Jonathan Ferrara Gallery Info:

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Oregonian Features the Installation of New Sculptures by BRIAN BORRELLO

The Gateway Improvement street project at the intersections of Southwest Pacific Highway and Main Street is slated to finish by Sept. 12 for the Downtown Tigard Street Fair. (C.J. Gifford)

Artist Brian Borrello

by C.J. Gifford

Ah, the sounds of summer in the city. Kids squealing in sprinklers, bees buzzing outdoor dinners and concrete cutting, pouring and earth moving. Street projects are in full swing all over Tigard. One is more noticeable than others and will be enjoyed by everyone that visits downtown.

The corner of Southwest Pacific Highway and Main Street is getting a facelift. A diseased Red Maple was removed to begin a "Gateway Improvement" project. Once the dust settles and concrete dries, crossing 99W into downtown will be a beautiful experience.

The intersection will open up visually and be visually exciting, too, with original art by Brian Borrello when complete. Borrello will install two 15-feet tall garden-inspired works that will become a part of seating, lighting and additional landscaping.

City of Tigard Redevelopment Project Manager Sean Farrelly says the Gateway Improvements will be installed at both ends of Main Street. "Downtown will benefit from the prominent placement of the artwork which will invite people onto Main Street," Farrelly said.

The final $504,000 cost associated with the Gateway Improvements will come out of urban renewal funds. Structural and creative ideas came from the City Center Advisory Commission, and Farrelly also credits the Tigard Downtown Allianceand others, saying they "have identified art as an important component to a vital downtown."

Main Street will be blooming with beauty in time for the Downtown Tigard Street Fair on Sept. 12. The additional seating near the entrance will be an added bonus when Santa visits later this year to light the downtown tree for the holidays.

Monday, July 27, 2015

JFG Artists Featured in 'REVERB: Past, Present, Future' at the CAC

 GENERIC ART SOLUTIONS, Liberty, 2011, archival inkjet print on photographic paper, 30 x 40 inches

SIDONIE VILLERE, Vulnerable, 2013, canvas, gesso, oil, and fishnetting on plywood, 96 x 48 x 3 inches

ADAM MYSOCK, And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, 2011, acrylic on panel, 16 x 22.5 inches

SKYLAR FEIN, Yoko Ono Fashions for Men, 2013, silkscreen and acrylic on canvas, 38.5 x 26 inches

REVERB: Past, Present, Future explores the evolution of art and artistic practices in New Orleans and its surrounding region over the last decade.

REVERB: Past, Present, Future explores the evolution of art and artistic practices in New Orleans and its surrounding region over the last decade. Taking the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina as its chronological starting point, it positions the vast social, economic, and political reverberations of this monumental event as a catalyst for change, revitalization, determination, and creative innovation among the region’s artistic community.

REVERB traces the aesthetic fissures and openings that grew out of a physical breach. From large-scale installations, interactive video, and handcrafted textiles to historical reenactment and photorealism, the works in this exhibition convey the generative and revitalizing activity that occurred throughout a decade of tremendous change in New Orleans.

Uncovering work by artists of diverse backgrounds and generations who work across a range of media, REVERB evidences the ever-expanding boundaries of contemporary artistic practice as well as the undeniable relationship, both historical and current, of New Orleans art production to local, national, and global dialogues.

The REVERB Opening Reception will take place during the CAC's Whitney White Linen Night on August 1, 2015.

This exhibition is organized by the Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans and guest curator, Isolde Brielmaier, Director of the Contemporary Art Initiative, the public art platform at Westfield World Trade Center, New York.

This exhibition is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and The Ford Foundation.

Isolde Brielmaier is the Director of the Contemporary Art Initiative, the public art platform at Westfield World Trade Center, which launches in 2015 and will include large scale public art installations, talks, a museum partnership, and artist grants, as well as school programming.

She is an Adjunct Professor at Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, and has curated, programmed, and written extensively on contemporary art and culture over the past decade. Isolde has developed contemporary art platforms and collaborations for a broad range of organizations and companies, including Richard Meier Architects, Versace, as well as the New York Armory Show and ARCO Madrid, among others. Previously, Isolde has worked for the Guggenheim Museum, the Bronx Museum of Art, and as Chief Curator for the SCAD Museum of Art. She holds a PhD from Columbia University.

