Shellyne Rodriguez featured in a recent interview on the MoMA learning blog

Shellyne Rodriguez leads a discussion with participants from Harlem Center for Education (image and caption via the MoMAlearning blog)
Shellyne Rodriguez leads a discussion with participants from Harlem Center for Education (image and caption via the MoMA Learning blog)

VCS alumna Shellyne Rodriguez is one of two artists featured in “Moving Through the Migration Series,” a recently published interview on the MoMA Learning blog. The post presents a discussion between MoMA Associate Educator for Teen and Community Programs Calder Zwicky, Kerry Downey, and Shellyne about their experiences leading tours through the current exhibition “One-Way Ticket: Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series and Other Works,” and some of the other projects they’ve done with the museum.

Here is Calder Zwicky’s introduction to the interview:

How does artwork created within a specific cultural and political context connect with viewers across multiple generations and disparate locations? How can an institution remain relevant to contemporary audiences while maintaining a commitment to preserving and championing artwork from past generations? Shellyne Rodriguez and Kerry Downey are two longtime teaching artists working with MoMA’s Community and Access Programs who, in addition to their work across a wide range of educational groups, both run the majority of the Museum’s Community Partnerships—a 10-year initiative that provides free in-depth arts projects for a cohort of 24 non-profit NYC organizations, all of whom have been historically underserved by traditional museum-based programming. The Jacob Lawrence exhibition has spurred a number of internal conversations between the three of us, all based around our work with our partners and within the show itself. What follows is an edited version of a multi-week e-mail correspondence that we conducted surrounding Kerry and Shellyne’s recent Jacob Lawrence-related tours, art projects, and programs.

You can read the rest of the interview on the MoMA Learning blog.

Shellyne has also written in the past on the museum’s INSIDE/OUT blog about some of the work she’s done as a MoMA Educator. You can find that post here.

Shellyne and HCFE students create the chalk outlines during their public performance project (image and caption via the MoMA Learning blog)
Shellyne and HCFE students create the chalk outlines during their public performance project (image and caption via the MoMA Learning blog)

This Friday (June 27th): Either Way I’m Celebrating

Here’s an announcement from recent VCS graduates Harris Bauer and Rachel Zaretsky about a group exhibition they’re presenting this Friday evening.

Hi there!

For the past year and a half we (Harris Bauer, Lucia Sanchez, and Rachel Zaretsky) have run Hosting Projects: an alternative weekend residency in the Lower East Side, where artists have been invited into our drywall showroom-turned apartment for the production of temporal and site specific projects. As we will be moving next week, we are putting together a final great big show of 40 participating artists. We will be opening our home to friends, friends of friends, and friends of friends of friends in celebration of this last installation of work within our apartment. We would love to see you there!

All the best,

Harris & Rachel

Either Way I’m Celebrating
148 Stanton St. Apt 4
June 27, 6-9pm


blue promo


Presenting a teaser for “The Accidental Pursuit of The Stateless” by Elektra KB


Here’s an announcement from VCS alumna Elektra KB about a piece she’s preparing for an upcoming solo show in New York:

I am excited to share with you the teaser for: “The Accidental Pursuit of The Stateless”. An upcoming Elektra KB short film opening on September 10th in the occasion of my solo show on Migration and Transculturality (working title) at BravinLee programs New York.

You can find updates and see more of Elektra’s work on her website, blog, and Facebook page. I’ll also post more information here about the BravinLee show as it becomes available.

This Friday, June 19th at 7:30 pm: Julia Santoli performs SEREY at Flux Factory as part of STROBE Network

Here’s an announcement from VCS alumna Julia Santoli about an upcoming performance of her piece SEREY that will take place this Friday evening in Long Island City:

I will be doing something at Flux Factory in LIC on June 19th. Doors are at 6:30, I perform at 7pm, and there will also be performances, installations, and screenings by Jantar, Julian Bozeman, and Jason Tschantre throughout the evening. Would love to see you there, but all will be transmitted via live stream through STROBE Network ( ).

Julia also provided a brief trailer (embedded above) and the following description:

SEREY is a continuation of Julia Santoli’s exploration of the mediation and mythos of identity. An apparition of body, movement-generated audio feedback, and voice—resonant gestures create an abstracted elegy for 1970s Cambodian pop star Ros Sereysothea.

