Thursday, August 5, 2010

Thursday Night in Boerum Hill: Opening Reception for "Non-Native New York" exhibition at de Castellane Gallery

After leaving Prospect Park, we took the Q train to Atlantic Avenue, where we usually go to walk around BAM to get the G train back to Williamsburg. But instead we walked west on Atlantic, on the block in Boerum Hill where in 1974 we worked as a delivery boy for Midtown Florist (it's still there!), to the de Castellane Gallery for the opening reception of a fantastic exhibition, Non-Native New York.

While Congress debates immigration reform (and we're running for the U.S. House in immigrant-hating Arizona in the August 24 Green Party primary), an influx of foreigners continue to make Brooklyn their home, adding new accents, flavors, and art to the neighborhood cultural landscape.

Non-Native New York is an art exhibition curated by Linn Edwards and Brian Bell, celebrating the cultural contributions of international artists living in Brooklyn.

This exhibition examines the artwork that results when an artist is uprooted by moving to a new country, leaving behind a social support system, cultural commonality, and first language.

Non-Native New York features the work of Mahtab Aslani, Jaclyn Conley, Francisco Correa-Cordero (who was a great student in Literature and Writing I and II at the School of Visual Arts), Emile H Dubuisson, Yuhi Hasegawa, Hai-Hsin Huang, Jee Hwang, Gautam Kansara, Maria Kondratiev, Olek, Lothar Osterburg, Jung Eun Park, Sarah Nicole Phillips, Minori Sanchiz-Fung, and Taganyahu Swao.

These artists embody almost every region on the globe, representing studio practices that are equally diverse.

The thread that unites the selected artwork is the constant presence of the artist’s hand in the work.

There is a common impulse to explore the social and urban environment, collective experiences and individual memories.

(You may be able to tell we're cutting and pasting above, something we tell Francisco and our other students not to do without giving credit; this comes from the publicity package from the exhibit, but we certainly are in agreement with everything it says.)

The diversity of the art on display was impressive to our (highly) untrained eye.

Many of the artists were there (we couldn't find Francisco but his photographs taken in Bushwick were striking),

as were lots of young people who all looked like they knew a lot more about visual art than we do.

We could tell by how articulate they were in discussing the work (everyone was a lot better-dressed than us, too).

This makes our return-to-see-when-you-have-more-time-list.

The de Castellane Gallery is a beautiful space and an easy commute from anywhere in New York or Long Island. The curators have put together a lot of material about the exhibit you can find online, such as this interview with Francisco Correa-Cordero and this video, which he told us by email was "embarrassing" but we don't think so.

There's more for the other great artists. Check out Non-Native New York. I'ts at the de Castellane Gallery only until August 22. We'll be back before then.

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