No More Water (Fall 2019)
Curated by Katherine Gressel, this exhibit brought together emerging artists Tahir Carl Karmali and Justin Sterling to respond to the Old Stone House’s unique space. Both artists use reclaimed and abstracted vernacular materials––including used cell phone batteries and broken windows––to symbolize local and global policies that contribute to inequality and displacement. The title “No More Water” also implies our current climate emergency (characterized by increased floods, wildfires, and water contamination) and an urgent call for action.
The artists chose “No More Water” to reference James Baldwin’s 1963 publication “The Fire Next Time,” which begins and ends with the line, “God gave Noah the rainbow sign, No more water, the fire next time!”, quoting the spiritual “Mary Don’t you Weep” and alluding to the Old Testament story of God flooding a corrupt earth. “The Fire Next Time” is considered a galvanizing text for the American Civil Rights movement in its examination of racial injustice and its call for all people of “consciousness” to “change the history of the world.”
Funding for No More Water is made possible, in part, by the Puffin Foundation and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.
Race and Revolution: Reimagining Monuments (Spring 2019)
Race and Revolution: Reimagining Monuments, curated by Katie Fuller, questioned the relationship between historical memory and historical monuments and the implications of the histories that remain absent. Through drawings, quilts, interactive sculptural pieces, public art and paintings artists Kimberly Becoat, Alex Callender, Maureen Connor/Institute for Wishful Thinking, DARN Studio, Damien Davis, Rose Desiano, Ayasha Guerin, Zaq Landsberg, Jennifer Mack Watkins, Maureen McNeill, Lyra Monteiro, Sal Muñoz, Marilyn Nance, Emmaline Payette, Chip Thomas and Kamau Ware were concerned less with erecting massive symbols that define a limited perspective than they were in creating inclusive, dimensional histories. Their works addressed the often debated controversies around such figures as Christopher Columbus, George Washington and J. Marion Sims, and also offered insight into how collective thinking has shaped New York’s story, confronting not only what we remember and memorialize, but how. Katie Fuller was an educator for eleven years before curating her first show, Race and Revolution: Exploring Human Injustices through Art, in the summer/fall of 2016. Her second show, Still Separate – Still Unequal, opened at Smack Mellon in summer 2017 and will finish a two-year tour at the August Wilson Cultural Center in Pittsburgh in summer 2019. She has another project titled Unbroken by Bars that addresses justice-involved women face and overcome.
Artist selection committee: Eva Maybahal Davis; Gallery and Studio Programs Manager; Smack Mellon; Katie Fuller, Independent Curator and Community Organizer; Katherine Gressel, Contemporary Curator, Old Stone House & Washington Park; Kendal Henry, Director, Percent for Art, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs.
Funding for Race & Revolution: Reimagining Monuments has been made possible, in part, by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and the Puffin Foundation.
“Processing” is defined as “a series of changes taking place in a definite manner,” including the “systematic organization, treatment or preparation of materials.” The artists in Processing all manipulate art materials through intentional, systematic procedures that sometimes incorporate chance. The resulting work teeters between representation and abstraction – teasing recognizable forms out of abstract ones or abstracting recognizable elements through stripping down or layering/obscuring. Specific works were selected for the exhibition that can trace the evolution of most artists’ work processes.
Participating Artists: Jessica Dalrymple, John Fisk, Natalie Fisk, Abigail Groff Hernandez, Kristen Haskell, Melissa Johnson, Suzy Kopf, Mary Negro
For Which it Stands (2018)
For Which it Stands offered a fresh take on the flags of the American Revolution and today, including the contradictions inherent in their symbolism. Participating Artists: Simone Bailey, Christina Barrera, Andrew Demirjian, Stephan Jahanshahi, Vandana Jain, Katarina Jerinic, Jeff Kasper & Christopher Spinozzi, Josh MacPhee & Jesse Purcell, Sal Muñoz, Iviva Olenick, Manju Shandler, Athena Soules-NYC Light Brigade
Image: Athena Soules/NYC Light Brigade by Nara Garber
Made possible, in part, by The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.
Home Front (2018)
Six women artists explored public and private acts of strength and resistance by women in times of social or political upheaval— inspired by their own family and community histories as well as craft and other work traditionally associated with the home. Featuring Lauren Frances Adams, Golnar Adili, Aisha Cousins, Maya Jeffereis, Lorena Molina, Katherine Toukhy
Icons In Their Own Right (2018)
Icons in their Own Right seeks to remedy historic erasure, champion cultural representation, and reinforce identity and pride. Makeba Rainey’s artistry is heavily influenced by hip-hop culture and Black consciousness. She carefully chooses each photograph to reflect confidence and power; then selects an African-themed design that best contextualizes each figure’s attitude, creating an exchange of multiple layers and emotions. Co-Curated by Monica O. Montgomery, Founding Director, Museum of Impact and Katherine Gressel, Curator, Old Stone House & Washington Park.
Being Well: In Search of Utopia? (2017)
A contemporary art exhibit curated by Katherine Gressel, exploring artists’ role in defining and facilitating community health and wellness featuring work by Zoey Hart, Leslie Kerby, Anthony Heinz May, Carolyn Monastra, Shana Moulton, Carmen Papalia, Shervone Neckles, Jenna Spevack, Tattfoo Tan, and Jody Wood
Made possible with support from the Puffin Foundation, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.
A contemporary art exhibit curated by Katherine Gressel, considering how our immigrant nation has historically accommodated multiple peoples and perspectives–and the role of artists and art institutions in presenting and preserving their stories, featuring the work of artists Cecile Chong and Natalia Nakazawa.
This program was supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with City Councilmember David Greenfield.
A contemporary art exhibition curated by Abby Subak Exhibiting Artists: Liza Cassidy; Paul Gagnier; Sara Jones; Tara Kopp; Susan Newmark; Abby Subak and Jessica Weiss, challenging assumptions about gender roles and how these assumptions impact our views of ourselves and our partnerships.
Appropriating Revolution (2016)
A contemporary art exhibition curated by Katherine Gressel, featuring artists Lauren Frances Adams, Jim Costanzo [Aaron Burr Society], Gen Howe, Robert Gould, Alicia Grullon, and Nsenga Knight exploring how artists are incorporating (and sometimes reinterpreting) the symbols of past revolutions to inform their current socially-engaged work.
Common Ground Gowanus (2015)
Common Ground Gowanus celebrated the creativity nurtured in the neighborhoods around the Gowanus Canal.
In Search of One City: Sensing (In)equality (2015)
In Search of One City explored artists’ role in investigating, navigating, and mitigating income inequality, with a focus on New York City. Check out one of the exhibit’s public programs: Creating for Hire: Supporting a Thriving Artistic Practice through Commissions a BK Brainstorm courtesey of BRICartsmedia.
Gowanus Public Art Initiative (2014)
Gowanus Public Art Initiative presented several eleven-month-long public art installations in the Gowanus neighborhood.
Brooklyn Utopias: In TRANSITion (2013)
In TRANSITion (2013) brought together 19 artists and arts groups responding to differing visions of ideal urban transportation systems or proposing their own.
Brooklyn Utopias: Park Space, Play Space (2012)
Park Space, Play Space brought together 19 artists and arts groups to address the ideal design, planning and use of public parks.