Thursday, September 28, 2017

Curator's Notes: Spotlight on Marcy B. Freedman

Marcy B. Freedman, French Macaroons (aka Duchamp Macarons), 2017

Marcy B. Freedman is a dynamo.  An artist and art historian, she brings to her work the mind of an academic investigator, insatiably asking questions and sleuthing for answers.  Fueled by her playful, feminist perspective, Marcy first observes, then ponders, then creates, and finally prods us into responding.  There is no right or wrong reaction; she only asks for interaction.  Self-aware in this fully drenched digital atmosphere, she asks us to pause from the phone to pay attention.  Case in point:

Marcy B. Freedman, Breast Implant Series: Titian, 2017

Marcy too has been an inspiration for Bosom Bodies based on the French Macaroons digital collage she showed me a few months ago.  We talked about a "breast" show for Breast Cancer Awareness month and then she mentioned looking for a gallery in Peekskill, where she has her studio. She introduced me to Nadine Gordon-Taylor, whose work is in Bosom Bodies and who owns SIA Gallery,  Nadine graciously offered to donate her gallery to our project.  We were off and running from that moment on.  Not only would Marcy exhibit her "Duchamp Macarons" (based on Marcel Duchamp's Please Touch), but also a new series inspired by art history's masters (men) whose fame depends - to some extend - on their sensuous renderings of the female nude.  But that's not the point of her work.  She asks us "What would we think of men who had breast implants?"  Her digital ruminations are hilarious - and can be yours, if you purchase her limited postcard series or one of the unique works made exclusively for the show.  Marcy will also present her performance piece:

Marcy has boundless energy in so many directions.  So many that I fear she will add to her schedule one more performance or exhibition by the end of today.  (I am typing quickly to keep up. In the future, please check her website or, better, come to her performance at Bosom Bodies so that she will personally add you to her snail-mailing list.)   In addition to her participation in Bosom Bodies, Marcy curated the annual outdoor performances on Saunder's Farm over the Labor Day Weekend, in conjunction with  Collaborative Concepts and performed at Hammond Museum and Japanese Stroll Gardens also in September.

This past Saturday, September 22nd, Marcy installed 24 large series of digital prints called FemFlora: Images for a World in which Women and Plants Flourish  at Echo, at 470 Main St. in Beacon as part of “Windows on Main Street,”  through Nov. 12th. 

On October 1st, she will perform on the Staten Island Ferry as part of this year’s Apres Avant Garde Festival, hosted by Day de Dada, the Staten Island Performance Art Collective. Dressed as the Statue of Liberty, she will present “How Strong is Our Democracy Now?” She tells us the event will serve as a follow-up of sorts to her interactive work, “TRUE of FALSE: We are at a crucial point in the history of the USA,” offered in August at the opening reception of “RADIUS 50” at Woodstock Artists Association and Museum

And on November 12th, Marcy will perform “What the heck is performance art and why should anyone care?” for Talking Arts Foundation in Yorktown. “I will strive to educate and entertain the members of my audience with several re-enactments of famous performance art pieces from the past along with a couple of new solo performances of my own. It will be exciting to put my personal work into an art historical context.”

She is also featured in this month's Westchester Wag magazine blog: "Marcy B. Freedman's Got a Full Plate"
Her video interview on Jackie Suarez's Lively Arts recounts her story from art historian to artist and includes more examples of her work.

Bosom Bodes is a New York Arts Exchange project, curated by Beth S. Gersh-Nesic, director and owner of NYAE.  For more information, please write to Beth at or visit our website: 

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Curator's Notes: Spotlight on Clarity Haynes

Clarity Haynes and Beth Gersh-Nesic, in front of Clarity's Robin, 2015
Stout Projects, March 2016

Clarity Haynes has so much to celebrate this fall: two solo exhibition back-to-back.  Clarity Haynes: Bearing Witness, The Breast Portrait Project, 1998-Present,  September 7 through October 15, at Payne Gallery, Moravian College, Bethlehem, PA,  and Clarity Haynes: Baba Na Gig, November 13, 2017-February 16, 2018, at Kniznick Gallery, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA.  In between both, she will exhibition with Bosom Bodies.  Hurray!  

