Terrarium at Ice Cream Social

Featured Project with Curator and artist Jenn Cacciola, and Artist/Owner of Ice Cream Social Matthew Shively


Installation view, photo courtesy of Ice Cream Social.

The inaugural group exhibition, Terrarium, at Ice Cream Social features painting, photography, sculpture, fiber and site-specific installations by 26 artists. Terrarium examines growth of different forms, inside and outside of containment, managed and wild, protected and exposed, as well as growth that sometimes requires destruction or thorny discoveries. The show runs from March 5th through May 6th, 2022.

Please elaborate on the premise behind this large group show, as well as how some of the artworks interrelate.

When we put out the open call we were looking for work that felt like origins or new beginnings (in whatever form that meant for artists). We received work that spoke about all of the conditions and labor that goes into building a new start for oneself and a community. We saw artists examining the fears that impede newness from sprouting. We saw them reiterating a dependence on community in order for beginnings to have hope, and the equal importance of having a history to evaluate and be grounded in. In the end they were all ultimately asking the question, what does a fruitful future look like, and what should we take with us from the past?

There is also an interesting relationship between ideas of the interior and exterior because of the unique cage space that the show takes place in. Some works are installed inside vs outside of the cage (or somewhere in between), and the walls essentially become transparent. The cage was set up previous to our construction for ICS, but we really just wanted to see a show in it before taking it down!


Installation view, photo courtesy of Ice Cream Social.

The “entry point” of the show is about the act of discovery/re-discovery. Kayo Shido’s paintings and Lindsy Davis’ uncanny sculptures both use forms that seem distantly familiar. Anya Rosen’s paintings uncover unsettling moments of discovery. A world of spores and mushrooms is found in smaller underbrush paintings by Sarah Valeri, which we hung intimately low to encourage an archaeological sensation. Drawings by Amanda L. Andrei depict presences that precede/inform our inventions. Similarly, an installation by Susan Luss focuses on seeking nourishment and guidance from the familiar, while growing into something new and unrecognizable.


Installation view, photo courtesy of Ice Cream Social.

The following section looks at forms of transformation. Dana O’Malley’s still life paintings incorporate earthy materials in the processes of decay and renewal. Neighboring paintings by Sibley Barlow, Robert Zurer, and Taya Naumovich challenge our established systems of perception in art and society, and acknowledge the necessity of breakage and reconstruction as part of growth. Both Kristian Battell’s cavernous installation using recycled plastics, and Tavia Sanza’s adjacent crocheted installation (that is destroyed and rebuilt at each site) act as visual studies of reformation.

Across from these works is a photo triptych by Jumana Mograbi mounted near a woven installation by Theo Trotter. Both embody marks (visible or invisible) that we leave on/for one another throughout time. A found lace installation by Patricia Miranda, narrative steel sculptures by Lynden Cline, joined by intimate interior paintings by Natalie Jauregui-Ortiz, and portrait photographs by Steven Baboun together investigate growth between the individual and community. Ruth Jeyaveeran’s felted “reverse taxonomy” sculptures act as the keystone, connecting histories created by the human hand with those created by the natural world. Nearby, Adina Andrus’ celebratory amulets incorporate symbols used throughout centuries by countless cultures for acts of ritual and devotion.


Installation view, photo courtesy of Ice Cream Social.

In a smaller cage-room are figurative sculptures by Nicki Cherry and Allison Panzironi that expose the most vulnerable aspects of growth on an intimate scale.

Just outside this smaller room, Manju Shandler’s installation, “The Colonization of Red Jungle Fowl”, speaks of growth in containment that’s subject to manipulation. It is contrasted against Lilian Shtereva’s suspended semi-translucent painting, where swelling organic forms assert their joy. In the end, the space feels incredibly active and the works are in conversation with one another in multiple directions, much like the interweaving of roots and matter within a terrarium.


Installation view, photo courtesy of Ice Cream Social.

ICE CREAM SOCIAL 40 Merritt st, 2 nd Fl, Port Chester, NY March 5 th – May 6 th, 2022 Opening Reception: Saturday, March 5 th (7-9 pm) Gallery hours: Monday – Friday and select Saturdays (11 am – 5 pm), by appointment only. Accompanying events including artist talks and workshops TBA at https://www.icecreamsocialart.com/events

Terrarium features work by Amanda L. Andrei, Adina Andrus, Steven Baboun, Sibley Barlow, Kristian Battell, Jenn Cacciola, Nicki Cherry, Lynden Cline, Lindsy Davis, Natalie Jauregui-Ortiz, Ruth Jeyaveeran, Susan Luss, Patricia Miranda, Jumana Mograbi, Taya Naumovich, Dana O’Malley, Allison Panzironi, Anya Rosen, Tavia Sanza, Manju Shandler, 5Kayo Shido, Matthew Shively, Lilian Shtereva, Theo Trotter, Sarah Valeri, and Robert Zurer.


Jenn Cacciola is a NY and CT-based artist and curator. She is the Program Director of Ice Cream Social, a member of NYC Crit Club, and co-curator of Openings Artist Collective as well as with P2P curatorial group. She completed a BSVA degree from SUNY Purchase in 2015, and has exhibited her work at BRIC Arts, EFA Project Space, NAWA Gallery, and Ely Center of Contemporary Art, among other New York and regional spaces. She has been awarded residencies at the Sheen Center For Thought & Culture, Manassas National Battlefield Park, Socially Distant Art, World of Co, and Cel del Nord. She previously taught PreK-12th grade Art in NYC schools, and was an Art Educator with the New-York Historical Society, the NARS Foundation, and Wingspan Arts. She has also assisted in art forensic and conservation projects at the Hispanic Society of America Museum, PepsiCo Sculpture Garden, and TONDO Art Forensics Lab.

Matthew Shively started M. Shively Art + Design in Port Chester in 2013, seeking to bridge the gap between art and design. His designs are driven by curiosity and a sense of childlike wonder. His interests have previously guided him through a variety of industries, including running his own vinyl records shop and working as an House DJ. His artistic practice began with woodworking and was followed by metalwork. This led to the founding of his custom furniture company, Cercatrova, which won Interior Design magazine’s 2011 Best of Year award and was invited to show work in New York Design Center’s 2011 Whats New Whats Next showcase. He was then commissioned by Elle Decor’s Modern Life to join the Concept House Project in 2012. He now focuses on his own sculpture and object designs via MSA+D, and has founded Ice Cream Social as a supportive gathering space for artists.