SATURN’S RETURN JANUARY 20TH - MARCH 10TH Seyi Adebanjo Jake Alfieri Roy Baizan Melissa Calderón Howard Cash Carlos W. Encarnación Jeannie Friedman Lauren Gohara Antoinette Legnini Adeline Lulo Paula Nadelstern Devon Rodriguez Curated by Juanita Lanzo Co-Curated by Nidhi Gandhi and BCA Staff
Curator Statement Saturn return is a term that refers to the length of time it takes for Saturn to return to the position in the sky that it occupied at the moment of a person’s birth. This transition serves as a symbol to take stock, appraise, and look back on a person’s journey. The Saturn’s Return retrospective centers on a sample of 2017– 2020 Bronx Recognizes Its Own (BRIO) winners in visual and media arts who engage viewers in visual conversations around change, growth, aging, shift, and transformation. Participating artists include Seyi Adebanjo, Jake Alfieri, Roy Baizan, Melissa Calderón, Howard Cash, Carlos W. Encarnación, Jeannie Friedman, Lauren Gohara, Antoinette Legnini, Adeline Lulo, Paula Nadelstern, and Devon Rodriguez. Each artist showcases artworks that comment on change through works presented to the Bronx Council on the Arts (BCA) with their BRIO applications
and with more recent works. Particularly, these artists and their creations reflect on changes that have taken place over the last four years, as we continue to fight and push back against systemic exclusion and inequity everywhere—including recent deaths, displacement, and isolation due to COVID-19; political polarization; and calls for reckoning. Some answers to these essential questions are unpacked via portraiture, landscapes, abstraction, rewriting and revisiting narratives, the importance of self and free expression, identity, and pride portrayed in mixed media, painting, photography, sculpture, textiles, and video. The exhibition at the Longwood Art Gallery @ Hostos is one of various events commemorating the 40th anniversary of Longwood Arts Project, one of the oldest operating alternative art spaces in NYC, within the season theme of “The Bronx: Then and Now.” Curator Bio Juanita Lanzo is a Bronx-based visual artist, educator, and independent curator. Since 2008, she has organized, developed, and presented over 50 solo and group thematic exhibitions, and supplemental public programs centering on issues of representation and social justice, collaboration with other curators, emerging and underrepresented local artists of color, women, and the LGBTQ+ community, for the Bronx Council on the Arts’ Longwood Arts Project, En Foco, and Bronx River Art Center. Ms. Lanzo graduated from City College of NY (CUNY) (2005 MFA, Printmaking & Painting) and University of Puerto Rico, (UPRRP) (1996 BFA, Printmaking & Drawing).
PUBLIC PROGRAMS Opening Reception Wednesday, January 20, 2021, 6:00-7:00pm Celebrating the opening of Saturn’s Return, with a discussion between guest curator Juanita Lanzo and artists featured in the exhibition. Film Screening with New Negress Film Society Wednesday, February 24th, 2021, 6:00-7:00pm Presentation of selected new works by members of the New Negress Film Society, a core collective of black women filmmakers whose priority is to create community and spaces for support, exhibition, and consciousness-raising.
Longwood Art Gallery @ Hostos 450 Grand Concourse at 149th St., Room C-190 Bronx, New York 10451 (718) 518-6728 firstname.lastname@example.org The Longwood Art Gallery @ Hostos is currently closed to the public until further notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Longwood Arts Project The Longwood Arts Project is the contemporary visual arts program of the Bronx Council on the Arts, with the mission to support artists and their work, especially emerging artists from underrepresented groups, such as people of color, the LGBT* community, and women. The Longwood Art Gallery @ Hostos presents solo and group exhibitions of works of art produced in various media, through interdisciplinary practices that connect emerging artists, communities, and ideas within and beyond The Bronx.
