Session One - August 2018
For the past ten years, artists Geddes Levenson and Annie Blazejack have been collaborating. Together they experiment with painting as a way to conjure up impossible places. The world of paint is infinitely malleable, and they set loose a series of industrious explorers to manipulate their painted environment, opening portals, eating brush strokes, and merging with cosmic landscapes.
The partially obscured or dissolving figures in their paintings are almost always women, and generally engaged in some kind of mysterious work. Perhaps only a foot or hand is in view, or perhaps the figure is camouflaged with her background, but she is still an agent of action, a portal through which the viewer can enter the painted plane.
The environments of the paintings are often fractured or distorted, developing a tension between recognition and confusion. Their fragmented nature raises questions of scale and solidity. Blazejack and Levenson’s vivid color pallet and confident brushstrokes lure viewers into the unfamiliar; a painted space with it’s own system of rules and physics.
Karen Y. Chan
Karen Y. Chan is an interdisciplinary artist based in New York City. Her work explores intimacy in ways that provoke questions about our emotional selves and the vulnerabilities, fears, and longings that shape the stories we tell. Chan’s practice involves mixing media and techniques, such as building assemblages with found objects, integrating literary elements, projecting video, and creating distinctive environments with light. Working this way is a reflection on how memories are often her raw materials that come fragmented and multifarious. By using a variety of mediums and tools, both everyday and unconventional, Chan’s work gives shape to that which is intangible and ephemeral. In doing so, she creates opportunities for meditation on what is hard to grasp, whether it is a deep inward feeling or a moment of uncertainty, and to further investigate our inner selves in relationship to the ever-changing landscape around us.
Chan has exhibited her work at Ed. Varie (New York, NY), AC Institute (New York, NY), Roman Susan (Chicago, IL), Vox Populi (Philadelphia, PA), Fernwey Gallery (Chicago, IL), Urban Institute of Contemporary Arts (Grand Rapids, MI), NURTUREart Gallery (Brooklyn, NY), Rochester Contemporary Art Center (Rochester, NY), Queens Museum (Flushing, NY), Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art at Snug Harbor (Staten Island, NY), Local Project (Long Island City, NY), BronxArtSpace (Bronx, NY), Horton Gallery (New York, NY), and others. Her collaboration with musician and artist JunYi Chow, Stillness in Queens, is a recipient of the 2017 Queens Arts Fund New Work Grant, and was performed at Flushing Town Hall (Flushing, NY) and Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning (Jamaica, NY). She was Artist-in-Residence at MASS MoCA/Assets for Artists and participated in The Art of Stillness Residency at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity in Canada. Chan holds an MA in Media Studies from the New School and a BA in Journalism from New York University.
amalya Miera Goldberg
Amalya Meira Goldberg
Imaginative, sustainable clothing and textiles all handmade in Brooklyn, NY. With dreamlike crochet shapes and sunprinted silks, these pieces are created for the curious to love. Each piece is one of kind—from the textile, down to the seam finishing. While approaching clothing as wearable sculpture, Amalya's work marries beauty and grit. The polished and exquisitely unrefined mingle through constant exploration in fabric manipulation, silhouette and upcycling. Experimental and distinctive in her design, Amalya practices zero-waste construction, and works predominantly with natural fibers. Most recently she completed the Arquetopia artist residency in Oaxaca, MX, and has been invited to participate in 77ART’s inaugural residency program this August. Her works are currently on display in New York and Vermont. Amalya Holds degrees from Central St. Martins, Parsons and Eugene Lang.
Franco-American painter Debo Mouloudji is best known for her magnetic, sculptural, living figures which seem to come forth out of the canvas into this world. Her work focuses on intimacy, connection, oneness, and on attempting to bring forth the presence of a person for the viewer to feel and see. She seeks to make the painted figure deeply resemblant of the sitter, in the hopes of revealing an expression of their innermost self.
She was born in Paris, France in 1990, and was raised in both Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Paris intermittently. She currently resides in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She has studied at l’Académie de la Grande Chaumière, Parsons school of Design (BFA 2012), l’Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts de Paris , and at The Art Students League of New York.
Mouloudji’s preferred medium is oil paint, but she also enjoys working in graphite, charcoal, and clay. She chooses to work primarily in oil because of its flexibility, from smooth and fluid to dry and thick, oil paint allows her to experiment texturally to find what best expresses the subject at any given moment. She takes after Alice Neel, Lucian Freud, Manet and Michelangelo.
Sofia Plater is a mixed-media artist from Boston, Massachusetts. She received her MFA from The School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University in 2018 and her BFA in Fine Arts from Boston College. She has recently been in several Boston group shows and a solo show at Factory Mark Gallery. Currently, Sofia is curating a large group show throughout an entire mansion set for demolition in 2019, called The Webster Court Project in Newton, MA. Her next project is a solo show at Real Art Ways in Hartford, CT in 2019.
Sofia Plater works with construction materials to create unexpected explorations of aesthetic possibilities. Her work evokes the conflict between natural and man-made architectures; she creates sculptures that are simultaneously organic and synthetic. Her primary inspiration comes from witnessing the architecture of raw nature and the free-forming textures and structures that exist and grow in the environment.
Albanian-born artist, Juna Skenderi is best known for her minimalist approach to traditional folk art. Having lived the majority of her life as an undocumented immigrant in the United States, she creates as a means of dealing with her anxiety and uncertainty. Her fiber and mixed media art is both an homage to the craft art of Albania and a stylistic continuation of her longtime work with abstract ballpoint ink drawing. Her drawings and mixed-media art have been exhibited at Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition, White Box Gallery, Fuse Gallery, Prince Street Gallery, The Living Gallery, K&P Gallery, Collective Arts Incubator, Studio Montclair, and Grady Alexis Gallery. Having obtained a BFA in filmmaking at Montclair State University, she pursued a career in production and costume design for many years. She now lives and works in New York City, currently creating handmade, custom lighting fixtures for Bone Simple Design. She has also programmed for film festivals such as the Hamptons International Film Festival, Sarasota Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival and Rooftop Films.