the artist statement (is stateless)
(In five parts minus one)
0. practical and punctual
professional (and perfectly so)
2. poetic (and preferred)
3. page length (and pronounced)
5-1. prescient and prosey (unpretentiously pretending)
I hope to make things that others find meaningful and capture elements of experience to dignify the complexity of existence.
My work is about undefined experiences. We don’t know how the dialog between our sensations and our experience shapes into the world we know. Nor how what we know shapes the way we experience. Out of fear and love, we speculate, argue and explain. While beneath our feet and belief persist the mystery of being. The material, matter, mater of life absorbs us and we respond by absorbing. I believe it's through our art that we can give shape to the wordless mystery. Through art we glimpse past the surface of our world.
For me this is a philosophical endeavor seeking to bridge internal barriers and exploring how they change through us and between us. How we interact and interpret the materials in our world is inherently poetic and fugitive. I listen and look. I don’t know what will happen either in the making or the sharing but I keep finding that it matters. Everything counts, even as the world whispers of its emptiness. The choice resides in us to make it and so affirm our living.
Mysterious Metaphysical Materialism and Meaning Most Malleable: a Modest Manifesto on the Matter of Art
I like the idea of art as a mirror and container. Where into all its forms we pour ourselves. Then gazing at our puddled reflection we hope to see beyond our presumptions of the world. We hope to see something true. How this might be is inexplicable as each eye and mind contains its own unique worlds. What they see and do are their belongings alone. That we feel we share anything is a definition of miraculous.
I would like viewers of my work to see nuance and complexity. To see difference and transformation. Because my work is about listening and presence. It is about experiencing the mystery of being. Whether rendered, written, wrangled or wrought my art is always about grappling with existence. To me, it is about the philosophy and poetry of form.
It’s a great joy to feel as though we know what something is, we name it and so claim it. But we are not as small as our names or definitions, and neither is anything we define. Respect requires the patience of giving up our certainty and boundaries. It requires that we be unguarded to the experience of our present. Change happens within us and between us as we move ourselves into the world through our words and thoughts and actions. We do not know, so instead we create our understanding. Creation occurs at our edges.
What we make holds us and shapes us. What’s my purpose? I can expect nothing, but I hope my work will provide others an opportunity to enter a space of pause. I hope my work gives moments to experience being, rather than the experience of doing. I hope we can find a place outside the momentum of what is, so we can see the work on being. I believe this means that we must practice our looking so we can learn to see the world. I hope that in so doing we may better learn to see ourselves.
I’m not enough to know, I look and hope and work. Maybe that’s what my art will hold. It’s not mine to choose. I can do only what I am changing. Increasingly confident in the meaning filled matter of mystery.
Though everything is too many things for one.
Save one and none.
Bemusing how options collapse on infinity’s stage.
Finding is motion.
We are led and leading.
and weighed in our crossings
but aspiring is my belief desired.
That endeavor bear’s being
evinces life’s assertions
and circumvents the caprice of society and culture.
Art is the vessel and fanfare of humanity
and gesturing in us as we gesture in ourselves.
Meaning is revealed in our passage and passing.
Whereby, we are ever-beginning
emerging through the flux of our intimacy.
In closeness we dissolve
and being so,
create through our becoming.
Until into everything,
where we become as once we were
swaddled in the womb of mystery.
