I read that Denmark was the world’s happiest country and after five weeks there this summer, I see why! While squeezing in daily bike rides through the forest and along the ocean, I worked on three projects. With the help of locals citizens, I transfomed the facade and windows of a former grocery store in the center of town, collaborated with Danish artist Asger Neiman on stoneware and raku sculptures, and executed many sketches and photographs that have become the basis for current paintings. Two vessels that Asger and I created were installed in a 12th century church in the center of town. One vase rests on a fragment of a legendary tree know to locals as “The Three Siblings.” The other vase rests on a base hewn from one of the church’s original joists. Members of the congregation will fill these vessels with seasonal flora from Fjellerup.
I traveled to the North Jutland region of Denmark when invited to participate in “Fjellerup i Bund & Grund,” which was organized by Danish/American artist Anna Lise Jensen with site-specific projects, supported by Norddjurs Kommune and made in collaboration with the townspeople and fellow artists Norbert Francis Attard, Monica Carrier, Jo Q. Nelson and Christine Sciulli.
My intervention of the former Byens Købmand (city grocery) is entitled Flora I Fjellerup. The facade was repainted to create the illusion of shadows of plants indigenous to the area. Collected by locals and myself from gardens, forests, meadows, and the seaside, we even included some weeds growing along the side of the structure.
The wood cutouts in the windows were based on kelp from the nearby Kattegat Sea. The scale of these aquatic plants were enlarged to evoke a fish’s perspective. Norwegian Birch plywood was soffited into the window and door edges as a reference to the tradition of boarding up a building that that has been abandoned or is under construction. Transforming these materials from their utilitarian purpose, the viewer is transported to the ocean and distracted from the emptiness and bric-à-brac inside. During the day, the cutouts cast shadows onto the deep sills and concrete floor while at night, the shapes are cast outward when illuminated from within.
It showed great community and national support to have legendary Danish Parliament member Bertel Haarder speak at the opening ceremony. The installation is on view indefinitely, and plans are already in the works for next summer.
I just completed work on a permanent mosaic commission “Coloridas Historias de México” at the Brooklyn School of Inquiry, 50 Avenue P, Brooklyn, NY. I worked with the art teacher Nanna Tannier, along with 75 gifted and talented third graders. The theme of the mosaic is ancient to contemporary Mexico, which the students studied in social studies and also made individual drawings based on Mexico in art class. I looked at and scanned the hundred-plus drawings the students made and researched the weighty topic during a trip to Mexico City this spring. Of the many artists that have taken on this theme, ones of particular interest for me are: Juan O’Gorman, Frida Khalo and Diego Rivera. This was the first project I had collaborated on with kids and found the experience a ton of fun, hard work and rewarding. The mosaic was installed on the 4th floor of the school and am happy that it will be enjoyed by countless students and staff in the years to come.
tART Collective is a contemporary feminist artist collective in NYC
The following 8 artists of the 35 current members represent tART at this year’s Fountain NY
The full collective will be shown in catalogs, zines & flat files
IN HER NATURE curated by Krista Saunders
Anna Lise Jensen, Elsie Kagan, Katherine Keltner, Jess Levey, Nikki Schiro, Petra Valentova, Kathleen Vance & Julia Whitney Barnes
In honor of the centennial celebration of THE Armory Fair (1913 International Exhibition of Modern Art) tART will have a booth at Fountain Art Fair, taking place at the original location: 69th Regiment Armory, on Lexington Avenue between 25th and 26th Streets. Booth A204
69th Regiment Armory at 68 Lexington Avenue (25th St and Lexington Ave)
For its 8th New York edition, Fountain Art Fair will return to the 69th Regiment Armory, home of the revolutionary 1913 Armory Show, which was a public sensation and introduced the American public to European avant-garde painting and sculpture.
New York, NY – The tART Collective is a New York City-based contemporary feminist artist initiative currently comprised of 35 members. A colorful blend of emerging female artists practicing painting, sculpture, performance and everything in between, tART members hail from diverse backgrounds but share a need for dialogue informed by studio visits and socially-engaged exchanges. For the 8th Annual Fountain Art Fair in New York, 8 of tART’s artists will represent the collective to the wider art world: Anna Lise Jensen, Elsie Kagan, Katherine Keltner, Jess Levey, Nikki Schiro, Petra Valentova, Kathleen Vance and Julia Whitney Barnes. Curated by Krista Saunders, “In Her Nature” shows works informed by encounters with the natural world within and beyond the artists’ urban surroundings. Each artist is individually investigating how she shapes or is shaped by her environment. Collectively, the exhibition explores the versatility of today’s emerging feminist artists and challenges generalizations by presenting a broad range of works. The entire tART Collective will be on view in the form of catalogs, zines and publications.
