for all her work, collectively titled SILENT VOICES, is specific: news stories found in the New York Times. However, the installation sitings and presentation are more reductive, opening the works to individual memories of current narratives: the seemingly endless repetition of similar disasters worldwide.
The images and materials are purposely selected to have an initial surface attraction, which upon closer examination, reveal more difficult content. A collage aesthetic informs her presentation and her practice and this physical as well as referential layering expands the potential readings of the works.
Over the past two decades Dushanko Dobek has created a ”library” of techniques and images that are physically or conceptually repurposed in new works providing both visual and referential continuity. In many instances they can be read as attributes alluding to specific details of the issue or as evidence. Often, there is an intentional opposition between the reality of the images and the perception, which she uses to reinforce the political contradictions inherent in the issues.
Many of the Anne’s works are created in challenging and remote outdoor locations demanding photographic documentation before they are destroyed or damaged by natural forces (ocean, wind, rain, snow). The precarious and transient nature of the installations parallels in some measure the sites; geographic or physical of the original narratives. This is most evident in the Parallel Migrations series; Field Fire and No Olvidado both of which began outdoors but now include indoor variations. Promises, Promises is more surreal in the outdoor version.
By adding light and sound components she heightens the visual drama and emotional intensity while encouraging the viewer to follow pathways through or into the installations. By creating a more interactive and immersive experience Dushanko Dobek provides a platform for conversations and contemplation of the issues.
Dominique Duroseau was born in Chicago and raised primarily in Haiti. Duroseau’s work has been exhibited in the Dumbo Arts Festival and Bushwick Open Studios, Brooklyn, NY; Harlem Art Walking Tour, New York, NY; Nave Gallery, Somerville, MA; Walsh Gallery at Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ; Gallery Aferro, Newark, NJ; and forthcoming in “Power, Protest, and Resistance” for Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation at Skylight Gallery, Brooklyn, NY. Duroseau earned an Architectural degree from the New Jersey School of Architecture and a Fine Arts degree from Kean University.
Not every social issue should be boiled down to a buzz-word, simply to catch attention. We live in a time of media distractions that trend then reduce many social issues to white noise.
Dominique Duroseau has created a series of narratives which document our time, her own timeline, demonstrating our constant striving within today’s society. Taking into account culture, language, and social aspects, Dominique’s work depicts our contemporary struggles. Favoring more everyday matter as materials — repurposed goods, found objects, “clean trash” — She transforms our social dilemmas into abstracted imagery that reflects our long-growing list of struggles, and distill them into art. Through this multi-media approach, Duroseau has translated her observations into a series of works which are conceptual while representational, architectural yet abstract. Dominique uses sculpture, video performance, photography, printmaking, text and site-specific installations to devise a visual language representing the black sub-culture; these are victims of cultural indifference, coded vernacular, entrenched economic dispositions, and many more such issues.
In this series, Duroseau analyzes the etymology of the Haitian Creole word “nèg” — French spelling “nègre”, rooted in the Latin term for “black” — which has a number of racially-charged permutations across different languages, most notably the word “Nigger.” Through juxtaposition, translation, contextual placement, and other techniques, Dominique is creating analytical platforms where observers should question the historical complexities of a word and its continued presence in advertisements and media.
Essential Elements Creative Collective
RAGE, PAIN, DESPERATION, ANXIETY, INTOXICATING BLISS where is it safe to fully release these emotions without ridicule and judgement? without hurting someone or yourself? To go into the extreme places, the taboo places with a safety net and help to find your way back to yourself? We seek to move the process of self confrontation out of hiding and isolation into a communal experience of catharsis via a shared emotional journey, illustrated by art. Living and working in and around Newark, NJ a city in recovery, the members of this collective know intimately the trials of resurrecting from devastation. Through our own bouts with rage, debilitating sadness and grief, the options were to go numb or willingly enter the fire, and burn with the hope of resurrecting from nothing. We each chose the latter and through our commitment to a journey of healing, our sisterhood, creativity and art making have been a stronghold. We discovered that we do not have to suffer alone, there are people, there are tools: we have each other and a home for critical and radical expression. There will be no withholding, for the sake of sanity. The first step to rehab is admitting ‘what is’ to yourself and others: no censoring no editing.
