“The New Academy” features works from up-and-coming young artists, who are also undergraduate and graduate students in the arts. It would be an understatement to just call the collection of art amazing – it is the gathering of fresh new minds, ideas, and concepts to the art world through dozens of media.
Curator Rebecca Cuomo and Assistant Maria Khimulya worked to balance the entire gallery space, highlighting the strength of each work while maintaining cohesion throughout the room. On one side, works such as Are You Still a Virgin (Figure 1) by Yasmina Huckins from Pratt Institute, With Out- Within (Figure 2) by Artemis Kotioni from Bard College, and assemblage Bad Ass (Figure 3) by SeoKyeong Yoon (SKY). These pieces, among the many others, are prime examples of the originality and diversity of young artists, whose different backgrounds are reflected in the spectrum of represented styles.
Works not only adorn the walls, but are displayed throughout the gallery – from sculptural works on the floor to those hanging from the ceiling. It Took a While (Figure 4) by Jacob Small hangs high from the gallery ceiling, the piece takes the form of a ladder and a communicates a witty yet vital message to the public when viewers look up. Sand Girls (Figure 5) by Malanya Graham is a painting on canvas that is displayed on the floor, with sand acting as a frame. Furthering the message of ”The New Academy,” the exhibiting artists have a unique, fresh vision in realizing their art.
In the small gallery, the curator has placed an installation and separate video piece, which further contribute to the variety of the show. The installation by WenQi Feng, titled We have to be very strong if we want to do something very wrong- what if? (Figure 6) is described as mysterious. The artist’s choice of neon lights and draping fabric in the installation allows one to focus on their sense of touch and sight. Beyond the installation is Michael Stablein’s video Touch me in Kansas (Figure 7). The video documents a performance artwork that took place at Soapbox Gallery in April 2013, and tells a story of fighting, feeding, and forgetting.
The opening night on October 4, 2014 welcomed a crowd of young art lovers to support these young artists. “The New Academy” artists are a force to be reckoned with – unique minds, fresh ideas, and new perspectives.