Life After Life In Prison: The Bedroom Project by Sara Bennett

November 29, 2018 - January 6, 2019
Decades in maximum security prison left the women in Sara Bennett’s photos profoundly changed. Having overcome the struggles of repeatedly denied parole, constant supervision, lack of personal space, and limited freedom of choice, how do they cope when given back their freedom and a place of their own? Through Bennett’s photos and their own handwritten words, we are invited into these women’s personal spaces and given a glimpse of their lives after incarceration.

"Outside/In" by Avery Reed and Grant Billingsley

October 10, 2018 - November 18, 2018
Grant Billingsley and Avery Reed present contrasting depictions of objects and locations real and imagined in their joint show, “Outside/In.” They invite you to interact with and respond to their work from the outside in as you imagine and explore the visual perspectives and places of each particular piece. Likewise, they invite you to respond from the inside out as you consider how you react to the space around and outside of you.

"Beyond Bars" by Carlos Jaramillo

July 19, 2018 - September 23, 2018
Carlos Jaramillo's latest exhibit he explores life inside and outside of Lurigancho, a prison in Lima, Peru. His photographs capture the similarities between society on "el cerro," the hill, and life inside the prison. Life that rises from the rubble above the prison echoes the life inside its walls, and Jaramillo attempts to uncover what it is that informs the hope felt by prisoners and civilians. 

The depth in Jaramillo’s composition moves us to question our perception. His work explores the illusion of continuum, prompting us to sift through visual and emotional layers in his photographs. The thoughtful framing of his images calls us to explore the borders of identity. Do we assume one thing is “in” and something else is “out”? How do we define the collective? When each part of the whole is recognized, does awareness of the unique identities connect, unite, separate, or divide?

Click here to read "Productivity is Freedom" © written by Anais Freitas Elespuru for "Beyond Bars." 

Photos by Romke Hoogwaerts
Curated by Oliva Swider

About the artist:
Carlos Jaramillo is a fine art and commercial photographer based in New York City. His work has been featured in The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, and VICE.  Born in McAllen, Texas, Jaramillo is a graduate of School of Visual Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography.

"Niggle's Studio: Leaf Paintings" by Jerry Dienes

May 10, 2018 - July 5, 2018
In this recent body of work, Jerry Dienes imagines and creates paintings that may have been conceived by Niggle, the titular artist in J.R.R. Tolkien’s short story “Leaf By Niggle.” Dienes embodies the story and examines what it means to lose oneself in pursuit of perfection. His meticulous and vibrant paintings point towards ideals sought after but never captured.

Dienes takes great care to bring his imagination to life through patient detailing. Each oil painting’s vivid texture and tactile realism draw us closer and closer to where imagination meets reality, yet there still remains a disconnect between conceptualization and the brush. Perfection is sought but never achieved. Does the search for beauty or greatness consume us? Or can we embrace the serenity that may be found in this exploration?

Photos by Chela Crinnion
Curated by Eva Ting & Angie Vuyst

About the artist: 
Jerry Dienes creates classical and realistic paintings of still life, portraits, landscapes, figures, trompe l’oeils, interiors, narratives, and murals. Dienes trained at the Columbus College of Art & Design in Columbus, Ohio, and in 1984 came to New York to pursue classical art education and gallery representation. Taking classes at the New York Academy of Art and The Printmakers Workshop, he later studied figure painting and drawing with Jacob Collins at The Water Street Atelier, as well as figure drawing with Dan Thompson, Michael Grimaldi, and Ephraim Rubenstein at the Art Students League. He most recently studied part-time with Justin Wood at the Grand Central Atelier.

"Gates" by Ben Cowan

March 6, 2018 - May 6, 2018
In his series "Gates," Ben Cowan paints familiar landscapes that invite us to explore what is beyond plain sight. His intimate paintings juxtapose the natural with the constructed and invite us to consider all of the forces at work in their creation. His paintings hint at a lively narrative, of unseen hands that created, planted, and cultivated the verdant growth evident in each scene.  Cowan’s work solicits our attention, beckons us forward, yet limits our view to within its borders, asking us to pause and contemplate the crossing of the threshold.

The common settings captured in Cowan’s paintings are frequently passed in the meanderings of city life but also easily overlooked or taken for granted. Cowan grabs our attention with remarkable frames of reclaimed doorways that adorn his work but also force us to take a concentrated view. The apparent restrictions prompt us to consider what permissions may be required to enter a space. Does denial encourage a shift in our perspective?

Photos by Brittany Buongiorno
Curated by Eva Ting & Angie Vuys

About the artist:
Ben Cowan was born and raised in Ann Arbor, MI by a creative and musical family. He received a BFA from the School of Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA from Indiana University. His painting reached a turning point during a residency in Umbria, Italy through the exposure and study of its historic vistas. The visual landscape and character of his immediate surroundings has since remained an inspiration wherever he calls home. Ben currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY creating paintings of familiar urban sights cropped, collaged and simplified in order to capture a concentrated experience that refers to the interpersonal and supernatural. His work has been shown in solo and group shows throughout the U.S., including New York City and Chicago. 

Listen to Ben's Artist Talk:
On April 18 art historian Kristen Racaniello sat down with Cowan for an enlightening and entertaining deep dive into pigments, hues, architecture, and how religion, psychology, and optics inform Ben's work. Click here to hear the full conversation, including Q&A with the audience.

"Genius Loci: Spirit of the Place" by The Geneva School of Manhattan student artists

January 18, 2018 - March 1, 2018
In “Genius Loci: Spirit of the Place,” students from The Geneva School of Manhattan explore the ways they are connected and how their lives intertwine. Comprised of native New Yorkers and transplants hailing from around the globe, this student body of diverse backgrounds and ethnicities create pieces together that bear manifold witness to the pluralistic nature of NYC while unearthing their shared commonalities.

The students express themselves through a variety of everyday mediums. Woven tapestries map their identities and shared experiences: I have been treated differently because of who I am. I am a child of God. I have forgiven my mother instead of blaming her. Unique fingerprints in ink blend together to form representations of spaces where they learn and grow. Details captured in close-ups of the eyes of strangers and friends are rendered on reclaimed boards of wood. Through collaborative expression, the students work out their own experiences and showcase their unique voices. Their imaginations point us toward the interconnectedness, independence, and interdependence that we all share.

Photos by Chela Crinnion