THE BUSINESS OF ART: INTERVIEW WITH AMY KISCH + HEATHER ZISES

Thanks to Pregame Magazine for publishing a joint interview with me and Amy Kisch on The Business of Art this month!



Amy Kisch and Heather Zises are the art editors of Pregame Magazine. As experts, curators, and advocates, they help artists navigate the art world and support emerging talent…to read full interview, click HERE. 

Open Call: Group Exhibition at The Cluster Gallery in Brooklyn

CALLING ALL ARTISTS!

Brooklyn Art Cluster / The Cluster Gallery is inviting artists of all medias to submit to a thematic group show for September. The exhibition title is Reflective Pool and will be curated by READart’s Heather Zises. Application deadline is August 8, 2017.

For more information and to apply, please click HERE. 

ABOUT THE EXHIBITION
Reflective Pool echoes the collective psyche. Inspired by the feature found commonly in landscape design, a reflecting pool offers an illusory sense of depth and clarity by reflecting its surroundings, yet literally consists of a shallow pool of water. In playful dialogue with the myth of Narcissus and Echo, this exhibition questions self-perception in the digital age: how do we achieve clarity about ourselves amidst a world of distortion?

ABOUT BROOKLYN ART CLUSTER
Brooklyn Art Cluster is an art community located in Gowanus, Brooklyn, committed to building creative environments to foster the talents of emerging and mid-career artists. Our two locations offer a residency program, long-term workspaces and a gallery for curated exhibitions.

 

 

 

CELEBRATE SUMMER SOLSTICE BY MASTERING THE ART OF THE STUDIO VISIT


Back by popular demand, join me at Equity Gallery for another artist workshop on how to prepare for a studio visit.

Artist Workshop: How to Prepare for a Studio Visit
Wednesday, June 21, 7-8pm
Equity Gallery, 245 Broome Street, NYC
FREE
RSVP: info@nyartistsequity.org
A studio visit can make or break career opportunities for an artist. Whether a curator is looking to include art in an exhibition, a collector is coming to view a body of work, or a dealer is interested in representing your work, there is a certain art to the visit.  Heather Zises, an independent curator, will guide you on best practices for a studio visit including what to say, how to display your work, and which rules to break, if any.

ARTIST WORKSHOP: HOW TO PREPARE FOR A STUDIO VISIT

Join me for an artist workshop on the Lower East Side this weekend!

Artist Workshop: How to Prepare for a Studio Visit
Saturday, May 20, 2-3pm
Equity Gallery, 245 Broome Street, NYC
FREE
RSVP: info@nyartistsequity.org

A studio visit can make or break career opportunities for an artist. Whether a curator is looking to include art in an exhibition, a collector is coming to view a body of work, or a dealer is interested in representing your work, there is a certain art to the visit.  Heather Zises, an independent curator, will guide you on best practices for a studio visit including what to say, how to display your work, and which rules to break, if any.

 

 

May 15 / 2017
Author Heather Zises
Category Art, Press, Up and Coming
Comments No Comments

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY- 3.8.2017


Be Bold For Change

International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.

International Women’s Day (IWD) has been observed since in the early 1900’s – a time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialized world that saw booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies. International Women’s Day is a collective day of global celebration and a call for gender parity. No one government, NGO, charity, corporation, academic institution, women’s network or media hub is solely responsible for International Women’s Day. Many organizations declare an annual IWD theme that supports their specific agenda or cause, and some of these are adopted more widely with relevance than others.

“The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights,” says world-renowned feminist, journalist and social and political activist Gloria Steinem. Thus International Women’s Day is all about unity, celebration, reflection, advocacy and action – whatever that looks like globally at a local level. But one thing is for sure, International Women’s Day has been occurring for well over a century – and continue’s to grow from strength to strength.

 

March 08 / 2017
Author Heather Zises
Category Events, News
Comments No Comments

NYC GETS NASTY

 

NASTY WOMEN
Thursday, January 12 – Sunday, January 15, 2017
Opening Reception: Thursday, January 12, 2017, 7-10pm
Accompanying Programs: Friday, January 13 – Sunday, January 15, 2017

2017 is Year of the Nasty Woman.

In 2016 it was spoken, and in 2017 it was sealed.

What do I mean by this?

I’m referencing the first line of a renowned poem that is recited during the Jewish High Holidays, called Unetanneh Tokef (which means ‘Let us speak of the awesomeness’ in Hebrew): On Rosh Hashanah it is written, and on Yom Kippur it is sealed. Whether standing in Temple or observing at home, the poem epitomizes the High Holiday prayer services for Jews, as they atone for their sins and emotionally prepare for the coming New Year.

