Deconstruction 90: 8th Grade Art Exhibition

“To deconstruct is to destroy a framework. “

June 2nd we celebrated the final thesis art exhibition featuring works of 8th Grade Students of Achievement First Brownsville Middle School.

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Their projects are based on New Jim Crow and our prison system, Immigration, photography about neighborhoods in Brooklyn evolving over time, and right now they are working on audio/sound pieces based on their idea of home.



To deconstruct is to destroy a framework. For scholars finding their way through the education system in Brownsville, Brooklyn, frameworks are often forces of restriction, oppression, suffocation, alienation, perpetuation and, at times, ruination. Some of these frameworks were put into place consciously and strategically to keep power dynamics in place which have benefited some and subjugated others. Others have been developed as by-products of social ills and were created insidiously beneath the surface of social consciousness.

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Thoughts from Krystal Seli:

When the night was over I thought, to myself, I wish I had something like this when I was in high school. Walking into the gallery, I saw honest and raw pieces of art from young adults who had been given then opportunity to share their thoughts about everything from feminism to sexual orientation to beauty standards. They were asked questions like, “How does One’s Home affect One’s Identity?” and “How is suicide perceived in the eyes of society?”. The students answered in kind with music, painting, film and poetry, collectively sharing an immersive window into the life, thoughts and feelings of a New York teenager, which I could see, were not far from my own. I left the show asking some of those questions to myself and wondered if I had the opportunity to answer as my younger self, what I would say and how would I say it.

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About the author:

Krystal Seli

Over the years, I’ve worked many a job for some amazing non-profits. Some of my favorite jobs have been copywriting for The Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, guest services hosting at the California Academy of Science in San Francisco as well as teaching at Children’s Fairyland in Oakland. When I’m not volunteering at The Living Gallery, I make weird theater with my friends. My favorite food in the whole world is a Filipino dish called Kare Kare, a dish my Grandma makes with Oxtail and a whole jar of peanut butter.

“WE ARE GOING TO DIE” Masked Event, Monday Feb 8th

Join us on Monday Feb 8th 7-10pm at The Living Gallery for a special evening of performances, wearable art, installations and music! The event is free, and guests are urged to wear their own masks, masks will also  be available at the event.


 The goal of the event, and designs by artist Nyssa Frank , is to remind people that we are all mortal, and animals, and in this world together. Nyssa alters clothing, painting words such as “Death Means Nothing to Death,”  “I am a homo sapien” or “Who Am I” to express this goal. She also creates jewelry, mostly body parts, to illuminate both on the absurdity, and beauty of our human body.



Performers for the evening include: Bethany Sick Din, Veronica Torres, Ursula KennedyThe Sewer Gators Each performer is epic in his/her own way, engaging the audience in a mesmerizing, and introspective entanglement!!


The Sewer Gators

Constructed by Mike Garcia, The Swere Gators is a band that spews sewer funk and sewer punk

Bethany Sick Din

Sick Din is the music personae of the multimedia artist Bethany Dinsick.  Bethany Dinsick is a self taught musician, video artist, experimental dancer, performance artist, painter, costume maker, and sculptor from Baltimore currently living in Brooklyn.


 Ursula Kennedy

URSULA KENNEDY is cathartic howling wading through the treacherous squalls of love and oblivion, accompanied by contrapuntal, distorted guitar pulses. Artist Martha Ursula Moszczynski might bestow an epic dance performance during this event as well!


Veronica Torres

Torres is the lead singer in the band Pill. Her words and performances vibrate on a very honest and mind curling plane, making you dance and listen and become inspired.


Femella Presents: “Female Business Owners”

Femella is  a new series of interviews dedicated to women: their multifaceted, diverse and epic accomplishments!  The goal is to celebrate these women, while enabling awareness of each other through a non-competitive lens. Femella is the Latin origin of the word Female. It is actually not related to the word male, which comes from the Latin word masculus.

Thus Femella stands on its own. No comparison or competition. 

To be a part of this project  please email us at

For the first batch of interviews I reached out to epic women to discuss the Positive and Negative aspects of being a Female Business Owner:




My name is Brittany Fernbacker and I am the creator of Occult Kitten Collection. I was inspired to create OKC out of my deep love of magic and traveling the world. Growing up as a kid in New York City can leave you feeling like you grew up in the fast lane and it wasn´t until the first time I traveled to England back in 2011 that I felt time and space open up before me. I remember feeling completely spirited away, in awe, as if I opened my eyes for the first time. In 2012 I went on to back pack my entire way through 7 countries by myself using only and car pooling on a very restricted budget. My life was never the same after this experience. I radically changed my views about myself, my beliefs and the world.