The Bronx Council on the Arts Founded by visionary community leaders in 1962, The Bronx Council on the Arts (BCA) is a pioneer in advancing cultural equity in The Bronx. From our early beginnings as a presenter of affordable arts programming in select Bronx neighborhoods, we have grown into a cultural hub that serves the entire creative ecosystem of the borough. Our programs serve artists, the public, and the field at large by building connections, providing resources, and advocating for equitable practices. Then as now, we focus on supporting the work of underrepresented groups – especially artists of color, women, and members of the LGBTQ+ community. Through this lens we offer affordable programs for seniors and youth, and provide direct services to over 1,500 artists and 250 community-based arts groups each year. www.bronxarts.org The Hostos Center for the Arts and Culture An integral part of Hostos Community College/CUNY since 1982, the Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture, which includes two state-of-the-art theaters of 900 and 360 seats each, a black box experimental theater, and a museum-grade art gallery, is a resource for students and faculty in addition to serving the cultural needs of South Bronx residents and neighboring communities. Recognized nationally as a leader in Latin and African-based programming, the Hostos Center creates performing and visual arts forums in which the diverse cultural heritages of its audiences are celebrated and cultivated. In meeting that objective, the Center is dedicated to the development of emerging artists and the creation of new work. www.hostoscenter.org
LONGWOOD ART GALLERY @ HOSTOS YOUTH ENGAGEMENT PROGRAM Longwood’s Youth Engagement Program, launched in 2018, is designed to engage Bronx youth with the rich visual arts scene that surrounds them. By providing gallery experiences they can relate to – and interactions with artists who reside in the same neighborhoods, share similar cultural identities, and even nations of origin – young people gain formative experiences of cultural engagement that last a lifetime. Activities are free, age-appropriate, and created by professional teaching artists to foster critical thinking, interviewing and public speaking skills. If your organization, school, or group works with youth and would like to discuss scheduling a workshop or to arrange a visit, connect with us ! Contact email@example.com to schedule a workshop for your group. Workshops are best suited for participants ages 14-25. Online workshops are coming soon!
Illustration by Ruben Ramirez
SEYI ADEBANJO 2018 BRIO Winner
Seyi Adebanjo is a Queer Gender-NonConforming Nigerian MFA artist, who raises awareness around social issues through digital video, multimedia photography, and ritual & writing workshops. Seyi’s work is the intersection of art, media, imagination, ritual, and politics. Seyi is a media artist, director, cultural worker, cinematographer, editor, healer, and educator. Seyi is on the faculty of New York University. Seyi was recently awarded a residency with The Laundromat Project, the BRIO Award, and one of the eight “Exciting Filmmakers Shaking Up Hollywood” by IndieWire. Seyi was nominated for the 2020 Art Matters fellowship. Seyi has been an artist in residence with Allgo. Seyi has been a fellow with The Leslie Lohman Museum Queer Artist Fellowship, AIM-Bronx Museum, The Laundromat Project, Queer/Art/Mentorship, Maysles Institute, IFP, and City Lore Documentary Institute. Seyi has been interviewed by such publications as Indiewire, Shadow and Act, AfroPunk, Format Magazine and local news. Seyi’s powerful short Trans Lives Matter! Justice for Islan Nettles has screened on PBS Channel 13, Brooklyn Museum, and Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), and continues to screen globally. Seyi’s award winning documentary Ọya: Something Happened On The Way To West Africa! is screening globally and on a speaking tour.
Right Top: Ọya: Something Happened On The Way To West Africa!, 2015 Video. 30:15 minutes. Right Bottom: Honor Black Trans Womxn!, 2019–20. Video. 6 minutes.
2017 BRIO Winner
All of my early work is figurative. Done with live models using plaster casts. Except for the recurring image of a polyurethane face I got when I was fifteen years old. Plaster casting, fabric, or leather are constant. No matter what other materials I use in a piece. You can see this in The Wave. Over the last five years my life has changed profoundly. Through years of looking inside myself along with meditation, I came to the realization that I am transgender. Living Inside My Head Forced Gender Beliefs reflects these changes. In this piece and future pieces, questions about gender and who we really are will be my message.
Right: Living Inside My Head - Forced Gender Beliefs, 2020. Plaster casts, glass, satin, brass, plastic figures, stainless steel clips. 25”x 20.5” x 20.5”.
2017 and 2020 BRIO Winner
My name is Roy Baizan and I am a Chicanx documentary photographer and arts educator from The Bronx. When I first began photographing my camera was a tool to explore all of my surroundings and to document community and identity. Today it is also a practice of empowerment and celebration of those around me. I am committed to telling stories that often go misrepresented, and to challenge misconceptions of my community. I am constantly photographing from a perspective that is grounded in the struggles and triumphs of my local communities, from the stories of my Bronx home to returning to my family’s raices in Mexico.
Right Top: Horona and His Bike, 2018. Archival pigment print . 17” x 24”. Right Bottom: Three Fathers and Their Daughters, 2018. Archival pigment print 22” x 22”.