The era in which Unetanneh Tokef was written (circa 8th century) was a precarious time for the Jews, full of massacres and forced conversions. Looking at contemporary society, it feels like a precarious time for everyone, and the world is still full of massacres and forced conversions. Not to mention, women are still struggling for equality.

However, depending on how you look at it, Trump may have done contemporary culture a huge favor by tightening our focus.  Instead of yielding to mansplaining, machismo and androcentrism, feminists of this new era–as in women, men and gender variants who champion gender equality and wish to make the world a better domain for all genders–are being redirected with the task of helping feminism evolve.

Kicking off this task with gusto is the NASTY WOMEN NYC Art Exhibition which opens tomorrow in NYC at the Knockdown Center. Conceived of by Roxanne Jackson and Jessamyn Fiore, NASTY WOMEN is a group exhibition that serves to demonstrate solidarity among artists who identify with being a Nasty Woman in the face of threats to roll back women’s rights, individual rights, and abortion rights. NASTY WOMEN will serve as a fundraiser to support organizations defending these rights and to be a platform for organization before the Trump Presidential Inauguration in January. The works in this exhibition will be available for sale and 100% of the proceeds will benefit Planned Parenthood.

The main space of the Knockdown Center will present ten 3D letters approximately twelve feet high each which spell out ‘NASTY WOMEN’. They will be framed out with wood and covered with a strong plastic mesh from which the artworks will be hung- these letters serve as walls for the exhibition, and every work will be hung off or installed in/on these forms. The letters will dramatically run the length of the space creating a NASTY WOMEN monument.

As we look toward the coming year, let’s hope NASTY WOMEN gives voice to an experience that will imprint positively upon all our futures. 

Either way, in 2016 it was spoken, and in 2017 it was sealed.

 

 

 

NY AUTUMN ART SEASON PREVIEW 2016

Curator Heather Zises of (READ)art swinging from Slavs and Tatars’ installation at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery. Courtesy of Rain Embuscado for artnet News.

Curator Heather Zises of (READ)art swinging from Slavs and Tatars’ installation at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery. Courtesy of Rain Embuscado for artnet News.

Fall is around the corner and we are swinging from the rafters with excitement for a new season!  Check out a fun feature by Artnet News called “Your Ultimate Guide to New York Gallery Crawls” on how to navigate the scene. Hope to see you on the trail!

Up + Coming: Fall 2016

Vadis Turner, Black Bell (2016), gouache, ribbon and mixed media

Vadis Turner, Black Bell (2016), gouache, ribbon and mixed media

Vadis Turner: Bells and Burn Piles
Geary Contemporary, September 8 – October 8

Vadis Turner’s new works explore the transformative potential of materials and forms as they relate to processes of birth and regeneration. Her 2016 ”Bells and Burn Piles” exhibition at Geary Contemporary synthesizes these two titular forms to evocative effect. Download exhibition catalogue PDF here.

 

iabf16-001_flyer_3rIndependent Art Book Fair
Preview + Opening Reception: Thursday, September 15, 6-8pm
Fair Dates + Times: September 16 -18, 11am – 7pm
Independent Art Book Fair (IABF)
is a new event bringing together artists, galleries, and independent publishers. Founded by Karen Schaupeter, who also runs Ed Varie gallery, the inaugural fair is set for the weekend of September 16-18. It will take place at the Greenpoint Terminal Warehouse, and will be free and open to the public. It will be held the same weekend as the annual New York Art Book Fair at MoMA PS1 sponsored by Printed Matter, but will be smaller and more intimate than NYABF, which in recent years has drawn increasingly large, festival-like crowds.


1885c0e5-992a-4a98-9ff3-7900987d9d0dfall-fete-2016-bac-montageFall Fête- Paddle8 Benefit Auction
Baryshnikov Center, September 26
Tickets on sale now! Please click here for all event details. Participate in the silent auction in real-time through Paddle8’s online platform, beginning Monday, September 12 until bidding closes Monday, September 26 at 10:30PM EST. Featured artists include Peter D. Gerakaris, Robert Allen Whitman and Christopher BoffoliPreview Now Tickets will raise funds to support performances and residencies at BAC year-round.

 

11da03d6-28f8-46ff-b714-70ba5c6da253Annual Nouveau Classical Project Benefit Honoring Paola Prestini + Titania Inglis
(le) poisson rouge, September 27: 7pm VIP Cocktails, 8pm Awards & Performances
Purchase
tickets here! Also check out the NCP silent auction online–there’s something for everyone, including a private Glenfiddich Whisky tasting, a membership to (le) poisson rouge, and clothing and accessories from favorite indie brands like NOT by Jenny Lai, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Bliss Lau, Warby Parker, and Paige Novick. If you cannot attend the benefit but wish to support NCP and their future projects, please DONATE here.