I became completely enchanted with how a sense of adventure guided by a deeper connection with my magical self could carry me to places I never dreamt of being possible. I´ve gone on to live in-between NYC and London for over 2 years and now am currently living in Brazil for the past 10 months actively creating my business. I think I´ve been hoarding since I was a child, so it was no surprise to me that I began collecting treasures and adornments from my travels. The collections I offer are inspired by the particular place I´m visiting and their occult traditions, which I then make available through my shop on Instagram and Storenvy. I truly wanted to bring this sense of wonder and beauty I saw to everyone. Opening my business as a woman has been the most rewarding experience of my life because I know all the hardships it took to get to this point. I´ve been mocked, questioned relentlessly and filled with doubt by many because they believe its nothing but fantasy to read Tarot, sell crystals and travel the world. In the end though, it only empowers me more to live my dream, share my truths and hope it inspires others to do the same.


Secret Project Robot– Director and co-founder 2004 to present
Happyfun Hideaway co-owner 2013- present
Flowers for All Occasions Gallery co-owner… 2015 to present
I think a major benefit to being a female business owner is that it gives you a specific status as being a female business owner…No one would ever say how does it feel to be a male business owner, and from that status you are able to present a platform that
fits outside of specific boxes.  Running spaces as a women has made it possible to not conform to certain ideas of DIY, for instance male dominated spaces often have narratives of punk rock or indy, whereas, as a woman I feel free to say my space is just a space that tries to be inclusive.
Limitations of ownership stem mostly from a world in which the rest of the world is shocked and sometimes tries to divert your success, so many reps ask, “oh are you the owner,” “Oh cool you are a business woman…” LOL,  I never feel like a business woman I feel lucky that I have been supported by a community… I guess sometimes I wonder if men think that they made a community and women feel like they have contributed to one. I imagine it is a bit of both, but as a female I feel fortunate that my world isn’t limited by perceptions of white male success. I can fail freely as much as I can succeed freely…





My name is Chantal Savaresse and i’m the owner of Tomahawk Salon in Bushwhack, Brooklyn. I’ve had my own business for close to 20 years.


First as a yoga and massage therapist in both Europe and the United States. I started by running a studio out of my flat in Prague, Czech Republic 1996-2001. I offered small and private yoga lessons to ex pats and worked with The American Health Clinic as a massage therapist. After 9/11 I returned home to NYC and worked freelance as a massage therapist in the Upper West Side. I decided to open a brick and mortar store in Williamsburg, Brooklyn the fall of 2005. I called my shop Femme Fatale focused on vintage and noir style clothing. It was the sexy, experimental part of me. I sold bullet bras, 60’s schoolgirl dresses, lipstick vibrators, prim and polished nostalgia. My mon helped me 3-4 days a week while I continued to see my clients. In 2009 i shuttered my shop to focus on opening a hair salon. I went back to school for barbering and within a year I was ready for Tomahawk Salon. We opened in 2010 in The Loom with just 2 stylist me and Kristin. By 2011 I was ready to let go of my old career as a therapist and move forward full steam with Tomahawk.

In the short time we outgrew our space took over another storefront and expanded. Our location was a bit of a hardship we lacked autonomy and had a municipal waste plant directly across from us. In 2013 we closed down in The Loom and moved down the street. Today I employ 4-5 women. Tomahawk isn’t just my shop but also the ladies that help me day in and day out. I guess thats the biggest difference I started solo and the greatest gift has been running the salon with these ladies. My journey hasn’t been difficult. I always knew I had to create the world I wanted to be a part of and working for someone wasn’t for me. I need the flexible to call my own shots, listen loudly to my music, to be my own boss lady. It’s never good enough, the shit hits the fan  often but at the end of the day i’m pretty damn happy. 


My name is Dailisha Eve Rodriguez. My business is Hey There Beautiful Inc. 
The positive aspects of being a business owner are having the freedom of choosing upcoming projects. It is fun to see something go from an idea to the outcome. Furthermore, people make being a business owner fun.


Meeting new dynamic people with different views, opinions and backgrounds is such a treat. For me, there are no negative aspect of being a business owner. I only see the opportunity to make things better and grow from the lessons I learn on a day to day basis. There are no problems in the world, only opportunities!



Business: Obra Obscura : textiles, pattern, design.

