PoliticoPopUp#2 Online Catalogue
CATALYST COLLECTIVE MEMBER
Gason Ayisyin is a New Orleans-based photographer born in Cabaret, Haiti. Gason immigrated to the United States as a young child, settling a close-knit neighborhood in South Florida where he sustained a traditional Haitian lifestyle before moving to New Orleans in 2001.
Gason’s self-studied interest in photography began in high school while in South Florida and continued thereafter. However, a pivotal moment after Hurricane Katrina transitioned his interest from casual enjoyment to purposeful vision. Soon after, Gason developed a loyal following that has dubbed him The Spirit Catcher, due to his combination of spirituality and storytelling in a documentary style of photography. Gason seeks not to capture moments, but energies; thus, his artistic viewpoint immortalizes expressions of the inner-self and cuts through pretense to expose spirit and the beauty that emanates from such truth.
Dylan Cruz Azaceta
Cutting Ties Series
The current Syrian experience is like a modern day Trail of Tears. It addresses the tragedy of war, and the torn identity of the Syrian people. This series of work focuses on the women & children fleeing out of Syria in large numbers as refugees, and their tenuous journey for survival. The volatile state of chaos and dispersion is contained within the image of a cutting saw blade.
BIO: Born 1991, Brooklyn, New York residing in New Orleans. New media artist, works involve video installations, and mixed media exploration. Through his work, he explores aspects of impermanence. Most recently his work was shown at The Front gallery in the Digital Networks Film Festival, and Connections at the New Orleans Art Center. Some exhibitions of interest include; Louisiana Contemporary at the Ogden Museum, Urban Sidewalk Installation/VESTIGES/TRINITAS, P.3+ Venue, CA$H & CARRY at Good Children Gallery, and NOLA NOW Part II Contemporary Arts Center curated by Don Marshall. He received his BA in New Media at Southeastern’s Louisiana University.
Escape from Freedom
I photograph people because as this helps me to process and understand the world as I pass through it. People are best understood as they reveal themselves in their environment; knowledge is contextual. I photograph using highly pushed black and white film which I self process in my kitchen sink or at the New Orleans Community Printshop. Photography is a process, taking a photo is not a single, autonomous, isolated event, but as series of events constituting a process; this method deepens my immersion in the process. The grainy, 1970’s, news photo feel contributes to the understanding that a moment passed is being viewed; a representation of that person, at that particular fraction of a second, in their environment is being revisited.
I grew up in Lexington, KY and have lived in New Orleans off and on since 2003, and had been visiting regularly before that dating back to the 1990's. Additionally, I have lived in Spain, China, Kazakhstan, and NYC. I first became interested in art as child and would spend many hours drawing. My interest shifted to photography in my early twenties. While living abroad I discovered that pictures of the various places I visited were much more
interesting when they included people. I feel that people give as much, if not more context and a sense of place than place itself. I regularly show my work around New Orleans including the 2016 Louisiana Contemporary show at the Ogden and have been published here and abroad.
This series of pictures, "Escape from Freedom," was taken while on a day trip to the Mississippi Gulf Coast from New Orleans. It explores the interplay between the individual and the loss of self in a group as well as the abdication of the self as part of a greater "heritage." My environmental portraiture work focuses on the distinction between one's self and their environment; shooting this event was a natural extension of that. I choose not to title the photos individually as I prefer to allow the viewer to construct their own meaning and take aways.
These images were captured while on assignment for ANTIGRAVITY Magazine. “Bus to Angola” features a woman who rides a shuttle bus once a month to visit her grandson, who is currently serving a sentence at Angola State Prison. “Die-In on Canal Street” was caught during an assembly of Black Lives Matter protestors after the killing of Michael Brown. “Waiting for Obama” is a behind-the-scenes look at the press room, right before President Obama spoke at the Katrina 10 anniversary. The final three images were taken during the protests immediately following this past election.
BIO: Adrienne Battistella is an internationally published freelance photographer and the current Photo Editor of ANTIGRAVITY Magazine. Her work can be seen in publications such as USA Today, TIME, Essence, NOLA.com, Arthur Hardy’s Mardi Gras Guide, The Advocate, ANTIGRAVITY, and more. She is currently in the process of completing a BFA in Photography from the University of New Orleans.
Sheri Lynn Behr
Born in the Bronx, Sheri Lynn Behr studied photography and digital imaging in New York City and began her career photographing musicians and celebrities back in the day. Her rock and roll photographs appeared in most music publications of the time and are now collected and exhibited, and are still being published.
After several years working in the music business, Sheri decided to concentrate on personal work. Her photo projects have explored Polaroid manipulations, New York City's Chinatown, and the iconic Lucky Cat. The most recent work deals with photography without permission and our surveillance society. Her photographs have been widely exhibited and have appeared in American and international publications. In 2012 she received a Fellowship in Photography from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.
The unprecedented centrality of television in American culture has left us with habits of consumption, passivity, and a loss of identity. The twenty-four hour cable news cycle, with its bloated fabrications and divisive rhetoric, holds us hostage to glowing screens while subjecting us to colorful advertisements. In this series, each image is a reflection of our fears, traditions and inaccuracies instilled in us through film, media and political culture. My works are staged reproductions and critiques of who we’ve become - at times real, at other times satirical, albeit sad.
