ODETTA's at FLUX Fair May 3-31, 2016
OPENING RECEPTION: Tuesday May 3, 6-8:00 pm
ODETTA/Artists Walk and Talk at the FLUX Art Fair in Marcus Garvey Park, Saturday May 28, noon, starting at Jose Soto's Focus sculpture in Harlem Art Park, E 120th St, bet Lex and 3rd. at 12:00 noon, then we'll head into Marcus Garvey Park and move through Cast and Formed, then head up to the Acropolis, presenting the ephemeral sculptural installations of Ellen Hackl Fagan, Michele Brody, Will Pappenheimer, and Rodrigo Guzman. Lastly, we'll walk up to 127th Street to Harlem Grown and meet Alice Momm at her installation there. Directions: www.fluxfair.nyc
meet the artists working with ODETTA Gallery and FLUX Art Fair as we learn more about public art projects
Cast and Formedin Marcus Garvey Park; Central Harlem
with Linda Cunningham, Susan Stair, and Kurt Steger
These three artists, represented by ODETTA gallery, create symbols from the conundrum that humans have with Nature. They create ways for us to touch it, devoting time to a careful inspection of the details, as we ponder our role in the Anthropocene epoch.
In Cast and Formed, the artists’ communion with Nature is objectified, through captures of the local trees impressed permanently into wet clay slabs, or architectural forms built upon the edges of large boulders, and through smelted bronze gestures cast in sand, fixed upon bases found in industrial ruins. Their works of art eagerly reveal their sources, creating the distance of the symbolic wherefrom we ponder their fragility, history, and value to the community, empathetic to the situation.
copyright © 2016 Philip Rodriguez
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FLUX Art Fair is Director Leanne Stella’s newest creation. Having evolved from storefront gallery spaces to her second art fair, Leanne is innovating the way art fairs can take form. Fully supporting emerging talent, the outdoor public sculpture concept has helped connect selected artists to producers, developers, and galleries. For More Information visit www.fluxfair.nyc
Marcus Garvey Park is a 22 acre park located in Harlem, bounded by 120th St. 124th St. and Madison Avenue and interrupting the flow of Fifth Avenue traffic which is rerouted around the park via Mount Morris Park on the west side. The park which straddles East and West Harlem is a community hub for reading, cultural events, playgrounds and ball fields enjoyed by youth and adults. The massive rock formation in the center of the park is the last remaining outcropping of a 90-acre wedge of hard Manhattan schist. Facilities in the park include the Pelham Fritz Recreation Center, the Richard Rogers Amphitheater and the landmarked fire watchtower currently under renovation and slated to return to the park in 2017. Many varieties of trees and shrubs flourish in the 20 acres of the park, including Birch, Elm, Hackberry, Hawthorn, London Plane, Maple, Oak, Osage Orange, Linden and Sweetgum.
The Marcus Garvey Park Alliance formed in August of 2000 is an all volunteer organization and the major advocacy group for one of the oldest parks in New York City. The Alliance in partnership with NYC Parks is responsible for making the park a greener, safer place and attracting quality cultural events enjoyed by community residents as well as regional and international visitors to Harlem.
Cast and Formed was conceived and organized by artist/curator Ellen Hackl Fagan, Director of ODETTA Gallery. ODETTA seeks to encourage artists to stretch beyond their comfort zone to bring their works into the public view. This is the gallery’s first exhibition in a satellite location. Collaborating and encouraging Leanne Stella, FLUX Director’s interest in engaging audience in innovative ways, Fagan/ODETTA jumped at the chance to try out a new venue for the gallery. Her artwork will also be featured at FLUX Fair in Marcus Garvey Park.
A graceful metal sculpture created from altered/ transformed materials, “Urban Transformation,” poses found, industrial steel against a craggy, textured, bark-like bronze elements. The twisted and bent structural steel, inscribed with the scars of its material history, wraps around the sand-cast bronze. The bronze is cast from former military scrap and shaped through the physical processes of the pour, transforming found metal from a former violent function into unpredictable sensual beauty. The bronze appears, reddish /brown/ gold in the sun against the rugged, rusted steel remnants, emblems of the transitory impermanence of industrial structures. “Urban Transformation” reaches up plant-like with an apparent optimism of new life. The tree-like form echoes the natural environment.