Fountain Art Fair
69th Regiment Armory (25th Street & Lexington Ave.) New York, NY
Friday, March 8 12-5 PM VIP/Press Preview; 5-7 Open to public; 7PM-Midnight Opening Reception
Saturday March 9 12-7PM Open to the Public, 7-Midnight Saturday Night Event, Music Lineup TBA
Sunday, March 10 12-5PM Open to the Public, Music Lineup TBA
tART Collective is a contemporary feminist artist collective in New York City. Members maintain their individual art practices and are committed to maintaining a close community through post-graduate studio visits, collaborations and offering support through the sharing of ideas, information and resources. The collective produces ‘zines, workshops and discussions and engages communities outside the collective – often in conjunction with exhibitions.
tART exhibition concurrently on view:
“Collectively Assembled” at Arts@Renaissance
2 Kingsland Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
Thursdays and Saturdays 1-6p, through March 16th
Entering Julia Whitney Barnes’ studio in Red Hook, Brooklyn, I encountered a world of interconnections, a feast for the eyes. Two of the walls are covered with rich source material, including studies, photos and reproductions of images of animals, plants, architecture, a favorite painting: Pontormo’s Visitation and a view from her studio window in Italy. Surrounding herself with this imagery, Julia explores relationships between art, science and mythology, and natural and human-made worlds. Integrating her ideas, she flexibly moves among oil painting, printmaking, ceramics, mural painting, mosaic work and installation, creating studio and public works. Her work is influenced by ecological practices and the complex relationship humans have had with the environment throughout time.For Collectively Assembled, I chose a painting in progress (oil paint, ink and watercolor on linen stretched over wood.) This piece explores private vs. public and is a good fit for the unique A@R space with its reconverted showers, green areas, courtyard and public programs. Initially Julia associated the blue atmosphere with the sky, but after Hurricane Sandy this aquatic color took on new meaning. The prison-like tower is a remnant from an abandoned amusement park. She incorporates the labyrinthine floor pattern of San Vitale in Ravenna, leading our eye back to the center of the painting. Its perfect triangles have been made irregular with the passing of time. We also see nature at work on the contemporary fence in the foreground. Julia observes, “Nature permeates human-made structures. Humans build barriers, yet long for reunification with nature, a constant cycle occurring throughout centuries.” The adaptable trees, growing through the fence, have been cut down to truncated branches. The trees weave in and out of the fence, itself a woven form. Repeated triangle and diamond patterns bring the eye around the entire painting.
A diptych, Star Island (hand-colored etching with shellac-based ink and watercolor,) will also be included in the show. Star Island is a real island off the coast of NH, where Julia spent time as a child. In this diptych, she explores how the isolated feeling of the island is conducive to fantasy. The atmospheric pink coloring breathes throughout both images like the sky at dawn or dusk. The star print fuses patterns from various cultures, including Celtic and Islamic. Julia is interested in how patterns affirm universality among cultures and are distilled from nature. She creates patterns within patterns and the star arrows are multidirectional and continuous in movement. In the landscape print, Julia explores her love for the work of Patrick Blanc, trained botanist, artist and creator of vertical gardens. She loves the ecological benefits of vertical gardens, planted on building walls, and how these beautiful creations grow and change over time. In this print, she also explores her fascination with a unique geological structure, a karst formation inPhang Nga Bay in Thailand. This rock formation has been transformed by the rise of fall of the sea level. Time and natural processes have turned it into a vertical garden structure. A ghost print of a spiral staircase weaves around this image, creating an energy field.It was wonderful to see Julia and her work, and to learn about her inspirations. I look forward to future studio visits! Julia Whitney Barnes has been a member of the tART Collective since 2006. She is on the faculty at Adelphi University. To learn more about her work, visit www.juliawhitneybarnes.com
click here to my video interview about the exhibition: http://youtu.be/7T01eKGPGBM
“Frenzy Into Folly” Exhibit at Church of St. Paul the Apostle
Fren*zy (fr?n*z?) n., 1. A state of violent mental agitation or wild excitement. 2. Temporary madness or delirium. 3. A mania; a craze.
Fol*ly (f?l*?) n., 1. A lack of good sense, understanding or foresight. 2.a. An act or instance of foolishness. b. A grand but misguided idea. 3. A thing built to satisfy a fancy or conceit, often of an eccentric kind.
The madness will ensue this fall as Openings presents Frenzy Into Folly, their largest group exhibition to date featuring the work of 38 artists at the historic Church of St. Paul the Apostle.
Openings, a collective of visual artists whose mission is to explore the connections between creativity and transcendence, will showcase work in painting, sculpture, photography, and site specific installations that will be situated throughout the church.