BIO: Being an artist has comforted me since I was five years old. As a child who was placed in a school where I knew no one and had absolutely no connection to any person, my only console were visual images. My interest grew throughout grade school and high school only to manifest itself into a tangible practice in college. Graduating from The University of Louisiana at Lafayette Visual Arts Program in Photography, my work strengthened into a cohesive body of work entitled "American Paradox" which is still in production to this day. My long term goal career goal for my work is to affect social and political change in this country through compelling and thought provoking imagery.
CATALYST COLLECTIVE MEMBER
New Orleans Tokens & Souvenirs
My work focuses primarily on people of color and social justice issues. “New Orleans Tokens & Souvenirs” is an ongoing photography and essay project that documents how Black Americans are depicted in contemporary New Orleans tourism memorabilia, and how these items impact the quality of their lives.
BIO: Jerald L. White is a New Orleans, LA and Anderson, IN based artist and community advocate, also known as "Bottletree." Before joining the arts and culture community he worked as a grassroots organizer, attorney and environmental policymaker in New Orleans and Washington, DC. Jerald is a member of the New Orleans Catalyst Collective, the founder of Charitable Film Network and the New Orleans Loving Festival.
Uptown Tent City
Last year I noticed more tents under the viaducts in Uptown, Chicago and it made me wonder why there were more tents and who was living in them. It also made me think about the tent as a changing symbol of hearty outdoor living to urban homelessness. When I was contacted by Streetwise in Chicago to help document the Uptown tents, I learned about the Uptown tent city and its wonderful community. The bonds of this community help its residents survive.
BIO: Suzette Bross is a photographer living and working in Chicago, Illinois. Her work is in the permanent collections of The Art Institute of Chicago, The National Gallery of Art, DC, Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, Cleveland Museum of Art, The New Britain Museum of American Art, Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, and more.
With an MFA from the Institute of Design at IIT, Bross has taught at Columbia College Chicago, the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design and the Northwestern University Medical School. Her work has been exhibited internationally and across the United States. Bross was commissioned by Northwestern Memorial Hospital to create a permanent portrait series of Chicago women and also included in the Cleveland Museums of Art’s “DIY: Photographers & Books” show. Bross exhibited her Walks series in a solo show at Geary Contemporary in New York City, NY and also had a solo exhibition for her latest series, For the Glass at the Chicago Artists Coalition at the end of her BOLT Residency in June. Recently, Bross was featured in the Geary Contemporary booth at EXPO CHICAGO 2016.
Sean G. Clark
CATALYST COLLECTIVE MEMBER
State of America
I was born and raised in Chattanooga Tennessee. After graduating high school I attended Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia where I graduated with a B.S. in Biology in 2011. Fast forward to 2012 when I moved to New Orleans, Louisiana I began working in public health to spread awareness on various health issues. With a background in public-health and art, I aim to bridge the gap between art and public health. As an artist I focus on my surrounding environment and the issues people face in that environment. My subject matter ranges from the external natural environment to one’s own internal environment. My art is aimed at creating questions and narratives in the minds of the viewer.
CATALYST COLLECTIVE MEMBER
New Orleans native and photographer.
Ian Chrystal’s art is dynamic and adaptive while consistently revealing an affecting style that begs rumination. Ian incorporates various media and techniques he deems best suited to his aesthetic vision for an artwork, based upon its subject and theme. His work exposes expressionist leanings as well as illustrative and graphic influences.
In his current series, “JustUs,” Ian utilizes gel medium transfers of portraits (in charcoal, conté crayon, and ink) to painted canvases, resulting in a distressed appearance intended to elicit a disconcerting sensation in the viewer. This series aims to help combat the systemic and institutionalized racism that has pervaded society for centuries by humanizing victims of our epidemic urban violence. Too often viewed as statistics and barely given attention in the media, our neighbors are dying, and we are all culpable. It is the artist’s hope that these images will instill a sense of empathy and community in the viewer in aid of destroying the misguided perception of “us and them,” so that we may finally realize “just us,” and begin to shape our world in accordance with that ideal.
Dorit Jordan Dotan
The Lady Protests...
There have always been those who, as minorities, have fewer rights than others. I utilize my right to protest through my images, especially when those whom I photograph often cannot freely protest for themselves. What we witness today, we have seen before.
Born in 1961, Israeli-German artist, Dorit Jordan Dotan lives near Chicago. She has created an impressive body of fine art images and photographs, including architectural, textural and urban genres, and fine art. She has often served voluntarily as in-house photographer for many activist organizations. Her photographs have been published in Israel and in the international press.
Ms. Jordan Dotan is an Exclusive Photographer with Getty Images.
Fellow Member at the Jewish Art Salon New York.
Mya Ebanks is a painter and photographer who was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. She attended NOCCA for 4 years studying Visual Arts and is currently a Delgado Community College student majoring in Web Design.
My choice of subject comes from me wanting to explore my spirituality and finding ways to communicate with my ancestors. I use photography to document a ceremony to thank the ancestors that came before me and other Black people in the Diaspora. For those who practice voodoo, it is important to honor them. My goal is to show them honor and respect by using photography and capture what ignites my spirit.
Facebook/Michael Fedor/Artist/New Orleans
Residence of New Orleans since 1984. Born Bayonne, NJ. 1959. Studied at the Art Students League of NY, New Orleans Academy of Fine Art, BFA NJCU 1983. A Born Surrealist. Autonomic drawing has been a practice since 1977. An intuitive colorist, collage and painting are natural homes for these personal universes.
Without Regard to Sex, Race or Color
A large bell hangs in the clock tower overlooking the now quiet campus of Morris Brown College. Its inscription reads, in part, Dedicated to the Education of Youth, Without Regard to Sex, Race or Color.
