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ETO OTITIGBE | “Materiel Remains” reviewed in The Washington Post

25 Jun

Eto Otitigbe

Review by Mark Jenkins

June 24, 2022 at 6:00 a.m. EDT

“Dr. Nova,” by Eto Otitigbe, in the exhibit “Materiel Remains: Consider This a Blueprint, a Series of Blueprints.” (Eto Otitigbe)

At first glance, the Eto Otitigbe paintings at Morton Fine Art don’t seem to have much connection with his best known ventures, which are public sculptures. But the swirling, inky facades of the artist’s “Materiel Remains: Consider This a Blueprint, a Series of Blueprints” are inscribed with intricate designs that have an architectural quality. These half-hidden forms do suggest blueprints, albeit for purely theoretical structures.

Otitigbe, who teaches sculpture at Brooklyn College, generally paints on valchromat, a variety of colored plywood introduced about 25 years ago. The artist buries the substance’s bright hues under mostly black paint, which contrasts the lines engraved by a computer-controlled process. The cleanly cut patterns are as precise as the applied pigment is loose and smeary.

The artist is a member of the design team for the Memorial to Enslaved Laborers at the University of Virginia, and his paintings do allude indirectly to hidden African American history. But they can also be seen as embodying the hidden structures that underlie a seemingly disordered universe. Trained as an engineer at MIT and Stanford, Otitigbe imposes structure even as he indulges painterly intuition.

Eto Otitigbe: Materiel Remains: Consider This a Blueprint, a Series of Blueprints Through June 28 at Morton Fine Art, 52 O St. NW, No. 302. Open by appointment.

di Rosa Museum of Contemporary Art | ADIA MILLETT | A Force of Nature

16 Jun

JULY 23 – OCTOBER 30, 2022

adia millett: a force of nature | opening july 23

“the land at di rosa… changing like the direction of the seasonal smoke, reveals to us that with death comes new life.” -adia millett

Adia Millett: A Force of Nature presents new paintings, textiles and sculptural installations by the Oakland-based artist, created in response to di Rosa’s distinctive landscape. “The land at di Rosa,” Millett writes, “lush with soaring vultures, cracks in the decomposing earth, traces of snakeskin, and endless layers of shadows, arouse our creative minds to remember where we come from. The multitude of colors, changing like the direction of the seasonal smoke, reveals to us that with death comes new life.”

Ranging across diverse media, Millett’s practice is rooted in “taking things apart, removing, replacing, cutting, pasting, sewing and building.” Evoking “the mended shapes of an old quilt, or polygonal segments of a cathedral window,” the works suggest “the importance of renewal and rebuilding, not only through the artistic process, but also through the possibility of transformative change.” Human beings, like earthquakes, forest fires or floods, are also forces of nature.

Millett earned her BFA from UC Berkeley followed by an MFA from CalArts. Her work has been exhibited at institutions including the Studio Museum in Harlem; the Craft and Folk Museum in Los Angeles; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Atlanta; the Santa Monica Museum of Art; and the Contemporary Art Center, New Orleans.

related programs

July 23: opening reception

October 29: Artist talk

triangle
Adia Millett, Snake in the Fire, 2022.
“The countless creatures I witnessed living on the land, including a baby rattler, became mirrors. We are able to see ourselves in other living beings. As they navigate the land, so do we. I imagine the young snake using its senses to transition from the challenges of one season to another. Here the triangle-shaped painting, not only integrated the shades of red to symbolize fire, but blue, green, yellow, and gold, for the water, air, and earth. Like the snake, we move, shed, and thrive.”
a blue and white dress on a wood floor
Quilted Ancestor: Earth (unfinished)
The three Quilted Ancestors titled Sun, Moon, and Earth were created to bring the fabric to life. As a viewer, we can begin to imagine a ghost, spirit, or loved one beneath the shrouds. In turn, the titles suggest that we can then image our planet or the moon as an entity, or family member. The quilts are covered with pieces of fabric that reveal the layers and complexity of who we are.
a pair of blue and white underwear
The Collective ( 1 of 10)
The Collective is a series of ten abstract forms, slightly resembling the shape of a figure or mummy. These forms are designed to float amongst the wall, each one unique and still connected to the others. Millett does not see these as body forms, but rather an energetic trace within the body. Like all the work in this exhibition, they are emblematic of transition, elevation, and the many dimensions of who we are.
a colorful rug with a design
Grandmother is perhaps the most personal piece in this exhibition. It starts with a piece of an unfinished quilt top from Millett’s grandmother. Adia adds hand-stitching in and around it and moves outward creating a mandala of feathers, most of which were collected from the land at Di Rosa. Earth tones surround what Adia calls a “medicine wheel”. Being the great-grandchild of Indigenous and African American slave foremothers, Adia uses her art to pay homage to the woman who came before her. The vast elements of the earthwork as a connection point to her matriarchal lineage.

