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The West Harlem Art Fund Presents WE ARE IN REACH on Governors Island

The exhibition includes "Descension" and "Genesis", series, Strangest of Fruits, and more.

The West Harlem Art Fund Presents WE ARE IN REACH on Governors Island

The West Harlem Art Fund will present their new exhibition WE ARE IN REACH on Governors Island in the historic district of Nolan Park. The show is open now through June 25, 2021 for the public. According to Savona Bailey-McClain, Executive Director of the West Harlem Art Fund, "The past year allowed the world to reconnect to family, heritage, language and tradition in new ways and to appreciate those times even more. And as we look at human existence, it all began in Africa. WE ARE IN REACH looks at how those of African descent honor memory, philosophy and tradition."

Some of the works that the public will see is listed below. There will also be African antiquities on loan by the midtown gallery Throckmorton Fine Arts on East 57th Street.

"Descension" and "Genesis" are from the artist "Bloodline" series. This series is an original creation myth narrative by Dario Mohr loosely inspired by the mother of the Earth (Gaia), The Bible, as well Homo Deus (A book by Yuval Harari). In this narrative, the story begins with the Black mother of nature and humanity sitting atop her Acacia tree throne, providing lifeblood to her organic children. Due to the treachery and defiance of her creation, a new breed of human upgrades (self genetically mutated super humans) turn on her in hopes to claim her throne and posess her powers of immortality and dominion over the Earth. Their greed blinds them from the inevitable fate of their destruction, while Gaia's retreats to slowly replenish herself in the ocean to soon recover the Earth's lushness and vitality. As she does so, Gaia learned not to make herself visible for all of her creation to see, but to reside tucked away inside her acreage like a farmer (in the ocean) as a scarecrow body keeps her rogue creations away.

Strangest of Fruits by Kraig Blue is inspired by the Billie Holiday song "Strange Fruit" and the original poem "Bitter Fruit" by Abel Meeropol.

The sculpture exists as a requiem for past and present lynching atrocities in America. Currently, within the last decade there have been mysterious lynching's/suicides of black and brown men across the country, not reported in main stream media, but happening none-the-less. As with Miss Holiday and Mr. Meeropol, I am deeply saddened.

The sculpture incorporates unrelated objects forming a free standing assemblage that speaks to the phallic nature of white brutality committed against black men, intertwined with the history of corporatized slavery. Each object is a metaphor for the physical act of lynching

Garden Sentinels - The essence of Michele Brody's work is to understand how we live with change and the constant flux of our environment. Working with the anthropological notion of the Limen the threshold through which one passes at the starting point for a new state or experience, she concentrates on creating a mark, which invites the viewer to a more openness of sensation through the production of site-generated walkways, public art, ephemeral installations and living sculptures with such materials as: glass, concrete, steel, copper pipe, fabric, light, water and growing plants.

Artist Bios

DARIO MOHR is a New York City based interdisciplinary artist who creates interactive sanctuary experiences. Born in 1988, Mohr received a BFA from Buffalo State College, and an MFA from The City College of New York. In addition to work created in painting, sculpture or made digitally, he often includes assembled objects to build immersive "sacred spaces". These often exist in unexpected places, using mundane objects. Because objects are endowed with the significance that the viewer blesses it with, his work can provide a lot of space for divergent perspectives and interpretations. The recycling of old work is also fundamental to Mohr's practice. You will see previously created paintings and sculpture as well as the reuse of the objects, textiles, cushions and other elements in future works. Sometimes a previously used item provides the perfect juxtaposition to enhance or add depth to new explorations. In addition to his individual practice, he is also the Founder and Director of AnkhLave Arts Alliance which is a non-profit for the recognition and representation of BIPOC artists in contemporary art.

KRAIG BLUE is a multimedia sculptor using found materials as metaphors to explore complex socially constructed ideologies and paradigms; creating multilayered assemblages as altars to become vehicles for contemplation and dialogue.