Predominantly in the decades after the Civil War, about 120 colleges were established to educate African Americans. Over time these schools became known as historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). One of these colleges is Morris Brown.
Morris Brown was founded in 1881, one of the rare HBCUs founded by African Americans as most were founded by white philanthropists from outside the South. But over time the college’s finances became increasingly precarious, and in 2003 the school lost its accreditation to financial pressures and scandal. Today its campus is largely abandoned.
I was granted unique access to the hauntingly silent campus of Morris Brown and spent a year shooting a sixty image body or work. A book of this work, Without Regard to Sex, Race, or Color, was recently published by the University of Georgia Press. Its title is inspired by the inscription on the school bell.
During my time on campus, I sought visual moments and emotional touch points that illuminate the stories in these stilled classrooms and hallways. In part this saga is a Morris Brown story, but it also an HBCU story. Each HBCU has a proud past. Each faces significant challenges. Each has uncertainties in its future. But in the research that I did as part of my work, one statistic is glaring: The roughly one hundred HBCUs that remain are a mere 3% of colleges in America but they represent more than 10% of African Americans who go to college and more than 25% who graduate with degrees. These facts plant this story firmly in the midst of one of the core debates raging in our society: how do we create opportunity in American? How do we create onramps to the middle class?
BIO: Andrew Feiler is a fifth generation Georgian. Having grown up Jewish in Savannah, he and his art have been shaped by the rich complexities of the American South, and of being a minority in the South: history and culture, geography and race, tradition and conflict, injustice and progress. Andrew's photographs have won numerous awards. His work has been featured in galleries and museums, magazines and newspapers, and is in a number of private and public collections. He earned his bachelor of science in economics from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He earned a master’s in modern History from Oxford University and a master’s in Business administration from Stanford University.
In this first series of solo works started in late 2015, Cecelia explores the validity of accepted truths that inform our notion of history, justice, self, sexuality, and security through the use of collage-like digital montages, as a tool to rearrange the urban landscape which gives form to individual identity and expose the intersectionality of a social fabric that seeks to counter-balance and place into question the master narrative of conquerer beliefs which is the foundation of the present established power structure.
BIO: Cecelia is a 6th generation New Orleanian whose perspective reflect her experience growing up in the black community. She studied painting, sculpture and videography, and lived five years between Lisbon and Rome, completing her education at New York’s New School for Social Science.
Trump Protest, New York City, October 19, 2016
The Fight Against Donald Trump
Ashley Gates is a Mississippi-born photographer living in New York. These photographs reflect the anxiety and anger in response to Donald Trump's bigotry and rise to power.
CATALYST COLLECTIVE MEMBER
Urban Farm Series
This body of work explores the rise of urban farming in post-Katrina New Orleans, investigating the history of landscape painting, while grounded in larger issues around climate change, resilience, breaking racial, social, economic boundaries, food deserts, and self-sustainability. I draw from personal experiences as well as historical references that thread together painting, light, film, architecture, and sculpture.
BIO: Miro Hoffmann is an emerging visual artist living and working in New Orleans, La. Hoffmann graduated from NOCCA Riverfront in 2009 and left the city to attend School of the Museum of Fine Arts and Tufts University in Boston, earning a BFA in 2013. Since then Hoffmann has moved back to NOLA to appreciate, learn, and grow from the richness of culture, food, music, and art that keeps his creativity flowing strong. Hoffmann was a 2015 artist in residence at The Joan Mitchell Center in New Orleans.
She, We, He/Justice for All
I'm passionate about art and can usually be found behind the scene's. I would like to change that and start to become known for my art, which tends to have an African American, female narrative.
Rodger Kamenetz is an award-winning poet, author and teacher. Of his ten books, his best known is The Jew in the Lotus, the story of rabbis making a holy pilgrimage through India to meet with the Dalai Lama. His account of their historic dialogue became an international bestseller, prompting a reevaluation of Judaism in the light of Buddhist thought. Now in its 35th printing overall, The Jew in the Lotus is a staple of college religion courses. The New York Times called it a "revered text." A PBS documentary followed, and a sequel, Stalking Elijah, won him the National Jewish Book Award for Jewish Thought.
Born in Baltimore, Rodger Kamenetz has degrees from Yale, Johns Hopkins and Stanford. At Louisiana State University, he held a dual appointment as a Professor of English and Professor of Religious Studies and founded the MFA program in creative writing and the Jewish Studies minor. He retired as LSU Distinguished Professor and Sternberg Honors Chair Professor. He lives in New Orleans where he devotes himself now to his work with clients who seek spiritual direction through dreams.
Krista Dedrick Lai
The Veil, An International Debate
Krista Dedrick Lai is a long time resident of Philadelphia, PA having originally moved there, from Pittsburgh, PA, to attended Temple University’s Tyler School of Art. Using cut-paper or paint she has traditionally used art to navigate and illustrate her own inner landscape. Dreams, nightmares, extreme emotions, personal traumas and private turmoils have typically been the subject matter for her abstract work and inspiration for her representational work.
As time has gone on her artist’s eye has looked increasingly outward, sometimes as far as millions of light-years away, in the case of her Space Exploration series, and sometimes closer to home, as in the case of her Icons series. As Krista has become increasingly aware of the injustice in her country her focus has turned to creating artwork that incorporates political and social themes. Krista has found this new way of working to be compelling and satisfying and looks forward to seeing where her work takes her in the coming years. Krista lives in Philadelphia’s Point Breeze neighborhood with her husband where she also maintains a studio. She enjoys walking around the city looking for new street art, eating chocolate, doing yoga, taking naps and, of course, making artwork.