The collective is comprised of Newark based artists including; “The serial optimist”, Kelly Thomas (performance artist, healer, activist), “The abstract expressionist” , Sophia Domeville (painter/visual artist), “The Emcee”, Sheikia, (performing artist, educator, healer), & Jessica Dunston.
What’s on top? What’s on bottom? What’s near? What’s far? If something is on top, why does it look like it’s on the bottom? If something’s far, why does it look near? Why do things look near or far while they’re actually on the same plane? What is empty space, what is light, what is material? What is constant, what is changing, why is it changing if it’s static? How can it be static if it’s changing? The shifting is illusory. Or is it?
Gilbert Hsiao (b. 1956) spends his time between Jersey City, NJ and Olivebridge, NY. He attended Columbia University and Pratt Institute. Solo exhibitions include Jump and Flow (2012) at Minus Space, Brooklyn, NY, Assymetrical Symmetry (2011) at SNO, Sydney, Australia, Filtered (2011) at Galerie Sonja Roesch in Houston TX, and Light Noise (2010) at dr Julius | ap in Berlin. Recent group shows include Unlikely Iterations of the Abstract (2013) at Contemporary Arts Museum Houston curated by Bill Arning, Buzz (2012-13) at Gallery Nara Roesler in Sao Palo, Brazil, curated by Vik Muniz, and Doppler Stop (2012-13), curated by Mel Prest which toured several European countries in 2012 and was recently shown at Parallel Art Space in Bushwick in 2013. He was NYFA fellow in 2008 and was a resident of the Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation Space Program in New York in 2012-13. He is represented in collections including the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Bristol Myers Squib Collection, Progressive Collection, and the collection of Barbara and Eugene Schwartz, New York, NY.
Hal Laessig & Yoland Skeete
As an artist Hal Laessig works in architecture and urban-inspired drawings and public installations. Often working in collaboration with architect Thomas Bish, his work has been exhibited at the 1985 Venice Biennale, the Queens Museum of Art, The Newark Museum, Aljira A Center for Contemporary Art, and other venues.
Hal provides design and management for projects for local arts organizations and for public art installations. Recent projects include a collaboration with artist Charlee Swanson for the winning entry in New Jersey Transit’s Juried Public Art competition for the Davenport Light Rail station in Newark, NJ, completed in 2014. Hal has also managed the conversion of an 8,000 s.f. storefront for Aljira, a Center for Contemporary Arts at 591 Broad St, Newark, NJ; HUD block grants for several non-profits from the City of Newark; installation of the outdoor artwork of Grace Graupe Pillard along the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail Transit Line and at the NJ Transit Aberdeen train station; and project management for two art installations by Willie Cole at the Washington Park station of the Newark light rail line.
Yoland Skeete has been a documentarian, and artist for as long as she can remember. Although making her living in photography and film, her personal work is a ritual of how life is experienced utilizing any and every medium to accomplish her goals. Ms. Skeete has exhibited her video and photography and multimedia installations in galleries and museums in the US and abroad including the Museum of Modern Art, the Queens Museum of Art, the Newark Museum, Museum of Contemporary Arts and Crafts in New York City, Biblioteque Nacional de Paris and The Musee D’Art Moderne De La Ville De Paris,. Husby Konsthalle, Stockholm, Sweden, and Estesio Gallery, Beddingstrande, Sweden.