The exhibition runs from Sept. 14 – Oct. 26 , with the opening reception on Thursday, Sept. 20th from 7-9pm inside the church.
The show, curated by Keena Gonzalez and Michael Berube, features work by Andrew Berardi,Anthony Santella, Araceli Cruz, Carrie Elston Tunick, Daniel Nelson, Denise Penizzotto, Dennis Santella, Garry Velletri, Iliyan Ivanov, James Vanderberg, Joey Kilrain, Johanna Bartelt, John Pavlou, Julia Whitney Barnes, Keena Gonzalez, Kenneth Walker, Lori Merhige, Marjan Moghaddam, Mark Brennan, Matthew Farrell, Meg Graham, Megan Hildebrandt, Michael Berube, Oksana Prokopenko, Patricia Bellucci, Rachel Kohn, Rebecca Simon, Robert Aitchison, Roger Geier, Sandra Mack-Valencia, Sarah Hollars, Sarah Knouse, Sherry Aliberti, Steve Palermo, Suzanne Broughel, Tim Rusterholz, Virgil Alderson, and Wen-Chi Chen.
Opening Reception: September 20th 2012, 7-9pm
Exhibition Dates: September 14- October 26
Mon – Fri 7:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Sat – Sun 8:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Location : Church of St. Paul the Apostle
Corner of West 60th & Columbus Ave. (212) 265-3495
New York, New York 10019
Thursday, August 16th, 2012
BY BONNIE ROSENSTOCK | When visual artist Julia Whitney Barnes began her six-month SPARC (Seniors Partnering with Artists Citywide) residency at the Sirovich Senior Center, she immediately proposed creating a lasting legacy. Inspired by 2,300-year-old Hellenist mosaics she admired during a residency in Eretria, Greece, she envisioned using that vibrant art form to transform four cemented-over former balconies in the main ballroom/auditorium of the center at 331 E. 12th St. between First and Second Aves.
“It’s especially important for older populations, who want to have a lasting mark, to be able to make something together to impact the space,” Barnes, 32, said. “I also wanted to create something that would have universal appeal.”
Collectively called “Refracted Nature,” each of the four, spectacular, 40-inch-by-60-inch mosaic panels reflects a different theme: flowers, animals, landscape and figures of people. “But the consistent theme is growth,” Barnes said.
The mosaics were a true collaboration between Barnes and about 20 seniors, ranging from 60 to 90 years old, who created hundreds of ceramic relief elements, which were combined with repurposed glass, ceramic fragments and antique dishes. Barnes contributed objects, hoarded in her Red Hook studio from street throwaways. In addition, she retrieved broken chinaware more than 100 years old from Dead Horse Bay, the Brooklyn dumping ground that closed in the 19th century.
“I thought it would be great to have something older than anyone here,” she said, of her wading adventure. “Everything in there is before Styrofoam and plastic and gorgeous.”
The popular Sirovich ceramics studio was abuzz with activity. Sheila O’Brien, 75, a Stuyvesant Town resident, said, “The project was a real challenge. Julia gave us a creative outlet, something to strive for and we had to cooperate with one another.”
Shirley Birnbaum, 80, molded ceramic flowers for one panel and a bird, fish and yellow daisy for another. The Lower East Side resident has been attending the center for 21 years and runs the regular mosaic class.
“Julia enhanced everything we did,” Birnbaum said. “The mosaics are absolutely gorgeous.”
Terry Gregory, director of the center, which is affiliated with the Educational Alliance, said this was the second project with the Department of Aging.
“We found the quality of people very high, and members gained a lot of expertise and enjoyment,” he said. “This year, we were extremely lucky in getting Julia. She has love for them and vice versa.”
Barnes has her sights set on the remaining three closed-off spaces on the wall. When she woke up the morning after the June 23 public opening, she promised herself, “I don’t know when, but I have to do them at some point.”
Her team is ready.
Short URL: http://eastvillagernews.com/?p=3560
“Refracted Nature” installation will be on permanent display in the main ballroom/auditorium at the Sirovich Senior Center. Sirovich is part of the Educational Alliance is a non-profit organization was founded in in 1889 to help Jewish immigrants get settled in the U.S., and currently serves a broad and diverse group of downtown New Yorkers — of all religions, ethnicities, races and socio-economic backgrounds.
I collaborated with members of the center (ranging in age from 60 to 90 years young) to create hundreds of ceramic relief elements that are combined with repurposed glass and ceramic fragments to make an installation in former balconies in the main ballroom/auditorium of the East Village center. The motifs range from detailed representation of birds, fish and flowers to abstract elements to 100-plus year old broken china collected on the Brooklyn waterfront and reflecting the eclectic nature of the East Village and the diverse population that enjoys the center.
