Karen M. Rose

What is the cHURCH OF MONIKA? | Livestream | Facebook Event

Sunday, April 19


Health is not in a vacuum. We are part of a whole and in order to feel whole it’s necessary that we remember and connect. Let’s talk about how plants medicine, ritual, and community allows you to stand in your own power.

Join us for the cHURCH OF MONIKA as Karen M. Rose, owner of Sacred Vibes Healing, discusses community in ritual in healing with plant medicine.

Authentic, knowledgeable, open and welcoming, Karen is trained in Eastern and Western Herbal Medicine and is personally dedicated to empowering individuals to make informed decisions with regards to their health and lives. This dedication led to the creation of Sacred Vibes Healing in 2002. As the owner of Sacred Vibes Healing and the Sacred Vibes Apothecary, a Brooklyn-based, community herbal apothecary, Karen is connected to both the earth and the community in which she practices, consults, and teaches herbal medicine. Her dedication to the earth, spirit, service, community and our individual divinity make Sacred Vibes Healing and its products truly unique.

Karen has been featured on FYI TV’s show The FEED, in The New York Times, Black Enterprise, New York Daily News, among other publications. She has authored articles on the benefits and simplicity of utilizing herbal medicine to nourish the mind, body, and spirit. In 2013, Karen launched her eponymous new herbal venture, Karen M. Rose, with a particular focus on helping women live inspired lives using the energies of plants, which will draw on her 15 years of work as a healer, as well as her rich life experience. Through her work, Karen will nourish the growth in each stage of an individual’s unique gestation, ultimately allowing self-realization and their divine light to shine.

Learn more about Karen’s work:

Global Makeathon 2015

What is the cHURCH OF MONIKA? | Livestream | littleBits

March 29, 2015


Join us for bagels and BitBots as the KOKO Open Source staff hosts our Global Makeathon as part of a worldwide celebration of innovation, creativity, and experimentation!

You’ve seen littleBits ads all over the subway and seen what kids can make in our BitBots program – now experience a class for yourself! KOKO Open Source staff will guide you through what littleBits does, how our BitBots classes are created, and what benefits BitBots offers for our local community. Then, we will host a short workshop where you can create littleBits inventions of your own and “make something that does something.”

BitBots is a STEAM initiative that invites students to innovate, prototype, program, design, and incorporate new technology with recycled materials to “make something that does something.” BitBots uses littleBits (an electronic module toy that can be used to create elaborate circuits) and Arduino (an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to use hardware and software). BitBots constructions foster an interest in engineering, invention, sustainability and visual arts. By combining art and technology, we encourage inventiveness in participants while teaching valuable lessons on creative problem solving and engineering. We use both found and technological materials to teach lessons on the practical and cultural possibilities of innovation.

Learn more about BitBots on the KOKO Open Source website.

Sara Morawetz

What is the cHURCH OF MONIKA? | Livestream | Sara Morawetz

Sunday, February 1, 2015


Sara Morawetz’s work is an exploration of the processes that underpin scientific action. She is interested in the manner in which the constituent elements of the ’Scientific Method’ – namely observation, experimentation, method (as action) and standardization – are recounted within artistic practice and how these concepts can be further leveraged by artistic inquiry. Through her practice, Sara aims to unravel the mechanics of scientific thinking by asking: “what is method / observation / standardization?” and, furthermore, “how do these terms function outside scientific parameters in the fluid and mercurial sphere of artistic application?”. Derived from the core principles of science, her practice examines experimental investigation as a way of thinking and a mode of working, utilizing the philosophy of science as a means of critically interpreting systems, actions and processes. It is in this breakdown of artistic and scientific thinking that she aims to evaluate the volatile space between, to examine the reciprocity within conceptual systems and to validate a communal passage that seeks to filter art through a scientific idiom.

Sara’s work is both research and process-driven, often employing durational, repetitious and participatory components – elements akin to a scientific experiment. These performative actions, that either become or create the work, are devised to test and expose the internal processes of methodological labour – the exhaustive, the obsessive, the poetic and the absurd – all inherent to scientific practices.

