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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Monica Zeringue and Nikki Rosato Featured in The New Orleans Advocate for the CAC's 'Mark of the Feminine' Exhibition

Monica Zeringue, Odalisque, 2014, graphite on primed linen, 13" x 13"

Nikki Rosato, Untitled (Self Portrait), 2013, hand cut road map, 16" x 16" x 14"

A Woman’s Touch

What exactly does it mean to be female? It’s not a simple question of biology, as the experience of transgender women and individuals who otherwise identify as female can attest. Nor is it a matter of sharing a particular sensibility — to say that there exists a specifically “feminine” way of looking at the world is general enough to be meaningless.

And yet we attempt to signify something when we speak of “the feminine.” A new exhibition at the Contemporary Arts Center seeks to examine and in many cases challenge our collective notions as to what that really entails.

Created by Brooklyn-based independent curator Regine Basha, “Mark of the Feminine” brings together work by more than 30 New Orleans area artists in order to, in Basha’s words, “honor artists who are both embracing and/or questioning their femininity in individual ways that break open our stereotypes of what ‘feminine’ is as a quality.”

The CAC also describes the show as the first in a series of planned exhibitions that will spotlight “the remarkable community of artists working in New Orleans,” although how they will differ from dozens of similarly organized group shows over the course of the CAC’s almost 40-year history remains to be seen.

Right now, though, focusing on how the artists in “Mark of the Feminine” share a common working environment is probably the most useful way to approach the show, because trying to identify universal characteristics of “femininity” from such an eclectic assemblage can be a considerably more difficult task.

That may, in fact, be the point that Basha and the artists she has selected are trying to make.

After all, on the surface, there seems to be little in common between Cherice Harrison Nelson’s exuberantly colorful and detailed Mardi Gras Indian suit and Edna Lanieri’s moody black-and-white photographic portraits of half-undressed drag queens in domestic interiors. Yet both share a certain “New Orleansness” in spirit and subject matter, while on a deeper level both pieces comment on the ways that women (and those who pretend to be women) present themselves to the world at large.

Whether one chooses to view the show in terms of identity politics or geographical commonalities, there’s a lot of strong work here. Highlights include Monica Zeringue’s brilliantly spare and haunting graphite-on-linen drawings of feral mythological figures; a pair of paintings by Sarah Sole depicting Hillary Clinton as a frilly vintage housewife and haute couture femme fatale; and Carla Williams’ palimpsest of photographs of her female relatives, layered and arranged in a grid on the wall like a three-dimensional family album. And don’t miss Nikki Rosato’s stunningly intricate self-portrait bust made of a delicate web of paper painstakingly cut from a vintage road atlas in a manner that resembles a network of blood vessels or neurons. It’s a formal tour de force that literally and figuratively maps a deeply personal emotional landscape.

There’s also plenty of sly humor in “Mark of the Feminine,” including Vanessa Centeno’s over-the-top multimedia piece that looks like a cross between a cluster of giant sea anemones and an explosion of engorged condoms in a glitter factory, Alisha Feldman’s engaging autobiographical cartoons chronicling the history of her body hair and summer “fashun” issues, and two psychedelically patterned scenes by Susan Ireland that pay homage to Big Easy bar culture while reminding us of the uncomfortably sexist pickup lines encountered by women in what we usually think of as a carefree environment.

Despite some common themes that surface here and there among several of the pieces, however, viewers who approach the show hoping to find a definitive concept of what constitutes “the feminine” may be disappointed. The varieties of female experience are simply too varied to be pigeonholed under the kind of intentionally, if excessively broad, theme that the exhibition presents.

In that sense, “Mark of the Feminine” is similar to last spring’s group show at the CAC, “30 Americans,” which proved to be less about the shared threads of the African-American artistic experience than the multiplicity of viewpoints contained in it.

Yet, as a means of showcasing the tremendous vitality and variety of visual artists working in New Orleans these days, “Mark of the Feminine” hits its target admirably.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Announcing the Jury Selected Artists for the 18th Annual NO DEAD ARTISTS International Juried Exhibition of Contemporary Art

The 18th Annual
N O   D E A D   A R T I S T S
International Juried Exhibition of Contemporary Art
27 August --- 27 September, 2014
Opening Reception ||| Saturday 30 August ||| 6-9 pm

Fifteen Artists Selected by Prestigious Jury To Exhibit In New Orleans

August, 2014 (New Orleans, Louisiana)

Jonathan Ferrara Gallery is pleased to announce the 18th edition of the annual NO DEAD ARTISTS International Juried Exhibition of Contemporary Art. The exhibition will run from 27 August through 27 September with an opening reception on Saturday, 30 August, from 6-9 pm.