di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art 5200 Sonoma Hwy, Napa, CA 94559 | 707-226-5991 | Hours | Contact

©2022 di Rosa Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy | Site Credits

Available Artwork by ADIA MILLETT

ETO OTITIGBE | Surface Magazine | Artist Statement

13 Jun

ARTIST STATEMENT

Eto Otitigbe’s Blueprint for Excavating Unseen Histories

Seeking to bring history’s repressed narratives to light, the Philadelphia artist meticulously engraves remnants of his own public sculptures onto wood panels to create imaginative inquests for future archaeologists.

BY RYAN WADDOUPS

June 13, 2022

“Don’t You Know That Eye Can Read Your Eyes” (2022) by Eto Otitigbe. Courtesy of the artist and Morton Fine Art

Here, we ask an artist to frame the essential details behind one of their latest works.

Bio: Eto Otitigbe, 45, Brooklyn and Philadelphia (@etootitigbe)

Title of workDon’t You Know That Eye Can Read Your Eyes (2022).

Where to see it: “Materiel Remains” at Morton Fine Art Gallery (52 O St NW, #302, Washington, DC) until June 28.

Three words to describe it: Chemistry, polyvisual, medusa.

What was on your mind at the time: Rummaging through my past and trying to get out of my own way. I wanted to create an image that was about seeing through darkness.

An interesting feature that’s not immediately noticeable: Below many thin layers of acrylic paint is an engraved aluminum plate that was treated with a fluid wash of gun-blackener, which brings with it associations to industry and weaponry. There are a few areas where I removed the acrylic paint and you can see the base layer of metal along with subtle reflections of ambient color and light. The color palette is inspired by syntax highlighting color schemes that are used in software programming languages. This color scheme in particular favors green as a base color alongside other saturated colors that create a sort of electrified static against dark black computer screens. Each color is representative of a unique way that language functions while scripting computer code.

How it reflects your practice as a whole: My process starts with drawing linear patterns-abstractions, or abstract-actions, of structural elements from my previous sculptures and public art projects. Rearranging or remixing prior blueprints expands the visual language of each project and conjoins them. Using software and digital fabrication, the drawings are carved into aluminum plates. I work with artists who run machine shops allowing for detours from the computational blueprints. During the engraving process, machines are stopped, and adjusted, toolpaths are changed; resulting in improvised variations. This process creates branches of work as the concept drawing is met with formal concerns raised by the material. Sanding occurs between each layer to create a sense of visual tension between the carved lines and liquid forms. Likened to a kind of excavation, the engraved lines fluctuate between visibility and invisibility among the layers of acrylic and gun blackened.

One song that captures its essence: I keep looking at and looking into this piece. Siba Dub Plate sets the tone for this kind of introspective journey.

