belinda James is a multifaceted artist whose various disciplines symbiotically influence each creation. she seeks to unveil the preferably obscured condemnations rampant in our superficial society governed by ostentatious protocol with her works. "Our outward appearances and behaviors become moot when the exposure of what is deemed inappropriate or even taboo results in banishment. The only amelioration for the maintenance of such depravities can be by the removal of these disguises that foment this viscous net of opprobrious acts." belinda relocated from Santa Fe, New Mexico to New York City to pursue her career as a dancer/choreographer and visual artist in April 1980, marking this exhibition as the anniversary of her thirty-seventh year of living in this city. She received her visual arts training at Parsons School of Design and her performing arts training at various dance and ballet schools in New York. belinda honed her skills going on to exhibit, perform, and produce works in these disciplines.
JaSon Auguste is Harlem based artist who uses multiple art forms as well as technology to give an interactive quality to his works. As an artist, he is moved by the remembrance of a time when people tapped into different realms of healing bodies, minds and souls. He is motivated by an urge to uncover the hidden mysteries of the world and to satisfy this desire he incorporates colors, movements, ancients symbols as well as modern cyber technologies as a way of creating a scenario of peering through a veil for himself and others. JaSon's work has been shown at countless exhibitions throughout New York City such as Brooklyn's Restoration Plaza, Brooklyn Law School, the Museum of the City of New York and El Museo del Barrio as well as solo and group shows in Harlem.
Elan Ferguson is an Access Assemblage interdisciplinary visual artist and writer whose works are grounded in family, historical imagery, personal narrative, memory and identity. She is interested in power dynamics that exist in families, how individuals form identity under these influences and how that is interjected into society and popular culture. Elan studied Advertisement, Design and Photography at FIT and graduated from City College of New York City with a BA in Studio Art and Education, 2008. She has instructed young people in the arts for 16 years at the Brooklyn Museum and many upper Manhattan institutions such as Say Yes To Education (affiliated with Columbia’s Teachers College), Harlem School of the Arts, Thurgood Marshall Upper and Lower Academies, Harlem Gems (Harlem Children Zone), No Longer Empty, Cool Culture, Bank Street College, the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York Historical Society, Center for Arts Education. She is currently an MFA candidate at SVA.
Ben Ponté is a Brooklyn based artist who was awarded the University of New South Wales post-graduate research scholarship and holds a BFA (honors) and an MFA in painting from the College of Fine Arts, Sydney. His current body of work focuses on the bodily assimilation of digital devices in urban space. In particular, the ways in which the hand-held device has transformed the experience of private and public space and how the body/mind relationship is responding to this transformation. Informed by his experience as a yoga practitioner and teacher, his work explores themes of embodiment and dislocation, integrating the discipline of Svādhyāya (study of self) into visual arts context. Ben has received numerous awards and prizes and has participated in solo and group shows in Australia and New York.
Art in Flux has invited Henone Girma to curate its upcoming exhibition at ALOFT Harlem as part of its mentoring initiative. Woe-nderland features five NYC-based artists – belinda James, Ben Ponté, Elan Ferguson, JaSon Auguste, and Tariku Shiferaw – and opens Wednesday, April 19, 6:00-9:00PM at 2296 Frederick Douglass Blvd. The show presents works that evoke a collective feeling of world-weariness that saturates the current climate and paints an honest picture of lamentation apt for recent events.
The title Woe-nderland takes as its point of departure the 1996 single ‘If I Ruled the World’ by recording artist Nas that begins with “Life, I wonder, will it take me under, I don’t know” – a simultaneous testimony to the ills of society and contemplation of its potentials. In the same wistful vein and framed within Art in FLUX’s 2017 curatorial theme “Re-Imagining a City”, the works in the show cajole us into wondering where we’re headed and examining our circumstances. None aim to be prescriptive but instead they embody the personal and socio-political to interrogate our relationship with each other and the world. The exhibition offers a rather satirical lens through which we may reimagine our current social construct – this perhaps creating a timely opportunity for relating and purging.
Artists: belinda James, Ben Ponté, Elan Ferguson, JaSon Auguste, and Tariku Shiferaw
Opening: Wednesday, April 19, 2017, 6:00 to 9:00 PM
Dates: April 19 through August 31, 2017
Location: Aloft Harlem, 2296 Frederick Douglass Blvd. between 123 and 124th Streets, NYC
Hours: Daily 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Tariku Shiferaw is a Brooklyn based artist whose work deals with mark-making in ways that addresses both the physical and the metaphysical spaces of painting and societal structures. Shiferaw has exhibited throughout New York and Los Angeles. Recent exhibitions include The 2017 Whitney Biennial as part of Occupy Museums’ Debtfair (New York, 2017); Hard Cry, Lubov (New York, 2017); Life Sized, Anthony Phillip Gallery (Brooklyn, 2016); Introduction 2016, Trestle Gallery (Brooklyn, 2016); The LA Art Show, Werd Gallery (Los Angeles, 2016); ATAVAST, Roomservice/Standard Practice (Brooklyn, 2015); New Work New York, 1st MFA Biennial Presented by St. Nicks Alliance & Arts@Renaissance (Brooklyn, 2015).