There are many challenges running a business and maybe even more being a female business owner. After a couple 9-5’s within the fashion industry, I knew I was not meant for that world. However, I did not know what world I was meant to be in. It is very empowering to say “fuck it…I am just gonna start somewhere and just see where it leads me.” Male or female that is positive.


The number one negative thing to me as a female trying to build my business is equal pay. I also rely heavily on social media, networking, and events to get new clients and advertise my services. Unfortunately all those outlets and opportunities are superficial. People love good looking people, sex still sells, and I feel torn on how to get my foot in the door if it is not for sheer talent and respect. I desire to show my work and not my face and see if I can still win over clients, acquire projects and get more press. In order to not get wrapped in the whirlwind of negativity and inequality, I find that having a good mentor, surrounding my self with strong, like-minded, and inspiring women is extremely rewarding. Female strength is very enduring and yet still very nurturing.

(photo by Joe Miller )



My name is Joi Sanchez. My business is Art LovHer LLC. An artist co-operative that focuses on supporting independent artists in the creation of autonomous platforms of visibility and economic opportunity. With a primary focus on women, queer, and black/brown identified artists, we have existed for almost 4 years in New York City.


As a woman who owns a business, the greatest challenge by far is being taken seriously by my male counterparts without being a “typical female”.  I operate heavily in hip hop culture which is heavily dominated by men. Even the most enlightened men, often unconsciously, challenge the validity of a woman operating in this culture. However, I found that when you are about your business and focused, following up, being a woman in this field can be a great advantage as well. You are something unexpected. You often have outside the box ideas that pique interests. People will often [try to] steal your ideas without giving you credit. If you’re doing a good job, it will be noticed even if you never hear the compliments. Once you gain the respect of male counterparts, they listen and take your feedback into consideration this changing the culture. My advice is have patience, stay focused, and don’t listen to the haters.



The Broom Closet : Magical Cleaning Products & Cleaning Service in Bushwick/Bedstuy

When you’re starting a small business you tend to lean on those that have experience in entrepreneurship.  Not everyone is ready to take on the risk of advocating a magically minded maid and the pitching process is a challenge when speaking to certain men about the concept of my company.

blue june

In our first year we have locked in our market and are growing each day which is a great deal due to the endorsements we receive.  When other small businesses show you support by recommending your services, it’s the best platform you can ask for.  When I started out I read over and over how female business leaders fail to support one another.  I’ve been amazed and so grateful for the supportive women who have been down this road that still play an enormous roll in the growth of my company.

product line available at Catland Books


We will continue to interview more women based on this theme as well, so please contact if you’re interested!

“Tight in a Bud” A Solo Exhibition by Cheryl Georgette @ Alt Space

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”― Anaïs Nin

Alt Space is pleased to present “Tight in a Bud,” Cheryl Georgette’s first solo exhibition featuring innovative live music photography, collage, and mixed media. Edited using analog techniques and developed in a dark room, these portraits depicts the raw energy of live performance.

Alt Space Brooklyn
41 Montrose Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11206
Opening Reception Oct. 9th 7pm-9pm
The show will run from Oct. 9th to Oct. 23rd


Meet Artist Liene Bosque

I first met Liene Bosquê while she was working on her installation Suspended Memories at Point of Contact Gallery in The Nancy Cantor Warehouse at Syracuse University. She took time out of the installation to talk to my graphics and communications class about her work as an artist. Bosquê is a Brooklyn-based artist originally from Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Suspended Memories

She started her training in Brazil where she majored in architecture and also received a BFA.  She then went on, spending time on a specialized program in Portugal before moving to Chicago to work on her MFA in Fiber and Material Arts. She didn’t do a lot of gallery exhibitions during graduate school, only starting after she moved to New York.

When she first came to New York, she obtained several residencies, that allotted her free studio space for 2 years. Afterwards, she moved to 56 Bogart, but was located in the center of the building with no windows or natural light. The second year, she moved into a shared space with 3 other artists and tall windows. 56 Bogart is a large 4-story warehouse that was remodeled in 2005 and converted into artist lofts and gallery spaces.

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Liene’s work focuses a lot on mold making, her favorite medium, but she is always experimenting with different mediums and techniques that she incorporates with her work. In regards to mold making for her sculptures, she spotlights the idea of the positive and the negative where in the mold is a negative space and the object after its creation, becomes positive space. She is also interested in how the materials experience multiple state changes during the mold making process. For example, with plaster, it comes as a powder, then water is added to create a liquid, and after it dries in the mold, it becomes a solid.