To get a flavor for what goes on in the space where the mosaic was installed (and the center at large) here is a link to a recent New York Times article: http://eastvillage.thelocal.nytimes.com/2011/02/02/getting-older-but-its-yoga-not-bingo/#more-9900
“Refracted Nature” was made possible by a SPARC residency through Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. SPARC is a collaboration among the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the Department for the Aging, and the City’s five local arts councils situated in each borough. The program is supported, in part, by funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.”
“Refracted Nature” 2012, mixed media mosaic (handmade ceramic relief elements, repurposed glass tesserae, ceramic fragments, antique dishes, mortar, cement board)
Collaborators: Muriel Asnis, Shirley Birnbaum, Nick Biscardi, Cindy Briggs, Ester Cohen, Helen Cohen, Nora Glickman, Michelle Michelova, Yoko Kitahara, Tatiana Knobel, Jesse Marsh, Takami Mitchell, Kyoto Nansai, Sheila O’Brien, Tony Porpora, Lourdes Sta Maria, Anne Warshaw, Helen Wekony, May Wong, Madeline Young
I am delighted to announce a two-person show with Melissa Cowper-Smith opening Saturday, June 2 from 6–8pm at Sweet Lorraine Gallery in Red Hook. There will also be a closing reception on Friday, June 29 from 7–9pm. The gallery is open by appointment throughout the month. Melissa is a founding member of the tART Collective (I have been an active tART member since 2006) and is currently based in Arkansas, where she created this body of work. I worked from my studio in Red Hook and we exchanged images over the last year to keep an active dialog about our ideas, motivations and creations.
I created a new installation “Inner Workings,” comprised of source material along with paintings, drawings, mixed-media works and sculptures from 2004–2012 for this exhibition at Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning
Jamaica, New York, March 28, 2012 — Collectivity: Art-making in a Collective will open on April 4, 2012 at Jamaica center for Arts & Learning from 6—8pm. The exhibition featuring selected members of the tART Collective will run through June 6, 2012. The exhibition examines ways in which being a part of an artists’ collective influence their work individually. For example, what is the impact of peer studio visits, collaborations and the ongoing critiques by fellow artists have on a particular artist’s body of work.
Heng-Gil Han, curator at the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning, will explore these issues and draw some conclusions through a curated exhibition of a select group of tART Collective members. The exhibition will examine work created prior to members’ inclusion in the collective alongside current work, looking at ways that an artist’s style and subject matter has changed and affected their aesthetic sensibility; thus providing an opportunity to appreciate the significance of collaboration and collective endeavors to individual artists’ aesthetic and conceptual shifts, constants, and changes.
Considering the recent proliferation of collaborative projects and collective groups of artists, we believe that this type of exhibition is appropriate, relevant, and lends itself to a better understanding of the current state of art.
The artists to be featured include: damali abrams, Liz Ainslie, Julia Whitney Barnes, Suzanne Bennett, Suzanne Broughel, Anna Lise Jensen, Katherine Keltner, Jodie Lyn-Kee-Chow, Susan Ross, Nikki Schiro, Yasmin Spiro, Melissa Staiger, Rosemary Taylor, Petra Valentova.
For more information at http://www.jcal.org/visual/event.html and www.tartnyc.org/news
This exhibition is supported by individual donations.
About Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning (JCAL):
For almost 40 years, the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning (JCAL) has served as an arts oasis in a section of New York City where cultural opportunities are extremely limited. Created in 1972 as part of an effort to revitalize Jamaica, JCAL has earned a reputation for inspiring youth to take an interest in the arts, showcasing the talents of up-and-coming local artists and performers, and creating dynamic multicultural programs and workshops that have been embraced by the community. Each year, tens of thousands of visitors of all ages, backgrounds and skill sets pass through its doors to attend classes and workshops, view art exhibitions, attend performances or immerse themselves in an art residency.
For further information, visit http://www.jcal.org.
The Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning is housed in landmark buildings owned by the City of New York and are funded with public funds provided through the New York State Council on the Arts, celebrating 50 years of building strong, creative communities in New York State’s 62 counties; the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs with support from Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg; Cultural Affairs Commissioner Kate D. Levin; the New York City Council; Council Speaker Christine Quinn; the Queens Delegation of the Council; Deputy Majority Leader, Councilman Leroy Comrie; Councilman James F. Gennaro; Councilman James Sanders, Jr.; and Queens Borough President Helen M. Marshall.
Cover story interview with Mike Weiss published in the weekly edition on February 23 & daily paper February 24, 2012.