fitting in the shape of what i don’t know
2010 MFA. Brooklyn College/CUNY, Summa Cum Laude, Fine Arts (Painting Focus)
2007 B.A. College of Staten Island/CUNY, Summa Cum Laude, Honors, Fine Arts
Teaching and University Work:
2010-Present Adjunct Assistant Professor: College of Staten Island/CUNY Staten Island, NY
(Teaching Drawing and Painting: Beginner - Advanced level classes)
2016-2017 Professional Staff Congress Liaison to Part-Time Faculty: College of Staten Island/CUNY, Staten Island, NY
2016-Present Adjunct Assistant Professor: College of Staten Island/CUNY Staten Island, NY
(Teaching Core, an experimental, interdisciplinary gen-ed civics class)
2016 Adjunct Faculty Fellow to the Provost Office: College of Staten Island/CUNY, Staten Island, NY
2011- 2014 Teaching Artist: Art Lab: Snug Harbor Cultural Center, Staten Island, NY
2012- 2013 Teaching Artist: Liberty Partnership Program, Staten Island, NY
2012 Research Assistant: Oxford University, Oxford England
2009 Teaching Assistant: Brooklyn College/CUNY, Brooklyn, NY
2007-8 Teaching Assistant: College of Staten Island/CUNY, Staten Island, NY
Awards / Grants / Residencies / Fellowships
2018 Cha-North Summer Residency, Pine Plains, NY
2017 Student Success Institute Fellowship: CUNY, Staten Island, NY
(Progressive program examining effective pedagogy)
2017 ChaShaMa Artist-in-Residence, Brooklyn, NY
2012 Staten Island Arts: DCA Premiere Grant, Staten Island, NY
2009 Charles G. Shaw Award: Brooklyn College/CUNY, Brooklyn, NY
2009 Graduate Investment Program Award: Brooklyn College/CUNY, Brooklyn, NY
2007 Foundation Art Award: College of Staten Island/CUNY, Staten Island, NY
2007 Departmental Honors in Art: College of Staten Island/CUNY, Staten Island, NY
2017 “Almost Like We Know,” Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art (Smithsonian Affiliate) Staten Island, NY
2012 “Consumed by White,” Art Lab Gallery: Snug Harbor Cultural Center Staten Island, NY
Selected Group Exhibitions
2018 “ChaShaMa Open Studios,” Brooklyn Army Terminal, Brooklyn, NY
2018 “Cha-North Artist Residency Open Studios,” Pine Plains, NY
2018 “Art of the 5: Revisiting Staten Island,” Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art (Smithsonian Affiliate),
Sponsorship from Staten Island Mayor’s office, Staten Island, NY (Catalog) (Traveling Exhibit)
2017 “Art of the 5: Staten Island,” The Galleries at the Interchurch Center, New York, NY (Catalog)
2017 “ChaShaMa Open Studios,” Brooklyn Army Terminal, Brooklyn, NY
2017 “The Dream Party Exhibition,” Shetler Studios New York, NY
2017 “21 and Counting, The Painting Center turns 21,” The Painting Center New York, NY
2014 “A Rich and Diverse Palette,” The Visual Art Faculty: College of Staten Island Gallery Staten Island, NY
2013 “Black and White,” Brooklyn Waterfront Artist Coalition Brooklyn, NY
2011 “Small Works,” The Painting Center New York, NY
2010 “2010 B.C., MFA Thesis Exhibit,” Williamsburg, Art & Historical Center, Brooklyn, NY
2018 “TINA,” TinyBigWorlds Theater Company, Pass Residency at Snug Harbor Cultural Center (Smithsonian Affiliate), Staten Island, NY
Original theatrical production about the life of photographer Tina Modotti,
(Project Management Team / Creative Consultant)
2017 “Places,” Yonder Window Theater Company, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Edinburgh, Scotland
Original theatrical production about the life of actor Alla Nazimova, (Consulting Assistant)
2014 “Waiting for Goddreau/ Waiting for Katheleen,” Les Exportables Theater Company,
Fringe Festival: San Miguel De Allende ( Inaugural Fringe Festival of Latin America), San Miguel De Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico
(Creative Consultant / Technical Team / Stage Manager)
2018 Deborah Vanderburg Spencer, “Art of the 5: Revisiting Staten Island” Exhibition Catalogue
