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Unearthing Roots, Foraging Self


Unearthing Roots, Foraging Self

March 27 - April 17, 2015
Opening Reception: Friday, March 27 from 6-9pm

How does our relationship to a geographic place feed into the concept of our identity? Grappling with this question, the New York Art Residency & Studios (NARS) Foundation is delighted to present a group exhibition Unearthing Roots, Foraging Self, curated by Margaret Flanagan and including work by José Arenas, Pia Coronel, Kyoung eun Kang, Viviane Rombaldi Seppey, and Kara J. Schmidt. New York City is distinctive in that it is home to over eight million people, comprised largely of “immigrants,” those who have moved here, who bring with them their own historical groundwork. This personal history is the foundation of their identity, and while they become New Yorkers through location, their roots are embedded in the land from which they have come. 

The artists in this exhibition utilize different processes and materials to explore the effect of place on identity. José Arenas spent his childhood split between Northern California and Guadalajara, Mexico, grappling with the history and influences of these two worlds. Arenas contemplates his dual identities by combining cultural symbols, abstract forms, and decorative patterns in paint to create a space that is both narrative and open to viewer response and interpretation. Pia Coronel pushes photography into the third dimension by stripping away layers and returning to nature through the incorporation of found wood. Her return to nature is a search for identity in a world of solitude and separation as we drift further and further from our “original selves.” Kyoung eun Kang studies human encounters and personal relationships in order to comprehend her own identity and the boundaries of familial relationships. Over several months, she forged an intimate relationship with a couple in their seventies through a series of encounters which included sharing a meal, exchanging stories, and taking part the simple acts of daily life. These close encounters are elegantly chronicled in short segments, slowly building a narrative of the lives of two people who have built a life through their shared experience of space. Viviane Rombaldi Seppey’swork is informed by her nomadic lifestyle, exploring the cultures and places from her position as an “outsider.” Maps and phonebooks, both essentially informed by a geographic area, are manipulated reflections on her personal sense of place in these differing societies and to reconcile that sense with her identity. Kara J. Schmidtexamines the cartography of physical and virtual spaces related to her personal history. Utilizing Google Maps, Schmidt slowly eradicates and flattens the geographic spaces where she once lived and studied, allowing the viewer to understand this abstract space in a different way. Through myriad methods, each artist has unearthed their own path of remembrance as they traverse the terrain of NYC. 

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NARS Foundation
201 46th Street, 4th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11220 

Gallery Hours
Monday-Friday: 12-5pm and by Appointment Only

The New York Art Residency and Studios (NARS) Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit arts organization committed to supporting artists and curators on an international level as well as engaging the local community in Brooklyn and the Greater New York area. NARS provides an array of creative support services and professional development opportunities for emerging and mid-career artists through short-term integrated residency programs, affordable long-term studio spaces, progressive exhibition programs, and engaging public programs. These services operate in conjunction with our education and community outreach initiatives. Our mission is to present diverse platforms on which to nurture creative inspiration and innovative cross-pollination of ideas.


For further information, please contact us at / / 718-768-2765.

Earlier Event: February 27
In Praise of Folly
Later Event: May 21
Open Door Discourse