"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.