 

website-homepage-upcoming-monograph-tran-v2_670Come meet Jade Doskow at Pioneer Books in Red Hook for her book launch on October 13th, 7:30pm. There will be signed books available and a one-night-only exhibition of some of the work from the book, in the back of the bookstore.

September 10 / 2016

ANNUAL NCP BENEFIT TO HONOR TWO VISIONARY WOMEN: PAOLA PRESTINI + TITANIA INGLIS

FB Benefit Invite 2

THE NOUVEAU CLASSICAL PROJECT BENEFIT 2016:
HONORING PAOLA PRESTINI AND TITANIA INGLIS

SEPTEMBER 27, 2016 · (LE) POISSON ROUGE, 158 BLEECKER ST, NYC
7 PM VIP COCKTAIL HOUR / 8 PM AWARDS & PERFORMANCES

This fall, The Nouveau Classical Project will celebrate two visionary women at their Annual Benefit: composer Paola Prestini and sustainable fashion designer Titania Inglis. Each of the artists will be honored with a NCP Visionary Award, a tribute which recognizes innovative leaders whose work has made a significant impact in their fields.

NCP has been bringing classical music to new audiences for seven seasons. Please support their upcoming season by purchasing tickets to their Annual Benefit here! And if you are unable to attend in person–gasp!–you can still make a tax-deductible donation here.

ABOUT NCP: The Nouveau Classical Project is a new music ensemble that is “bringing a refreshing edge to the widely conservative genre” of classical music (VICE).  Led by Artistic Director and Pianist Sugar Vendil, NCP creates compelling concerts through dynamic collaborations. NCP’s roots in working with fashion designers evolved into commissioning a variety of artists in its continual exploration of imaginative ways to present and experience new music. Their Annual Benefit allows the group to fulfill their mission of engaging audiences beyond the classical music world through unique performances.

How College Students are Fighting Campus Rape with Art, Humor, and the Guerrilla Gurls

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This article is a cross-post promotion written by Katrina Majkut for Bust.com. It was originally posted on May 31, 2016.  All images via Guerrilla Girls and Guerrilla Girls Broadband.

“Art can seem like an unlikely effective activist strategy in places like colleges that can be bogged down by bureaucracy. Though art curator, Heather Zises points out that, “…artistic expression has an undisputed place in social activism. The role of art in political protest is effective because it attracts public attention in a more democratic way. I think street activist art as opposed to more traditional forms of political protest…sends powerful messages that penetrate our psyches on a deeper level.”

At Columbia University, the students of the anti-rape activist group No Red Tape were growing frustrated. The school’s president, Lee C. Bollinger, is the highest paid president out of 497 colleges, making $4.6 million per year, and the school is planning to build a $7 billion new upper Manhattan campus area called Manhattanville. Locating the funding at a school with an endowment of $9.2 billion to extend the hours of the campus rape crisis center to include weeknights and weekends (when rape is more likely to occur) and pay the crisis center volunteers had failed. The group only encountered resistant and unmotivated administrators toward improving student health services regarding sexual assault; this, even after 2015 graduate Emma Sulkowicz helped bring this collegiate health epidemic to the forefront of U.S. national news.
To add insult to injury, the school’s student council found the budget for three-ply toilet paper.

Not giving into failure, No Red Tape reached out to the art activism group Guerrilla Girls Broadband for help.

Guerrilla Girls Broadband (GGBB) is a sister branch of the famous activism group Guerrilla Girls, Inc., who first brought attention to sexism in the art world in the 1980s. Unlike the Guerrilla Girls, GGBB focuses on outside-world women’s issues and embraces feminism’s intersectionalism and modern technology. Both still wear the signature gorilla masks to honor dead women artists and, originally, to also protect members against being professionally blacklisted in the art world. Appalled by what was happening on U.S. campuses, the GGBB designed a college street-art poster campaign, #GGBBCampus, inspired by classic Guerrilla Girls protest posters to help combat the issue.

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The inaugural program has visited three colleges in the past five months: Stonehill College (MA), Oberlin College (OH) and Columbia University (NY). GGBB creates a customized visit to address the specific student needs regarding sexual assault with a focus on the workshop. At Stonehill, GGBB dispelled basic misconceptions about rape and feminism. At Oberlin, a predominantly white campus, the event highlighted rape and Black Lives Matter. At Columbia, it aimed to challenge institutional power and policies. #GGBBCampus program gives students an artistic stage for their distinct voices of to be heard while educating students how to use art and humor as an effective activist tool.

