Sanctuary Cities: How We Come and How We Go
Sanctuary Cities is a Gowanus-wide event hosted by five contemporary art galleries and institutions, all within walking distance from one another, aimed at championing the immigrant experience that has come to define the USA and New York City as a global city built on immigration and the subsequent exchange of ideas. Each gallery has curated a unique exhibition that, through the lens of artists, stresses the importance of Sanctuary Cities whose politics are in direct conflict with federal immigration laws and effectively barr local police from cooperating with federal mandates. These exhibitions offer a range of perspectives that examine the psychological, physical, and social aspects of being an immigrant in the United States of America.
More information and each gallery and exhibition can be found below.
Trestle Projects / How We Come and How We Go
curated by Jesse Bandler Firestone
ft. Tahir Carl Karmali and Farideh Sakhaei
How We Come and How We Go is a two person exhibition, featuring works by Tahir Karmali and Faride Sakhaeifar, examining the social and physical consequences of borders.
Karmali’s work looks at the inherent irony of paper’s soft materiality and its use in controlling human movement. A large part of his practice involves making large sheets paper from photocopies of visa documents and passports that are then used as finished works or substrates for drawings and sculptures. Karmali will install a large site-specific, maze-like structure in the center of the gallery made from the mesh used to hang the wet paper as it dries. This installation effectively disrupts the flow of traffic and stresses upon the viewer how paper is used to dictate our movements, both globally and locally.
Sakhaeifar is an Iranian artist currently based in Brooklyn who examines the trauma and global impacts of the current refugee crises through images. Her series Pending is a collection of stock photos featuring images of families fleeing Allepo, Syria. Sakhaeifar’s use of stock photography stresses how commonplace these images have become and simultaneously illuminates how their prevalence has desensitized the general public to these atrocities. The images in Pending have been edited to remove any trace of the refugee’s bodies, leaving only the objects and materials they carry with them.
Brooklyn Art Cluster / <Land Marks>
curated by Heejung Cho
ft. Liene Bosque, Noa Charuvi, Heejung Cho and Armita Raffat
The Cluster Gallery is pleased to present “Land Marks”, a group exhibition featuring works by Liene Bosque, Noa Charuvi, Heejung Cho and Armita Raffat. All artists hail from foreign countries: Brazil, Iran, Israel and Korea and live in NYC as either first generation Americans or permanent residents. The exhibition features their exploration of cultural histories, heritages and perspectives through architecture and urban structure in various mediums. Through painting, sculpture and installation, they create their own landmark that integrate experience, time, and artistic sensitivity in order to situate themselves in present. Each of the works are both a displacement and localization of life as a human beyond political or biological identification.
Bosquê holds a MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, a BFA from the São Paulo Estate University, and a BA in Architecture and Urbanism from the Mackenzie University also in São Paulo, Brazil. Her installations, sculptures, performances, and site-specific works have been exhibited internationally at locations such as MoMA PS1, the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts Gallery in Brooklyn, New York (2013) and among other nonprofit galleries and public spaces in Brazil, Portugal, Turkey, and United States.
Born in Jerusalem, Israel, and based in New York City, Noa holds an MFA Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts and a BFA Fine Arts from the Bezalel Academy in Jerusalem. Noa participated in Art Omi International Artists Residency, the AIM program at the Bronx museum, Yaddo artist colony at Saratoga Springs, Triangle Arts Workshop in Brooklyn, Lower East Side Rotating Studio Program and the Keyholder Residency at the Lower East Side Printshop. Her work was exhibited internationally, in venues such as Wave Hill Center, the Bronx Museum and Haifa Museum of Art, Israel.
Cho received her BFA in sculpture at Seoul National University and her MFA in visual art at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. Since 2009, Cho is an artist in residence at the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts. Her works have been recognized by New York Foundation for the Arts IAP Mentoring Program, AHL Foundation, Museum of Arts and Design, Bronx Museum of Arts, Arts Council of Korea, PS122 Studio Program, Triangle Arts Association, Dodge Foundation, and the Contemporary Artist Center of New York. Cho exhibits work internationally in Beijing, Boston, New York City, Seoul, Sweden and China. She hails from Seoul, Korea and currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Raafat holds a BFA from Al-Zahra University in Tehran and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 2008. Raafat’s work has been presented in exhibitions nationally and internationally in venues such as the Museum of contemporary Art in Chicago. ThreeWalls Gallery, Chicago. The Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York. Pavel Zoubok Gallery, New York. Dorsky Gallery, New York, Garris & Hahn Gallery, New York, HORSEANDPONY Fine Arts Berlin and Al-Zahra University in Tehran. Raaafat also exhibited with the “Fertile Crescent: Gender, Art and Society” organized by the Institute of Woman and Art. Rutgers University, 2012. She has been a recipient of awards and residencies including LMCC swing space. AIM at the Bronx Museum of the Arts. Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts studio space 2011-current, a 2014 Peter S. Reed Foundation grant for sculpture and a 2014 NYFA fellowship for Sculpture/Crafts.