2017 NY Daily News, Exhibition Announcement w/Featured Image June 28, 2017
2017 Blouin Gallery Guide September, Exhibition Announcement (Featured Image) pg.53
2017 Staten Island Advance
2017 Deborah Vanderburg Spencer, “Art of the 5: Staten Island” Exhibition Catalogue
2017 Interview Panel, “Non-Profit Matters” Staten Island Community Television, September 13, 2017
2017 SiLive (Exhibition Announcement) (Featured Image)
2017 Second Saturday Staten Island (Presentation Announcement) (Featured Image)
2012 Ken Fitch, Discoveries 2012: David Loncle Examiner.com
Publications as Author
2019 “dumbbird” weekly art and poetry blog
2018 “Core at Twenty” Celebrating Two Decades of CSI’s Dedication to General Education:
The Core Program, College of Staten Island/CUNY, Staten Island, NY (essay on pedagogy)
2018 “Pat Passlof: To Whom the Shoe Fits: Letters to Young Painters,” Milton Resnick and Pat Passlof Foundation
(New York, NY: INK, INC., New York)
2016 “I thought Education was my Education,” The Huffington Post
2014 “Pat Passlof: Restating the Question of Meaning” The Huffington Post
2014 “An Adjunct Story: Our Economy is Eating Higher Education” The Huffington Post
2011 “Pat Passlof Retrospective Catalog” Black Mountain College
Lectures / Presentations / Workshops
(Critiques / Conferences / Symposia)
2019 Workshop, “How to Draw a Cup: Step One, Draw a Cup,” College Art Association Conference, New York, NY February 13
2018 Panelist, “Art Panel,” Greenpoint Film Festival, Brooklyn, NY May 5
2017 Presenter, “Almost Like We Know: Roundtable Discussion,” Newhouse Gallery for Contemporary Art, Staten Island, NY September 9
2016 Founding Director, Moderator, “Adjunct Faculty Symposium,” Center for the Arts, Staten Island, NY, May 10 (video)
2016 Visiting Artist Critique, Summer Studio Program at ArtLab School of Fine and Applied Arts
(Summer intensive program based on New York Studio School)
2012 Presenter, “Out of the Pan: Students Transitioning into Professional Art Practice,”
ArtLab School of Fine and Applied Arts, Staten Island, NY
Professional Service and Activities
2017 Member, Campus Study Work Group Committee, College of Staten Island/CUNY, Staten Island, NY
2016 Group Leader, Adjunct Faculty Task Force, College of Staten Island/CUNY, Staten Island, NY
2016 Member, Experiential Learning Task Force for Students, College of Staten Island/CUNY, Staten Island, NY
2016 Member, Faculty Center Advisory Board, College of Staten Island/CUNY Staten Island, NY
2015- 2019 Officer-at-Large to Professional Staff Congress College of Staten Island Chapter, Staten Island, NY
2013-2014 Board Member and Faculty Representative,
ArtLab School of Fine and Applied Art, Staten Island, NY
2012- Operations Manager and Assistant to the Artistic Director, New York City Day of the Dead Festival, Staten Island, NY
2011-2015 Project Manager, Milton Resnick and Pat Passlof Foundation, New York, NY
2013 Jury Panelist, DCA Premiere Grant, Staten Island Arts, Staten Island, NY
2009-2015 Curatorial Assistant, The Painting Center, New York, NY
2009 Curatorial Assistant, Newhouse Gallery For Contemporary Art, Staten Island, NY
2008-2011 Studio Assistant, Pat Passlof Studio, New York, NYq0
2014- Graphic Design and Website Design, Multiple Clients including PSC CUNY, & TinyBigWorlds Prod., I regularly use Adobe Products
such as Photoshop, Illustrator and Premier for my artistic projects including media projections, animation, film and image
development. Working knowledge of digital cameras.
2005-2016 Theater Technician and Events Manager, Center for the Arts, Staten Island, NY I understand the daily operations of an Arts events
venue from the running of theatrical productions to the management of equipment. This venue catered to a wide range of clientele
including George Carlin, The NY Philharmonic and acting as host for the State of the Borough.