Clarity Haynes: Bearing Witness, The Breast Portrait Project, 1998-Present
Payne Gallery, Moravian College, Bethlehem, PA (installation)

Clarity is another inspiration for this Bosom Bodies, because she and I sent a proposal to Professor Diane Radycki, director of the Payne Gallery, for an exhibition on health issues addressed in art. October (Breast Cancer Awareness Month) was available too.  We thank Professor Radycki for accepting our project for the Payne Gallery and we thank David Leidlich, assistant director, for his wonderful installation. As you can see in these photos, most of the works are Clarity's gigantic portraits.  The smaller ones are view on the second floor balcony along with videos on Clarity's work and tablets to read the sitters' entries in The Breast Portrait Project Book.  

Clarity Haynes, Breast Portrait, 2014

For our Bosom Bodies, Clarity selected Breast Portrait, a small oil on canvas that depicts a woman who has undergone a mastectomy.  This portrait examplifies her Breast Portrait Project which began with the artist's self-portrait and then expanded to drawing and painting other women's torsos at women's fairs and in Clarity's studio.  She discovered that these intimate sittings and her sensitive renderings truly touched the sitters deeply.  It gave them an opportunity to  reflect on how they felt about their bodies.  For some, they expressed a sense of healing.  The sitters wrote down their thoughts in The Breast Portrait Project Book, which has been digitized for reading at the Payne Gallery exhibition. One of the artists in Bosom Bodies, Wilhelmina Grant, sat for her breast portrait, which was exhibited in Radical Acceptance, at Tabla Rasa, Brooklyn, NY, in February -March 2011.  I met Clarity and Wilhelmina through this exhibition when we both participated on a panel called "The Feminist Breast," part of the College Art Associate Conference in 2011.   

Clarity Haynes, Janie, 2015 in The Outwin 2016.
Smithsonian, National Portrait Gallery,

Clarity's work is also part of The Outwin 2016: American Portraits Today which has been on tour in the US this year.  From October 6, 2017 through January 7, 2018, it will be on view at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO.  The Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition "celebrates excellence and innovation, with a strong focus on the variety of portrait media used by artists today."  Organized by the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC., the funding comes from an endowment left to the museum by Virginia Outwin Boochever, who was a passionate docent at the NPG.  Bosom Bodies congratulates Clarity for this honor and for being part of this outstanding show.  

Clarity Haynes, Breast Portrait Triptych, 2002

Also,  if you find yourself in Philadelphia, please visit the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art's museum where Clarity's triptych is on display upstairs.  More exhibitions are in Clarity Hayne's future. Please consult her website to keep abreast (pun intended) of these announcements.

Bosom Bodies is a New York Arts Exchange project.  For more information, please contact the curator, Beth S. Gersh-Nesic, director and owner of NYAE: or

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Curator's Notes: Spotlight on Wilhelmina Obatola Grant

Wilhelmina Obatola Grant, Ms Cake Cutter, 2015

Wilhelmina Obatola Grant is amazing!  She is a prolific artist, author, teacher, and the director/founder of SISTAAH: Survivors Inspiring Sisters Through Art and Advocacy  Health.  Wilhelmina is another person who inspired this show: her art, her work and her book about surviving breast cancer twice! - which led to making art, becoming a full-time artist and teaching art (mainly to seniors) using various media.  One of her shopping sprees at Materials for the Arts' warehouse in Long Island City was broadcast on television this past summer. 

Wilhelmina Obatola Grant, Time into Eternity, on the cover of 
A Feeling of Fullness: Insights of a Divinely Guided Journey Beyond Breast Cancer, 2016.

Wilhelmina has combined her practice of making art with her ability to talk about art and issues in several effective ways.  Her whole body of work speaks to us about survival through renewal. Made from discarded materials, she gives each collage element in her work a new life, albeit a different life.  For example, a grater ceases to function in the kitchen, but instead gives texture and iconographic meaning to Ms. Cake Cutter.  On her website, we hear Yolanda Adams' Still I Rise intone: "Shattered but I'm not broken." which urges us to persevere in the face of illness, pain and loss.  Today, Wilhelmina's unshakable optimism shines a light on not only breast cancer survival, but all kinds of challenges that test our fortitude and resolve to keep going.  (Today, we are thinking of the survivors of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.) 

Wilhelmina Otabola Grant graces the red sofa during Art Above the Sofa 2017,
within she exhibited several works of art.

Through SISTAAH, Wilhelmina has developed fun (yes, fun!) interactive lessons on breast cancer awareness, self-examination, early detection and facts about BC. Through these valuable educational opportunities, she saves lives by spreading the wisdom: early detection leads to early treatment and, hopefully, eradication of the cancer cells. 

