Selected Exhibitions & Events
WE ARE NOT INVISIBLE EXHIBITION
Mask Off is an original photo-based capture of a Black woman in the moving light of a flat-bed scanner collaged with the photograph of a mask worn during the Corona Virus pandemic. It is a metaphor for the pandemic of racial indifference and violence against Black people.
In Western societies, especially in the US more Black men and boys are
killed and/or incarcerated than any other racial group. The pain of the women who birth them, love them, and bear their children are rarely acknowledged, and most often unbelieved. 'Mask Off' references those worn during the Corona Virus pandemic, and the continuing pandemic of racial indifference, and hostility.
Alt Text: During COVID-19 we wear masks to save our lives. 'Mask Off' speaks of our need to take them off when living hurts. This photo scan depicts an elongated black woman with her mouth open like she's screaming. There is a red heavy-duty mask wrapped around her.
Alt Text: Adrienne's mask helped save her life from COVID-19, but not from the pain of losing her father. In this photo scan, a black woman's face is half facing forward and half looking to the side. A delicate imprint of a mask is over her face. A worried look is in her eyes.unframed print
Adrienne's Mask is a photo-based live-capture of a Senior Black woman in the moving light of a flat-bed scanner, collaged with a photo of a mask worn against the Corona Virus pandemic.
In most "modern" societies older women are marginalized to the point of complete invisibiity. No longer desirable as sexual partners, useful as child-bearers or workers we are no longer useful in currency-driven Western societies. This is particularly true of women of color especially dark-skinned Black women for whom their rich hue is the cause of additional scorn.
By JOHANNA R GINSBERG February 26, 2020
TSTI Art Committee president Richard Koch with curator Armisey Smith in front of “Slave Ship” by Akil Roper. Photos by Johanna Ginsberg
“41,” a painting by Kay Reese, depicts multiple faces of Amadou Diallo, the black immigrant killed by police inside his East Bronx apartment in 1999. The piece’s name references the number of times the unarmed 23-year-old was shot. The faces packed inside a tight, coffin-like box within the canvas, and the dwelling suspended in air, raise the specter of a slave ship and reflect the artist’s reaction
to the brutality.“It’s real and yet surreal,” Reese told NJJN at the opening of the “Civil Rights Exhibit” at the Gallery at Temple Sharey TefiloIsrael (TSTI) in South Orange on Feb. 19, which includes “41”
and several other pieces. At the time of the shooting, Reese lived just a few blocks away from Diallo, but she was so affected by the brutality that it took her two years to visit the site, a trip that ultimately changed how she approaches her art, she told NJJN. “Racism hurts,” she said. “And not just
if it kills you. It hurts emotionally, psychologically, physically. Her comment could be the tag line for the exhibit, which runs through April 2 and features 33 pieces from 15 artists across New Jersey whose works serve as a commentary on African-American identity today. Aside from a statement in front of “41,” written
by Reese, none of the pieces have placards explaining their meaning.
“The art speaks for itself,” said Armisey Smith, who curated the exhibit.The synagogue’s intention in hosting the exhibit is to raise awareness about race in America. “We created this program to inspire thoughtful conversation and introspection in our nation’s bias history so we can move to a better place in race relations,” said Richard Koch, chair of the synagogue’s art committee. Committee members also felt it would be an appropriate follow-up to a recent synagogue teen trip to Atlanta and Alabama to visit historical sites related to the civil rights movement.
Reese is frank about her perception of the differences between the respective communities, noting that while Jews have been victims of discrimination, theydon’t always connect to the black experience. “With black people, we’re always dealing with the issue,” she said. “But I think to have [the exhibit] in a synagogue is important because most white people don’t— and I include Jews in that — most white people don’t connect. They don’t see it. They don’t hear it unless they see it on the news. But it’s reality. It’s a reality in
all of our lives whether you realize it or not.”