Painter Adam Mysock was born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1983. On account of a steady stream of folk tales from his mother, and his father's vividly dyed work clothes, he developed an interest in painting all things Americana from an early age. Mysock earned a BFA in Painting and Art History in 2004 from Tulane University (New Orleans, LA) and an MFA from Southern Illinois University (Carbondale, IL) in 2007. 

Mysock then served as the coordinator for Cincinnati's MuralWorks program and worked as an adjunct drawing professor at Sinclair Community College in Dayton. In the summer of 2008, Mysock became a Professor of Practice at Tulane University where he currently teaches and maintains a studio.

Mysock's work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally and is in private collections throughout the world. He was awarded first prize “Best in Show” in the Ogden Museum of Southern Art’s (New Orleans, LA) first annual Louisiana Contemporary Juried Exhibition, and he was included in the 2013 South edition of New American Paintings.

Most recently, Mysock exhibited at Pulse Miami, Volta9 in Basel, Switzerland, VOLTA NY, and is part of the traveling group exhibition Guns in the Hands of Artists.

Anita Cooke has lived and worked as an artist and teacher in New Orleans since 1980. She received a BFA in Ceramics from Kent State University (Ohio) in 1978 and a MFA in Ceramics and Sculpture at Newcomb College/Tulane University (New Orleans, LA) in 1984.

Cooke has taught Ceramics at Tulane University and Loyola University (New Orleans, LA), Stephen F. Austin State University (Texas), Western Michigan University (Michigan) and out of her own New Orleans studio. In 2005, Cooke was the recipient of a Louisiana Fellowship Award. Her works are in numerous private collections and can be seen locally at Jonathan Ferrara Gallery, New Orleans.

Charlie Varley is a British freelance photojournalist who has traveled the world documenting the sublime to the surreal for the most demanding media and commercial clients on the planet, covering everything from celebrities and presidents to war and peace. Varley spent time in Afghanistan documenting radical Hezb-e-Islami rebels in the mid-nineties and covered three assignments in Kashmir photographing civil war and was present for the handover of Hong Kong.

Varley has lived in America since 1996, spending three of those years chronicling daily life across 48 states from the front seat of a battered Ford Mustang before settling in New Orleans. He was in the Grand Hyatt in New Orleans when hurricane Katrina struck and on the beaches of the Gulf of Mexico following BP's disastrous Macondo Well blowout. Varley continues to document New Orleans, the region and her residents.

He shot stills for Spike Lee and his documentary movies 'When the Levees Broke' and 'If God is Willing and Da Creek Don't Rise.' His images appear in Chris Rose's original version of the book 'One Dead in Attic.'

Varley’s images are consistently published in newspapers, magazines and books, and on websites and television, and shown in group and solo exhibitions worldwide.

Generic Art Solutions are the collaborative efforts of Matt Vis And Tony Campbell. Vis has an MFA from the University of New Orleans, and Campbell has an MA of Fine Art from the Royal College of Art in London.

The artists met in New York in 1999 and have worked together since 2000. GAS was invited in 2014 to the Rauschenberg Residency, and they were featured in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art exhibition, Futbol- the beautiful game.

Krista Jurisich holds a BFA from Atlanta College of Art (Atlanta, GA) and an MFA from University of New Orleans (New Orleans, LA).

A fixture during the 1980's & early 1990's New Orleans art scene, Jurisich has re-emerged with a passion in recent years. Her work is in several prominent private and public collections, including actor Denzel Washington’s and the New Orleans Museum of Art in Louisiana.

Sidonie Villere has a BFA in Ceramics from the Newcomb School of Art at Tulane University and an MFA in Ceramics from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth.

As an artist her work has been exhibited across the United States and is in the permanent collection of several museums including the New Orleans Museum of Art and Ogden Museum of Southern Art. Her work has also been acquired by Saks Fifth Avenue Department Stores in New York, Boston, Phoenix, San Francisco and Beverly Hills. Villere is an abstract artist exploring themes of the human condition and self-preservation. She has had solo exhibitions in Miami and New Orleans, and her work has been featured in numerous group exhibitions in Atlanta, Miami, New York and New Orleans. As a curator, she has organized national ceramic exhibitions in New Orleans, LA and Portland, OR. Her large-scale works were featured in the Prospect.1 International Art Biennial Welcome Center in 2008, and included in the publication 500 Ceramic Sculptures: Contemporary Practice, Singular Work by Glen Brown (2009).