This work is the foundation of Sara’s Ph.D. Candidature, at Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney, under the supervision of Dr Debra Dawes. She is currently an Australian Postgraduate Award recipient, a previous Martin Bequest Traveling scholarship winner and a visiting scholar at Parsons School of Fine Art, New School, New York, 2014.

Azza Saad

Sunday, November 23rd, 2014


We are honored to have Azza Saad discuss her art, her life, and her passion with the audience Sunday, November 23rd.

The cHURCH OF MONIKA is a non-religious monthly series where invited speakers share and discuss their projects and experiences.

Marie Roberts

Sunday, October 19, 2014

photo 3 (2)

Marie Roberts’s family has been involved at Coney Island since the beginning of the 20th Century. Her grandfather was acting battalion chief of the Coney Island District and her family worked at the Dreamland Circus Sideshow in the 1920’s, including her father and her Uncle Lester, who was a “talker” for the sideshow.

In 1997, Marie began working with Coney Island USA, the non-profit Arts Center, and fell in love with the tradition of large format sideshow banners. Her banners now adorn Coney Island USA’s landmark facade, merging her academic life with her family history.

Marie Roberts is a native New Yorker and professor of Art at Fairleigh Dickinson University. She obtained her BA from Brooklyn College and her MFA from Queens College. Marie is an artist-in-residence at Coney Island USA where she is the show painter for the world famous Coney Island Circus Sideshow and teaches banner painting at their Sideshow School.

The cHURCH OF MONIKA is a non-religious monthly series where invited speakers share and discuss their projects and experiences.

Ligo Project Panel on Environment & Climate Change

Sunday, September 28th, 2014

c.hill, 2013, metrocard tapestry inspired by Dr. Steve Franks’ research (Fordham University, plant ecology and ecological genetics), exhibited at Ligo Project’s Art of Science – Gallery Night

Ligo Project is a movement. A movement to connect and apply cutting edge scientific discoveries to real world problems and to make this happen more rapidly and less expensively, so that scientific innovations bear an even broader impact on the general public– improving quality of life in general and especially for those living with disease. Ligo Project’s mission is to increase the rate at which scientific innovations are being applied to real world problems, creating game changing start-ups that do good at the same time! Acting as a translational catalyst for your innovations, the Ligo Project goal is to foster and promote more rapid and inexpensive development of scientific innovations that will positively impact global unmet needs and improve quality of life.

Ligo Project aims to make science accessible to the public through programs such as the Art of Science, a 6-month artist-in residence program that allows artists the opportunity to interact with scientists, learn about research and, from these interactions, create a piece of science inspired art. Using the universal language of art as a vehicle to promote science innovation and explore fundamental questions that interest and affect us all, Art of Science leverages this power as a unique & powerful marketing tool for opportunities in and centered around science & scientific innovations.

The panel on Environment & Climate Change will discuss factors that detrimentally effect the environment, causes of climate change, evidence for this, and importantly the best path forward and policies to alleviate some of these detrimental effects.

Panel members will include: Jonathan Bauch (sculptor, curator of Omens of Climate Change at Westbeth Gallery), Larry Brown (painter, adjunct professor at Cooper Union), Karen Holmberg (archaeologist, volcano fetishist, writer, visiting scholar in the Department of Environmental Studies at NYU), Patrick Kinney (environmental health scientist, director of the Columbia University Climate and Health Program), Bhawani Venkataraman (environmental chemist, associate professor of interdisciplinary science at The New School)


What is the Church of Monika?

Despite our trepidation about the influence of religion, and specifically the church, on politics, there is no doubt that the fostering of community is it’s strongest public contribution. We seek ideas from artists, writers, politicians, and input from neighbors. Although we are primarily a local Brooklyn gallery we accept proposals and have exhibited international artists in keeping with the global village concept. As evidenced by the variety and reach of our shows, we are truly “open source.”

In addition to our monthly exhibitions, on Sundays, we establish the “Church of Monika” in 2010 with the intention of communicating and demonstrating the role art can and should have on community. Our experiences with the Soap Box Derby Camp and subsequent race, as well as our annual Soup Kitchen in December, have validated our desire to move forward in this direction. We are located in a Brooklyn neighborhood underserved by the arts and we hope to remedy the situation in whatever small way we can.