She underscored the gap by describing the jarring nature of the recent rise in anti-Semitism. “Lately, you see more instances of brutality and violence against Jews. And I’m sure Jewish people never really thought that this would be happening now, right?” she said, pointing out that Jews should have realized that when it happens to one marginalized group, it will soon happen to others. TSTI president Max Weisenfeld said, “Most important is for us to engage with the art, [and] to find the Jewish message.” But he added that it is also a vehicle to ngage the broader community. To that end, the synagogue has held events involving local community groups like SOMA Justice and the Community Coalition on Race, and inviting speakers to “do some work on black Jewish solidarity” through table discussions. It’s an open question as to whether the conversations that emerge from the “Civil Rights Exhibit” will lead to action, but as Koch said, “Before there’s action, there has to be awareness.” email@example.com
C4E (Call for Entry), August Banner of the Month, 2019
Bethany Arts Community, 2019
Fragile Threads: In Search of Authenticity and Liberation,
See|Me Exhibition @ American Eagle Outfitters
(The world's largest billboard, Times Square NYC)
The Visitation, by Kay Reese
Gallery @14 Maple, Morristown NJ, 2018-2019
Compassion: Is it the Radicalism of Our Time?
Food For Some Food For All
Photo-based wall sculptures by Kay Reese,visual artist/photographer
The exhibit features works by a highly diverse and distinguished group of artists, many of whom have had dual careers as curators, art directors, gallery founders and academic scholars. These include Anonda Bell (Montclair), Terry Boddie (Orange), Lisa Conrad (Newark), Cicely Cottingham (West Orange), Victor Davson (West Orange) Dominique Duroseau (Newark), Adebunmi Gbadebo (Newark), Dong Kyu Kim (Fort Lee), Steve McKenzie (Annandale), PaulA Neves (Newark), Nell Painter (Newark), Kay Reese (Irvington), Onnie Strother (East Orange), Amanda Thackray (Newark) and Nathan Williams (Brooklyn, NY). Their artworks encompass highly varied perspectives on the exhibit’s central theme, Compassion, examining the multitude of interpretations of its role and place in modern life.
TRANSITIONS EXHIBITION, 2018
PAUL ROBESON GALLERIES, RUTGERS UNIVERSITY, NEWARK NJ
MORE___________________________________________________________________________________________String Theories, The Field Projects Gallery, 08/2017
Realities, Martinez Gallery, Troy NY 6/2017
Art is Everywhere, Chasama & See|Me @The Frank Ghery Building, NYC, 2016
See|Me , American Eagle Outfitters, Times Square NYC 2014
Summer of Art at the MODFA 2, Museum of Digital Fine Arts, 2014
Untitled, A Group Exhibition, Martinez Gallery, Troy, NY, 2011
Juried Exhibition, The Sylvia White Gallery, Ventura CA, 2011
From the Slave Ship to the White House, A Group exhibition chronicling the journey of African Americans from the 17th to the 21 Century
Sponsored by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Workspace Harlem, NYC 2011
Capture, & the Tram Odyssey, Neumaa Arts Gallery, Bx NY 2009
Fine Arts Exhibition, Chase Bank at Westchester Square, Bx NY 2009
Neo Neo Dada, Rush Gallery, NYC 2007
Sketch Detail, Ryan, Chelsea, Clinton Community Health Center, NYC 2007
bau22: Beacon/Bronx 4+4, Beacon Artist Union Gallery, Beacon NY 2006
The Gallery @ Grand Silver Company, Bronx NY 2006
Images of Color, NYC Health & Hospital Corporation @ Bellevue Medical Center, 2006
13 Women on 13 Walls, Haven Art Gallery, Bronx, NY 2006
Aficionado IV, The Point art Gallery, Bronx, NY 2006
Post Platanos/Ante Formalism Abstraction in the Bronx, Longwood Art Gal., Bx. NY 2005
Time Light Space, Photography Exibition, New Century Artists, Chelsea, NY 2003
Through the Looking Glass, Mooney Center Gallery, CNR, New Rochelle NY 2002
BRIO Exhibition, Bronx Museum of the Arts, Bronx NY 2001
Inside, Fleet Bank at the Empire State Building, NYC 2001
Black Madonna, painting, 14ft x 7ft, St. Aloysius Church, Harlem, USA
Vietnam, painting, 12ft x 5ft, painting, All Saints Church, Harlem USA
Numerous works on paper, paintings, drawings, and prints in private collections in the U.S.