Available Artwork by ETO OTITIGBE

ETO OTITIGBE | Materiel Remains

1 Jun
Materiel Remains : Consider this a blueprint, a series of blueprints.
A solo exhibition of new work by ETO OTITIGBE
May 28th – June 28th, 2022
Contact the gallery for viewing by appointment, price list, additional information and acquisition.(202) 628-2787 (call or text)
info@mortonfineart.com

Available Artwork by ETO OTITIGBE
Shadows, 2022, 36″x27″, aluminum and acrylic paint mounted on wood panel
About Materiel Remains
I construct speculative objects that echo within a residual future and the reminiscent present. These objects interrupt urban spaces, appearing to be foreign bodies, parts of an unknown whole, or agents of change. –  Eto OtitigbeMorton Fine Art is pleased to present Materiel Remains: Consider this a blueprint, a series of blueprints., a solo exhibition and a new series of works by the multidisciplinary artist Eto Otitigbe. A creator best known for his public art installations and site-specific interventions, Otitigbe’s work revolves around the recovery of lost or repressed historical narratives and their visual possibilities within the public eye. In his first solo exhibition with Morton Fine Art, Otitigbe reflects on the recent history of public art and its institutional deployment. Materiel Remains will be on view from May 28 – June 28, 2022 in MFA’s Washington, D.C. gallery.
In his work as a painter, sculptor, curator and fabricator, Otitigbe distorts the materialist distinction between blueprint and artifact, as well as the functional and contextual differences between monuments for posterity and temporary obstructions. Assuming a temporal framework that unravels intent and disaggregates historical coherence, the artist recognizes history as a grand artifice formed from the selective privileging of facts. In this conceptual vision, the role of the monument becomes a manifestation of historical record, visualizing and physically implementing preconceived narratives into present public space while making room for echoes of the past to take shape. Otitigbe’s thoughtful, tactile inversions take on the parlance and pose of public art while tacitly alienating in their collective messaging, creating specific objects that are both recognizable and not, and which play around themes of race, imperialism and historical teleology to excavate forgotten pasts and evoke new futures.
Group installation of new works from 2022, 20″x16″, valchromat & acrylic paint mounted on panel

Materiel (sometimes, matériel) refers to equipment, apparatuses, or supplies which are strategically deployed by an institution or group. Primarily a military term, the artist’s co-option of the word in reference to his own work draws attention to the tactility and provenance of his gallery works, as well as the specific geographies of the sites they refer to. Through the incision of engravature, and in traces of paint which stipple each work like a remnant, Otitigbe explores hidden sides of the same artifacts – rummaging through the residue of the large-scale public sculpture projects he’s made over the past four years to rememorialize them from ambiguous perspectives. His fusion of mixed media drawings, sculptural objects, and plate engravings create a new form in turn, somewhere between an object’s schematic conception and its material realization.

Dr. Nova (diptych), 2022, 60″x72″, aluminum and acrylic paint mounted on wood panel
By placing in dialogue the conceptual frameworks, design blueprints, specific histories and local landscapes which led to the realization of each work of public art as a discrete interactive form, Otitigbe unearths a profoundly materialist study of modern signifiers in public space. In his current public projects – including his work as a member of the Design Team for the Memorial to Enslaved Laborers at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville – Otitigbe has been involved in what theorists of Afrofuturism might term “countermemory”: assemblages which contest the colonial archive to establish the historical character of Black culture. In this current exhibition, Otitigbe collects the remains of these projects for a study of the materiel in the imaginative inquest of a future archaeologist: attempting to both trace and fuse the phenomena of recent history into a blueprint for the previously unseen, as well as to posit new futurist perspectives from which to study and critique the recent past. 
Available artwork by ETO OTITIGBE

Eto Otitigbe is interested in recovering buried narratives and giving form to the unseen. He is a polymedia artist whose interdisciplinary practice includes sculpture, performance, installation, and public art. Otitigbe’s public works includes temporary installations in Socrates Sculpture Park (Queens, NY) and Randall’s Island Park (New York, NY). His current public commissions include: Peaceful Journey (Mt. Vernon, NY, 2022); Cascode (Philadelphia, PA); Emanativ (Harlem, NY); Passing Point (Alexandria, VA). He was a member of the Design Team for the Memorial to Enslaved Laborers at UVA (Charlottesville, VA) where he contributed to the creative expression on the memorial’s exterior surface.