The “Church” is a moderated town hall type of meeting rather than a sermon with topics varying each week/month (in 2010 once a week, in 2012 once a month). Snacks and coffee is served, doubling the event’s function as it becomes an alternative to brunch with bloody marys.

The origin of our concept stems from our mutual admiration of the Rothko Chapel in Houston, Texas. This profound monument to the freedom and pursuit of self-reflection is a model of art as a surrogate for religion. We take a non-denominational and tolerant attitude in our journey through life and our hope is to build an alliance with people of all faiths and world-views. We suffer no delusions of grandeur, we only seek to inspire and be inspired by the art of life and community.

cHURCH OF MONIKA, Sara Bouchard, March 2014

cHURCH OF MONIKA, Sara Bouchard, March 2014

Leigh Davis at Greenwood Cemetery

NOTE: This event has been rescheduled:
Sunday, June 22nd, 11am
Meeting spot: Greenwood Cemetery, Entrance 25th and 5th avenue


Leigh Davis’s work investigates the relationships between people and the physical spaces in which they live, work, and perform. Her subjects span a broad range—from the men of a dying religious order to women living in a YWCA residence hall—and the projects she creates derive from the relationships she develops with those subjects over time. Finding nontraditional, public spaces for her work is central to her practice, which strongly attends to how the work is experienced. Davis has created a slide show and lecture series for public community gardens in Brooklyn, a temporary memorial for a neighborhood in Washington, D.C., and a site-specific installation for the church of St. Paul the Apostle, located in Midtown Manhattan. Her recent project, Quiet Service, is a video created in-collaboration with four congregations located in the North Station district of Baltimore. Davis is currently working on a project close to home, in her apartment building.

Davis’ site-based works have repeatedly taken the form of temporary memorials or shrines. Davis will lead a conversation about the themes in her work; the memorial as narrative, and particularly our desire as a culture to create individual or collective memory in the public context.

The cHURCH OF MONIKA is a non-religious monthly series where invited speakers share and discuss their projects and experiences.

Liinu Grönlund

Sunday 27th, 11am


Liinu Grönlund is a visual artist and currently an artist-in-residence at Residency Unlimited. She is currently working with scientists at the Stony Brook University and the American Museum of Natural History, who study lemurs and other primates, as well as snakes and chameleons. For the Church of Monika she will give us insight into her work and her collaborative work process. We will view a video by Liinu Grönlund shot in Malta called “Briefly”. The film examines the island’s nature and touches on Malta’s geographical and political relationship with Libya.

Through her use of film and video, Grönlund investigates the preservation of time. Her work is drawn to extreme and remote locations, with a particular focus on the natural sciences and environmentalism. She explores the relation of humans and nature in the age of environmental and humanitarian crisis through a process of archiving disappearing worlds.

For her MFA final work, Grönlund gave an old Super 8 camera to biologists. The scientists took it with them to isolated research stations, such as the Amazon rainforest. She asked the researchers to film one take every day, which lead to the production of films that became silent field diaries. She has also recently collaborated with biologists and conservationists in Madagascar.

Grönlund’s work has been shown in solo shows at Galleria Huuto (2014, Helsinki), and at Cable Gallery alongside artist Johanna Eliisa Laitanen (2011, Helsinki). She has participated in group shows including Studio Voltaire’s members exhibition 2010 in London. Her short films have been shown in various screenings and film festivals in Finland and abroad.

The cHURCH OF MONIKA is a non-religious monthly series where invited speakers share and discuss their projects and experiences.

Selina Alko and Sean Qualls

Sunday, March 30th, 11am

from the book “THE CASE FOR LOVING”

Please join us Sunday March 30th, when Selina Alko and Sean Qualls will tell the story of their creative journeys that brought them from Western Canada and New Jersey together to Brooklyn. The duo will talk about their childhoods, influences and paths to becoming visual artists. They will present their books, original art works and projected images. Together they have done art for over 25 picture books and just completed their first book together called THE CASE FOR LOVING. The Book is to be published by Scholastic in December 2014.