Her photographs and video work are in the print collection of the Museum of Modern Art, African American Museum of Life and Culture, Dallas, Texas, Carolyn Alexander of Alexander Bonin Gallery in Chelsea, and American Express Corporation. She has been a recipient of the Glide Memorial Grant, The Graff Travel Grant, The New Jersey Council on the Humanities Grant and the Melon Grant distributed through New Jersey Performing Arts Center’s Humanities program. She has been an Artist in Residence at Art In General, The Arts Council of the Essex Area, and has received educational grants and awards for her work with youth and media. She continues to exhibit her work locally, nationally and internationally. In 2012 she participated in the exhibition “ A BILHA PROJECTO DE ARTE. CELEBRA O DIA DE PORTUGAL DE CAMOES E DAS COMUNIDADES PORTUGUESAS NEWARK” which toured the US and is permanently housed in the Bilha Museum in Portugal.
Tasha Lewis is a young cyanotype artist from Indianapolis, Indiana. She writes, “although almost all of my work is three-dimensional, I still consider my art to be in the photographic realm. I am drawn to cyanotype both because of its history and because of its ﬂexibility. My current body of work is drawn from an investigation into the cultural/scientiﬁc/historical context in which the cyanotype was born.
Popularized by scientists, and botanists in particular, the cyanotype is intrinsically tied into the scientiﬁc recording boom of the late 19th and early 20th century. These are the times of the curiosity cabinet, the prints of Anna Atkins and a rush of explorers/scientists to colonial lands to bring back specimens from foreign ecosystems. The cyanotype is a process of documenting. The resultant image— which is the basic fodder for all of my work— is a kind of scientiﬁc stand-in for the actual object in question. I realized that there is something too static about the way we record nature— a force which is anything but static. My pieces, in herds or swarms, have a kind of inborn rebellion in them. They break out of surfaces we expect to be solid, and in so doing are launching an attack into our personal space”.
Jo-El Lopez was born in Juncos, Puerto Rico and raised in Paterson, New Jersey. Lopez uses the visual storytelling of traditional realism to convey complex commentary on the intersection of faith and modernity, the strength of family, and the multidimensional contemporary urban experience. Gallery AFerro hosted Lopez’s first solo show, Speaking In Tongues, which focused on these top[ics in early 2016. The decades the artist spent under the Pentecostal doctrine, a bold color palette informed by both abstract painting as well as older traditions of icon-making, all meld to create Lopez’s kaleidoscopic worldview. The collection of artworks previously on view at Gallery Aferro from January 27 – March 12, 2016 reveal a restless, deeply engaged spirit closely observing not only his immediate environment, but the larger historic trajectory of national news.
Lopez asserts, “Originally, I studied business and fine arts at Kean University and at Montclair State University and was prepared for a life in the corporate arena. But my life’s journey has led me back to artmaking and my true passion. My work shows my voyage from that life choice to now.” In just four years since leaving the business world to focus on art, Lopez’s work has appeared regularly in tri-state area exhibtions at The Bronx Art Center, Gallery Aferro, The Center for Contemporary Art, New Jersey City State University Gallery, Rupert Raven Contemporary, and Jersey City’s City Hall.
Jacob Mandel’s work is influenced by a passion for the history of photography, and a constant engagement with attempting to define his perception of the world around him. Jacob believes photographic processes can be used to subvert ones expectations of what a photograph can and must do. Through that contradiction of purpose he believes his artwork mirrors our own understanding, and misunderstanding, of the world around us. This idea transcends philosophical discourse and becomes the basis for his personal and political ideals.
Mandel graduated from Rutgers University, Mason Gross School of the Arts with honors. He focused in Photography and got a minor degree in Art History.
My work contrasts rational, conceptual processes with intuitive inquiry. I research, investigate, and shape materials using chance, accident, and random samplings, as well as imagery from the canon of art history. I am driven to create work that is richly layered, that feels expressive, measured, and substantial.
I have been employing manipulated wire grids. The wire grids are cut to create stencils for my mark making. Along with the wire drawings I have built a series of shapes based on the design technique of camouflage. These camouflage shapes are created from overlapped lines that are an accumulation of tracings from the canon of western painting. Shapes are interspersed with marks to create levels and a sense of motion and chaos in my paintings and prints.
