GCCA’s New Group Exhibit “Faces and Facades” to Explore Themes of Identity
Featuring murals by conflict-zone muralist Joel Artista
Greene County Council on the Arts’ new group exhibit “Faces and Facades” focuses on themes of identity and features work by conflict-zone muralist Joel Artista. On view June 11 through July 23, 2016, with an opening reception Saturday, June 11, 2016 from 5-7pm, Faces and Facades features work by 14 New York artists. While some artwork represents “faces,” and other artwork represents “facades,” all artwork speaks in some way to issues surrounding identity.
“Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.” So said the Irish playwright, novelist, essayist, and poet Oscar Wilde and such is the inspiration behind the works of GCCA’s new group show Faces and Facades. In this day and age, when questions of national, political, religious and gender identity are so prevalent in the news, it seems fitting that we take a moment to look deeper into our collective subconscious to ask, “Who are we, really?” The artwork on display in Faces and Facades attempts to both ask and answer that question on behalf of each artist.
Themes of identity and self-empowerment are especially relevant in Joel Artista’s large-scale public murals, which he creates in some of the world’s most conflicted areas. Artista’s murals are not just works of art, but also social works that explore topics such as displacement, war, mental/physical disabilities, and poverty. For each project, he partners with local residents and organizations to give a platform to people in highly challenging circumstances to explore issues that are important to them, learn valuable skills and uplift their environment through public art. These social projects have featured partnerships with dozens of local and international institutions, including UNICEF, Mercy Corps and the Open Society Initiative, and have been featured extensively in media, including Al-Jazeera English, National Public Radio, Arise TV, Reuters, Agence-France Presse, Voice of America, the New York Times, TIME magazine, and the Washington Post, among many others.
Several of Artista’s most important murals are displayed in Faces and Facades, along with the artwork of 13 other award-winning New York artists. Collectively, the group makes a powerful statement on some of today’s most pressing issues.
“Faces” are represented by painters Scott Ackerman, William Barnds, Maxine Davidowitz, Alessandra Piquero and Jamie Sanin, mixed media artists Lucy Blaire and Shelley Davis, ceramic sculptor Ann Morris and mask-maker Leslie Yolen. “Facades” are represented by muralist Joel Artista, sculptor Jackie Branson, photographer Paul Mutimear, diorama-maker Matthew Pleva, and painter Amy Silberkleit.
Join the artists at the opening reception for Faces and Facades on Saturday, June 11, 2016 from 5-7pm at Greene County Council on the Arts, 398 Main Street, Catskill, NY. For more information on GCCA Visual Arts Program and this exhibit visit www.greenearts.org.
GREENE COUNTY COUNCIL ON THE ARTS, INC. (GCCA) is a tax exempt, not-for-profit, tri-county decentralization (“DEC”) site and arts service organization whose purpose is to broaden and enrich the quality of life in Greene, Columbia and Schoharie Counties through the development and strengthening of the arts. Since 1975, the GCCA has provided information and essential services to artists, arts organizations, cultural and educational institutions, civic groups, community agencies and the general public.