Skylar Fein was born in Greenwich Village and raised in the Bronx. He has had many careers including teaching nonviolent resistance under the umbrella of the Quakers, working for a gay film festival in Seattle, stringing for The New York Times and as pre-med student at University of New Orleans where he moved one week before Hurricane Katrina hit.

In the wreckage of New Orleans, Fein found his new calling as an artist, experimenting with color and composition of the detritus of Katrina. His work soon became known for its pop sensibility as well as its hard-nosed politics. In the fall of 2008, his Prospect.1: Biennial installation, "Remember the Upstairs Lounge," shined a spotlight on an overlooked piece of New Orleans history: a fire that swept through a French Quarter bar in 1973, killing everyone inside. The piece was praised in Artforum, Art In America, The New York Times Magazine and The New Yorker, among others.

In late 2009, Fein had his first solo museum show, "Youth Manifesto," at the New Orleans Museum of Art. He has shown in solo and group exhibitions at Jonathan Ferrara Gallery (New Orleans, LA) and C24 Gallery (New York, NY) and art fairs Miami Project during Art Basel Miami Beach, Texas Contemporary and artMRKT San Francisco. Fein was the recipient of a 2009 Joan Mitchell Foundation Award and his work is in several prominent collections including the Whitney Museum of American Art, Brooklyn Museum, Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation, Louisiana State Museum, Birmingham Museum of Art, New Orleans Museum of Art, curators Dan Cameron and Bill Arning, and collectors Beth Rudin DeWoody, Lance Armstrong, Lawrence Benenson, Brooke Garber-Neidich, Stephanie Ingrassia and Thomas Coleman.

Aaron Collier

Abigail Clark

Angel P.

Ben Diller & Cynthia Giachetti

Brian St Cyr

Carl Joseph Williams

Carlie Trosclair

Casey Parkinson

Charles Lovell

Christopher Saucedo

Courtney Egan

Ernest Littles

Gene Koss

Joshua Walsh

Karoline Schleh

Kira Akerman & Silvie Deutsch

Leona Strassberg Steiner

Loren Schwerd

Norah Lovell

Patrick Melon

Rick Snow

Robert Hodge

Rontherin Ratliff

S & S Club (Sibylle Peretti & Stephen Paul Day)

Stephanie Patton

Tim Cavnar

Ti-Rock Moore

SKYLAR FEIN tells the story of the birth of Parisite in partnership with Live Law

By NolaVie

Bring Your Own is a nomadic storytelling series that takes place in living rooms, backyards and other intimate spaces within the community. Each month, seven storytellers have 7 minutes to respond to a theme. BYO airs on "All Things New Orleans" and is a biweekly podcast on

This story was told on June 18, 2015 at Wonderland Studios and later produced by Karen Gardner. The event was in partnership with Live Law, a national storytelling podcast that’s part of the Infinite Guest Network from American Public Media. The theme of the evening was "Eyewitness," and here, Skylar Fein celebrates when New Orleans decided skateboarding was actually a good thing for the city.

Monday, July 20, 2015

GUNS IN THE HANDS OF ARTISTS Featured on Aspen Daily News

Aspen Daily News Staff Report

You find yourself looking into the barrel of a gun.
On the other end sits an image of the “Last Judgment,” with the good rising into the gates of heaven and the bad being cast into hell. Below that is Bambi’s mom – from Disney. 

“The idea that somebody decided her life was over seemed like the ultimate last judgment,” says Adam Mysock, in an artist video. “As the shooter, you are ultimately taking on a godlike role determining when somebody is good or bad. For me, the first phenomenon I had experiencing such an event was actually watching ‘Bambi’ when Bambi’s mother gets shot.”

While the death of Bambi’s mother may resonate with many viewers, looking down the 21-inch J.P. Sauer Sohn shotgun probably does not. But, it sets the stage for conversation, and that’s the goal of the exhibit “Guns in the Hands of Artists,” in which Mysock’s piece “Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun” is featured. 