And I Mean Every Word of It
When Nina Simone played Carnegie Hall in 1964, she told the audience she was playing a new song called "Mississippi Goddam"--and after a beat, she said "And I mean every word of it." In part a elegy for the horrific murder of Medgar Evers, the song burst through the formal boundaries of protest and spilled out the inner thoughts of the poet herself: "Just give me my equality."
Five decades later, we still need Black Lives Matter to remind us of the value, importance, and beauty of African Americans. Yet that length of time has begun to erase both the triumphs and the horrors of the struggle for Civil Rights. It is for us living in the Mississippi of the 21st century to see in our current landscape the struggles of the past, and the pathway towards a future where all people are treated equally.
AND I MEAN EVERY WORD OF IT is a series interrogating the landscape of Mississippi to find moments of reflection and hope.
I am photographer exploring the connection between urban environments and nature. I am interested in environmental, social and political issues within the mundane and everyday. I use different methods of photography to portray these interests.
Samantha Melfi is a New Orleans based artist who is originally from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. She graduated from the Art Institute of Boston in 2013.
Separate But Equal
I was born, raised, and still reside in my beloved city of New Orleans. The pseudonym, Ti-Rock Moore, pays homage to the late 1960s, French Quarter artist Noel Rockmore, who greatly influenced me as a child. As a young woman I fought for gay rights during the 80s and 90s, a time when there was much resistance to the movement. As gay rights have gained substantial momentum, I have since shifted my focus to the devastating racism that remains very pervasive in all areas of society in this country and have used it as the primary focus for my artistic practice.
Living in the South has always made racism a highly visible, salient, and uncomfortable reality. After Hurricane Katrina, the extreme racism in this country was magnified ten-fold and I knew then, without reservation, that something needed to be done. I practiced privately for many years, but I emerged publicly with my protest pieces in June 2014 and have since shown at various galleries in New Orleans, Los Angeles and Brooklyn, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, the Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans, and Art Basel in Miami. My first solo show opened in Chicago in July 2015, my second solo show opened at the Houston Museum of African American Culture in October 2015, and my third solo show will open in June 2016 in New Orleans at Jonathan Ferrara Gallery.
My artistic practice is rooted in my passions primarily as an activist. The vast majority of my body of work is a criticism of American patriotism driven by white supremacy and the continued systemic oppression that people of color face in the United States. My specific areas of interest are in addressing the mass incarceration of young black people in America and the undeniable violence they experience at the hands of white authorities and those in their very own community. My artistic influences include: Andy Warhol, Deborah Koss, and Thorton Dial. I work primarily with mixed media using found objects and occasionally use video clips with historical significance to make my message direct.
I reference 19th century slave labor, particularly in the American South, to delineate the progression of present-day commodification of the black body. In the movement to dismantle racism, I take responsibility as a white activist to express my frustrations about the treatment of the black community in the United States. I believe, it is time for white Americans to hold accountability for and stand up to the injustices of racial oppression. With the great controversy surrounding my artwork, I continue to primarily identify as an activist and my mission is to raise the consciousness of white Americans who refuse to acknowledge the persistently oppressive structures that benefit white mediocrity above all else.
I recognize my white privilege as a direct remnant of slavery. White privilege controls America’s heartbeat, and our nation’s collective loss of memory, our historical amnesia is to blame. My work is an expression of activism. It is reactive and loud. Honestly and frankly, I explore white privilege through my acute awareness of the unearned advantage my white skin holds.
David Rae Morris
The state of Mississippi has always intrigued me. It is a place of great beauty and of great tragedy. It has produced many great artists, writers, and actors, but also is home to racial injustice, stunning poverty, and political divisiveness. My father was a fifth generation Mississippian. He was born in Jackson and raised in Yazoo City, Mississippi. He left when he was 17 to go off to college in 1952. He remained in self-imposed exile for almost 30 years and did not return to live until 1980, long after the "troubles" were supposedly over. But he loved Mississippi and had great hopes for its potential. I lived in Mississippi for several years in the 1980s as a newspaper photographer and continued to photograph there for many years. I, too, believe Mississippi has great potential, but it much first overcome it's terrible and tragic past of bigotry and racial hatred.
David Rae Morris is a photographer and filmmaker. He was born in Oxford, England and grew up in New York City and holds a B.A. from Hampshire College in Amherst, MA, and an M.A. In Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Minnesota. His photographs have been published and exhibited widely. His latest film, “Yazoo Revisited: Integration and Segregation in A Deep Southern Town,” was shown earlier this month at the Kansas International Film Festival. He has worked and photographed extensively in the state of Mississippi and published his first book of photographs, "My Mississippi" in 2000, with the text by his late father, the noted writer, Willie Morris, whose books include "North Toward Home," "The Courting of Marcus Dupree," and "My Dog Skip."
CATALYST COLLECTIVE MEMBER
Topless/Shirtless is a series of photographs that uses pairs of male and female torsos to contemplate the social indecency of female breasts and nipples. Censor strips are created from each photograph and transposed over its opposite to explore the similarities between male and female anatomy, exposing the outdated and linguistically loaded word “topless." The Oxford English dictionary defines topless as: (of a woman) having the breasts uncovered. Its connotation is evidence reflecting how deeply misogyny is embedded in the subconscious of Western cultures, how being female makes you an other. Shirtless, however, implies nothing more than someone lacking a garment on their upper body, no judgement of character, nothing risque.
