Melissa Stern in Domestic Brutes at Pelham Art Center

In Dialogue with Melissa Stern

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NYC Studio, with the sculpture WIG SHOP

Melissa Stern is an artist, working in mixed materials and across genres. She is interested in ideas that are simultaneously funny and dark- that is, “work that might make you smile or laugh, but with a wee bit of discomfort,” as she puts it. Much of her work of recent years focuses on home and childhood and the ways in which our childhoods and our memories haunt our lives. She works in clay, found objects, wood, metal collage and various drawing materials. Her goal is that the materials she uses are at the service of the ideas. On a different note she says, “I am an only child, raised by older parents who were first generation Americans. My mother desperately wanted to be ‘American’. My father was very connected to his European heritage. This push and pull; between belonging and being an outsider has profoundly influenced my life as an artist.” Melissa Stern is participating in Domestic Brutes at Pelham Art Center.

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Artists on Coping: Daniel Wiener

During the Coronavirus pandemic, Art Spiel is reaching out to artists to learn how they are coping.

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In the studio with my dog, Ollie. May 11, 2020

Daniel Wiener, who received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2012, grew up near Los Angeles but has lived in NYC for thirty-nine years. A professional artist since 1977, Daniel’s first show was at the Stephen Wirtz gallery in San Francisco, held shortly after his graduation from UC at Berkeley. In 1982 Daniel was awarded a fellowship for an unusually long stay at Yaddo, which inspired his exodus to the East Coast. Daniel was affiliated with Lesley Heller Gallery, until it closed due to the Covid 19 pandemic, where he had a one-person exhibition titled Wide-eyed & Open-mouthed in September, 2019. In response to this show, Bomb Magazine published an interview with Daniel and Fawn Krieger called The Space of Intimacy: Daniel Wiener. He is currently working on a series of painting-like bas-reliefs made from self-hardening clay based on a technique he developed at Dieu Donne. Daniel lives and works in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn.

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Artists on Coping: ShinYeon Moon

During the Coronavirus pandemic, Art Spiel is reaching out to artists to learn how they are coping.

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“If I were a House…” 8.5 x 11 inches. Digital. 2020

ShinYeon Moon (Shin) is a freelance illustrator based in New York. Moon received her B.F.A. in Fine Arts at the New York University and holds an M.F.A. from the School of Visual Arts in Illustration as Visual Essay. She has been in solo and group exhibitions throughout the United States, Austria, and Japan. She taught Design Foundations at Queens College and has received accolades from different illustration publications including 3×3 Magazine, Creative Quarterly, and Latin American Illustration.

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Artists on Coping: Alison Lowry

During the Coronavirus pandemic, Art Spiel is reaching out to artists to learn how they are coping.

Alison Lowry

Alison Lowry, with handmade glass awards at the Business to Arts awards ceremony in Belfast

Alison Lowry is a glass artist living and working from her studio, ‘Schoolhouse Glass’ in Saintfield, Co. Down in Northern Ireland. In 2009 she graduated from Ulster University with an Honors degree in Art and Design. Since then she has won numerous awards including first place in the category, ‘Glass Art’ at the Royal Dublin Society in 2015 and 2009, the Silver Medal at the Royal Ulster Arts Club’s Annual Exhibition in 2010, the Warm Glass Prize in 2010 and 2011 and more recently the Bronze Award at Bullseye Glass’ exhibition for emerging artists, ‘Emerge’. Alison exhibits nationally and internationally, and her work is held in several public collections. Her current exhibition, ‘(A)Dressing our hidden truths’ is currently on display at the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin

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Artists on Coping: Rhonda Dee

During the Coronavirus pandemic, Art Spiel is reaching out to artists to learn how they are coping.

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Photo credit: ZakiP

Rhonda Dee is from Texas and currently resides in Australia. She holds a BFA, (CCA, Seattle), and MA, from Sydney College of the Arts. Her layered works explore the body as a site of transformation between human, animal hybrids and supernatural forces. Her works are in permanent collection at Macquarie University, Australia-China Arts Foundation, and Museu Brasileiro da Escultura, Sao Paulo, Brazil.  Recently, she’s begun creating public artworks with disadvantaged communities. She features in Artist Profile, The Art Life, Torrens University Blog, Arts Hub Australia and is currently designing podcasts with Casula Powerhouse Art Centre, in response to COVID19.

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Artists on Coping: Jerry Siegel

During the Coronavirus pandemic, Art Spiel is reaching out to artists to learn how they are coping

Jerry Siegel

Born in Selma, AL, Jerry Siegel is a photographer living in Atlanta, GA, and working throughout the Southeast. Siegel focuses his work in the traditions of documentary and portrait photography. His work in the Black Belt region of Alabama was recently published by the Georgia Museum of Art. This monograph, Black Belt Color, focuses on the unique, cultural landscape of the Black Belt region. His first monograph, Facing South, Portraits of Southern Artists, was published by the University of Alabama Press in 2011, and features portraits of 100 Southern artists.

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Artists on Coping: Renee Robbins

During the Coronavirus pandemic, Art Spiel is reaching out to artists to learn how they are coping.

Renee Robins in her studio

Renee Robbins is a Chicago-based visual artist who layers biomorphic forms to create detailed otherworldly environments. She has been awarded public art commissions with Chicago Public Art Group, Wabash Arts Corridor, and Illinois’ Art-In-Architecture program. She has exhibited widely, including exhibitions at Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Chicago, IL; Lois Lambert Gallery, Santa Monica, CA; Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, Batavia, IL; Firecat Projects, Chicago, IL; and the Alden B Dow Museum of Science and Art, Midland, MI. Her work has been featured in the Chicago Gallery News, PBS WTTW, and Ahtcast. Robbins has been working in Chicago for over a decade.

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Artists on Coping: Yura Adams

During the Coronavirus pandemic, Art Spiel is reaching out to artists to learn how they are coping.


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Yura Adams is best known for her abstract and energetic paintings that interpret ideas found in physics, injected with messages of cultural and poetic experience. Adams has been exhibited with the New Museum in New York, Experimental Intermedia, Franklin Furnace, New Music America, Real Art Ways, and one person shows at the John Davis Gallery in Hudson, New York. Most recently, Adams received a Pollock-Krasner grant and exhibited at the Hyde Collection, Glens Falls, New York, Collarworks, Troy, New York and produced at Dieu Donné, a large-scale, hand-made paper installation for her one-person show at the Courthouse Gallery in Lake George, New York.

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Artists on Coping: Vito Desalvo

During the Coronavirus pandemic, Art Spiel is reaching out to artists to learn how they are coping.

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Simple Pyscho- Vito Desalvo

Can we ever really know another person?  I ask myself that frequently  when thinking of the great Vito Desalvo. Though I have known Vito for nearly 60 years, he is still an enigma to me. A huge fan of his work, I tentatively  approached Desalvo about this interview. He demanded a carton of cigarettes in return for sharing his thoughts. I then turned to his friend and colleague Stan Klein who graciously agreed to approach the inscrutable Desalvo on my behalf. The following is the result.

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