Melissa Calderón 2019 BRIO Winner
I create bodies of conceptual work around themes exploring social and political landscapes, drawing upon historical and philosophical references of power, fragility, and perception. My multi-disciplinary approach seeks to consider the state of global consciousness through various vantage points—privilege, historical re-memory, freedom, and consequence. Embroidery has been my anchor over the last five years, a skill that was passed down through generations of factory working seamstresses in Puerto Rico and NYC. Combining ritual and symbolic significance, embroidering on wood speaks to the embeddedness of history, memory, and the permanence of human interference. By carving, drilling, and sewing into scrap wood, the work explores the social and environmental effects of globalization. Calderón has been exhibited at El Museo del Barrio, The Bronx Museum of the Arts, The Queens Museum, Socrates Sculpture Park, The Portland Museum of Art, The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Arsenal de la Puntilla and Galeria 20/20 in Puerto Rico, and SmackMellon, among others. She recently completed NYC’s first new monument funded by the City of New York’s Percent for Art Commission and Monument Fund. Para Roberto, a monument dedicated to Roberto Clemente, is permanently installed in the South Bronx’s The HUB.
Right Top: Control, 2019–2020. Hand embroidery on linen. 14” x 11”. Right Bottom: Prone, 2019–2020. Hand embroidery on linen. 11” x 14”.
Howard Cash 2019 BRIO Winner
Howard T. Cash, a Harlem-born African American photographer, focuses on Africa and the African Diaspora. The artist says, “As an artist, I have a conversation in threes: first with myself, second with my audience, and finally with history. Visiting Ghana in 1978 and living and working in Nigeria (197984) has enriched my life through photographing the beauty of ‘Blackness,’ a bridge easily connecting Africa to AfricanAmericans in the Diaspora.” Howard T. Cash has 47 years of photographic experience in the world of photography. Celebration, beauty, dignity, and power are masterful words portraying the visual sensibilities of African American, Harlem-born photographer (b. 1953) Howard T. Cash. His freelance sojourn into Nigeria from 1979-’84 characterizes the quality of his photography, as a former photo-journalist who worked with Nigerian media outlets while stringing for the Associated Press. These powerful cultural and visual experiences have set the stage for decades of timeless imagery within the African Diaspora, including coverage of post dramatic events surrounding Hurricane Katrina (2005–06).
Right Top: Cultural Send-off, Harlem, NY, 2018. Gelatin silver print. 16” x 20”. Right Bottom: The Final Procession for Baba Olantunji on 125th Street, Harlem, NY, 2003. Gelatin silver print. 16” x 16”.
Carlos W. Encarnación 2019 BRIO Winner
Carlos W. Encarnación is a mixed media artist and art educator born and raised in Puerto Rico. He received an MFA from CUNY–The City College of New York (2016). Encarnación has participated in group exhibitions and art residencies, and has collaborated in public and community-based art projects with non-profit organizations in NYC. As a mixed media artist, most of the changes in his body of work over the last few years are evident in its scale and its materiality. His work progresses from dichromatic and sculptural methods to two-dimensional and colorful compositions, always motivated by the process and its possibilities.
Right: Cocos con mosquerío, 2020. Linocut print, acrylic paint, and gouache on paper. 24” x 18”.
Jeannie Friedman 2019 BRIO Winner
My art from 2016–2019 explores violence against girls and women. By combining second-hand dresses with shards of discarded wood and paint, I depicted violated females as individual people, not simply impersonal statistics. My hope was to restore humanity to the brutalized and re-awaken a connection between the viewer and the victim. Since 2020 my paintings portray personal relationships and memories. I crop a small portion of an old photograph. I abstract and enlarge the selected portion using paint, paper, and fabric. A close-up detail conveys the memory of a particular relationship and one moment in time.
Right: Full slip, 2018. Discarded construction material, full slip, gel medium. 38” x 25” x 13”.
Lauren Gohara 2018 BRIO Winner
In “Downwardly Mobile,” a sequence of red dots bouncing downhill traces the declining percentage of 30-year-olds who are making more money than their parents did at age 30. Ninety percent of children born in 1940 (upper left corner), had higher incomes at age 30 than their parents. By the 1980s (right), the percentage had fallen to 50%. The bright yellow triangle in “Taking Care of Mama” celebrates the 45% decline in maternal mortality worldwide since 1990. Yet, the dark grey bottom half of the painting shows how far there is to go, representing the more than 250,000 women dying during pregnancy or childbirth annually, mostly in the developing world. This piece is an example of the evolution of my work from more graph-based depictions of economic data, as well as and an engagement with issues of gender equity.
Right Top: Downwardly Mobile, 2017. Oil, alkyd, cold wax medium on canvas, 36” x 36”. Right Bottom: Taking Care of Mama: Declining Maternal Mortality, 2020 Oil and alkyd on canvas, 18” x 18”.