Humor is an unlikely key component in the workshop or activism in general. The original Guerrilla Girls are famous for using it to address serious issues, an avant-garde activist approach when they started in 1985.

Showing students how to effectively use it is no easy task.

Humor can seem like an unlikely strategy or even an unwelcomed one, especially if someone has ever been the victim of sexual assault. However, smart comedy is a tool more commonly used by a new generation of feminists and concerned citizens (Lady Parts Justice uses it to address reproductive rights). It can also be a cathartic outlet for necessary personal expression. While students are not studying for majors that will lead them to the Comedy Cellar in New York, GGBB teaches students how to identify comedic, activist fuel like personal truths, fact-based arguments (from credible resources that are Chicago-style cited—this is college after all) and sharp, absurd observations. A great example of this is Columbia having the budget for three-ply toilet paper but not for better rape center hours (Amy Poehler’s Upright Citizens Brigade calls this unusual twist “game”). GGBB guides students to bravely and constructively frame their ideas so that they don’t exploit or offend anyone, too. The aim is to use well-crafted humor and intelligence to create positive calls to action that will hopefully make a tough topic more approachable, lower an audience’s hostile defenses, drive a salient point and be a cathartic tool for survivors.

Columbia_Univ._No_Red_Tape_Poster_March_2016_copySchool administrators do not always appreciate this stark honesty. Before the GGBB poster event, the president of Stonehill College and his colleagues, fearing GGBB’s pro-abortion beliefs, met more than a handful of times to find an excuse to cancel the activist group (Stonehill is a Catholic college). In a formal letter to the college, GGBB said, “We acknowledge that the Guerrilla Girls Broadband may not share the same views on abortion as Stonehill, but we believe by putting aside our differences, the more important need to address rape and sexual assault on campus can be met. Our intention is to come with open arms and focus solely on sexual assault, offering your students much needed support in a creative and safe environment.” GGBB agreed to not mention abortion and their abortion-related projects unless asked directly.

Regardless, days before the event, the school held one more, but this time, secret meeting with the school’s lawyers in a final effort to “disinvite” the group; the organizing professors and department heads discovered the trick just hours before and joined uninvited to defend GGBB.

The lawyers allegedly argued that GGBB had violated their verbal contract by failing to mention they were the Broadband group and not the Guerrilla Girls, Inc.—a completely false accusation, nor reasonable grounds for banishment. The professors argued that an excellent college education included teaching students how to coexist peacefully and productively with people or groups outside their own expressed ideas and beliefs, an essential component to creating successful alumni.

In the end, the GGBB advocates made a successful case, and #GGBBCampus occurred without incident. It was a positive experience for all involved; though unaware of the school’s actions, the Stonehill students ironically created the poster line, “For other people’s comfort, you’re experience will be censored.”
The reluctance of both Columbia and Stonehill administrators to address or improve the campus conversation, health services and policies around sexual assault shows that anti-rape campus activism is still necessary. This, despite a more than 1000% increase in Title IX complaints against U.S. colleges with the Department of Education Office for Civil Rights between 2009 and 2014; some are already facing threats of federal funding removal.

Oberlin_Workshop_Poster_2015_copy

As colleges are still failing to protect students from sexual assault and discrimination, #GGBBCampus meets a very widespread need for the students who desperately want to be heard…and maybe need a little cathartic relief too. What struck GGBB was the students’, professors’ and departments’ commitments to the cause and their shared desire to build a healthier community despite a lack of support from their institution. “Today the energy for social justice on campuses is amazing! GGBB loves connecting with students who are mad about sexual assault, racism and discrimination. [Together] we all get an improved understanding of the established order and what needs to happen to shake it up and transform the dialogue [about campus rape],” GGBB member, Minnette de Silva. It’s that relentless and passionate activist spirit that inspired GGBB to create the intersectional-based campaign with college students.

Art can seem like an unlikely effective activist strategy in places like colleges that can be bogged down by bureaucracy. Though art curator, Heather Zises points out that, “…artistic expression has an undisputed place in social activism. The role of art in political protest is effective because it attracts public attention in a more democratic way. I think street activist art as opposed to more traditional forms of political protest…sends powerful messages that penetrate our psyches on a deeper level.” One indisputable perk to creating an art activist poster is that it will live on well past involved students’ graduation dates; those posters are now part of activist art history.