The NO DEAD ARTISTS exhibition was founded in 1995 to give a voice to emerging artists. The exhibition's name is derived from the old adage that artists never achieve success until they are dead. NO DEAD ARTISTS turns that notion on its head and gives emerging artists their first break in the art world. In the 90's, the exhibition was open only to New Orleans artists and subsequently grew to include artists of Louisiana. In 2010, the exhibition expanded to become a national juried exhibition open to artists from the entire US, and now in 2014 the call is international.

The exhibition has been a springboard for numerous artists leading to national press coverage, recognition, gallery representation and acquisitions by museums and other prominent collections. Each year gallery owner Jonathan Ferrara invites a panel of renowned arts professional and collectors to select the newest creative talents, and the exhibition draws a crowd of thousands interested in discovering the work of this selected group of emerging artists. The exhibition serves as a rite of passage for many artists, some of whom are developing their initial relationship with a commercial gallery.

Now in its 18th edition, the exhibition has been a springboard for numerous artists leading to national press coverage, recognition, gallery representation and acquisitions by museums and other prominent collections. Each year gallery owner Jonathan Ferrara invites a panel of renowned arts professionals and collectors to select the newest creative talents. Past jurors have included Prospect.1 Founder and Curator Dan Cameron, Museum Director Billie Milam Weisman, Collector and Philanthropist Beth Rudin DeWoody, MacArthur Fellow John Scott, Whitney Trustee and Ballroom Marfa Co-founder Fairfax Dorn, NOMA Director Susan Taylor, artist Tony Fitzpatrick, Director of the Andy Warhol Museum Eric Shiner, Director of the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas and Founder and Artistic Director of the VOLTA Fair Amanda Coulson, Dishman Art Museum Director Megan Koza Young, ArtBridge Curator Jordana Zeldin, and Collector and MoMA Board Member Lawrence Benenson.

For the 18th edition, three renowned arts professionals served as the NO DEAD ARTISTS jury:::

B I L L   A R N I N G is the director of the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. After arriving in Texas in 2009, Arning organized solo exhibitions of Marc Swanson, Melanie Smith Matthew Day Jackson, and the late Stan VanDerBeek. Jackson and VanDerBeek were jointly organized with the MIT List Visual Arts Center where Arning was exhibitions curator from 2000-2009. At MIT he organized shows of AA Bronson, Cerith Wyn Evans, and a retrospective of the work of Kate Ericson and Mel Ziegler. From 1985 to 1996, Arning was director of White Columns in New York City where he organized groundbreaking first solo shows for many of the best known artists of his generation including John Currin, Marilyn Minter, Andres Serrano, Richard Phillips, Cady Noland, and Jim Hodges, among many others.  In 1993 Arning organized the first exhibition about gender and sexuality in South America, Maricas at the Center Cultural Ricardo Rojas at the University of Buenos Aires.  

Arning has written on art for journals such as Artforum, Art in America, Out, and Parkett, and multitudes of international museum publications, including texts for retrospectives of Jim Hodges, Keith Haring, Christian Jankowski, and Donald Moffett as well as other writing for books by Elmgreen and Dragset and Lawrence Rinder. He will be writing an essay on the art market and AIDS for the upcoming exhibition ArtAIDSAmerica being organized by the Tacoma Art Museum.  Arning is co-organizing in 2015 with curator Elissa Auther and the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver a survey exhibition Marilyn Minter: Pretty/Dirty and also the first large scale museum exhibition of Mark Flood, entitled Greatest Hits in 2016.

S T E P H A N I E   I N G R A S S I A is an avid supporter of the Brooklyn arts community. She studied Graphic Design at the School of Visual Arts and worked for years at various newspapers and magazines. Ingrassia is now the President of the Board of Directors at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. Furthermore, she is the driving force behind her family’s Contemporary Art collection which includes work by major artists such as: Jean-Michel Basquiat, Nick Cave, Alfredo Jaar, Deborah Kass, Wangechi Mutu, Julian Opie, Tal R, Dana Schutz, Mickalene Thomas and Kara Walker. “I always think with two hats,” says Ingrassia. “I think about our own collection, but I also think about trying to energize the contemporary effort at the Brooklyn Museum.

