New York, New York! My opening at Pen+Brush

Hi Everyone!

I wanted to update what I’ve been up to! This past month I was privileged enough to go to New York twice! Once was for a bachelorette party, and the other was because I was in a group show at Pen+Brush Gallery (linked here).

Me at the opening of “The Ripening” next to my piece!

The show was titled “The Ripening” and I was incredibly honored to be invited to it. I was alongside some amazing female and non-binary artists! Here’s an excerpt about the show:

“Pen + Brush announces our first exhibition of 2023, The Ripening curated by Parker Daley Garcia with Birdie Piccininni, opening February 16th – April 15th. Loosely based on Édouard Glissant’s writing, The Ripening represents the state of identity today, specifically, gendered identity. Artists explore identity, fluidity, and the pain of the ‘other’ as a way of self-actualizing identity. Much like the process of ripening, this exhibition blurs the realms of dream and reality as it explores the capacity and fluidity of gender to become and, indeed, unbecome. Works put forth here document and envision complexities of differences in our shared world. Multitudes are put forth, as are universal truths, while hedging toward a dynamic and unpredictable future.

Aimee Jones, “Sometimes I cry” Oil on Canvas, 2022

While connecting to one another has never been easier and our world exists at just the touch of the screen, we can fail at times to see our interconnectedness. The Ripening tackles this counter-parallel (divergence) by bringing forth both, self-articulation and collective identity. A large-scale ceramic work by Hedwig Brouckaert, for example, focuses on the “intense form of individualism that capitalism propagates and idolizes,” while putting forth the notion that, “we are alienated and painfully separated from each other and are forgetting what connects us”. While Kristin Pedote’s sculptures renegotiate and create conflicted desires of the universal fetishization and objectification of the feminine form in order to “[…] both make fun of it and live it at the same time.” These works stand as apart as they are together. Community is found through this hard-fought process of ripening as the individual. Like Glissant, artists featured in this exhibition raise fundamental questions of identity, immigration, relation, diversity, and difference.

One universality put forth by the artists exhibited here is the inevitability of pain and trauma in the becoming, the ripening, of the other, the self-actualized. From local to global, from paints to fibers, works born from the darkroom and from fire, we bring together those who create from and within the moment, memory, process, and result of the realities of life, pain, and otherness existing today. Artists Laura Beth Reese and Sascha Mallon’s works depict the worlds we surround ourselves with and the moments within them that determine, interpret, and represent self-actualized identity and, perhaps, indemnity. While Felicita Felli Maynard asks questions like: “What constitutes the bounding and unbounded experiences of individuals of the African Diaspora when related to outside [and] the inside?” and “What does it mean to always be searching for home in others versus yourself? What is the balance between all these things, ultimately home is community as well. What are the moments of safety? Where are the moments of violence?” and finally saying, “That push and pull is dynamic”. Other works, like those by Alison Stinely, deal directly with personal mythologies. Together with works by Damaris Swass, Felicita Felli Maynard, and Jovan Speller, Stinely uses and subverts traditional symbolisms and imagery in concert with personal truths.

The exhibition explores the intersection(s) of identity, otherhood, femininity, and institutionalized pain as a means for ‘becoming’. It represents the relationship between fluidity and self-actualized identity in its myriad of forms while also aiming to address the disregard for othered bodies and voices due to unassigned value. Here the stereotype of the meekness of endured pain is debunked and value is given to the identities, voices, and femineity such pain has informed. The Ripening examines how community is wrought as pain and trauma link us all in the formation of individualized identity as a curatorial premise. The result becomes a necessary heterogeneity and diversity; by a conception of “identity” which lives with and through, not despite, difference, by hybridity.”

The piece above was shown on the press release, but is also first when you walk into the gallery.

Outside view of the gallery at Pen+Brush


Wide shot of the opening crowd

Hopefully I’ll be doing an artist talk there sometime in April-tbd when!




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