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A certain set of dynamics

March 20th – May 10th, 2019

Opening Reception: Wednesday, March 20, 6-8 PM

Curated by Sarah Rebekah Byrd Mizer

Featuring the work of: Embodied Empathy, Christopher Mahonski, Valerie Shusterov, and Kristen Neville Taylor.

"A certain set of dynamics is an examination of life force. “We,” both as individual units and as a part of a larger set, are held responsible for our communal trajectory. The works here reflect on the consequences of our set while questioning if there is a way to charge individual energies in order to offer a more positive outcome. With a healthy appreciation for absurdity, this show aims to promote self and collective awareness." - Sarah Rebekah Byrd Mizer

A certain set of dynamics was selected through UrbanGlass' annual open curatorial call. Jurors: Will Hutnick and Gaby Collins-Fernandez. Click here for more information about this opportunity.

About the Artists:
Embodied Empathy consists of collaborators John Henry Blatter and Jill B. Ware. Together they explore ideas of movement, empathy and embodiment through immersive experiences that marry emerging technologies in Virtual Reality with theater and performance. Cognitive science experiments have shown embodied work through virtual reality can be a powerful tool in reducing implicit racial bias, overcoming phobias, and relieving pain. Embodied Empathy has recently won the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Presidential Research Quest Grant, the VCUArts Exploratory Research Grant, and the VCUArts Faculty Inclusion Grant to further their research goals.

*On Saturdays throughout the exhibition Embodied Empathy will activate their virtual reality embodied experience from 1 to 4 pm. Featuring embodied movement with Charisma Glasper, or understudy Riley O'Rourke.  

Christopher Mahonski was born in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, where he began collecting fossils as a child. He has shown nationally and is a recipient of the Socrates Sculpture Park Emerging Artist Fellowship, Virginia Museum of Fine Art Professional Fellowship, Triangle Arts Residency, 7-Below Residency, and Mountain Lake Biological Research Station Residency. Chris received a BFA in Sculpture from that Tyler School of Art and an MFA in Sculpture + Extended Media from Virginia Commonwealth University. Chris is also vice president of the Richmond Area Skateboard Alliance (RASA), nonprofit dedicated to building skate parks and skate-based community outreach. He currently lives in Richmond and works as a digital fabrication technician at VCU. 

Valerie Shusterov was born and raised in Queens, NY. The artist received her BFA in Photography and Media from California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles. After graduating in 2012, Valerie began studying neon glass bending in New York. Valerie has instructed Neon glass bending at both Brooklyn Glass and UrbanGlass. She has shown her neon works in galleries in Los Angeles and New York City. Valerie's work continues to grow within the experiential and the sculptural. Valerie Shusterov lives and works in New York.

Kristen Neville Taylor is a curator, artist and teacher.  Her work has been shown at Vox Populi, the Woodmere Art Museum and the Philadelphia Art Alliance (Philadelphia), Pacific Northwest College of Art (Portland), Richard Stockton and Rowan University Art Galleries (New Jersey), and Expo Chicago. She has organized several exhibitions including Landscape Techne at Little Berlin, The Usable Earth at the Esther Klein Gallery, and co-curated Middle of Nowhere in the Pine Barrens. Taylor is the recipient of the Laurie Wagman Prize in Glass, a RAIR Recycled Artist in Residence, and a Vermont Studio Center Fellowship. Taylor is a recent alumni of Vox Populi gallery and co-founder of Little Berlin, a Philadelphia art gallery. Since 2007, Taylor has taught courses in glass and materials studies at The University of the Arts, Tyler School of Art and Moore College of Arts Graduate Studies Program.

About the curator: 
With a concentration in Glass, Sarah Mizer earned her BFA from Alfred University and an MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University. She has continued her material-focused research at residency programs such as Azule (Hot Springs, NC), Mountain Lake Biological Station (Pembroke, VA), Penland School for Crafts (Penland, NC), Haystack Mountain School of Craft (Deer Isle, ME), Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (Houston, TX) and the Studios of Key West (Key West, FL). Sarah’s work has exhibited in the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, Chrysler Museum of Art, the Taubman Museum, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, The Center for Craft Creativity and Design and the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts. In early 2019, Sarah opened Alma’s RVA, a contemporary craft showroom and studio building in Richmond, VA. Additionally, Sarah is an Executive Board member of 1708 Gallery and Visiting Professional Artist at the Chrysler Museum Glass Studio in Norfolk, VA. A certain set of dynamics marks Sarah’s curatorial debut.

About the jurors:
Will Hutnick is an artist and curator based in Wassaic, NY. He received his M.F.A. from Pratt Institute (Brooklyn, NY) and his B.A. from Providence College (Providence, RI). His work has been exhibited most recently at LVL3 Gallery (Chicago, IL), Vox Populi (Philadelphia, PA), Paradice Palase (Brooklyn), Geoffrey Young Gallery (Great Barrington, MA), DEMO Project (Springfield, IL), Tiger Strikes Asteroid (Brooklyn), The Java Project (Brooklyn), Providence College Galleries (Providence, solo) and Pratt Institute. Hutnick has curated numerous exhibitions at SPRING/BREAK Art Show, Ortega y Gasset Projects, Trestle Projects, Pratt Institute (New York and Brooklyn) and Hamiltonian Gallery (Washington, DC). He has been an artist-in-residence at Yaddo (Saratoga Springs, NY), DNA Gallery (Provincetown, MA), Wassaic Project (Wassaic, NY), Vermont Studio Center (Johnson, VT) and a curator-in-residence at Benaco Arte (Sirmione, Italy) and Trestle Projects (Brooklyn). Hutnick is a 2017 Martha Boschen Porter Fund grant recipient from the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation as well as a 2015 grant recipient from the Foundation for Contemporary Art. He is the Co-Director of Ortega y Gasset Projects, an artist-run curatorial collective and exhibition space in Brooklyn, and is currently the Residency Director at the Wassaic Project, a nonprofit organization that uses art and art education to foster positive social change. 

Gaby Collins-Fernandez is an artist living and working in New York City. She holds degrees from Dartmouth College (B.A.) and the Yale School of Art (M.F.A., Painting/Printmaking). Her work has been shown in the US and internationally, currently included in "Third Space" a survey of contemporary art at the Birmingham Museum of Art, Alabama and recently at el Museo del Barrio, Nathalie Karg Gallery, Honey Ramka, Resort Baltimore, and Danese Corey. Her work has been discussed in publications such as The Brooklyn Rail and artcritical, and was recently featured on the video interview series, Gorky's Granddaughter. She is a recipient of a Fellowship at Yaddo, Saratoga Springs, NY, a 2013 Rema Hort Mann Foundation Emerging Art Award, and a residency at the Marble House Project, Dorset, VT. Collins-Fernandez is also a writer whose texts have appeared in publications such as the popular Painting on Paintings blog, The Miami Rail, and The Brooklyn Rail. She is a founder and publisher of the annual magazine Precog, and a co-director of the artist-run art and music initiative BombPop!Up.

Event Images
Event Schedule
March 20th – May 10th, 2019
Agnes Varis Art Center
647 Fulton St
Brooklyn, NY 11217