Otitigbe’s work has been in solo and group exhibitions that include 2013 Bronx Calling: The Second AIM Biennial, organized by the Bronx Museum and Wave Hill; Abandoned Orchestra, Sound Sculpture installation and performance with Zane Rodulfo, Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY; The Golden Hour, Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, GA, curated by Oshun D. Layne; and Bronx: Africa, Longwood Gallery, Bronx, NY, curated by Atim Oton and Leronn P. Brooks. 

Otitigbe’s fellowships and awards include the CEC Artslink Project Award for travel and cultural projects in Egypt and the Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship at the National Museum of African Art where he explored the intersection of Urhobo language and historical objects. 

His curatorial projects include directing the es ORO Gallery in Jersey City, NJ (2007-09) and co-curating, alongside Amanda Kerdahi, the Topophilia Exhibition in Nees, Denmark (2017) as part of the ET4U Meetings Festival in Denmark.

He is an Assistant Professor of Sculpture in the Art Department at Brooklyn College. He received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from MIT, an M.S. in Product Design from Stanford University (M.S.) and an MFA in Creative Practice from the University of Plymouth. 

He has been represented by Morton Fine Art since 2022.

Eto Otitigbe is interested in recovering buried narratives and giving form to the unseen. He is a polymedia artist whose interdisciplinary practice includes sculpture, performance, installation, and public art. Otitigbe’s public works includes temporary installations in Socrates Sculpture Park (Queens, NY) and Randall’s Island Park (New York, NY). His current public commissions include: Peaceful Journey (Mt. Vernon, NY, 2022); Cascode (Philadelphia, PA); Emanativ (Harlem, NY); Passing Point (Alexandria, VA). He was a member of the Design Team for the Memorial to Enslaved Laborers at UVA (Charlottesville, VA) where he contributed to the creative expression on the memorial’s exterior surface.

Otitigbe’s work has been in solo and group exhibitions that include 2013 Bronx Calling: The Second AIM Biennial, organized by the Bronx Museum and Wave Hill; Abandoned Orchestra, Sound Sculpture installation and performance with Zane Rodulfo, Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY; The Golden Hour, Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, GA, curated by Oshun D. Layne; and Bronx: Africa, Longwood Gallery, Bronx, NY, curated by Atim Oton and Leronn P. Brooks. 

Otitigbe’s fellowships and awards include the CEC Artslink Project Award for travel and cultural projects in Egypt and the Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship at the National Museum of African Art where he explored the intersection of Urhobo language and historical objects. 

His curatorial projects include directing the es ORO Gallery in Jersey City, NJ (2007-09) and co-curating, alongside Amanda Kerdahi, the Topophilia Exhibition in Nees, Denmark (2017) as part of the ET4U Meetings Festival in Denmark.

He is an Assistant Professor of Sculpture in the Art Department at Brooklyn College. He received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from MIT, an M.S. in Product Design from Stanford University (M.S.) and an MFA in Creative Practice from the University of Plymouth. 

He has been represented by Morton Fine Art since 2022.

About Morton Fine Art
Founded in 2010 in Washington, DC by curator Amy Morton, Morton Fine Art (MFA) is a fine art gallery and curatorial group that collaborates with art collectors and visual artists to inspire fresh ways of acquiring contemporary art. Firmly committed to the belief that art collecting can be cultivated through an educational stance, MFA’s mission is to provide accessibility to museum-quality contemporary art through a combination of substantive exhibitions and a welcoming platform for dialogue and exchange of original voice. Morton Fine Art specializes in a stellar roster of nationally and internationally renowned artists as well as has an additional focus on artwork of the African Diaspora.

Morton Fine Art founded the trademark *a pop-up project in 2010. *a pop-up project is MFA’s mobile gallery component which hosts temporary curated exhibitions nationally.

Gallery hours:
By appointment only. Mask still required.

Morton Fine Art
52 O St NW #302
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 628-2787
info@mortonfineart.com
www.mortonfineart.com

LIZETTE CHIRRIME reviewed in The Washington Post

6 May

Lizette Chirrime

Review by Mark Jenkins

Today at 6:00 a.m. EDT

“Somewhere on Earth” by Lizette Chirrime. (Lizette Chirrime and Morton Fine Art)

Mozambican artist Lizette Chirrime makes art by stitching together scraps of secondhand fabric and other found materials. Although this sort of patchwork is usually considered humble, Chirrime’s themes are heroic and even cosmic. Among the pieces in her Morton Fine Art show, “Rituals for Souls Search,” is “Somewhere on Earth,” in which textile strips coalesce into a sort of globe. Most of the narrow ribbons flow from one side of the tapestry to the other, but the ones that approach the circle bend into an orbit as if warped by a black hole’s pull.

More typical of Chirrime’s compositions are those that center on human figures, in two cases identified as single mothers. One of the solitary matriarchs is positioned above a photo of a woman’s face and outlined in multiple series of roughly parallel red stitches. Equally expressive is “The Boy Who Stopped the Snake,” in which the child who clutches a brown serpent is a silhouette of hot-colored tatters against a backdrop of blues and greens.

The poses in these tableaux are meant to be celebratory, and reflect the artist’s overcoming her traumatic childhood. “I literally ‘restitched’ myself together,” explains her statement. The use of castoff materials is an ecological statement and the imagery is often spiritual, but the essence of Chirrime’s art is autobiographical.

Lizette Chirrime: Rituals for Souls Search Through May 17 at Morton Fine Art, 52 O St. NW, No. 302. Open by appointment.

Available Artwork by LIZETTE CHIRRIME

Mozambican textile artist LIZETTE CHIRRIME speaks to her inspiration and art practice

2 May

Video credit: Jarrett Hendrix

Working primarily with recycled materials, Lizette Chirrime’s practice has a marked foundation in personal and traditional spirituality. Chirrime describes her creative process as “a prayer to the Universe”–an intention to heal the earth from overconsumption, pollution and greed. Sourcing scrap materials from her environment and immediate communities, Chirrime uses fabric, burlap, rope, paint, beads, leather and more to produce dynamic collages that speak to African womanhood, and more broadly, the human condition. Finding inspiration in the natural world–the vastness of the ocean, the hues of the sunrise, the evolution of a storm–Chirrime’s pieces are layered with a poetic consideration for what she calls “the essence of life.”

Her solo exhibition “Rituals for Soul Search” is on view at Morton Fine Art in Washington, DC by appointment through May 22, 2022.

Visit http://www.mortonfineart.com to view available artwork by LIZETTE CHIRRIME.

ROSEMARY FEIT COVEY’s solo “Descartes Died in the Snow” featured in On Paper Journal of The Washington Print Club

28 Apr

Available Artwork by ROSEMARY FEIT COVEY

LIZETTE CHIRRIME | Rituals for Soul Search | in ArtPlugged

13 Apr

Lizette Chirrime: Rituals for Soul Search

Exhibitions

Lizette Chirrime: Rituals for Soul Search
April 23 to May 22, 2022
Morton Fine Art
52 O Street NW #302
Washington, DC

Morton Fine Art (52 O Street NW #302 Washington, DC) is pleased to present Rituals for Soul Search, a solo exhibition of multimedia textile works by Mozambican artist, Lizette Chirrime; on view from April 23 to May 22, 2022. Presenting an array of collaged pieces that foreground her relationship to self and home, this body of work blends abstract, symbolic and figurative imagery as a means to analyze the largely unseen forces that guide and determine our realities.

Lizette Chirrime
Portrait of the artist
Courtesy of the artist and Morton Fine Art

Working primarily with recycled materials, Lizette Chirrime’s practice has a marked foundation in personal and traditional spirituality. Chirrime describes her creative process as “a prayer to the Universe”–an intention to heal the earth from overconsumption, pollution and greed. Sourcing scrap materials from her environment and immediate communities, Chirrime uses fabric, burlap, rope, paint, beads, leather and more to produce dynamic collages that speak to African womanhood, and more broadly, the human condition.