N I C K   M A Y O R is an active member of the community, splitting his time between New Orleans and London. He is an active supporter of the New Orleans arts community, with a growing collection of local as well as international contemporary art. He is a board member of the Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans as well as a board member and Treasurer of US Biennial Inc., the organization behind the Prospect biennials in New Orleans.  He received his under- and post-graduate degrees in economics from Oxford University. After University, Mayor taught at Oxford, London Business School, and 7city (a commercial training provider), and published several articles on equity valuation. Formerly an economic consultant with London Economics he moved to Lansdowne Partners, a London-based hedge fund, Mayor is now Principal of the consulting firm Inscriptus LLC, a provider of bespoke research consulting to hedge funds. Professionally he began work as an equity analyst.

Of the approximate 2,500 artworks submitted to this jury by over 500 artists worldwide, only fifteen artists were selected to have their work exhibited at Jonathan Ferrara Gallery.

The 18th Annual NO DEAD ARTISTS Jury Selected Artists :::

B U T C H   B I G N E L L   |||   New Orleans, Louisiana

  P A U L   G L E N N   |||   San Francisco, California

     T E R E N C E   H A N N U M   |||   Parkville, Maryland

   J A Y   H E N D R I C K   |||   Fairfax, Virginia

       D O N   M A N D E R S O N   |||   Pensacola, Florida

     S A M   M E T C A L F   |||   San Francisco, California

 Z A C H A R Y   O R D O N E Z   |||   Miami, Florida

    M A R K   P A L M E N   |||   Portland, Oregon

     A A R O N   T H O M A S    R O T H   |||   Tucson, Arizona

          M A U R I C I O   S A E N Z   |||   Brownsville, Texas

        R O S E M A R Y   S C O T T – F I S H B U R N   |||   Gloucester, Massachusetts

        M A R N A   S H O P O F F   |||   Indianapolis, Indiana

       J O E   S I N N E S S   |||   Minneapolis, Minnesota

       T O M   W E G R Z Y N O W S K I   |||   Tuscaloosa, Alabama

        M A R G I   W E I R   ||| Detroit, Michigan
The 2014 installment will feature over 40 artworks ranging in medium and style from Marna Shopoff’s large scale, multi-panel, architecturally-abstract paintings on canvas to Aaron Thomas Roth’s metaphysical, figurative, heat-transfer collages on paper. Other highlights from the exhibition include Rosemary Fishburn-Scott’s layered photographs of landscapes on transparent acetate in handmade plexiglass boxes, as well as, Mauricio Saenz’s video installations which challenge impossibilities. With Painting, sculpture, photography, collage, video art, and cutting-edge, digital mediums represented in the show, NO DEAD ARTISTS is an exhibition known for a great diversity in media but with a cohesive cross-section of the pulse of Contemporary Art . . . and 2014 will be no exception.

In addition to having their works exhibited at Jonathan Ferrara Gallery, selected jury winners will be featured in an article by D. Eric Bookhardt of Gambit Weekly and Artpapers. For the grand prize of the exhibition, one of the selected jury winning artists will be awarded a solo exhibition in 2015 at Jonathan Ferrara Gallery. For more information about the 18th Annual NO DEAD ARTISTS: International Juried Exhibition, please email  

Hannah Chalew's "Living Room" Furniture Installation Featured on Shapedscape

(Nature of the City Installation View) Hannah Chalew, Living Room, 2013, recycled furniture, wire, soil and live plants

Living Room is a living art installation designed by Hannah Chalew. The artist created living works of art using chickenwire, a variety of used furniture frames, soil and living plants. Some of the plants she weaved together were, Ipomoea alba (Moonflower), Ficus pumila (Creeping/Climbing Fig), the fragrant Trachelospermum jasminoides (Chinese, Star or Confederate Jasmine) and various weeds. The art work was displayed in 2013 at the Jonathan Ferrara Gallery in New Orleans. 

Hannah Chalew is an artist from New Orleans. She was raised in the city and returned after graduating from Brandeis University with a B.A. in the Fine Arts. She works from direct observation to bring the experience of place to the viewer. Her work examines the tension between nature and culture in the built environment.