Antoinette Legnini 2020 BRIO Winner
Antoinette Legnini (b. 1994) is an artist born and raised in The Bronx. She graduated from Fordham University in 2016 with a B.A. in Visual Arts and Women’s Studies. Legnini’s main body of work is comprised of mixed media portraits. For this exhibition, she is presenting four of her portraits from the series Bronx Faces, a collaborative community art project that pairs the stories and experiences of Bronx natives with a mixed media portrait.
Right: VANESSA/1990/HIGHBRIDGE, 2020. Made with chipboard, Canson mixed media paper, Prismacolor colored pencils, acrylic paint, tissue paper, ribbon, gold metal leaf, and coffee filters. 18” x 11”.
2017 and 2019 BRIO Winner
Adeline Lulo was born in Washington Heights, New York and raised in The Bronx. Her parents migrated from the Dominican Republic to the United States in pursuit of a better life—the “American Dream”. Growing up between The Bronx, the Heights, and the Dominican Republic shaped her life in many ways. Her roots, family, and the communities she partakes in play a huge role in her life and in the artwork she creates. She earned a BFA from Parsons School of Design in 2015 and was awarded “Best In Show” for the Thesis Exhibition. She was recently featured in TIME’s Best Portraits of 2020. Lulo was a grant recipient of the “Bronx Recognizes Its Own” (BRIO) award in 2017 and 2019. She was also a recipient of the 1st Annual En Foco Photography Fellowship in 2016. She was selected for The New York Times Portfolio Review twice, has been recognized by Latin American Fotografía and is also a member of the Bronx Photo League. In 2019, Lulo was featured in W Magazine as one of “The 9 Young Photographers You Should Be Following”. Her clients include Time Magazine, Nike, AT&T, Refinery 29, Ulta, Cosmopolitan, Uniqlo, and Vice. Claremont Youth is a series that explores the life of adolescence, focusing on boys and girls who together share the fragile world of growing up in a neighborhood which can be challenging. These photographs are glimpses of the youth at Claremont, taken in a local neighborhood center and playgrounds nearby. As young kids, they enjoy the rituals and games of youth, yet some are already preparing for adolescence. Slowly the boys are becoming young men, mirroring the father figures around them and adapting their traits. The young girls reflect their mothers, watching over and caring for their siblings.
Top: Jahnaya and her Sister, Claremont Village, NY, 2017 . Archival pigment print, 50” x 40”.
Paula Nadelstern 2018 BRIO Winner
Millifiori: This quilt was less conceptual than my previous two. It was a very seductive, satisfying process for a Patternista like me, using an abundance of diverse, intricate fabrics. Each individual little slice is its own entity, saturated with its own persona. I gave myself permission to get started without knowing how the kaleidoscopes would fit together instead of paying constant attention to a “map”. The Prague Spanish Synagogue Ceiling: As soon as I looked up at the Prague Spanish Synagogue Ceiling in 2014, I knew I had found a quilt idea. I am a Patternista, hardwired to see pattern everywhere. Here was a glut of architectural designs bumping into each other. Taking two years, this quilt contains over 80 fabrics designed by me in the past twenty years for Benartex. There are at least a thousand camouflaged seams. I think I could have worked on this one quilt for the rest of my career, editing, auditioning, and refining as the nuances and possibilities of the concept evolved. Square Dance: Using intricate, charismatic fabric to transform a quilt of simple shapes into a dramatic spectacle enthralls me. This type of quilt may look difficult and complicated but ultimately is not when you know how to look for the seams. This time, rather than placing contrasting colors next to each other which would emphasize the simple pattern of straight lines, I opted to soften the joins, encouraging the elements to appear as though they stream across the seams from strip-to-strip.
Above: KALEIDOSCOPIC XLI: The Prague Spanish Synagogue Ceiling, 2017 Quilt. 80” x 65”.
Devon Rodriguez 2018 BRIO Winner
Devon Rodriguez is an artist from the South Bronx, New York City. He initially gained recognition for a series of realistic painted portraits of riders on the New York City Subway system. In 2019, he was a finalist in the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition. In 2020, he became a viral TikTok sensation amassing 10 million followers for his videos of drawing strangers on the subway.
Right: Untitled (Man with Visor) from the Subway Drawing Series, 2020. Graphite and white ink on paper. 8.5” x 5.5”.
All works courtesy of the artists unless otherwise noted.