Lizette Chirrime– The Boy Who Stopped the Snake, 2014
Fabric collage 58 x 50″
Courtesy of the artist and Morton Fine Art

Finding inspiration in the natural world–the vastness of the ocean, the hues of the sunrise, the evolution of a storm–Chirrime’s pieces are layered with a poetic consideration for what she calls “the essence of life.”

Foregrounding her relationship to heritage and presence, Chirrime uses shades of amber, blue and red to produce works that evoke sentiments of love, loss, dissolution and connection. In the piece titled African Single Mother, a woman’s form stitched from black cloth stands alone, as an aged portrait of a maternal figure watches closely in the background.

Lizette Chirrime
As Minhas Percorridas, 2022 37 x 59.5″
Fabric and mixed media stitched on canvasCourtesy of the artist and Morton Fine Art

Speaking to ancestry and guidance, the single mother’s aloneness is made complicated by the ephemeral eye of a woman who has been here before. In another piece, The Boy Who Stopped the Snake, a multicolored masculine figure, constructed from hundreds of pieces of African fabric, holds a colossal serpent stitched of patterned brown cloth–the boy is dynamic, having achieved mastery over that which would have otherwise caused destruction.

Lizette Chirrime
African Single Mother, 2021
Fabric collage and machine sewing 44 x 34.50″
Courtesy of the artist and Morton Fine Art

In newer works, Chirrime foregrounds stitching techniques as a means to create complex landscapes and figurative imagery. Primarily selecting strips of fabric in shades of blue and red, the resultant pieces evoke sentiments of territorial exploration, as the colors of the lived environment are saturated and made alive.

In a piece titled As Minhas Percorridas–which translates to My Travels–Chirrime creates a layered and multi-directional mosaic of her life’s journey, situating the home as a space of respite. Similarly, in Connexão Ancestral, the artist weaves together 24 distinct stitched works as a representation of the largely unseen familial forces, which collectively, form the tapestry of life.

In all works presented in Rituals for Soul Search, Chirrime is in direct conversation with soul and spirit, consistently seeking purpose within the Universe and always led by an intuitive understanding of materiality. In her own words: “I let my soul decide which way to go… I never know where I’m going. Only what I need to narrate and express.”

Learn more about Rituals for Soul Search

©2022 Lizette Chirrime, Morton Fine Art

Available Artwork by LIZETTE CHIRRIME

ROSEMARY FEIT COVEY’s solo “Descartes Died in the Snow” reviewed in The Washington Post

18 Mar

Art

Review

In the galleries: Uncovering life’s fragility amid ecological losses

Artist’s works are an enduring reminder of environmental crises within a global consciousness

By Mark Jenkins

Contributing reporter

March 18, 2022 at 6:00 a.m. EDT

Artist Rosemary Feit Covey’s “Stained Grass” incorporates her vision of nature at risk. (Rosemary Feit Covey and Morton Fine Art)
Covey’s “Blossoms Fall II.” (Rosemary Feit Covey and Morton Fine Art)

Somewhere in most of Rosemary Feit Covey’s recent artworks are woodcut prints, detailed renderings of birds, bones and butterfly wings. But the zoological imagery can be deeply submerged in compositions so layered that they verge on being relief sculptures. The South Africa-born local artist’s “Descartes Died in the Snow” show, named for one of her mixed-media pictures on display at Morton Fine Art, both depicts and simulates nature’s fecundity.

The largest piece, and one of the oldest, 2017′s “Black Ice” is a monumental painting of a glacial scene stretched across eight vertical canvases in the manner of a traditional Japanese screen. It is simpler and more direct than many of these artworks, yet shares several qualities. It’s nearly monochromatic, portrays ecological threats and mixes customary artistic materials with shredded plastic, a substance that exemplifies mankind’s intrusions on the natural world.

