Monday, October 14, 2013

PROJECT LUZ: the classroom, Art for all.
by Sol Aramendi

October 7th - 18th 10am-7pm

Opening; October 15th 5-8 pm
Klapper Hall Gallery, Queen College
(see directions below)

Sol Aramendi presents for her MFA Social Practice Thesis show, Project Luz: The Classroom Art for All. A series of classes and workshops for the College's members of the cleaning and custodian teams. All classes are free and open for the whole duration of the exhibition and have been designed to fit Queens College's staff members' schedules, their breaks, and changing shifts. 

Ms. Aramendi will lead photography classes for all levels and her fellow MFA classmates will teach Studio Art to collaborate with the project during the show. The exhibition consists of a series of spaces that present the processes, actions, together with their results, at the free temporary art school for the custodians of the College. Also on display is an installation including a selection of Ms. Aramendi's recent works developed outside (but intrinsic to) Project Luz.

Project Luz started at the artist's studio as a response to the need for change in her most immediate community. As Ms. Aramendi realized the lack of opportunities that both immigrant men and women (and even their families) had to access culture and the urban system, she organized workshops and classes for them. These events took place mostly in the evenings and weekends. Project Luz then started offering these classes at several cultural institutions, hospitals, and public libraries, among other places.

Ms. Aramendi is in constant search for opportunities to create an open space in which to discuss the role of the artist not only as an educator but also as a catalyst for social cooperation and change for the disempowered. The key is how artists and educators can provide anyone and everyone with access to information, culture and training in different disciplines, and make a difference. Based in Long Island City, Queens, Ms. Aramendi is the first Masters graduate of Fine Arts in Social Practice exclusively developed as a collaboration between the Queens Museum and Queens College.

Special Events:
Decolonization at Birth
Fridays, October 11 and 18 : In collaboration with Yaocihuatzin, who holds a PhD in Education focused in the opportunity of freedom and independency from the moment of birth. Both Fridays will include a session of free portraits for pregnant and breastfeeding women and women circles talking about education.
Students and teachers are invited to participate in every way and be part of or hold classes in the gallery and make collaborative projects.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Queens College MFA Show - Spring 2013

                                                                                                                                         Postcard design by: Qi Zhu

Shared Spaces

Queens College, CUNY
MFA Exhibition 2013

Curated by Liz Park

Opening Saturday March 23, 6–9pm
March 23 – April 2, 2013

23 Warren Street, New York, NY 10007

Complimentary catalogue available at the exhibition.

Pablo Alvarez
Sol Aramendi
Seth Aylmer
Barrie Cline
A. Coffey
Chris Esposito
Christie Farriella
Kristie Hirten
Marthe Keller
Henry Kielmanowicz
Thea Lanzisero
Lauren Nickou
Liz Pasqualo
Jose Serrano-McClain
Amanda Shea
Kara Szemelynec
Asia Sztencel

In urban design, the term “shared space” refers to an area where demarcating features such as traffic signs, road markings and curbs are removed in order to heighten the awareness of drivers, cyclists and pedestrians of each other’s presence. By increasing the sense of uncertainty, those who enter a shared space tend to become more attentive to others. A shared space necessitates an ongoing negotiation.

The 2013 Queens College MFA exhibition takes its title from this idea that those who enter a shared space must acknowledge the presence of others with different practices, vehicles, speeds, and methods of working. This exhibition similarly recognizes and highlights the distinct bodies of work that each artist has developed over the course of their time at Queens College.

Working alongside one another, the artists have developed affinities and share mutual concerns. For instance, Sol Aramendi, Seth Aylmer, Barrie Cline, and Jose Serrano-McClain create a social space – a shared space of a different kind – through events, workshops, classes, and community outreach and organization.  Another group of artists, Chris Esposito, Kristie Hirten, Kara Szemelynec, and Asia Sztencel explore elements of their urban environ or man-made structures in juxtaposition with the natural environment. Pablo Alvarez, Henry Kielmanowicz, Thea Lanzisero, and Liz Pasqualo are interested in picking up the material detritus of their urban fabric in order to provide commentary on socio-economic conditions or on the ecology, or to reflect on their individual connections to these materials. Yet another group of artists, A. Coffey, Christie Farriella, Marthe Keller, Lauren Nickou, and Amanda Shea explore a more intimate subjective relationship with the materials and the media in which they each work.

Within a shared space of interactions, there is always the risk of collision and rift. The exhibition acknowledges the limitations of shared spaces. The artists create work that may not sit comfortably beside one another. Nonetheless, they share a site of learning. In so doing, they must necessarily look around in order to navigate their way through many such shared spaces.

Special thanks to the office of the President of Queens College for their generous support.

Photos from CAA/Hilton Intervention

Take a look below at a few images from our intervention in a Hilton hotel room during CAA.   For a two-day, self-produced, flash-mob type of exhibition it was fairly successful.  The amount of visitors we received surprised everybody.  Seems the word got out among the conference-goers.  We guess there are only so many art panels you can participate in before you actually want to see some art! 
 Among the notable art world guests were Hans Haacke, Carol Becker, Antoni Muntadas, and Carin Kuoni.  In the middle of a conversation with Hans Haacke about art censorship, security paid us a visit and shut down us down for having too many people in the room.  Perfect!

 More photos here.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Hotel Practice: Intervention at the Hilton

Hotel Practice
Intervention at the Hilton

A hotel room group installation by Queens College MFA artists during the College Art Association conference.

Room #_____  (to be announced in the Hilton second floor promenade on the days of the exhibition February 14 and 15)

Hilton New York
1335 Avenue of the Americas
6th Avenue at 54th Street
New York, NY 10010

Opening: Thursday, February 14, 5-10pm
Friday, February 15,  12-5pm
Closing: February 15,  Friday,  5-10pm

Entering a hotel room, you find yourself in a familiar arrangement: the bed, the television, the bathroom with travel-size toiletries. Its appearance is generic, but only because there is a systematized logic that determines what constitutes a neutral living space. At a hotel, you have no responsibility to the space; you are not expected to think about the labor and the mechanism behind the maintenance and the operations of the hotel. It is ideologically loaded in order to appear free of ideology.

For the MFA students at Queens College, Hotel Practice is an examination of the customary performance involved with inhabiting such a site of contradiction – a space for respite and escape, and potential depravity and unexpected convergences. Furthermore, organized in time for the CAA conference, where the field of art is actively charted through debates and discussions, the artists in Hotel Practice consider how to discursively situate their own work in relation to these continually constructed sites of art. Self-organized and -produced, Hotel Practice can be more accurately described as a demonstration of the artists’ practice, rather than as an exhibition. It invites you to a collective questioning of established methods of conducting oneself within a systematized field of social activities – whether that field be understood specifically as the hotel, or more broadly as the field of art.

To see more from these artists, please note their upcoming annual MFA show at One Art Space (23 Warren Street, NY, NY 10007).   Opening March 23, and on view from March 24 to April 3.

More info at: