"Turning" by Ben Weathers

November 14, 2017 - January 8, 2018

In his series “Turning,” Ben Weathers depicts the changes of a banana’s peel in a series of twenty-eight paintings. In his search for poetic beauty in his surroundings, he committed himself to observing the same section of a banana for twenty-eight days, documenting the peel’s changing hues and patterns. Each painting, made of successive layers of thick acrylic paint, mimics the peel of the banana and invites us to question and contemplate our relationship with ordinary objects.

As Weathers observed the ripening banana, he thought it was funny and strange how bananas sort of have a life of their own - and it’s actually a complicated life. As Weathers painted he began peeling back the cultural, historical, and even slap-stick layers of a banana. His attentiveness and insights reflected in “Turning” welcome us to see profundity in the ordinary. The life of the banana documented reminds us of our own trajectory, the physical finiteness we share with all living things.

Photos by Brittany Buongiorno

About the Artist:
Ben Weathers currently lives and works in Jersey City, NJ where is he is a Master of Fine Arts graduate from Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University. In 2014 he earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Painting from the Cleveland Institute of Art. In the spring of 2015 he was invited to The Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts, Saratoga, WY for a month-long residency. He was recently in a two-person show, BLAH BLAH BLAH, with Jamey Hart at Forum Artspace in Cleveland, OH (2015) and was part of a curatorial project with Joshua Aruajo that led to the exhibition “Timbre” at Mason Gross School of Arts (2016). In January 2017, Weathers exhibited his thesis project, “Turning” in the Rutgers MFA Show: “Action at a Distance.”

"Imago Verbosa" by David Hollier

September 13, 2017 - November 7, 2017

In his series “Imago Verbosa,” David Hollier creates portraits of cultural and political icons from painted and typed text, constructing composites with words made famous by the individuals who spoke them. Part social commentary and part documentary, the images first show as grainy photos; upon closer examination, the text materializes and the figure fades into abstraction. With this intentional technique, Hollier literally blurs the lines between pop culture and politics.

This play between text and image points to the notion that an individual’s voice can go on to resonate and shape a society.  The viewer is drawn into a deeper engagement with Hollier’s work and presented with a choice of focus: text or image. This posture of reflection provides the viewer with an opportunity to consider the past as well as the future: what is the significance of celebrity and notoriety in history and culture? What gives words the power to shape, influence, and endure?

Photos by Chela Crinnion
Curated by Christina Young

About the artist: 
David Hollier is originally from Wolverhampton, England. He has been living and working in Brooklyn, New York since 2002 and divides his time between painting and teaching at Parsons, The New School. He sold his first painting when he was 15 years old, and has been exhibited in solo and group shows around the world. He is represented by New Apostle Gallery in NYC, Gilles Clement Gallery in Connecticut, and Ap-Art Gallery in London.

"Everyday Strangers" by Shannon Berry and Lisa Ferber

July 18, 2017 - September 6, 2017

We live among strangers. In a city of millions, we are at once distant and yet intimate with strangers daily.  We stand (uncomfortably) close to one another on crowded trains, we catch snippets of personal phone conversations on the street, we witness personal moments of sadness and joy expressed by passersby. We observe and participate in vignettes throughout the day as individuals who may feel lonely and connected simultaneously.

In “Everyday Strangers,” New York-based artists Shannon Berry and Lisa Ferber offer their observations on life in the city through their illustrations of figures interacting with one another and their environments. Though their approaches, styles and interpretations differ, both artists present scenes relatable in their visual recognition and emotional resonance. Comical, melancholic, whimsical and thoughtful — it is in entering these scenes that they invite us to consider how we enter the lives of one another, the strangers who are in fact our neighbors.

“Hospitality means primarily the creation of free space where the stranger can enter and become a friend instead of an enemy. Hospitality is not to change people, but to offer them space where change can take place. It is not to bring men and women over to our side, but to offer freedom not disturbed by dividing lines.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen, Reaching Out: The Three Movements of the Spiritual Life

Photographs by Carlos Jaramillo
Curated by Christina Young

About the Artists:

Lisa Ferber creates whimsical paintings that celebrate glamourous eccentrics and objects of indulgence. She has exhibited her pieces at the National Arts Club, the Painting Center, the Manhattan Borough President’s Office and other locations. Her illustrations are published in Zelda magazine, and her self-portrait was the marketing face of Estrogenius 2016. She sells to private collectors in New York City, Los Angeles and Paris. Lisa wrote and starred in the feature film The Sisters Plotz (directed by Lisa Hammer), which premiered at New York City’s Anthology Film Archives and received a Hollywood screening at Grauman’s Egyptian Theatre. She has received press from the Daily News, Us Weekly, Independent Film Quarterly, Huffington Post and other outlets. Lisa derives much stimulation from the vibrancy of her hometown, New York City.

Shannon Berry is a California born visual artist, performer, and dot-connector who made her way to the East Coast where she currently resides. Based in Harlem, NY, Berry devotes her art-making to engaging the community around her including art talks and panel discussions. She has been selected for multiple juried and group shows including the 2016 Harlem Arts Festival, where she was the featured artist. Berry completed her B.F.A. in Illustration from Parsons School of Design (part of The New School). Her highly regarded, cumulative thesis work titled, “OPEN SPACES. OPEN FACES.” continues to strike viewers in a way that leaves a memorable experience. Berry is passionate about focusing on the unfocused in her art-making and thereby hopes to shed light on that which needs to be seen.