Bosom Bodies: An Exhibition in Honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month is dedicated to SISTAAH because we believe that Knowledge is Power.  All purchases for Wilhelmina's work fund SISTAAH.

Bosom Bodies is a New York Arts Exchange project, curated by Beth S. Gersh-Nesic, director and owner of NYAE: 

Monday, September 25, 2017

Curator's Notes: Spotlight on Ruby Silvious

Ruby Silvious, Starbucks Bra, October 2016

Bosom Bodies: An Exhibition in Honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month began with Ruby Silvious, who decided to create one bra each day during October 2016 in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  I met Ruby at the end of September 2016 and was fascinated by her use of discarded materials as "canvases" for  her art work.  Last September, she exhibited 363 Days of Tea at Atlantic Gallery in Chelsea.  I bought the book for this show and brought it to Tom Lecky at his store Riverrun Books and Manuscripts in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY.   Tom graciously invited us to install a pop-up exhibition of Ruby's teabag art in the bookshop for the weekend of December 2nd through 4th.   During the Artist's Talk on Saturday, December 3rd, Ruby met artist Wilhelmina Otabola Grant, who also makes art from discarded materials in honor of breast cancer awareness. The two artists engaged in a lively conversation and the seeds for Bosom Bodies were sow.

Ruby Silvious, Hermès Bra, October 2016

Ruby's work has been featured in numerous galleries and article.  She exhibited 26 Days in France at LM Studio in Hyères this past May.  This led to a wonderful interview in Le Beau Thé on September 8, 2017.  Please visit Ruby's website to learn more about her extraordinary life and work, and to read all the articles, if you can, as they are written in English, French and German - so far. Many more will be published in the future.  So keep Ruby on your radar screen. Ruby is a national treasure and my inspiration for this show. Ruby designed our logo and invitation for the show.

Ruby Silvious in her studio

Bosom Bodies is a New York Arts Exchange project curated by Beth S. Gersh-Nesic, PhD, Director and owner, New York Arts Exchange, LLC,

Friday, September 22, 2017

Save the date: Bosom Bodies, opening October 7th, 3 - 6 pm

The New York Arts Exchange, LLC, is proud to announce our Fall 2017 project: Bosom Bodies: An Exhibition in Honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October), a group show of 16 artists from the New York area and beyond.  We thank artist/educator Nadine Gordon-Taylor for generously donating her School of Intuitive Art gallery space, and artist Wilhelmina Obatola Grant, two-time survivor of breast cancer and founder of SISTAAH: Survivors Inspiring Sisters through Art and Advocacy for Health,, for inspiring this show.  We dedicate this exhibition to SISTAAH and all survivors of cancer or someone who has or had cancer.

Bosom Bodies opens at SIA Gallery 1 South Division Street, Peekskill, NY, on Saturday, October 7th from 3 to 6 pm.  The Closing/Finissage on Sunday, October 29th, features artists’ performances and a panel discussion from 3 to 5 pm.  On Sunday, October 22nd, at 2 pm, exhibition curator Beth S. Gersh-Nešić, Director of the New York Arts Exchange, will present an art history lecture on “The History of the Breast in Art.”  Gallery hours will be on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, 12 noon to 5 pm.

Bosom Bodies celebrates the beauty, power and sensuality of the female breast through a wide range of artworks, including paintings, sculpture, photography, origami, and mixed media.  Either as symbol, metaphor or iconography, the breast offers a bountiful number of meanings and innuendos, from maternal to erotic, serious to humorous, personal to universal, poignant to irreverent.  Our exhibition highlights these numerous interpretations.  Among the artists are Roni Ben-Ari, Lynn H. Butler, Marcy B. Freedman, Kathleen Gilje, Nadine Gordon-Taylor, Wilhelmina Obatola Grant, Grace Graupe-Pillard, Clarity Haynes, Carla Rae Johnson, Barbara Lubliner, Sasha [Alexandru] Meret, Ioana Niculescu-Aron, Toni Quest, Ruby Silvious, Christina Thomas and Tricia Wright.

The New York Arts Exchange curated Clarity Haynes: Bearing Witness, the Breast Portrait Project, 1998-Present, currently on view at Payne Gallery, Moravian College, Bethlehem, PA, through October 15th, also in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

For more information, please contact Beth S. Gersh-Nešić, Ph.D., director and owner of the New York Arts Exchange:  

Christina Thomas: Healing Through Art

Christina Thomas,  "Hope" Prayer Box,  2017, featured in the  Bosom Bodies  exhibition, 2017 Spring is finally here!  And w...