Topless/Shirtless is a comparison of the language used to describe bare chested males and females in public space and an exploration of what the sexes have in common. By altering the perception of what male and female bodies can look like, the sexes are visually unified as each body is in the other’s place.
BIO: Kel Mur grew up in New Jersey, graduated Cum Laude with a B.A. in Fine Art from Monmouth University in 2011, and received the Creativity in Studio Art Award for her senior honors thesis, Commodity. Since then she has relocated to New Orleans to develop her studio practice. She explores the female figure and how it has been commercialized, objectified, and celebrated with work steeped in feminist theory. Her body of work consists mainly of two processes: assemblage and photographic documentation.
Kel Mur has shown in female-centric shows like La Femme at the New Orleans Art Center, The Fairer Sex presented by Where Y'Art, and in other socially conscious exhibitions like Politico Pop-Up. She has also shown work in New York and along the Jersey Shore. Kel Mur has had artwork published in BARED, an anthology of writing and art about breasts (La Femmes Folles, 2017) and HOOT Online Magazine (2013). She also works as a freelance illustrator.
Kel Mur is a member of the Catalyst Collective of New Orleans, an art and social action initiative in New Orleans and frequently volunteers for Mama Maji, a New Orleans based non-profit that funds water projects and entrepreneurial training for women in Kenya.
New Orleans 1st Gay Rights Demonstration
These images, from 1977 in New Orleans, are from the first time the LBGT community held a public rally and demonstration for equality and freedom from violence on the advent of anti-gay spokesperson Anita Bryant.
Owen Murphy, a native of Louisiana, was born in New Orleans. After attending the Univ. of New Orleans, he moved to New York City in the late 60’s, briefly returning to New Orleans in the early 70’s. It was during this time that he learned the basics in photography and helped create the New Orleans Visual Collective, a communal learning experience under the guidance of the late Dennis Cipnic. He then moved to San Francisco to continue his travels and further develop his interest in photography. By 1975, he returned to New Orleans and helped create the Photo Exchange, a photographers’ managed exhibition and work space. In 1998 he received a Louisiana Division of the Arts Fellowship for his photographic work and book, “Creoles of New Orleans”, co authored with Lyla Hay Owen. Currently he is an instructor in photography at the New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts, and is a founding member of the New Orleans Photo Alliance. His work is in the permanent collections of the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Historic New Orleans Collection, the Odgen Museum of Southern Art, and many private collections.
Vanishing America Video
I am investigating the psychology and sociology of America's constantly changing time and place that are displaced by the speed of it's analog and digital production. It's this displacement that I search to understand its impacts on our memory and our ability to understand one another.
These works focus on the elements that combine to form the American mindset that Baudrillard describes:
“There is a violent contrast here, in this country (USA), between the growing abstractness of a nuclear universe and a primary, visceral, unbounded vitality, springing not from rootedness, but from the lack of roots, a metabolic vitality, in sex and bodies, as well as in work and in buying and selling. Deep down, the US, with its space, its technological refinement, its bluff good conscience…is the only remaining primitive society. The American miracle: that of the obscene. The profusion of sense, as against the deserts of meaninglessness.”
Images of Dispair
My artistic self is a culmination of my life experiences, of being compelled to create, always, with my hands and imagination, in a myriad of media and forms. Having reached a point where the need and the confidence to express myself artistically, I strive to imbue emotion in every piece I create stitch by stitch, from my hand, my soul to the viewer's eye and hopefully soul. Recently a particular emphasis on the injustices suffered by those who are discriminated against by our society reflects my need to channel my efforts into work that reflects my despair.
Pop, Pop, Pop
My artistic process is focused on fostering an atmosphere that is conducive to drawing together disparate parties to deconstruct and challenge stereotypes that may be generationally seeded within a community structure.
My artistic process is focused on community engagement. My work endeavors to venture beyond social commentary and offer solutions to our communal problems. With my art I have addressed issues of race and representation, faith, gender equality, and socioeconomic disparities.
I am currently working on a body of work titled “Old Testament Series.” The premise of the series is that true love is like an old testament made new each day. I am re-contextualizing the thirty-nine books of the Old Testament as a love story. The series is comprised of linoleum cuts on paper that tell a story about a couple trying to maintain a covenantal relationship amid the complexities of home and society. The images are layered with poly-narratives that tell a complex story of love and commitment.
Whether I am creating prints or drawings, I am intrigued by the multiplicity of marks, textures and patterns that can be achieved in each process. Within those abstractions I am able to house oral traditions, popular culture, mythology, symbolism and history. The improvisation and syncopation embodied in Jazz and Hip Hop musical idioms collide in my work to create a universal and contemporaneous vocabulary.
BIO: Artist Steve A. Prince received his BFA from Xavier University of Louisiana and his MFA in Printmaking and Sculpture from Michigan State University. He is an Artist in Residence, Assistant Professor of Art and Black Studies at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania. He is represented by Eyekons Gallery in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Zucot Gallery in Atlanta, Georgia, and co-owner of One Fish Studio, LLC. Prince has taught with the Art League since 1995 with such classes as; Drawing, Bronze Casting, Printmaking, the SOHO Program, and the Art League Art Camp. Prince has created several public works and has received several honors for his art and scholarship including the 2010 Teacher of the year for the City of Hampton, Virginia. Prince has shown his art in various solo, group, and juried exhibitions and he has lectured in both secular and sacred settings internationally
The Future, to Come
Alea iacta est
The die is cast in America's big, dark gamble with bringing extremism to the forefront.