"Wish for Wholeness" by Beth Barron

April 12, 2017 - June 29, 2017

We are subject to inevitable pain in life, both physical and emotional. It is often the intangible wounds that cut us to the core: words spoken in haste, disappointments and defeats, and love not reciprocated can all feed into pain that runs deep and runs long. As the familiar adage reminds us, “Time heals all wounds,” but the healing process does not diminish the reality of those hurts and even the anguish that frequently accompanies the healing. Through challenging trials and the slow progression of recovery, however, we can learn, flourish and find that while pain is an inescapable reality of human existence, so is resilience. As the Church celebrates the season of Easter, the remembrance of Christ’s death and resurrection also encourages us to consider our wounds in light of his, and the sacrificial love and ultimate healing that his pierced and resurrected body presents.

In “Wish for Wholeness” Beth Barron collects discarded bandages and other personal remnants to create a visual metaphor of the wounded yet resilient human spirit. The labor-intensive technique of hand-stitching that Barron practices becomes a spiritual exercise for the artist that allows time for personal reflection, contemplation, and eventual renewal. Barron’s finished works, a physical transformation from scraps into a whole, challenge us to consider our own suffering, brokenness and desire for healing.

Photos Brittany Buongiorno
Curated by Christina Young

About the Artist:
Beth Barron, a self-taught embroidery artist, has taken workshops with many well-respected artists such as Joyce Scott, Barbara Lee Smith, Bhakti Zeik and Erica Carter. David McFadden, former curator of The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD), has shown Barron’s work in his “Artists to Watch Out For” lecture series and MAD owns one of her first Band-Aid pieces. In October 2015, she spent a month at the Vermont Studio Center where she had the opportunity to work in the studio around the clock. The experience was transformational and has reenergized her desire to express her concern for the people and the condition of the planet, especially during these challenging and upsetting political times. She and twenty-nine other artists live and work in an old shoe warehouse turned artist co-op in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Group show "Hope: An Exhibit of Uncertain Faith"

March 2, 2017 - April 9, 2017

In this group exhibit held in conjunction with the Hope Gathering (www.hopegathering.com), an annual convening for women of faith from around New York City, six featured female artists explore the perseverance and persistence of hope especially in the face of doubt. Experiencing everyday challenges and sometimes life-challenging tragedies, each artist reflects on what it means to live with uncertain faith: longing for pregnancy through years of apparent infertility, struggling with feeling comfortable in one’s own skin, or surviving the stresses of modern life as a mother.

In the midst of their fear and anxiety, these women articulate and strive to live out a Biblical understanding of Hope. As the book of Hebrews states, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance of what we do not see,” so these women wrestle with what it means to press on even when tossed by uncertainty. By doing so they invite us to consider: How does a faith filled with confidence and certainty change how we hope?

Photos by Brittany Buongiorno
Curated by Christina Young in conjunction with Hope Gathering

Exhibiting artists: Lourdes Bernard, Karen Hartmann, Teuta Ibriqaj, Lindsay Kolk, Teressa Valla and Kristen Somody Whalen

Read their Artist Statements here.


"Ruah" by Mike McManus

January 5, 2017 - February 27, 2017

“The human heart feels things the eyes cannot see, and knows what the mind cannot understand.” — Robert Valett

In a place such as New York City, populated by many who pride themselves on their educated backgrounds, we tend to put intellect on a pedestal. We value the power of rationalization and gravitate towards intellectualizing everything, even the spiritual. Yet when we witness a great work of art like Rothko's color fields, listen to Handel's Messiah, or watch Anna Pavlova dance, something resonates within us deeper than rationalization, and we recognize that perhaps what we know with our head may not be there all there is. 

In this exhibition entitled "Ruah", Mike McManus seeks to understand God through a creative practice of personal worship and meditation. Supplementing traditional church and religious Christian practices, McManus works out the deep utterings and groanings of his spirit as a visual "speaking in tongues" or communication with God through art-making. One series grows and morphs into another and the works become metaphors to the artist's development both physically and spiritually. Prayer language becomes Living Stones and Living Stones becomes Tapestry as the visual progression goes from complicated and repetitive cycles of lines to an energized, yet peaceful and unified whole. By viewing the works in a slow meditative movement, the audience is invited to consider the unspoken prayers of their own hearts. 

Photos by Godwell Andrew Chan
Curated by Christina Young

About the Artist:
Mike McManus was born and raised in Bronx, New York to a working class family in an Italian neighborhood. As a child McManus was always drawing, collaging and writing short stories, books, and poetry. As a teenager he found an influence in hip-hop, sports, and fashion and started tagging up graffiti, rapping, and drawing logos, symbols, and designs.

McManus earned a scholarship to Drexel University to study theater and dramatic writing but eventually chose to follow his brother and father into the construction trade. McManus learned new materials and how to manipulate them while installing heating and cooling systems. These skills eventually fused with his performance and theater background to form what his creative process is today, a fusion of performance, words, and visual art.