Mysock, a Tulane University professor in the arts, witnessed his first murder in 2004 in front of his house. He watched an unarmed 16-year-old boy get shot in the chest. 

“At that point violence in New Orleans became too real for me,” he says. “It became very personal.”

Eight years earlier, Jonathan Ferrara, a gallery owner, and artist Brian Borrello had already embarked on a project to address the prevalence of gun violence in New Orleans. The resulting exhibit, “Guns in the Hands of Artists,” drew national media attention, and then it disappeared. 

“Fast-forward to after Columbine and Sandy Hook, and I felt compelled to revisit this exhibition,” says Ferrara, who still owns an eponymous gallery in New Orleans. “My career had changed and same with gallery. But I wanted to re-embrace this project because it’s something that I can do.” 

Working with the City of New Orleans and the New Orleans Police Department, Ferrara obtained 186 guns through the local gun buy-back program, and dispersed the decommissioned weapons to more than 30 local and national artists in everything from film and photography to painting and poetry. They were given little direction except to turn the guns into art. 

The second iteration of the exhibit debuted at his gallery in 2014. Instead of simply putting guns-into-art on display, Ferrara added an educational component which brought in youths affected by, or part of, gun violence to talk about guns and their role in society. One of the most powerful conversations shows a 16-year-old boy concluding the next time he touches a gun it will be to make art out of it. 

It’s already lasted longer than its first month-long run in the ‘90s. “Guns in the Hands of Artists,”assisted locally by Aspen Institute art registrar Lissa Ballinger, opened to Aspen Ideas Festival participants in late June, and will remain on display through the end of the month when the Aspen Action Forum takes place. The Aspen Institute is offering four days for the public to see the exhibit, and Ferrara – who has previous ties with the Institute as a speaker at the forum – will give a talk next weekend about it.

The show is intense, and Aspen may seem an unlikely place to put it on display given the rarity of gun violence in the Roaring Fork Valley. But with the exhibition’s evolution, Ferrara says it’s an ideal place. His hope is that it travels the country and then can be replicated in communities like Chicago, Cleveland and New York, and the well-connected Ideas Festival and Action Forum audiences, as well as Aspen residents, are a way to maximize exposure. 

“Through the lens of art maybe our perspective can be changed slightly so we can make changes that make sense,” he says. 

Given how polarizing the gun control issue is in America, this exhibit allows dialogue to happen in a different sphere.

“Through a visual perspective we can have this conversation,” he adds. “It’s a meeting ground for people to have a conversation about the issues.” 

One of the most poignant pieces in the current exhibit, which has 33 pieces of art, is a work done by Marcus Kenney. It’s a photograph of a young blonde girl in a white dress, innocently holding a gun pointed at the sky. What’s impactful about the piece is it’s not a work at all. Kenney is a South Carolina-based photographer known for candidly shooting images of family, and this particular photo, “Girl with a Gun,” happened naturally when his daughter picked up the decommissioned gun given to him by Ferrara and started dancing with it in their yard. Kenney noticed the gun was gone, and luckily had his camera when he discovered where it went. 

“It’s a beautiful photograph,” says Ferrara. “But what’s more impressive is the message.” 

He says the number of United States homes with unlocked firearms is in the millions, but only one state requires those weapons to be locked. 

“That could have been a loaded gun,” he adds. “This exhibition, from a gun enthusiast or NRA perspective, might be hard to swallow, but I think we can all agree we want to protect our children.” 

Many of the works have stories that are equally powerful, and they return to the permanence of death made by decisions that are often less so. A 9-millimeter semi-automatic machine pistol nicknamed the “streetsweeper” gets a 21-foot welded steel tail that trails out like a magazine and circles back to the gun in a metaphor; bullets inserted into the wall with tiny images of children’s faces; and a gumball machine dispensing 2,000 rounds of .22 hollow point bullets to anyone with a quarter all haunt the viewer after leaving the exhibit. 

“I hope there’s some nuance in what we’re authoring so they find some middle ground so there can be some sort of compromise,” says Mysock at the end of his artist interview. “I can’t imagine that anything we create is more impactful than a human life.”