Julia’s performance will take place at the Flux Factory gallery at 39-31 29th Street in Long Island City, New York. You can RSVP for the performance on Facebook, and find a complete schedule of events and overview of artists and projects on the STROBE Network website.


Here’s a little more information from the STROBE Network press release:


STROBE Network

June 12­-21, 2015 at Flux Factory

STROBE Network is a temporary broadcast network that will air via a digital streaming platform, featuring artworks that make use of broadcast as an artistic medium. The content has been programmed through an open call and the Flux Factory community at large, including work from 75+ artists. STROBE Network will create and distribute an alternate reality version of mass culture that is free, conscious, experimental, and uncensored.

Streaming 24/7 for ten days, STROBE Network will feature video art, performance, animation, talk shows, and music, as well as archival materials from Performa, VML, and ESP TV. STROBE Network will stream from June 12­21 via In addition to streaming via our website, we will welcome a studio audience for live tapings on select evenings at our sound stage in the Flux Factory gallery in Long Island City. Off­site spaces will host viewing parties and Strobe TV Toilet Viewing Stations at TBD locations.

STROBE Network is part of Flux Factory’s 2015 programing. Flux Factory is a non­profit art organization that supports and promotes emerging artists through exhibitions, commissions, residencies, and collaborative opportunities. Flux Factory is guided by its passion to nurture the creative process, and knows that this process does not happen in a vacuum but rather through a network of peers and through resource­sharing. Flux Factory functions as an incubation and laboratory space for the creation of artworks that are in dialogue with the physical, social, and cultural spheres of New York City (though collaborations may start in New York and stretch far beyond).


Presenting the JC West Side Billboard by Santiago Demecio Chavez


Today’s post features a new public art project organized by VCS faculty member Amy Wilson in Jersey City’s West Side district.

The project’s inaugural entry is a mural located at 760 West Side Avenue by VCS student Santiago Demecio Chavez, sponsored by the JC West Side Community Alliance (WSCA) with Ando West Indian & African Market, which generously provided the space for the display. The piece was installed a week ago, and will remain on display through at least early August, with other installations to follow at the same location later on.

Santiago at work on the West Side Billboard.

Here’s some background from Amy Wilson and an artist statement by Santiago Demecio Chavez. Amy comments:

The West Side Billboard is the first in a series of public art projects connecting SVA/VCS students and the community of Jersey City’s West Side. As a long-term resident of this neighborhood, I am excited to help connect young artists to spaces that can use their input, and will welcome their contributions. It was exciting to watch people walking by while Santiago was installing, and see them cheer him on and be very excited by the idea of art in a public place. There are several other collaborations I’m planning, and I can’t wait to bring more art to this neighborhood!

    The location of the West Side Billboard at 760 West Side Avenue in Jersey City.
The location of the West Side Billboard at 760 West Side Avenue in Jersey City.

And here are Santiago’s comments about his design for the mural:

When I first visited Jersey City, I noticed things both positive and negative. I saw houses and buildings that had fallen out of repair – some had even been abandoned. I saw a strong tension between the establishments that have been up-kept and those that have fallen into disrepair. I also noticed a large empty lot that made a big swath of the area seem rather vacant. After exploring the neighborhood more, I noticed many beautiful things as well: lovely houses that contained visual hints of rich histories, amazing parks and recreational facilities, and some of the most beautiful rose and flower gardens I have ever seen.  Furthermore I interacted with a lively and diverse community that spanned a number of races and class backgrounds.

In my piece I wanted to bring the beautiful into the unkempt. I have drawn references from an abandoned building on Westside Ave and the empty lot. The abandoned building across from Ando’s market can be seen rebuilt and overflowing with the objects that fill a house and support a family, professionals, or a creative community. I have also created a vegetable and flower garden that references the beautiful gardens and outdoor spaces I experience in Jersey City’s West Side. Here is a picture full of life and color, an idealized version of Jersey City’s West Side, or any thriving neighborhood.

You can find a few more images of the billboard at the WSCA Twitter feed. The project looks great, and I’m looking forward to seeing more like it in the neighborhood over the coming months.