I am a retired journalist who hopes to see America become sane again.
Drumpf Cup // Swallow Your Words
BIO: Jacqueline Roche was born and raised in Massachusetts, however, she currently works and resides in New Orleans, LA. She graduated from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston in 2015 where she was awarded the 2D Departmental Award of Excellence. Her main medium is oil painting, however her work also includes fiber and sculpture. With the recent political situation, Jacqueline has taken a break from her more abstract paint sculptures to venture back into representational painting.
This body of work focuses on disassociated identity similar to the disease prosopagnosia, a disorder characterized by the inability to recognize faces.
In the past I struggled with identifying myself as an artist while also working a mundane day-to-day job that suppressed my passion for art. During this time, my artistic focus was on polishing my skills in rendering the human figure, an obsession that trapped me in the “portrait artist” category. To break that pattern I’ve abstracted the portrait and rendered the figure in a juxtaposition of real and unreal. The juxtaposition allows the viewer to be a part of each piece, inserting himself/herself into each subject and creating an infinite variable in my works
The abstracted painting has a life of its own; I use a uniform or a pose to express the desire and aspirations of the subject of the piece, but do not “identify” the subject with a face. The viewer fills the gaps of each subject and associates their own identity with that of the subject painted.
BIO: Born in the Bronx in 1987, Jason was raised in New York and later in Miami Florida. He received his AA from Miami Dade College and his BFA from the Memphis College of Art.
Jason designed two mural projects while in Memphis, one at GSK Manufacturing Plant and the other at the P & H Café. He has painted murals in New Orleans with his most current piece featuring The Flaming Arrows Tribe on Oretha Castle Haley Blvd and M.L.K. Boulevard. His work has been featured in Miambiance Magazine, Propaganda New Orleans (Nola Prop.), and on WGNO’s News with a Twist.
Currently, Jason lives and works in New Orleans under the alias “Art87jr”. He has sold his artwork internationally, is an established professional artist, and currently represented by Alchemy Gallery in Firestone Colorado.
Slave Head Deity
Matthew Rosenbeck is a multimedia artist who has been working in New Orleans, LA since 1995. His work spans from live musical performance to visual abstract art and sculpture. His last series heavily explored nature and spirituality in modern a context, with assemblage like wooden idols, cemented forms, which blended old world folklore with contemporary settings. His new seires, in progress, is an explorations in the graphic world with stenciled images and printed material with a focus on race, politics and religion
Welcome to America Video
Welcome to America explores brutality against immigrants in US detention after Sept 11, 2001. Made before the revelations at Abu-Ghraib, the work uses images released by the Department of Justice showing some of the violent handling of immigrants in the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn. A child repeats some of the racist, xenophobic and threatening epithets that were shouted at the detainees as their faces were shoved into a shirt with an American flag on it. In the background is a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance by school children.
BIO: Dread Scott makes revolutionary art to propel history forward. He first received national attention in 1989 when his art became the center of controversy over its use of the American flag. President G. H.W. Bush declared his artwork What is the Proper Way to Display a U.S. Flag?“disgraceful” and the entire US Senate denounced this work and outlawed it when they passed legislation to “protect the flag.” To oppose this law and other efforts which would effectively make patriotism compulsory, he, along with three other protesters, burned flags on the steps of the US Capitol. This resulted in a Supreme Court case and a landmark First Amendment decision.His art has been exhibited at the MoMA PS1, the Contemporary Art Museum Houston, The Walker Art Center and at the Pori Art Museum in Pori, Finlandas well as on view in America is Hard to See, the Whitney Museum’s inaugural exhibition in their new building. In 2012, BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) presented his performance Dread Scott: Decision as part of their 30th Anniversary Next Wave Festival. In 2008, the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts presented Dread Scott: Welcome to America. Winkleman Gallery and Cristin Tierney in New York have exhibited recent work and his public sculptures have been installed at Logan Square in Philadelphia and Franconia Sculpture Park in Minnesota. His work is in the collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the New Museum of Contemporary Art (NY) and the Akron Art Museum (OH).
Working in a multitude of mediums, Colleen Shannon uses a mixture of big and bold black lines with flashes of color to interpret things that move her in this world. Born in Deep South Louisiana and now living in the 9th ward of New Orleans much of her imagery is a reflection of that. From daily sketches and notes Colleen captures moments in time. Then translates these sketches into her art to share that experience with the world. Her main objective being capturing that initial spontaneity. Her work is a reflection of her own tapping deep into her own joy, sorrow and pain.
Though, Colleen Shannon was born in Deep South Louisiana, her commitment to art from a very young age, brought her to many great cities in pursuit of knowledge. Illustration classes at Parsons School of Design, in New York City. Drawing classes at Philadelphia College of Art and Moore School of Design in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Painting at Atlanta College of Art in Atlanta, Georgia. Design at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. Pottery at Southwest School of Art in San Antonio, Texas. Pottery at Nicholls State University in Thibodeaux, Louisiana. Because of her enthusiasm and lust for whatever she pursues, she has won multitudes of awards in art direction, design, painting and pottery.
