Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Welcome to the Express | Local Exhibition

EXPRESS+LOCAL : NYC AESTHETICS is a three part artist residency and one part art exhibition focused on artistic exploration of Queens to reveal possible regional aesthetics in contemporary New York art.

Fifteen artists from around New York City come to Queens College Art Center for a one-month artist residency at the gallery space to complete proposed works for viewing in the culminating exhibition. Depending on their chosen residency, the 15 artists, writers, musicians, photographers and curators will work separately or together within the gallery space to visually respond to the idea of place in New York aesthetic. EXPRESS+LOCAL offers insight into the varied studio practice of artists and showcases their creative response to New York and the borough of Queens. The exhibition features three diverse groups of artists together from around the five boroughs and outlaying suburbs and exhibits both their studio response to Queens, as well as the artwork created during the residency. While some of the artists are very familiar with Queens and Queens College and others have no direct experience, EXPRESS|LOCAL leads to each of the artists forging a new sense of place. This exhibition is an curatorial experiment seeking to answer the question of whether or not artists are affected by New York City and the borough of Queens, and, in turn, if Queens and Queens College will be affected by them.  EXPRESS+LOCAL seeks to answer the question “Will a collective effort to explore the geography of Queens reveal a regional New York City aesthetic?”.

Express+Local came to fruition to stress the importance of offering support to contemporary artists living and working in New York City. The 15 featured artists range in age, medium and scale, and the artists’ time in New York ranging from present to a lifetime, but each has a constant evolving artistic relationship with the City. Given its size, diversity and proximity to Manhattan, Queens could be a potential candidate to uphold and continue to offer unique insights on the contemporary art world.

Curator Tara Mathison is the Assistant Curator of Queens College Art Center and curated over 25 artists and 15 exhibitions at the Art Center since 2007. She has over 10 years' experience curating exhibitions, focusing on contemporary artists and visual culture. An artist herself, she received her MA and MFA in Printmaking while teaching Drawing at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. A member of the Brooklyn artist collective 3rd Ward, she has exhibited extensively in the United States and internationally, with her work in collections around the world.

GROUP A | #A Participants (January 28 - February 27) include:
Focusing on writing Haiku influenced by the City, Ellis Avery is a Manhattan-based novelist who teaches fiction writing at Columbia University. Her first novel, The Teahouse Fire (Riverhead Books). Exploring extravagance within domestic life, Becky Franco is large format muralist from Brooklyn, NY. Erin Hanke will web cam her daily practice sessions for viewers. Hanke is a harpsichordist working in New York City. Tommy Mintz is a photographer whose work captures the day-to-day life of City dwellers and he will photograph the entire community at Queens College to visually showcase the diversity of Queens.

GROUP B | #B Participants (March 1 - April 1) include:
Carl Gambrell and Rob Kimmel, both Graphic Designers, who will physically explore Queens to create a map that illustrates their new-found personal understanding of the cartography of Queens. Photographer + Web Programmer Derek Vandala captures the decaying manufacturing areas of Queens. Derek Vadala is the author of O'Reilly's Managing RAID on Linux. Czech artists Kristyna + Marek Milde explore ideas of consumerism within the New York home. Queens Artist Howard Lerner’s sculpture is made from local found objects. Lerner is a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Painting and a Connecticut Commission on the Arts Individual Artists Grant.

GROUP C | #C Participants (April 1 - May 1) include:
Painter Anne Sherwood Pundyk strips away the secrets of her practice to create new work centered around the private vs. public. Naomi Grossman explores the body through sound. Re-imaging commodity and space, Antonia Perez reconstructs barriers and divisions of personal space through reusing everyday materials, such as plastic bags. Keeping in line with Ray Johnson, mail artist April Nett uses the USPS to construct a Queens Utopia. Musician and New Media artist Jonathan Wohl composes a visual musical piece in response to Queens. Listen to his new album at:

The culminating exhibition (May 5 - June 30) will showcase one piece from each of the artists that they completed during the three months of residency in the gallery space. The exhibition is free and open to the public. The public is invited to visit the artists during their residencies while they work in the space. Images, as well as biographical and sales information, are available upon request. A accompanying catalogue will be published after the exhibition is complete. For information on additional events to be scheduled, please visit

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