He received his BFA (2015) at the Laguna College of Art & Design in figurative sculpture, painting, and drawing, and his MFA in Studio Art from The City College of New York (2019). He is the recipient of two Conners Scholarship awards and in 2018 the Therese McCabe Ralston Conner Fellowship to study abroad throughout Cuba.

For twenty-five years he has been a published illustrator, arts educator, musician, and exhibiting visual artist; with exhibitions in New York, Washington, DC, New Orleans, Vermont, and Southern California. Currently he is working with the Brooklyn Museum in conjunction with their criminal justice diversion program Project Reset and the Gallery Studio Programs. In 2021 he is the recipient of the Bronx River Art Center's Artist Studio Program (ASP).

JANNETTE JWAHIR HAWKINS is an artist who lives and works in Harlem, New York City. Sensitive to multilayered visual rhythms, Jwahir's work relies on a gestalt of compositions using trees, text and textiles to express movement and stillness as one. An award-winning alumni of the City College of New York with a MFA in Studio Art, Jwahir recently completed a post-graduate Studio Art residency at City College with advanced studies in Community Engaged Art (Art Education), in addition to facilitating T Art (Talking Art) Salon, a student intellectual discussion group. An artist- educator with the Whitney Museum of American Art (until the pandemic), Jwahir is a lifelong devotee of indigenous music and dance, an arts consultant for a long-running creative music series, and an Artist-in-Residence with the West Harlem Art Fund.

Public Artists

MICHELE BRODY is a NY based artist born in 1967. Michele Brody received her BA from Sarah Lawrence College in 1989 and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1994. Utilizing her strong background in the liberal arts, she creates site-specific, mixed media installations and works of public art that are generated by the history, culture, environment, and architecture of a wide range of exhibition spaces. While living and working in such places as France, Costa Rica, California, the Midwest, Germany, and her home of New York, her art career has developed into a process of working in collaboration with each new community as a means towards developing an interpretation of the sense of a place as an outsider looking in.

GILBERT BORO is a sculptor, architect, educator and international design consultant. He was born in New York City and has been involved in the arts since his boyhood. He has had a distinguished career, spanning more than fifty years.

His sculpture is concerned with the interplay of space, place and scale. He uses various materials, including steel, stone, aluminum, and wood. He believes the challenge and joys of creation are equally related to visualization and execution. What art should do is help us regain the creativity we all had as children.

Boro is an active member of the New England Sculptor's Association, The New York Sculptor's Guild, Elected Member of Mystic Museum of Art, Silvermine Guild of Artists, and the International Sculpture Center.

CONRAD LEVENSON salvages scrap materials and obsolete objects. He recomposes and repurposes them as as works. Levenson often combine previously unrelated elements, in new and unexpected ways, and incorporate geometric and anthropomorphic forms, often in balance and motion.

The sculptures evoke the former times, places, lives, unique character and embedded energy of their sources materials. I tell their stories, as I explore and mediate the essential relationship between their form and content.

His sculptures range in size from the intimate to large-scale installations. They vary in height from several inches to fifteen feet and weigh a few ounces up to thousands of pounds. Displayed, indoors and out, often in spaces and settings of my own design, my sculptures connect people, visually and emotionally, to the natural and built environments.

Exhibition Space

Building 10 (NP/10) is a two-family, two-story house, of wood frame construction set on a brick foundation (painted). T-shaped in plan, it has clapboard-covered walls and a gabled roof covered with asphalt shingles and penetrated by gabled projections rising above the second story windows -- two single windows and a double window on the front and two double windows on the rear -- and double end chimneys. The rear projection has a hipped roof. A full-width porch with a shallow hipped roof supported by square posts and with plain balustrades extends across the west facade. The paired porch steps are of concrete. The window openings with wood surrounds have six-over-six double-hung wood sash set behind storm sash. The paired paneled wood entrance doors are set below transoms and behind storm doors. The rear projection of the house has enclosed sun porch additions. The house is surrounded by lawn with trees and plantings and approached by brick walkways leading from Nolan Park.

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