…In this series, the fragmented images present a moment of assumed accuracy, and yet they are indicative of the fragmented pieces of our world as viewed from my “pandemic bubble”..
Jena Thomas is an emerging contemporary artist who, after completing her MFA at the University of Miami, already boasts an impressive exhibition record. Recent accolades include being selected as one of the 40 top MFA students in the country by New American Paintings Magazine. Thomas was chosen out of over 750 applicants for the title. She was also selected as an exhibitor for the Crystal Bridges Museum of Art’s “State of the Art 2020” exhibition (which you can experience virtually here). Past recognition includes selection as a finalist for the William and Dorothy Yeck Award and receiving the Ruth Katzman Scholarship from the Art Students’ League of New York
My love for the Strand Bookstore (828 Broadway NYNY) knows no bounds. I’ve spent countless hours enjoying every nook and cranny, every stack and cart in the place, and countless dollars on its offerings. I chose to honor this hallowed place by commemorating a specific experience […] a source of my own inner monologue. For me, the combination of the bag and book embodies the Strand experience”.
Jeff Robinson (born 1959, Summit, NJ) enrolled in the Kansas City Art Institute in 1979 to study sculpture under the tutelage of Dale Eldred and Jim Leedy. After the rigors of academia, Robinson began to shift his focus from sculpture to painting, stating that “the change in medium suited my temperament. Painting allowed me to get to ideas quicker.” He stayed in Kansas City and partook of its burgeoning art scene at the Random Ranch and Left Bank galleries. From conventional subject matters -the figure- came unconventional work. One example of this is The Campfire Girls series. About this work, Robinson says he “liked to take things apart and put them back together again a little differently.”
My piece, To Go, consists of a bag that I received after ordering food from one of my favorite local restaurants. A receipt was stapled to the front of the bag, which gave me the idea for this piece. I added an additional 2,124 staples to the bag making it merely impossible to open. The staples are a visual representation of all the restaurants that could potentially close by the end of the year if we are unable to find a way to support these spaces and the people working there.
Ben Quesnel distorts familiar objects often gathered from tag sales, neighborhood auctions, and community recycling centers. His decontextualized forms challenge viewers to apprehend the meanings that have been attached to these objects and to evaluate them with a new understanding. He alters the location and position of the objects he finds in order to create unexpected discoveries and new experiences for those who encounter his work.
My piece is an arrangement of two tethered shopping bags on a panel that is six feet across. It is essentially an abstracted version of the graphic with two people , a line representing 6 feet, and the phrase- “Please Practice Social Distancing”. I have intentionally abstracted the given elements to create a work of aesthetic quality.
Vincent Serbin is a New York-based artist currently living and working in the Catskills. His latest series of canvas works explore a new medium and technique for the artist, whose career began by developing a unique method of photomontage (what he calls the “negative collage”). Though spanning decades, for the last 12 years, Serbin has dedicated his practice to an approach that investigates the materiality of the medium. Influenced by the avant-garde strategies of artists such as Robert Ryman, Alberto Burri, and Frank Stella, Serbin is interested in the process of art than in its material realization.