My work speaks directly to my world, marks and shapes are broken from a strict order; tumbling over; blocking; competing for space. The crowding marks and shapes reflect the shifting world as systems and beliefs shred and burst into new compilations. There are bits of the familiar but those are hints and allusions. I am not looking to create an order. I am recording a moment of being.
Anne Q. McKeown is an artist whose practice includes painting, printmaking and handmade paper. McKeown has traveled to and worked in Egypt, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Cuba and South Africa. She has worked with artists at the Artist Proof Studio and Phumani Paper in Johannesburg, South Africa. McKeown has spoken on art discussion panels, including an interview with Richard Tuttle at the New York Editions and Artist Book Fair 2008, she has juried exhibitions, including the 2007 Philagrafika Invitational Portfolio, and has presented her work as a visiting artist at various Universities, including the University of Johannesburg, South Africa.
McKeown has taught Art Appreciation and Drawing courses at the University of Connecticut in Stamford and Papermaking at Mason Gross School of the Arts; as well as many workshops and demonstrations, including the 2010 Pulp Painting Symposium at the Southwest School of Art in San Antonio, Texas. Since 2001 she has been the Master Papermaker at the Brodsky Center for Innovative Editions. McKeown holds her B.A in Studio Art, 1992 from Skidmore College and her MFA in Painting and Printmaking from Yale University School of Art. Over the last three years her work has been shown at the SOHO20 CHELSEA Gallery, New York where she is a Fellowship member. She has shown at the Hall of Awa in Yamakawa, Japan JARFO Gallery in Kyoto, Japan; at Rupert Ravens Contemporary and Gallery Aferro in Newark, NJ, at the Noyes Museum in Oceanville, NJ and the Hogar Collection Gallery in Brooklyn, NY among others. Her work involves exploration, working with painting, printmaking, papermaking and wire drawings. She makes and takes apart systems using color, chance and intuition.
William A. Ortega is a Colombian born artist who grew up in Hudson County NJ. He received his BFA from New Jersey City University and his MFA from Rutgers Mason Gross School of the Arts. He is currently pursuing a Master’s in Professional Studies at the School of Visual Arts in NYC, focused on contemporary digital photographic media.
As a first generation Latin American, Ortega’s work focuses on the process of assimilation by exploring many themes of identity through his photographic images. As an example some of his projects have explored the idea of gender roles and how they are developed according to cultural signifiers. His interest lies in how “transitional” families define these gender roles and how the idea of the male role changes/evolves from generation to generation.
Most projects are semi-biographical and approached by themes with humor creating narratives that exhibit elements and border on a ridiculous assumption of identity. Ortega’s projects are underlined with a sincere question about place, whether in its immediate physical presence by documenting and inspecting used items, immediate family, ancestry and cultural racial history and its psychological impact. His work references male relationships and the modern day view of masculinity that addresses perplexing suggestions ingrained by our cultural unconsciousness.
Michelle Suriel has a variety of artwork that she has done in the past. Michelle’s primary media include charcoal, pastel, watercolor, and pencil. The artworks she focuses on consists of human and landscape element. Each artwork shows the different ways she works and details she focuses on.
Amanda Thackray is a visual artist living in New Jersey whose work focuses on drawings, prints, conceptual artistsʼ books, installations, and multimedia experiments. She holds an MFA in printmaking from the Rhode Island School of Design and a BFA in Printmaking from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. She is currently a Scholar of Advanced Studies of the Book at the Center for Book Arts in New York and the printmaking shop technician at Princeton University. Her work is most inspired by the human body and its relationship with the natural world. Indulging a deep connection with process and the ephemeral, Thackrayʼs work is highly detailed, often utilizing minute repetitive mark-making techniques or actions.