Leona Strassberg Steiner
CATALYST COLLECTIVE MEMBER
My Burning Past
My Burning Past Video
Photographer and artist, Leona Strassberg Steiner’s work reflects her living in two very distinct and different landscapes. Having lived half her life in Israel and the other in the United States, she uses this dichotomy to her advantage, as a way to acquaint her viewer with two very different cultures. Her experiences from residing in Israel and the United States are what propel her photography, video, and printing projects. Her camera is her way of experimenting, deconstructing and reconstructing ideas, feelings and political leanings; looking at memories, displacement, transitions, and land.
On my return to the United States, memories began surfacing, that I could no longer ignore. Palestinians living inside and out of Israel’s borders, living as exiles, their homes being destroyed, land taken, towns and villages leveled to make room for my people and our new towns and villages.
The most recent atrocity is young children being arrested and taken to jails for weeks or months on end. Arresting children is the latest tactic used by the Israeli government to try to squash the Palestinian peaceful protests.
The End is Near
Dan Tague has an MFA in Studio Arts from The University of New Orleans, and is a multi-media artist whose work is exhibited both nationally and internationally. His work is in prominent collections including the Ogden Museum, Whitney Museum of American Art, NOMA, Speed Art Museum, J House, Frederick Weisman Collection and Photo Magazine Brussels.
"The many nuances associated with the dollar bill serve as an unrelenting source of inspiration for me as I fold the monetary engravings obsessively to reveal messages. These manipulated promissory notes take on new meanings as the messages are realized in the ready-made light of the U.S. currency. At the very core of this fiscal narrative is the tug-of-war between politics and the pursuit of happiness. This photo series offers a moment of reflection to further consider the good, bad, and the ugly potential of a monetary centric world." -Dan Tague
Laura Fisher and Jeremy Marx
Tranche is the sonic collaboration of guitarist Jeremy Marx and vocalist Laura Fisher. The two met about a year ago in New Orleans, during a visit-turned-creative collaboration-turned move. After writing and performing in a few different projects together, the pair decided to pursue their collaborative songwriting as a main focus.
Tranche is the synthesis of Marx's jazz guitar/performance training, as well as his blues and hard rock-infused upbringing in New Orleans; and Fisher's classical piano/vocal training, as well as her pop, experimental rock, and seasonal depression-fueled upbringing in the northeastern U.S. They write about the abstract and concrete experiences of being human (love, pain, anger, loss) as well as the social and political issues that shape worlds large and small.
Tranche is currently performing throughout New Orleans, with a short tour planned for the end of December in the NYC area and New England. The project is set to sign with area label Bubble Bath Records and also do a live recording session with New York City-label Guava Records before the end of 2016.
Where Do Broken Hearts Go?
Protesting will break your heart because it's hard to obtain justice, because it's absurd to be born guilty and have to prove your innocence, because it's humiliating to be forced to hide one's identity.
I have been taking photos for the last 20 years, people in the street, people protesting, band's photos, homeless, women against violence. It's time to fight back again.
BIO: Born in Italy, lived in USA from 1997 to 2007 then back to Rome, Italy from 2007 to 2015 now I moved back to Washington, DC.
Antonia Tricarico has been taking photos since 1997. In the past years she has been working as a photo archivist for Lucian Perkins (Pulitzer Prize winning photographer for the Washington Post) and collaborated with Tolotta Records, Dischord Records, Kill Rock Stars , Youth Action Research Group and the art collective District of Ladies (Dol). Her work can be found in the private collection of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History and the Special Collections Division of the District of Columbia Public Library, Punk and Go Go music archive MLK public library. Pubblications in Photo Review 2006/2013.
Mary Lou Uttermohlen
In a Tent Near the Superdome
I’ve been documenting homeless people who build shantytown communities for the past 23 years. The project has been as hard to market. It is a subject that people want to turn away from. My work has become as invisible as the people I document. Usually the photographs are presented as straight prints yet in this edition I experimented with twisting my presentation. I mixed building supplies and elements of home with the photographs.
This is the story of chronically homeless people in the United States that build shelter or create communities to structure their lives. Behind the scenes authorities work to pass laws to make these communities a crime. Cities have passed laws against camping, panhandling and distributing food to the homeless. The concept being if life gets too hard they will decide to choose not to be homeless. Even though 90% of this population suffers from mental illness.
The shantytown cycle is to build a community and get organized. Authorities watch and regularly sweep people out from where they squatted. The sweeps throw residents back into chaos and eventually new groups form and rebuild again. The cycle is endless. In over two decades of documenting this story neither side has made permanent progress. The issue only moves from location to location. This is a game without victors.
The photographs are primarily portraits. There is agreement between the subject and the audience to have a visual dialogue. The people photographed are very aware of the camera. The intent of the work is about the resourcefulness and creativity of the people in these communities. You will see how they solve life problems, decorate space and choose what is important to them.
When left alone leaders emerge, rules get created and communities organize to help each other. Like always attracts like and people segregate along themes of common interests. People want to like and trust their neighbors in order to feel safe. The strong take care of the weak. A positive aspect of shantytowns is that being able to organize gives people a sense of stability. Since many of these folks work jobs, having a home base to store essentials such as clothing is very important.
Contrary to popular belief shelters are not always an alternative and not always free. In New Orleans a stay in a shelter will cost $10 per night and limited to only a few days per month because the demand for a bed is larger than the supply. Shelters also have a lot of rules that are necessary for programs but make vulnerable souls feel disempowered.
Everyday in the United States men, women and children scrounge for materials to make shelter. In Miami, Florida in the early 1990’s I was shocked to see 1,500 people living downtown in wooden shanties. I came to find out that the city was being sued for arresting homeless people prior to public events. But homelessness is not a crime and arresting them for just “being” was a violation of their civil rights. As the Federal court argued over the details of the case, encampments were considered “safe zones” and sprung up across the United States. This began my twenty-three year odyssey of documenting homeless shantytowns.