Linda Cunningham is a New York City based artist who exhibits extensively both in New York and Germany, and most recently with Odetta Gallery, Bushwick, Brooklyn. A recent significant installation, created for “No Longer Empty” at the Bronx, Andrew Freedman House was exhibited in the Bronx Museum, 2014, sponsored by Bronx Alliance of Arts Organizations. Recent one person exhibitions include Abington Art Center, Philadelphia, the Fundacion Euroidiomas, Lima, Peru, StattMuseum, Cologne Germany, and the 2 x 13 Gallery, Chelsea, NYC. The Bronx Museum displayed her installation ”Urban Regeneration” for the years 2009/10 on its terrace, and her sculptural installation, “”Urban Regeneration II” was exhibited in two locations at Westchester Square in the Bronx in 2015. Her monumental public sculptural installations & alternative memorials are permanently sited in Cologne, Kassel, Bad Hersfeld & Cornberg, Germany, & Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton, N.J. Temporary installations were formerly at the CUNY Graduate Center on 42nd St across from Bryant Park, and in Tribecca. “Divisions” her sculpture installation formerly at sited at UN Plaza, New York 1997-1998 is on extended loan to Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio and is to be acquired this summer by City of Sculpture, Hamilton, Ohio. She is the recipient of grants from the Bronx Council on the Arts, Pa Council on the Arts, Fulbright Senior Research fellowship, Berlin, Arts International Kade Collaborative Works, and the John Anson Kittredge Foundation.
Susan Stair, a local resident of the Marcus Garvey neighborhood, has an ongoing diary of trees pressed in clay from Marcus Garvey Park. Both trees and parks are symbolic of urban life. Her daily life includes walks in the park. During these walks she finds trees with unusual bark patterns that she then transfers to clay. Tree bark has some of the same properties as human skin revealing a story of race, age, damage and survival. It’s possible to identify tree bark as one would identify a human face.
For FLUXFair_2016, Stair will symbolically present the parallel life of 2 species that exist together in the urban environment. Acknowledging the people who tend and cull the trees which ultimately provides healthier air quality for all of us.
“Tree Reflections” celebrates the tensile power of an Osage Orange tree in Marcus Garvey Park. Its interwoven fibers secured this tree’s prominence in our nation’s westward expansion. “Tree Reflections” is a mirror, a clay picture of the adjacent and adjoining tree. Mosaics in glass tile mirror the branches of the Osage Orange that hang over the fence.
Susan Stair has worked for over thirty years, both nationally and internationally, exploring natural landscapes. Working in media spanning textile and collage to works on canvas, her work evokes a sense of space and place.These “Clay Drawings” are life castings from trees with which she seeks to capture the spirit of individual trees and forests.
Her paintings and installations have been featured in exhibitions in the Philippines at Galleria Duemila and the U.S. Embassy, the Fringe Gallery in Hong Kong, the Tokyo Design Center, and the Hong Kong Cultural Center.
Nationally, Stair has exhibited in NYC, Philadelphia, and Rochester, NY, The Affordable Art Fair, ODETTA, the Julio Valdez Project Space and Art in Flux, New York.
After completing a 9’ x 18’ mosaic mixed media mural for the Rosa Parks School in the Bronx, NY in 2009, Stair was invited to create a public project for the Emerge International Art Fair in Washington, D.C. and installed a Tree Mosaic at the Stone Quarry Art Park with a subsequent Tree Mosaic installed in Rochester in 2015. Stair currently exhibits with ODETTA Gallery in Brooklyn.
“Urban Structure” honors nature by shaping itself around the existing environment: rather than removing or destroying the boulder, it meticulously forms itself to the unique shape of the rock metaphorically modeling how harmony between man and nature can be achieved. With a controversial 30-story residential building as its backdrop, the sculpture is designed to co-exist with nature and architecture, fusing the two with thoughtful design and skill. “Urban Structure” underlines the idea that we can choose to build upon our environment in harmony with nature, and in so doing, create uplifting and inspiring public spaces within an urban milieu.
