Brooklyn/Detroit-based public art non-profit SaveArtSpace and ChaShaMA are pleased to present “SaveArtSpace x ChaShaMa” a public art exhibition, curated by Rachel Gisela Cohen, Alexandria Hodgkins, and Hazel Santino. The selected artists are Mary Tooley Parker, Brian Zegeer, and Kate Rusek.
During the week of October 14, SaveArtSpace will launch public art installations for each selected work on billboard ad spaces near Sunset Park, Brooklyn, during Chashama’s Open Studios at Brooklyn Army Terminal.
Public Art Location: 3rd Ave & 11th St, Brooklyn.
After a career in dance, and then in art production at Vanity Fair and GQ magazines, Mary Tooley Parker left New York City for a more rural environment. She then began pursuing an interest in textiles of different forms, eventually leading her to the one indigenous American folk art of hooking “rugs.” Her textile compositions have been exhibited in galleries and museums from New York City to Vermont. She is a member of the National Association of Women Artists, and the Silvermine Guild of Artists. She was awarded a Fellowship by the New York Foundation for the Arts in 2015.
Mary Tooley Parker is a textile maker. Her artwork focuses on realistic interpretations of people and nature, whether from memories, local history, or visual images. Incorporated in her work are new and recycled wool, cotton, and silk fabric, fleece, handspun and mill spun yarn, silk fiber, metallic fibers, and more. She uses natural and synthetic dyes to create colors as needed.
Textile art is received by the viewer in a different way than fine art, and there is science showing that a different part of the brain is stimulated when viewing a textile. It appeals to the senses, especially touch, and gives a feeling of warmth and familiarity before the brain even registers the visual image. Working in the simple medium of rug hooking affords Parker a strong connection not only to the fibers running through her fingertips, but also to the women who used this medium and other fiber mediums to express themselves during difficult times and with limited materials. Using this medium as a creative expression of her 21 st century experience, she carries this tradition into the contemporary art world by taking the work off the floor to be viewed as art.
"The famed quilters of Gee's Bend, Alabama, have been my muses for many years. I have created a series of works in tribute to them and their incredible art."
Connect with Mary on Instagram at @M.tooley.parker.
Public Art Location: 2nd Ave & 47th St, Brooklyn.
I am interested in the ways our beliefs, prejudices, and family histories shape our perceptions of the spaces we inhabit. I have made videos mining the lost history of Lower Manhattan’s ‘Little Syria’, and employed stop-motion animation as an analogue for spirit invocation in Allen Ginsberg’s former apartment. As artist-in-residence at the Queens Museum, I produced an evolving sculptural installation in conversation with the utopian architectural visions of Robert Moses.
My current body of work, Almanacs, imagines the moments of daily life as material to be mined for unexpected synchronicities, larger shapes of meaning that emerge from the particularities of the play of light upon a wall or the coinciding of two unrelated sounds. Pigment prints of my photos are cut up and shaped into sculptural objects, snapshots of my family formed into hybrid beasts. Patterns appear, predictive models emerge, as in the case of weather forecasts and tide tables in a traditional almanac.
Brian Zegeer was born in Lexington, KY. His works encounter the Appalachian and Lebanese landscapes of his parentage as highly-charged networks of belonging and collective hallucination. Zegeer believes that the process of stop-motion animation can awaken the quiet narratives embedded in a place.
Zegeer worked with archivists and community groups to recover the story of the Manhattan’s 'Little Syria' and the early 20th Century literary movement that blossomed there. He recently completed a 2-year residency at the Queens Museum, examining this history against the backdrop of Robert Moses’ tranformative vision for the city, and his role in the Little Syria community’s displacement.
Zegeer received an MFA from the University of Pennsylvania, attended Skowhegan School of Sculpture and Painting in 2010. Exhibitions include The Queens Museum, The Bronx Museum of Art, The Delaware Art Museum, The Jersey City Museum, Tiger Strikes Asteroid, Danese/Corey Gallery, and The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts.
Connect with Brian on Instagram at @zegeer.
Public Art Location: 2nd Ave & 42nd St, Brooklyn.
The primary concern of my studio practice is to better understand our world, that of the here and now, through tactile interaction with the waste of our culture. We live in an unprecedented time of materiality. Human beings, particularly Americans, have never in our history been faced with such an inundation of stuff.
My body of work explores discards and detritus cast aside in the age of the Anthropocene. The labeling of the ‘Anthropocene’ as a geological epoch refers to the current era in which human-made processes have changed the geological record and planetary cycles for climate, ocean, and mineral circulation, among others. Materials of our time, deemed no longer usable, are not actually ‘discarded from the system’. Trash is a human invention; ‘the garbage’ is not a place'. Alongside secondhand economies, there exists a limbo,a margin where matter slips from a designed function out of sight, out of mind. Just as waste streams are hidden, the existential threat of human induced climate change is largely unseen yet somehow acutely felt if one chooses to pay attention. My work seeks a cultural expression filling a deficiency of language and perspective to comprehend this scenario. These objects are place markers of this period in time. Part body in which to relate, part totem and talisman of this age of humanity imagining a regenerative future yet uncharted.
Kate Rusek is a visual artist whose sculpture and installation considers the connectivity between people, material culture, and the natural world through Craft. Influenced by complex natural forms, man-made environmental catastrophes, and societal systems, Rusek assembles highly tactile sculptures that require close inspection and invite inquiry into material history. Her work often transmutes human influenced material into natural forms. The juxtaposition between the natural and the unnatural is a key element to Rusek’s work. The use of synthetic and highly processed elements are of particular interest, especially when one considers their remarkable lifespan and persistence in the natural world. Rusek’s work contrasts industrial excess with delicate hand wrought treatments, as a method of posing questions about perception, history, the valuable, and the positing of a regenerative future.
Rusek received dual B.F.As from The University of Miami in 2007 and an M.A from Savannah College of Art and Design in 2012. She has exhibited her work at venues throughout New York City including Mizuma Kips and Wada Art, La Bodega Gallery, Chashama Galleries, Governors Island Art Fair, and Portal Art Fair.. Her work is in private and public collections including The Chashama Foundation. Additionally, Kate Rusek is a two time Daytime Emmy nominated designer and builder of costumes, puppets, and props with freelance and commercial clients including The Jim Henson Company, NBC Universal, Netflix, and the greater New York City performing arts community.
Rusek is currently based in New York City and working from her Brooklyn studio.
Connect with Kate on Instagram at @thekaterusek.