This portfolio includes a camp of paroled sex offenders in Miami where the residents were required to wear leg monitors and check in under a bridge each night. Failure to stay in the camp nightly would be a parole violation that could mean being sent back to prison. While the Saints were playing in the Superbowl the City of Miami was trying to avoid press regarding this encampment.
The mission of this documentary is to open an informed dialogue on the issues of chronic homelessness in the United States. These portraits are a reflection of our social dysfunctions. Unlike during the great depression this situation being explored has little to do with housing and economics and everything to do with our unresolved social problems. Ignoring or criminalizing our social issues is not a solution. Forcing people to keep moving and appear invisible has not fixed it either. Until we understand these problems and how they are created we are doomed to continue repeating this cycle as the epidemic continues to grow.
BIO: Mary Lou Uttermohlen is a native of Wheeling, West Virginia. Educated in photography with three undergraduate degrees from Shepherd University in West Virginia and a Masters from The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. She has served as an adjunct professor of photography at The Ohio State University, The Columbus College of Art and Design in Columbus, Ohio and Loyola University in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Uttermohlen earned two individual artist fellowships. One award was from the Greater Columbus Arts Council and the second from the State of Florida. Photo Lucida’s Critical Mass just named her as one of the top 50 photographers through an international selection with 200 curators. Uttermohlen has a long exhibition record and is in several collections including the New Orleans Museum of Art, United States Embassy in Moscow, Russia and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation Collection. She is currently represented by the Jonathan Ferrara Gallery In New Orleans.
She has been documenting homeless people who build shantytowns in the United States since 1993. When she started the project, encampments were a safe place for homeless people to live without fear of being arrested for their circumstances. Currently there is a battle going on between those who want the problem to go away and people who have nowhere to go. Local laws get passed trying to force the homeless to become invisible. Her work is about encouraging meaning discourse on the topic of chronic homelessness in one of the wealthiest nations in the world. She works with portraiture to return some dignity to the people being photographed. To learn more about her work, visit the websitehttp://www.shantytowns.us.
Along with documentary about homeless camps, Uttermohlen is also exploring spirituality in New Orleans in a series called Spiritual YAYA. This project peels back the shroud exposing the spiritual mysteries of the city. It begins with mainstream events and then takes the viewer deep into the underground of local spiritual culture. Samples can be seen at www.spiritualyaya.com.
Mary Lou works as a freelance photographer creating assignments for publications such as Time, Ladies Home Journal, Newsweek, Business Week, and Inc. Magazine. She shares her life with her two young kids and their schnauzer in a New Orleans shotgun.
"Adrift" is a group of paintings that draw on Theodore Gericault's "Raft of the Medusa", which scrutinized the French government's handling of a naval frigate off the coast of Africa. In a time of an influx of refugees, predominantly from Syria, risking their lives and the lives of their children in pursuit of a better life, this imagery takes on new meaning. Thousands of Syrians have lost their lives at sea (an estimated 2,510 from January to May of 2016, according to UNHCR: the UN Refugee Agency), and the struggle for survival and hope for a better life is one that has been known since the beginning of time, but has taken on special meaning as the Syrian refugee crisis continues.
BIO: Jordan B. Wade is an artist who works and lives in her newfound home of New Orleans. She is a painter who prefers mixed media and oils.
Harbor Drive Video
While primarily a painter, I'm also a photographer, and by extension, a filmaker. I made films in high school to avoid writing papers. The last one, a short parody of "The Seventh Seal" was filmed in 16mm.
I studied film history in college, and later worked in Hollywood, and North Carolina, building sets, as a scenic artist, and "extra". I've uploaded almost 40 videos to YouTube, including "Harbor Drive".
"Harbor Drive" was made in reponse to America electing a likely fascist to the presidency. It is a work of Dada-ist psychedelia. It is deliberately nonsensical, reflecting our insane disposable culture. At the same time it is intensely narrative.
I take my 86 year old Mother on drives to look at the water. The closest place within range of our house is along the Bayonne coast. It's largely industrial, with a usually empty Cruise Ship terminal, and a port where container ships are emptied.
We go out there at least once per week. I often take a camera with me as the view of NYC is pretty incredible.
One day recently I realized a ship I photographed was actually moving, so I captured it's arrival.
The music was made in October with my mobile recording unit while babysitting an art exhibit I had work in.
I shot some extra scenes. "Chrome Pluto" turned out to be the best improvisor, but he tended to chew up the scenery.
After the election I needed to occupy my mind to save my sanity.
"Harbor Drive" is the result.
John Isiah Walton
Born in New Orleans, John Isiah Walton is a current member of The Front, co-founding member of Level artist collective & former co-founding member of Second Story Gallery.
John has shown in New York, Austin TX, Los Angeles, North Carolina and Tokyo. He has lectured about his work to the graduate program at UNC, Chapel Hill (2014).
"My work comes from a variety of sources, which include; a Black awareness or consciousness, I am a bit of a storyteller or narrative painter, that reflects my interest in the Western model and history of painting and my commitment to a tradition. I’ve been painting for forty years and it is during this time I constantly return to a Black vantage point. They include historical themes such as Black cowboys, African artifacts, Black memorabilia, figurative narrative and portraiture."
Albey & Jane ZenBeatz Duo