It was Picasso who said, "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up." While her work in Child's Play is not meant specifically to capture the exact meaning of this quotation, she believe in its efficacy at getting at the root of what makes art compelling, of what makes making art compelling. Time spent in the studio is as close a return to childhood as she can imagine. There is nothing else like it; time falls away. The playfulness that emerges in her imagery is in part an expression of joy. Meg Atkinson is an artist and art educator. She has exhibited in the New York and tri-state area, including shows at Morgan Lehman Gallery and Storefront Ten Eyck. Meg has also contributed to the blog, Painters on Paintings, and has had fiction published in BookCourt’s literary magazine, Cousin Corinne’s Reminder. Meg lives and works in Brooklyn.
Kenny Colors is a mixed media painter currently residing in Queens, NY. Born in 1983 in Central New Jersey, he attended Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, RI from 2001-2005, earning a BFA in Painting.
At an early age, he showed an affinity for artistic expression using the colorful toys and games of his childhood. Sports and games held something of a sacred status with him, exemplified through his dedicated following of local professional sports teams. To him, a pro sports game was more than a game; it was the sanctification of the lighthearted.
After moving to Brooklyn, NY in 2006, began to study improvisational comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater, which develops his sense of play in the dynamic stage environment, an experience that affected him both on a personal and artistic level. Kenny wrote, acted, directed and produced multiple stage and video shows in the period from 2006-2010. The shows were loose riffs around a central, absurd story, usually rich in 80s & 90s pop culture nostalgia.
It wasn’t until 2011 that Kenny recommitted to a studio practice. Working closely with digital drawing tools, he meticulously painted Photoshop reproductions of old video game scenes. To counter this digital heavy approach, Kenny also pursued a series of expressionist, mixed media collages using print outs of Internet-based images. These works were shown in various Brooklyn group shows in 2012-2013.
Soon after, Kenny became heavily influenced by craft store materials such as pipe cleaners, craft poms and googly eyes, as well as other dollar store toys. The cheap and goofy nature of these materials were perfectly conducive to an even more lighthearted approach to his art making. In 2014, he transformed his basement home studio into an “Art Funhouse”, painting bold, busy patterns on the walls as a backdrop for a series of fabric covered paintings. This style was also carried out in his 2015 installation “The War Of War” at Christopher Stout Gallery in Brooklyn, NY.
In the body of work for “Child’s Play” Roleke has created diminutive worlds in which toys tell the story of consumption, consumerism, war, and the misuse of power and religion. The monochromatic tableaus are a vehicle for contemplative meditation but jarring elements keep the viewer unsettled.
Margaret Roleke is a sculptor and also makes works on paper. She has lived and worked in New York and Connecticut for most of her life. Her work has been exhibited often. Highlights include a solo exhibit in 2016 at Arcilesi and Homberg Fine Art on the lower eastside of NYC and a 2-person show at ODETTA in 2015. She has been reviewed in The New York Times, Hyperallergic, and other publications. Her sticker pieces are in the flatfiles of Pierogi.
Eileen Weitzman’s new work is influenced by my extensive travelling and uses materials and designs found in the Middle East and Africa. These lively colored and patterned sculptures explore contemporary issues of global concern with a smattering of psychological insight and wit. Her stitched drawings, reflecting the schizophrenic tensions of daily life, attempt to jump out of their foundation and create a life of their own. All of the pieces were started with a smidgen of an idea and evolved organically while searching for the meaning of life.
Eileen Weitzman was born in Chicago, Illinois. She received an MSW and JD, but in recent years she has concentrated on her self taught art making. Her work has been exhibited extensively both nationally and internationally at Windows Gallery (Birobidjan,Russia ), Newark University Gallery,(Newark, NJ), Pierogi Gallery, Monumental Propoganda (NY,NY, Canada and Russia) and Centotto Gallery, Valentine Gallery, and Life on Mars Gallery (Bushwick, NY). She has received a fellowship from Vermont Studio Center, artist grants from Artists Space and Puffin foundation and an NEH grant.
Recently she travelled to Egypt and Ethiopia on an artist residency where she lectured at Zoma Contemporary Art Center in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She is currently working with the artist program at Creedmoor Living Art Museum where she has worked for many years.
Her work is in private collections in New York, Berlin, Germany, Paris, France, Chicago,Houston, Phoenix and San Diego.