Inspired in part by the organic networks generated by fungi, Covey fills her pictures with repeated organic forms, whether the animal skeletons of “Broken Earth” or the firefly-like pinpoints of “Panspermia III.” The latter is among the show’s most colorful works, but its many hues are buried in a complex array that appears black and white from a distance. The colors are subordinate to the whole, as are the recycled plastic mixed with pigment, or the tiny black magnets that hold in place the myriad collage pieces. Covey’s vision is of nature at risk, yet nonetheless growing abundantly and every which way.

Rosemary Feit Covey: Descartes Died in the Snow Through March 31 at Morton Fine Art, 52 O St. NW, No. 302. Open by appointment.

Available artwork by ROSEMARY FEIT COVEY

STEPHON SENEGAL | “Making Space” | New Allegheny Art Gallery

8 Mar

New Allegheny Art Gallery, “Making Space” opens

Mo Mansour, Features Editor

March 4, 2022

New+Allegheny+Art+Gallery%2C+Making+Space+opens

Gallery|4 Photos

The Allegheny Art Galleries are showcasing the work of four artists in the recently opened “Making Space.” The gallery is located in the Doane Hall of Art and opened on Tuesday, March 1, and will continue to be open to the public until April 2.
“This is an exhibition that is a little bit of a departure from what we often do,” said Assistant Professor of Art History Paula Burleigh, who worked with the director of Erie Arts & Culture, Patrick Fisher, to get in touch with the artists and to get their work in the gallery. “(This gallery) was an effort to kind of recognize the really exciting work that’s being done in Erie right now by Erie Arts & Culture.” The artists featured are all alumni of the Erie Arts & Culture month-long residency program. The program is designed in partnership with the Florida based arts non-profit Long Road Projects to put contemporary artists from all over the country and the world in the Erie community and give them a month of “dedicated time and space to reflect, research, and create new bodies of work — outside of their usual environments,” according to their website. The four artists whose work is featured in “Making Space” are Gonzalo Hernandez, Sharon Norwood, Hiromi Moneyhun and Stephon Senegal, each artist coming from a different cultural background that influences the work being shown in the gallery.
Hernandez is originally from Peru and uses his familiarity with Peruvian textiles in his work. Norwood is African-American and her work centers around that experience and the folklore that surrounds that experience both historically and contemporary. Moneyhun was born in Kyoto, and despite moving to Florida in 2004, references her background in her art, with many of her illustrated work being a combination of more traditional Japanese art with the heightened contemporaneousness of modern age Japan. Senegal is focused on West Africa, taking influence from the stories and mythologies found there for his art.
“I think all the artists in the show are really thinking about the space of the gallery and trying to disrupt what Sharon Norwood calls ‘the historically white space of the gallery,’” Burleigh said.
Burleigh said that the pieces thread together throughout the gallery.
“We can think about the gallery as a white cube, you know, we are very resolutely white walls,” Burleigh said. “Historically, it’s been a kind of a racially monolithic space that was exclusionary, and I think all of these artists are really thinking explicitly about that in the way that they are making space in their work. For stories, narratives, new mythologies proliferate from a range of communities and cultures. And so, they’re all now based in the United States, but in many instances, they’re working from communities that connect to their own Heritage’s.” The next show that the Allegheny Art gallery will be hosting is the annual open student show. Unlike the other student shows that take place during the year which are tied to course work like the junior seminar or the senior comp, the annual open student show is open to all Allegheny students. Students’ major and whether they have taken an art class before are not factors, however just because a piece of art is submitted does not mean that it will be put in the gallery. After two days of “intake,” when the art is submitted, a third-party judge not affiliated with the college comes in to evaluate the works.. The student work that is not accepted into the gallery is not discarded or disregarded, but collected by the Student Art Society and is shown in the Box Gallery. There are also the two other student shows happening in the spring semester.
“Making Space” will also serve as a gathering space for a music event featuring Douglas Jurs, assistant professor of music, as well as a visiting artist on March 11. A virtual panel discussion featuring all four artists will take place Tuesday, March 15 beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Available artwork by STEPHON SENEGAL