Seyi Adebanjo Ọya: Something Happened On The Way To West Africa!, 2015 Video 30:15 minutes
Seyi Adebanjo Honor Black Trans Womxn!, 2019–20 Video 6 minutes
Jake Alfieri The Wave, 2009 Life cast, cotton, steel and oil 12” x 45” x 15” Jake Alfieri Living Inside My Head - Forced Gender Beliefs, 2020 Plaster casts, glass, satin, brass, plastic figures, stainless steel clips 25”x 20.5” x 20.5”
Roy Baizan Horona and His Bike, 2018 Archival pigment print 17” x 24”
Roy Baizan Three Fathers and Their Daughters, 2018 Archival pigment print 22” x 22”
Melissa Calderón The South Bronx Gold Rush, 2015 Embroidery on wood 39” x 10.5”
Melissa Calderón Sewing Roots, 2020 Video 3:08 minutes
Melissa Calderón Benefit, 2019–2020 Hand embroidery on linen 11” x 14”
Melissa Calderón Control, 2019–2020 Hand embroidery on linen 14” x 11”
Melissa Calderón Prone, 2019–2020 Hand embroidery on linen 11” x 14”
Howard Cash The Final Procession for Baba Olantunji on 125th Street, Harlem, NY, 2003 Gelatin silver print 16” x 16”
Howard Cash Cultural Send-off, Harlem, NY, 2018 Gelatin silver print 16” x 20”
Carlos W. Encarnación Yagrumo (Diptych), 2016 Acrylic, paper, wiremesh, jump rings on wood panels 18” x 22” each
Carlos W. Encarnación Cocos con mosquerío, 2020 Linocut print, acrylic paint, and gouache on paper 24” x 18”
Jeannie Friedman Full slip, 2018 Discarded construction material, full slip, gel medium 38” x 25” x 13”
Jeannie Friedman Two Friends, 2020 Acrylic paint on canvas 48” x 24”
Lauren Gohara Downwardly Mobile, 2017 Oil, alkyd, cold wax medium on canvas 36” x 36”
Lauren Gohara Taking Care of Mama: Declining Maternal Mortality, 2020 Oil and alkyd on canvas 18” x 18”
Antoinette Legnini HOAY/1989/WAKEFIELD, 2019 Made with oil paint, gessoed Canson mixed media paper, acrylic paint, hanging wire, Metrocards, Pokémon cards, bicycle tires, and The Wild Thornberrys coloring book 18” x 11”
Antoinette Legnini VANESSA/1990/HIGHBRIDGE, 2020 Made with chipboard, Canson mixed media paper, Prismacolor colored pencils, acrylic paint, tissue paper, ribbon, gold metal leaf, and coffee filters 18” x 11”
Antoinette Legnini MIGUEL/1992/PELHAM PARKWAY, 2020 Made with chipboard, Canson mixed media paper, gouache paint, thumb tacks, and sheer iridescent plastic wrap 13.5” x 10”
Antoinette Legnini AZRAEL/1982/MOTT HAVEN, 2020 Made with chipboard, Canson mixed media paper, gouache paint, newspaper, metal leaf, broken jewelry, sharpie, and disposable nitrile gloves 16.5” x 9.5”
Adeline Lulo Jahnaya and her Sister, Claremont Village, NY, 2017 Archival pigment print 50” x 40”
Adeline Lulo Kids of Claremont, Claremont Village, NY, 2017 Archival pigment print 40” x 50”
Paula Nadelstern KALEIDOSCOPIC XXVIII: Millifiori, 2014 Quilt 82” x 82”
Paula Nadelstern KALEIDOSCOPIC XLI: The Prague Spanish Synagogue Ceiling, 2017 Quilt 80” x 65”
Paula Nadelstern KALEIDOSCOPIC XLIII: Square Dance, 2020 Quilt 38” x 38”
Devon Rodriguez Untitled (Man with Visor) from the Subway Drawing Series, 2020 Graphite and white ink on paper 8.5” x 5.5”
Devon Rodriguez Untitled (Woman with Mask) from the Subway Drawing Series, 2020 Graphite and white ink on paper 8.5” x 5.5”
The Bronx Council on the Arts is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; Arts Midwest and the National Endowment for the Arts; The Coalition of Theaters of Color and City Council members Andrew Cohen and Vanessa Gibson. Also supported in part by the Booth Ferris Foundation, Ovation, the New Yankee Stadium Community Benefits Fund, Con Edison, the Howard Gilman Foundation, the Hispanic Federation, the City of New York, and the Department of Youth and Community Development. Special thanks to Hostos Community College and the Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture for their support.
Bronx Council on the Arts 2700 E Tremont Ave Bronx, New York 10461 www. bronxarts.org @BronxArtsOrg
Cover Image Credit: Carllos W. Encarnacion, “Yagrumo” (Diptych), 2016. Acrylic, paper, wiremesh, and jump rings on wood panels. Size: 18” x 22” each.