2005-2015 Assistant Curator and Art Handler, for multiple venues including Elizabeth Harris Gallery and The Painting Center, New York NY
2015 Consultant, The Office of the Provost: College of Staten Island/CUNY regarding the status of Part-Time Faculty and systemic
adaptations, Staten Island, NY
2012 Consultant, Black Mountain College Museum + Art Center & Western Carolina University regarding the joint exhibit: “Pat Passlof:
Selections 1948-2011,” Ashville, NC & Cullowhee, NC
2011 Consultant, Elizabeth Harris Gallery regarding the exhibit: “Recent Paintings 2005-11,” New York, NY
(Affiliations and Memberships)
ArtLab School of Fine and Applied Arts, Staten Island, NY
Chashama, New York, NY
City University of New York (College of Staten Island), Staten Island, NY
College Art Association (CAA), New York, NY
Day of the Dead New York, New York, NY
Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, New York, NY
Elizabeth Harris Gallery, New York, NY
Milton Resnick and Pat Passlof Foundation, New York, NY
Newhouse Gallery for Contemporary Arts, Staten Island, NY
Professional Staff Congress, New York, NY
Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanic Gardens, Staten Island, NY
2019 Research trip to Portland Oregon reviewing artistic conventions and practices as they relate to mythological narratives of the
Indigenous Peoples of the Pacific North West Coast.
2017 Researched Pictish and other ancient visual traditions and their relation to local and global mythological motifs.
2014 Research in Mexico: Mexico City, Guanajuato and San Miguel de Allende, reviewing folk art both domestic and traditional and its
historical relation to pre-Columbian cultures.
2013 Research in France: Paris, Marseille and Aix en Provence reviewing Cezanne esp. and visual relationships to midcentury
New York School.
2012 Research in Istanbul Turkey reviewing the age of transition exploring the dynamic between cultural conception and
2012 Research in Oxford England reviewing history of the University and city museums.
Significant On-Going Projects
• Book: “The Inspired”: A compilation of writings and correspondence from Pat Passlof’s 60 year career; accompanying interviews of fellow painters and collectors including Mark di Suvero, David Reed, Jake Berthot and Cynthia Navaretta. (Expected Publication in 2020): Midmarch Arts Press
• Avid Gardner and Home Cook, Robust Academic Knowledge and Curiosity and at 6’5” I can reach Items on Very High Shelves
5 - 1
The first thought has the fragrance of excitement and promise. Oh! what play and charm and possibility! We begin and we are all of us, lost, surreptitiously presented a shifting handle on a shifting tool. The possibilities digress into daunting unintelligibility. So in desperation we snatch at context. I aim to reproduce what's in front of me? To what end, for what quality? What of novelty? Style? Thereby identity, once an afterthought, now looms in the flickering shadows and reality emerges like water through the floorboards.
This trap sprung, the concerns unfold in perpetual recurrence and regress. Yet art persist, arousing the subtleties of our senses - curious and memorable is the beginning of all poetry and abstraction. The night's tidal surge rises in its imperceptible speed. We are afraid of the quiet in the dark, and galvanized by its sounds. And as in youth, we adorn a brave mask and bottle our terror. Barriers cajole convoluted converse — appeals to morality, intelligentsia, culture — and we witness the talk of art and form and structure in all its esoteric luxuries, at turns, calmative and grating.
Are my choices in poor values? What of work's worth? Where is my justification and by what authority? Some artists appear exempt by fortune of arrogance or blinding absolution. Caravaggio paints a dirty foot in our rear-view mirror. Gods mark their thoughts in the matter of our lives. We are pricked by our mortal cue's: to yearn, dream, befuddle, fear, serve and fail.
The artwork’s bounds are our own. Lines and marks: our conviction, apprehension, grace, apathy, ignorance — human dimensions in form. The multitude of reflections pulsate into the complexity, a resemblance, what we might in our limitation and impulsivity compare to life - a container greater than our capacity.
Art portents, projects, suggest, tantalizes, reserves, alerts and springs. Most preciously, and rarely, it finds expression exceeding expectation - beyond our certainty and culture, our habit and reticence. The blank canvas seduces many up the language of tall towers - the talk from clouded sight. Possibly it's there we need to be, and being there, we reflect upon the surroundings, thereto finding ourselves born in a womb of air. Whereby emerges in us and as us that blind seer, who gropes the floor for bread. We are nourished by the invisible.
In peripheral wisps, the ineffable wanders in the domain of sense. Meaning alights on winged toes and measures us in our thoughts and hearts. Perhaps we can say art manifest the space amongst us, and that everything counts. We fear we’ll miss the counting.
In the dark we cup our hands to save the glowing embers. The truth is we don't know; we are only surviving.