When working in these different mediums, space often becomes an issue. For her project at Syracuse University, she needed to rent out a kiln from a Williamsburg ceramic studio to complete her vision for modified Syracuse China plates. Afterwards, the installations are often stored at her studio space in crates piled high up to the ceiling. Because of the site-specific nature of many of her works, they don’t always transition well into a different space. There is more of a powerful relation to the space for some pieces. Other times only certain aspects can be used, but the works can have a life outside of the original space being reincorporated into new installations. Sculpture does not sell as easily as other works either, so mainly, her work is made for the sake of making, with grants and residencies supplementing her income. Periodically, collectors have purchased work, mainly in Lisbon and Sao Paulo.

With Liene’s work, due to the lack of salability, she mainly works with non-profit galleries and museums. Periodically, she is invited by curators who have done studio visits or seen her work through her artist residencies, but this may take some time for them to reach out to her, sometimes over a year. For the most part, she is constantly submitting for exhibition opportunities as well as writing grants and applying for residencies at least twice a month.  When asked how much time is spent doing applications, she stated “more than the fun part of making stuff…about 50/50 doing art and doing administration.” After a moment, she corrected herself “60 percent work and 40 percent art.” Bosquê is responsible for managing all of her own administrative work, personal marketing through facebook and other social media, and updating her website. This sometimes leaves her with little time to experiment with new mold making processes, the downfall of a DIY approach, a necessity nonetheless.


For the most part, non-profits or artist run spaces do not offer any stipend or supplement expenses, but commercial galleries will on occasion. One of her biggest hurdles is transporting her work, which can become very costly. She also needs to hire helpers with certain projects. She pondered whether “it is worth it to pay to work” in the case of her art. She tries to avoid shows with no budget, unless they’re particularly important and/or she is using light and easy to commute works that can go on the subway or fit in a cab.

Bosquê supplements her income by teaching sculpture classes part time at a local arts center in Brooklyn. Her part time work allows her to have more studio time to work on what she loves doing, making art. One of the most interesting points she brought up in our interview was the lack of community that she experienced at 56 Bogart. While there are many artists and gallery spaces, she never has the opportunity to interact with her studio neighbors except at big events like Bushwick Open Studios. The downfall of that though, is that when there are big events at the warehouse, she is usually there showing off her own studio space, and is unable to leave to check out anything else.

One area that she has found a strong sense of community with is New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA). NYFA offers an Immigrant Artist Mentoring program, where she started out since she was an immigrant from Brazil, and worked her way up to becoming a mentor to other immigrant artists. She has really enjoyed the experience working with artists who are coming to live and work in the US for the first time and also help for them to continue doing art even though their transition might be tough. Bosquê continues to enjoy making art, helping others make their own art, and tackling any challenge that she may face.

Image credit: Point of Contact Gallery

By Anna Kovach

Native Bushwick: A Bushwick Art Crit Event

The most recent Bushwick Art Crit Group, which took place at Brooklyn FireProof’s  ‘Temporary Storage’ gallery space, was host to the theme #nativeBushwick. Founder Christopher Stout states that “Even before Bushwick was a media darling neighborhood, there were a lot of REALLY AMAZING artists in our community! [Native Bushwick is about] celebrating and learning about the work of artists who are notably born in Bushwick!”

The four presenters for Summer Session ONE were Danielle De Jesus, Noel Hennelly, Jendog Lonewolf, Bianca Perez, and Anthony Rosado.


Anthony went first and discussed his collage work and discussed how windows and skin colors are a major theme in his works.  He states that “whiteness and eurocentricity wrap around the earth for a fabrication of normalcy.” He also discusses one piece entitled Flesh Tint in reference to the paint color which shows a collage of two European white men with white thumb prints on top of the image and states that that color is “not my flesh tint,” and that the picture represents people “planning for a future of whiteness.”


Next, Noel Hennelly, who was a 3rd generation Bushwick native talked about her tint pieces and how she interprets changes in the city as waves of different cultural institutions move into the area. She considers the bleakness of the urban landscape that she experienced growing up but also how there is “hidden life and possibility in the bleak urban desert.” She also gets a lot of inspiration from the Spanish poet Garcia Lorca, and in the diverse way she gains inspiration, there are just as many facets to her work. She paints over her own photographs incorporating animals as totems that turn into “beautiful morphologies.” She ends her talk reminiscing about the values and concepts of an‘ideal landscape,’ which for her is Switzerland. Happily she states, “The sound of music backdrop is a real place!”