Selina Alko was born in Vancouver, British Columbia in Canada. Growing up in a house with a Turkish father who speaks seven languages, exposed Selina to many different sounds from a young age. Her father also taught her how to paint and gave her a starter course in self-expression. Her mother’s involvement in the family’s 95-year old business of metal recycling yielded Alko’s affinity for collage and mixing media (“trash art”) in her work today.
It is important to Selina that her books help children to be more open-minded. Selina wrote and illustrated amongst others em>Brooklyn is for B (Henry Holt and Co.), Daddy Christmas & Hanukkah Mama (Knopf) and I’m Your Peanut Butter Big Brother (Knopf) about a child who wonders what his sibling-on-the-way will look like. Will it be a girl with a “cappuccino-frosted ‘fro bouncing along,” or a boy who is “ginger cookie brown or midnight licorice purple”?. www.selinaalko.com

Sean Qualls is an award winning, Brooklyn-based, children’s book illustrator, artist and author. He has illustrated a number of celebrated books for children, including Giant Steps to Change The World by Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis-Lee, Little Cloud and Lady Wind by Toni Morrison and her son Slade and Before John Was a Jazz Giant, for which he received a Coretta Scott King Illustration Honor. Sean also created the art for Dizzy by Jonah Winter and most recently Freedom Song (The Story of Henry “Box” Brown) by Sally Walker. His work has received two Blue Ribbon citations from the Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books where he was also cited for his “serious craftsmanship” and an “original style.” www.seanqualls.com

The cHURCH OF MONIKA is a non-religious monthly series where invited speakers share and discuss their projects and experiences.

Next Page »

on view now

Jasmine Murrell: Some Impossibility Without A Name

Some Impossibility Without A Name | Press Release April 4 – April 26, 2015 Opening Reception: April 4, 7-9 pm Jasmine Murrell presents “Some Impossibility Without A Name,” an installation for Open Source Gallery. How can we begin again at the end? Where is the beginning of nothingness? Where is the end of our illusions […]


Yun-Woo Choi: Endless, Seamless
Whitney Lynn: Rummage
Sara Morawetz: TBA
Soap Box Derby 2015
Cristian Bors & Marius Ritiu: TBA
Savas Boyraz: Invisible Landscapes
Mira Gaberova: TBA


Tirtzah Bassel: I Want To Hold You Close
B. David Walsh: Extracted Bedroom Project
Lena Lapschina: Yes/No
Soup Kitchen 2014
Sofia Szamosi: Eat Me
Corina Reynolds: Northwestern Expansion
Emanuele Cacciatore: A Conversation with Consequence
Soap Box Workshops and Derby 2014
Mark Stilwell: The Super Defense Force vs The Tittanno Beast (The Power of the Constructonauts)
Hubert Dobler: Roundabout
Arne Schreiber: Your Stripes
Katerina Marcelja: Fragment Series
Fuse-Works: Some Assembly Required
Anja Matthes: Out-Sight-In In-Sight-Out
Soup Kitchen 2013
Katarina Poliacikova: Until We Remember The Same
Miho Suzuki: Our Children Today
We Know Not Exactly Where or How
Soap Box Derby 2013
Keith Miller: Trees
Andrea Ray: Utopians Dance
Margrethe Aanestad: Herein
David D’Ostilio: The Chopping Block
Stefanie Koseff: To The Deep
Michael Poetschko: Zona
Soup Kitchen 2012
Kathleen Vance: From the Woods
Nick Kline: Gilgo Beach
Soap Box Camp and Derby 2012
Patrick Cadenhead: Spring and Renewal
Felipe Mujica: One day this will NOT be yours
Between Mountain – part 2
Peter Feigenbaum
The Meeting
Karl Spörk, Another Meeting
Leigh Davis: The Burrow (H.H.)
Evan Robarts and James Moore: the cave
Sara Bouchard: The News: Monday-Friday, Parts 1 & 2
Open Source 2011