Thackray has attended residencies at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, VT, the Womenʼs Studio Workshop in Rosendale, NY where she was awarded a book production grant, and was the Printshop Coordinator at Pilchuck Glass School in Seattle, WA in 2012. In addition to showing her work regularly in New York, New Jersey and nationally, she often curates shows and has lectured at the New Jersey Book Arts Symposium, Brown University, and Womenʼs Studio Workshop. Ms. Thackrayʼs work is in over a dozen national and international public collections including the Newark Public Library, Yale University, and Mediatheque Andre Malraux in Strasbourg, France.
In addition to paintings that exist as discrete objects, over the last two years I have begun creating paintings that are made as insertions in specific architectural spaces. I create optically active paintings on canvas, modified or interrupted by physical displacements, dissections, insertions or reversals. Paintings are visual objects. Usually we think of the ‘object’ part as supporting the ‘visual’, of the wooden stretcher and canvas as just being there to hold up the image that we are meant to see. But my paintings usually involve a smaller or larger interruption of such a relationship. I am working with the space created when the parts of painting are dislodged from their usual roles.
Ken Weathersby‘s paintings were seen in a 2010 solo exhibition, Perfect Mismatch at Pierogi Gallery in Brooklyn. His works were also recently on view in The National Academy of Art Museum’s 183rd Annual: An Invitational Exhibition of Contemporary American Art in New York, in the exhibition Continuing Color Abstraction at The Painting Center in New York, in Postconceptualism at Moderno in Washington, DC, and in Visual Phrasing at Maloney Art Gallery at the College of St. Elizabeth. He is the recipient of a Mid-Atlantic Arts / New Jersey State Council on the Arts Fellowship in Painting. Weathersby grew up on the gulf coast of Mississippi. He received an MFA in Painting from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Detroit and has lived in or near New York City since 1990.
What Jay Wilson offers is art, hope, and a sense that no one is alone. Healing-through-art is what he practices. Wilson’s intention is to continue to build up the youth in my community through service and love. He is known primarily as a fine artist with an extensive background in graffiti. Wilson’s work is known for showing the true challenges of living in New Jersey’s largest city; Newark.
Through Jay’s art he tells stories of whimsical irony, pensive despair, and playful joy. One of the main themes throughout Wilson’s work is that of the dispossessed youth. Who are they? Where are they? What are they doing? Wilson wants to tell their truth. Many of Wilson’s works are self-portraits of himself and his interactions with the world around him. Jay likes to think that he is using his own image as a portal whereby, Wilson aims to offer transcendence to the masses of voiceless youth who can’t or won’t be heard.
Wolfe’s abstract paintings reference a child-like sense of object and space. Working wet on wet, her images evolve quickly through an improvisational process. As infants learning to draw make figures with twenty arms, they express a new awareness of their limbs rather than a representational observation. Wolfe’s act of painting similarly involves capturing our physical experience of existing in the world, and memories of those heightened moments of awareness.
Her recent work deals with creating the illusion of pattern and then breaking it. She plays with the suggestion of three-dimensional space within flat shapes and the idea of the possibility of the edge of the painted surface being peeled off and lifted back.
Sara Wolfe’s paintings have been exhibited in venues including the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA, the 92nd Street Y and Exit Art in New York City, and The Center for Contemporary Art and Arts Guild in New Jersey. Solo shows include Gallery Aferro in Newark in 2009 and Hamilton Square in Jersey City in 2014. Wolfe has been the recipient of numerous fellowships, including those from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and the Joan Mitchell Foundation. Residencies include Yaddo, the Atlantic Center for the Arts, Vermont Studio Centers and the Association of Independent Schools of Art and Design. Wolfe holds an M.F.A. from Rutgers’ Mason Gross School of the Arts and has studied painting in Florence, Italy and at the School for Visual Arts in New York City. She has taught painting and drawing at Rutgers University, Middlesex County College, New Jersey City University and at SUNY in New Paltz, NY.