Ground Floor Gallery / Duty-Free
curated by Krista Saunders
ft. Adrienne Tarver, Alexa Williams, Catherine Haggarty, JoAnne McFarland and Spencer Merolla
Duty-Free is Ground Floor Gallery’s 5th Annual Gowanus Open Studios Exhibition. A tribute to the community of artists living and working in the shadow of this storied Canal, Duty-Free features five Gowanus-based artists whose current work is informed
by memory, impressions and materials collected from myriad destinations real and imagined. Although embedded in the rich, creative fabric of industrial Gowanus, artists Adrienne Tarver, Alexa Williams, Catherine Haggarty, Joanne McFarland and
Spencer Merolla remain unrestricted in their far reaching travels and exchanges with myriad environments, histories and identities. Nurtured by their homebase of Gowanus yet beholden to their own inventive visions, these artists are highly engaged
with people and places near and far, recalling the fluid passage of goods, services and influences hat efined he nfamous owanus anal n ts eyday.
Adrienne Tarver will create a site-specific, lush, tropical landscape harboring obscured figures whose histories are unknown. Often times a faceless surrogate for the artist’s explorations, these figures allow Tarver to question authorship of a given narrative and imagine new identities / narratives informed - but not limited by - her purview as an African-American female examining possibilities beyond the “exotic” or Expected.
Alexa Williams, a born and bred New Yorker, repurposes raw, urban materials. A pivotal trip to coastal Spain prompted Williams to work in deconstructed, abstract forms from cement, metal, construction chalk, spray paint and graphite: the stuff of
the “Concrete ungle” hat he ontends ith aily.
Catherine Haggarty is currently working on a suite of new paintings encompassing divergent motifs, abstracted architectural forms and faint figures observed from
journeys ranging from her daily jog to a recent residency in Paris, France. A keen observer, Haggarty translates the impressions made by these visual encounters with colored encil, crylic nd irbrushing echniques.
Joanne McFarland’s current work draws from imagery found in an inherited Negro Almanac and our nation’s complicated history with race and gender bias to create custom decks of race and woman cards. Each handmade, beaded, painted and
embroidered card is a poignant and witty collage depicting stereotypical and actual personas and phrases that have plagued us since the inception of our democratic union o he raught residential lection ast ovember.
Spencer Merolla’s new body of work, “Coal Comforts,” was also conceived in the wake of the last presidential election and our nation’s perilous exit from the Paris Climate Accord. A mobile cart of baked goods created by hand and memorialized in coal ash,
these apocalyptic delicacies express nostalgic yearnings for less divisive times and portend he rtist’s ear f isugided, ismal uture.
Ortega y Gasset Projects/ Code Switching
curated by Lauren Whearty and Claire Britt
ft. Joeun Aatchim, Minhee Bee, Christy Chan, Alexis Granwell, and Mark Martinez
Code Switching is a linguistic term, defined by one who can go back and forth between two languages. In popular culture it has expanded to include social and identity based behaviors which may alter based on situational necessity, or proprietary cues. Code Switch will be an exhibition of 5 artists: Joeun Aatchim, Minhee Bee, Christy Chan, Alexis Granwell, and Mark Martinez, who use this multiplicity in their own visual language is Co Curated by Lauren Whearty and Clare Britt. This invented language comes from working through and within a variety of combinations, which come together to form a new whole.
The trained and intuitive ability to shift between language and culture is imperative to artworks which dig into complex subjects ranging from identity to intimacy, navigating our contemporary existence, power
Lauren Whearty is a painter who lives and works in Philadelphia, Pa. Lauren received her MFA in painting from The Ohio State University where she received a Graduate Teaching Associate Award, an Arts and Humanities Research Grant, and was nominated for the Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant. She received
her BFA in Painting from Tyler School of Art, Temple University, with honors. While attending Tyler, Lauren received the Ellen Battell Stoeckel fellowship to attend Yale’s Summer School of Art residency in Norfolk, CT. She has attended Vermont Studio Center with a fellowship, and has exhibited at such venues as the
Woodmere Museum of Art in Philadelphia, The Center for Emerging Visual Artists in Philadelphia, Vox Populi, Satellite Contemporary. Lauren has taught at, The Ohio State University, Tyler's Continuing Education program,Moore College of Art and Design continuing education program, and PAFA museum workshops, and Hussian College of Art.
Clare Britt is a photographer living and making in Chicago, IL. Her work explores themes about materiality and form deconstructing photographic images and making layers of found images to create sculptural collages. She also uses light as subject and found objects in space to transform ordinary places for site specific installations. She founded the Nonprofit Arts Organization Fraction Workspace in Chicago, IL (2003-2007). She graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a Masters in Fine Arts (2008). She is a freelance photographer traveling the country documenting various projects that include the Friedman House assisted living facility for the visually impaired and One Tail at a Time no kill dog rescue Center.