She recently relocated to Detroit, and is pursuing an MFA in Painting at Cranbrook Academy of Art in the fall of 2014.

Paul Villinski Unveils New "Burst" Piece at Mcnay Art Museum via KSAT News

JFG Artists Featured in Mobile Museum of Art's 'Paper' Exhibition

Special MMoA exhibits put the pencil in your hand
By: Kevin Lee | August 13, 2014

Mothers might want to cover your eyes as your youngsters do the unthinkable and draw all over the walls of the Mobile Museum of Art (MMoA). Nothing could please the facility more.
It’s all part of The Big Draw, a global initiative to spark creative energies by getting those who love to draw as well as those who can’t actively engaged in putting pencil to paper and “taking a line for a walk,” to paraphrase artist Paul Klee. Little coincidence it’s sponsored by pencil manufacturer Faber-Castell.

While it traces its activities across international lines through early November, the Mobile incarnation made its debut now thanks to a little collaboration between downtown and west Mobile. Apparently heads from the Mobile Arts Council rubbed against those from MMoA to spark this special exhibit to life, which stays in place through Oct. 5.
Not only is a wall open for visitors indulge their creative tendencies – with colored pencils on hand for use – but a trio of regional artists have led the way with their own contributions to the indoor graffiti. The University of South Alabama’s Jason Guynes and the University of Mobile’s Phillip Counselman have teamed with Atlanta artist Frank “Paper Frank” Dunson to decorate a gallery wall with pencil and ink that will all disappear when the exhibit’s run expires.

Guynes’ work is closest to the door and perhaps the most overwhelming because of scale. The subject scrutinizes a bird as the attendees get the bird’s eye view thanks to the sheer size and proximity of the human countenance.
It’s hard to tell whether the person is intent on eating, aiding or inspecting but it’s mesmerizing at any rate.

When Artifice encountered the piece, the word “Florentine” shot to mind as its style is highly evocative of Da Vinci and Michelangelo studies. Guynes, who was on hand for the opening readily admitted his admiration for Renaissance masters and didn’t shirk the influence.

Further down the wall, Counselman’s more abstract works employ a playful bent, mutating organic and biological elements into something recognizable yet innovative. One work branches off from seeming vertebrae into more geometric explorations. Another evokes Escher with avian shapes in possible homage to Langan Park’s once plentiful but now slain Canada geese.

Dunson’s wall is dominated by a tiger whose latent ferocity is temporarily distracted by the floral bouquet beside him. The artist’s conservation of line and precise implication of form belies his success with tattoo art.

Appropriately, the Big Draw is accompanied by Paper, an exhibit featuring this ancient and invaluable material that has lined humanity’s journey from field to civilization. Curated by Stan Hackney, the exhibit features a roster of close to 15 artists utilizing paper in myriad ways.

What stood out? Raine Bedsole’s “Ripple Effect” utilizing assorted notebook pages that looked as if they could were gathered from a puddle was tantalizing.

Robert Lansden’s “The Shape of Time” pair were elegant in their delicate implication. Speaking of delicate, Nikki Rosato’s painstaking pair of hand-cut road maps were a fascinatingly compulsive realization.

Michael Pajon, All Day He Dreams of Birds of Prey, 2014, mixed media collage on antique book cover, 19" x 16"

Michael Pajon’s collage “All Day He Dreams of Birds of Prey” is evocative and intriguing, its color making it jump in a show that utilized a lot of subdued tones. Much the same could be said of Pinkney Herbert’s “Zen Time Lightened Up,” an abstract wash matched well with Counselman’s forms beside it.

Literally standing out were Hannah Chalew’s relief works, “Castaway” and “Vacant Lot,” which built layers of paper and wood that reached out to viewers from their wall.

Guynes also had smaller works – “There was a Crooked Man” and “Bella” – just as tantalizing as his larger piece in a style that seemed more contemporary. They worked well beside Keith Perelli’s “Immortales” duo, complementing Perelli’s layered effect with their own subdued texture.

There’s something here for both passive and active attendees, those who want to be enthralled and those who want to leave their mark. The invitation to become part of the exhibit fits with director Deborah Velders’ general theme of drawing the community in to a more complete symbiosis and it’s something Mobile needs to ensure the survival of cultural pursuits.