Jendog Lonewolf took the state after Hennnelly, starting out with an insight into her life as a “teaching, touring, hip hop photographer, moment catcher, ghetto ambassador.” She works in photography and has several interesting ongoing series including one focusing simply on trash piles in NYC and another just of people’s feet.  She’s also done photo work in Sri Lanka after the war. She then also picks up the theme of gentrification in Bushwick. “I’m not against change, just destruction,” she says as she leads into a performance piece on gentrification called “Brooklyn Beats.” She ends the performance with a plug to her online presence @ilovejendog.

“I hate public speaking,” says Bianca Perez, who had her photography on the screen. All of her pieces were untitled images that focused on themes of alienation and the concept of jamais vu, being a stranger in an unfamiliar landscape.  She focuses her lens on physical structures and how buildings function when gentrification becomes a space issue. “A driving force of change is space, and natives feel imposed upon,” she laments upon the construction of new buildings. Her camera angles suggest a witness/voyeur viewpoint and she does not do any form of photo editing on her pieces. When thinking about living space, she often ponders the question ‘what is it like to live near a river or a cottage in the woods?’ When looking at her work, one must consider ‘what is it like to take over someone else’s space at the cause of gentrification?’


Last, Danielle De Jesus talks about her photography and personal fight against gentrification in her family home.  She’s been doing photography since 2008 and seeks to document “the Bushwick I know and love so much” while also reflecting on life in Bushwick prior to the influx of gentrification as well as ideas focusing on nostalgia, home, and place.  She has had a particularly tough experience with gentrification, in that her mother’s landlord tried to buy them out. She stood her ground and was able to help her mother keep her home.  After sharing a private photo of her family gathering at Christmas with someone, she did not receive the comments she was expecting.  The photo showed her family smoking and drinking and playing with the kids, and the viewer felt it could be shameful to represent one’s family this way, but De Jesus strongly disagrees. She ends with reiterating how important it is “to share your story how you want to.”

Bushwick Art Crit Group is a monthly gathering that is free and open to the public.

More information here:

Artist information:

Bianca Perez on instagram: @yung_plath

Anthony Rosado on instagram: @anthonywash.rosado

BOS 2015 By Anna Kovach

Here is one woman’s view of BOS 2015! We’d love to hear yours as well! Contact us at to submit! 

     Bushwick Open Studios 2015, was once again a full body experience. Friday night started out with the launch party and Seeking Spaces exhibition at Be Electric on Willoughby Ave, and a line that stretched down the block. Seeking Spaces was a multimedia art immersion with sculptures, video art, along side more traditional works by over 60 artists . Pine Box Rock Shop graciously hosted the open bar with beer donated from Brooklyn Brewery and a small 2nd floor room in the space was host to a digital photo booth by The Bosco that not only printed 4 small pictures, but also animated them into a looping gif file.

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Saturday was the busiest day by far, with swaths of visitors pouring into the various Bushwick train stops.  Community Day took place at The Maria Hernandez Park on Knickerbocker Ave and featured musical acts, live painting, circus performances, and also tables for local community organizations.



The Bushwick Collective Block Party was also going on, just down the road between Troutman Street and Saint Nicholas Avenue. Local street artists were doing performances of live painting for new mural pieces in the neighborhood (one of its main attractions). 17-17 Troutman is a large building full of artist studios and one of the most popular stops for visitors. Each floor has lots of studios to wander in and out of, where you can see many different types of artists and makers.

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House of Yes also had a reopening celebration, with performances of all types throughout the day. 56 Bogart was also another time consuming place to visit, again with each floor of a large warehouse housing studio spaces and galleries. Live performances by Matthew Silver and friends went on outside. Local darlings Roberta’s Pizza hosted an outdoor Art Party where one could drink, nosh on pizza, and wander through a maze of art under a large tent.Screen Shot 2015-06-16 at 9.43.27 AM

While there were just as many studios and galleries open on Sunday, the lack of the block party drew in less crowds. The spaces thatwere open felt much more low key and relaxed in the knowledge that it was the last day in a long art intensive weekend. Bushwick Open Studios is one of NYC’s largest arts events and each year outdoes itself. Between Friday and Sunday, I walked close to 20 miles.

BYO ART AT The Living Gallery

BYO ART AT The Living Gallery

I was able to volunteer for The Living Gallery 2 days in a row to assist artists hanging their work on Friday evening and to promote the gallery on Saturday at Community Day. Bushwick’s street cred in the art scene is starting to rival that of galleries in Manhattan. I look forward to seeing how it develops over the coming years.