However, the real benefit is that the GGBB sisterhood is sharing their critical thinking strategies, organizational skills and knowledge to the next generation of activists and feminists, showing students that the fight against violence and discrimination is much more achievable and bearable as a united front.

Images via Guerrilla Girls and Guerrilla Girls Broadband

Katrina Majkut (My’ kit), a visual artist and writer in NYC, founded the feminist wedding lifestyle website, TheFeministBride.com (FacebookInstagram and Twitter).  Mic Media identified her as one of four international artists starting a new chapter in feminist art, so feel free to check out her artwork too!

FRIEZE WEEK NYC 2016

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Thanks to April showers, New York is bursting with an abundance of cherry blossoms and large scale art fairs in May. Read below for a shortlist of “must see” exhibitions that are blooming all over town. Ready, Set, Grow!

SZ NY May 2016 Green Circles_low res copy

Salon Zürcher May 2 – 8 | Galerie Zürcher, NYC
The 13th Edition of SALON ZÜRCHER, NY seeks to represent an emerging art world inside and outside of New York City. Between their two galleries, Zürcher Paris / New York has hosted 12 mini art fairs, which have been major successes and garnered very positive media attention. Salon Zürcher, NY offers visitors an intimate alternative to the large-scale, superstore style fairs during Frieze in New York. The salon will function as an accessible yet impressive, small but representative art fair, this year showcasing 6 galleries including galleries from Brussels, Paris, and New York.

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Art New York | CONTEXT New York May 3 – 8  | Pier 94, NYC
Art Miami, the preeminent producer of leading international contemporary and modern art fairs, presents Art New York for its second year and the debut of CONTEXT New York this spring.  The two highly-anticipated events will showcase artwork from more than 150 galleries representing nearly 1,200 artists from 50 countries.

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Flux Art Fair
 May 3 – 31 | Various locations throughout Harlem, NYC
FLUX presents all Public Art Projects in various locations throughout Harlem’s parks and boulevards. The only contemporary art fair mounted in the neighborhood, FLUX Public Art Projects embodies Harlem’s creative spirit and cultural significance by bringing together original works by over 40 innovative artists – over 50 percent of whom are women. FLUX Public Art Projects is presented in collaboration with NYC Parks, NYC Department of Transportation’s Art Program and Marcus Garvey Park Alliance.

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Collective Design
 May 4- 8 | Skylight Clarkson Sq, NYC
The Collective Design fair is a commercial and educational platform featuring thoughtfully selected works from an international roster of established and emerging galleries. The fair has leveraged the city’s energy to become a vital part of New York’s cultural calendar, cultivating a spirit of discovery that appeals to both avid patrons and those new to collecting design.

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Portal
 May 4 – 10, Federal Hall National Memorial, NYC
Following the success of the Governors Island Art Fair, 4heads, the artist-run nonprofit behind the event, is launching a new art fair called Portal. Presenting approximately 40 participants, the fair is closely aligned to 4head’s mission to provide a platform for emerging artists in historically significant landmarks across New York.The differentiating factor of Portal is that there are no galleries, dealers, or selection committees involved in the vetting process, effectively cutting out the middle man and putting the focus on the artists.

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Frieze New York
 May 5 – 8 | Randall’s Island Park, NYC
Frieze New York offers the opportunity to encounter an exceptional quality and range of artwork, featuring the world’s most exciting emerging talents together with iconic names in modern and contemporary art. Independent curators have specially advised on sections Focus, Frame and Spotlight to encourage discovery and connoisseurship. Visitors can also experience a dynamic series of talks, new artist commissions and the city’s most talked about restaurants – all in a bespoke structure, designed for the experience of art and overlooking the East River in Randall’s Island Park, Manhattan.

NADA
NADA New York May 5 – 8, Basketball City, NYC
Now in its 5th edition, NADA New York is dedicated to showcasing new art and to celebrating the rising talents from around the globe. NADA’s non-profit model has always been a flexible and adaptable one, which continues to respond to the needs of its exhibitors and the art world at large by creatively reinventing the experience and presentation of art in a fair environment.

154 Fair
1:54 New York
 May 6 – 8 | Pioneer Works, Brooklyn

1:54 is a platform for galleries, artists, curators, art centers and museums involved in African and Africa related projects and aims to promote art by established and emerging talents amongst an international audience. 1:54 New York 2016 will showcase 17 exhibitors, presenting over 60 African and African diasporan artists at Pioneer Works, an outstanding industrial building in the vibrant and creative neighborhood of Brooklyn dedicated to the nurturing and showcasing of art.

April 26 / 2016