Ultralight Beam, curated by Rebecca Mills at the Pelham Art Center, brings together paintings, sculptures, and installations by artists who focus on visionary methods and spirituality of all kinds. Featured artists: Sunny Allis, Angelica Bergamini, Claire Buckley, Susan Carr, Joan Di Lieto & Thunderfox, Ala Ebtekar, Gabriel Mills, Sarah Renzi-Sanders, Christina Saj, and Chris Watts. The show runs from September 15 to October 30, 2022.
Nancy Elsamanoudi says she was drawn to painting because of its fluid relationship to time from the viewer’s and the painter’s perspectives alike. The viewer gets a visceral sense of the painter’s vision in the past, and the painter experiences the fluidity of time throughout the process of painting. Elsamanoudi further specifies: “when you paint, you can, so to speak, go back and forth through time, adding layers-submerging the past or revealing the past by scraping or stripping away previous layers.”
Sharon Madanes grew up in Chicago in a family of physicians and was exposed to both art and medicine from a young age – her first job was helping to package sterilized surgical equipment. She also spent weekends at the Art Institute of Chicago taking art classes and wandering through the collection. She has always found the strange forms and aesthetics of medical settings fascinating: “as a painter and physician, I’m currently making work about this very juxtaposition, exploring different elements of hospital and medical culture through paint,” she says. Sharon Madanes is participating in Domestic Brutes at Pelham Art Center.
Maria de Los Angeles says she feels very blessed to be included in the Domestic Brutes exhibition at the Pelham Art Center. A DACA recipient, she grew up undocumented and currently she is working on getting her citizenship, looking forward to contributing by voting for the first time. “Since I arrived to this country 20 years ago, I have looked forward to Voting. I love this county and consider it my home and can’t wait to do my part by helping elect new people. I truly believe we can build a better future together,” she says.
Tirtzah Bassel grew up in Israel, the oldest of eight in a Jewish Orthodox family. Her father is a traditional scribe and her mother, a ballet dancer by training, was the homemaker when they were growing up. Although both of her parents were very creative and the value of making things by hand was instilled early on, she didn’t know any professional artists and had no concept that making art was something she could do as an adult. This changed when she took a night class at the Jerusalem Studio School in her early twenties. She recalls how she was immediately drawn to the intensity of the atelier-style learning environment, drawing and painting from observation, and the methods of the Old Master paintings. She later decided to pursue an MFA at Boston University and subsequently moved to Brooklyn. “Perhaps it was the continuous traversing of worlds – religious and secular, Israel and the US, Hebrew and English – that led me to ground my work in close observation of seemingly mundane situations,” she says.
Diana Schmertz has always been interested in systems that people create to organize what they perceive in the world around them — based in science, religion, psychology, philosophy or politics. The artist says that no matter how cerebral a system or an idea may appear, it is always experienced through our physical senses and in order to communicate balance between reason and senses, she paints imagery of the body expressing emotional understanding juxtaposed with systems of verbal and/or mathematical reasoning. In Domestic Brutes, the women group show at Pelham Art Center Diana Schmertz shows a painting installation. Her virtual artist talk hosted by PAC is scheduled for October 8th.
Ashley Norwood Cooper is an artist and a mother, raising three teenagers in a small town in upstate NY. Her paintings have always dealt with family and home and how the personal connects us to the global and political. She is interested in the schizophrenic role of the artist-mother-wife-teacher and in how to redefine the heroic from a woman’s perspective. Ashley Norwood Cooper is participating in Domestic Brutes and she will present her work in a virtual studio visit hosted by Pelham Art Center on Thursday, October 15th, 5-6pm.
Hyperaccumulators are plants capable of growing in soils with very high concentrations of metals and are known for extracting contaminants; thus, helping the ecosystem. This duality of destruction and restoration underscores “HyperAccumulators” – the current vibrant group show at Pelham Art Center. In their upcoming artist talk, curators Alexandra Brock and Elizabeth Saperstein will lead the panel on how contemporary artists interpret connectivity between nature, toxicity, and possible regeneration. And not merely in nature. As curator Alexandra Brock says, “we have become ‘HyperAccumulators’ dealing with the everyday environmental and political climate we are living in. The artists are taking in all this- and helping us return to a better state.”