PAUL VILLINSKI at The Cornell Museum

PAUL VILLINSKI, Nocturne III, 2008, site-specific installation, aluminum (found beer cans), Flasche, steel wire, by commission

Phillip Vayls

The chorus of shouting voices artist Tina La Porta heard alone in her Manhattan apartment seemed to be coming from everywhere. One shouted up at her from the street three stories below. Another sounded like a muted conversation in the hallway outside the door. Another voice sounded like her close friend, who said her name in a cheerful, sing-songy tone.

The voice from the street told La Porta to leap out the window.

"I thought I was being followed, or bugged or something, and someone could see me through the window of where I was staying," recalls La Porta, who had spent time at a psychiatric center for depression. "The voice said, 'Jump, Tina, jump, I'm right down here,' so I got up, grabbed my dresser and moved it to block the window, and thought, 'No way am I jumping.'"

By the time La Porta moved to Fort Lauderdale and doctors finally agreed on a label for her malady – schizophrenia – the artist had endured years of misdiagnosed symptoms, cocktails of prescription pills and their side effects, each bearing the "magical promise of a cure." When piles of unused multicolored medications started to pile up – mood stabilizers prescribed for bipolar disorder and severe depression, neither of which she had – she began gluing them to painted wooden boards in circular arrangements.

Ten of La Porta's mixed-media pill assemblages decorate the upstairs hallway at the Cornell Museum of Art and American Culture in Delray Beach. They're on display as part of the museum's group exhibit "Reimagined," a collection of works by 15 artists who use uncommon materials such as 35 millimeter film, plastic sunglasses and fossilized bugs.

For La Porta, each pill is a lingering reminder of the trial-and-error of misdiagnoses. Her pill-covered creations, which carry titles such as "Melancholic Days" and "Chain of Confusion," appear inviting, almost edible, like a glossy candyland of Red Hots, Mentos and Mike and Ikes.

"That's intentional, because you go to the doctor, and they say, 'Take this, and you won't be depressed. Take this, and you'll lead a normal life and find a mate," says La Porta, who moved to South Florida in 2009 and is represented by Wynwood's Robert Fontaine Gallery. "That's the seduction, the consumption of these chemicals to make your life better, but it's a solution without an end."

The centerpiece of the 75 "Reimagined" artworks is Paul Villinski's lobby installation "Marfa," in which hundreds of black butterflies flutter around a wooden rocking chair balanced atop a rickety stepladder. The butterflies are crafted from cut aluminum soda cans and blackened under a candle flame, says curator Melanie Johanson during a tour of the museum, and calls Villinski's artworks a "driving force" for the group show.

"I'm kind of obsessed with his work," says Johanson, pointing to an installation of 171 swarming butterflies called "For Serena (Gossip Girl)," which appeared on an episode of the popular CW television series . "After seeing the possibilities made from aluminum cans, I started thinking about how other artworks can be re-imagined from unusual objects."

More notable examples can be found in Michael Chearney's abstract acrylic canvasses, which are painted using long-stemmed roses as a paintbrush. Elsewhere is Brian Dettmer's "Americana '54" series, in which he uses surgical tools to carve "organ" shapes into the hollowed-out pages of old hardcover encyclopedias; and Jason Mecier's celebrity portraits. Mecier's "Lindsay Lohan," drawing on the actress' tabloid-courting scandals, crafts her likeness with empty bottles of vodka, syringes and advertisements for Botox.

Six works are by Christopher Marley, a Salem, Ore. artist and taxidermist who buys dead specimens, especially insects, and preserves them in giant, geometric mosaics.

Marley says his fascination with bugs started with a phobia. The former male model spent his early career jetsetting around Europe and Asia filming commercials for companies such as Nike and Sprite, and encountered a "traumatizing" amount of exotic bugs overseas. Now he harvests thousands of specimens that have died from natural causes, displaying beetles and butterflies in circular, colorful arrangements.

"I've obviously gotten over my phobia with a vengeance," Marley says with a laugh. "I really appreciate the color and texture and structure of these amazing organisms, as opposed to the innate creepiness of a giant board covered in bugs."

"Reimagined" is on view through Sept. 6 at the Cornell Museum of Art and American Culture, 51 N. Swinton Ave., in Delray Beach.