Two Sides of Mental Health and the Need for Acknowledgement

What is the cHURCH? | 11 Commandments of the cHURCH | cHURCH OF MONIKA: Redell Creary | On Livestream

Sunday, April 10, 2016


In conjunction with our current exhibit Sole Exchange, Redell Creary will discuss his role as a peer advocate in mental health.

Creary will address the struggles that people with a diagnosis face everyday, and how the general public can become more of a positive force by understanding the path toward balancing recovery with work life.

Ken Butler

What is the cHURCH? | cHURCH OF MONIKA: Ken Butler | Artist Website | On Livestream

Sunday, March 13, 2016


Join us as artist and musician Ken Butler discusses his work and gives a short performance.

Ken Butler is an artist and musician whose Hybrid musical instruments, performances, installations, and other works explore the interaction and transformation of common and uncommon objects, altered images, sounds and silence.

His works have been featured in numerous exhibitions and performances throughout the USA, Canada, and Europe including The Stedelijk Museum, The Prada Foundation in Venice, The State Hermitage Museum in Russia, Mass MoCA, and The Kitchen, The Brooklyn Museum, The Queens Museum, Lincoln Center and The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City as well as in South America, Thailand, and Japan. His works have been reviewed in The New York Times, The Village Voice, Artforum, Smithsonian, and Sculpture Magazine and have been featured on PBS, CNN, MTV, and NBC, including a live appearance on The Tonight Show. Awards include fellowships from the Oregon Arts Commission, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Pollack/Krasner Foundation. Ken Butler studied viola as a child and maintained an interest in music while studying visual arts in France, at Colorado College, and Portland State University where he completed his MFA in painting in 1977.

He has performed with John Zorn, Laurie Anderson, David Van Tieghem, Butch Morris, The Soldier String Quartet, Matt Darriau’s Paradox Trio, The Tonight Show Band, and The Master Gnawa musicians of Morocco. His CD, Voices of Anxious Objects is on Tzadik records. Works by Ken Butler are represented in public and private collections in Portland, Seattle, Vail, Los Angeles, Toronto, Montreal, Washington, Paris, Tel Aviv, and New York City including the permanent collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Margrethe Aanestad

What is the cHURCH? | cHURCH OF MONIKA: Margrethe Aanestad | Artist Website | Facebook Event

Sunday, February 21, 2016


Join us as Margrethe Aanestad, co-founder of Prosjektrom Normanns, discusses her work and the current exhibit at Open Source, Transcendental Tactility. This is a free event and bagels and coffee will be served.

Margrethe Aanestad (b. Stavanger, Norway 1974) is based in Stavanger, Norway and Brooklyn, NY. Thematically her work is about form, spatiality and materiality, which she explores in an contemplative, abstract and minimalistic language through sculpture, installation and two-dimensional formats. The materials used in the three-dimensional work are normally found objects. For exhibitions she works site-specific, working with with the features of the room, atmosphere and light conditions, in a dialogue with the space. Aanestad has education background from primarily fine arts, but also graphic design, art history, cultural development and curating.

Recent solo exhibitions include Locus Mien at Torrance Shipman Gallery, New York, NY, solo, Curated by Meaghan Kent/Site95; Hither/Thereat at Dimensions Variable, Miami, FL (2015); Herein at Open Source Gallery, New York (2013). Selected group and duo exhibitions; We all have good taste – Miami at Tub gallery, Miami, FL, curated by Alexis Callado Estefania (2015); ee/aa at Another Space, Copenhagen, duo with Eugenio Espinoza (USA) (2014); Quattro at Interno4, Bologna, Italy (2013); Utopia at Galería Des Pacio de la Cruz, San Jose, Costa Rica, curated by Omar Lopez-Chahoud (2013); The Meeting on ISCP, New York, curated by Nick Kline (USA) and Monika Wuhrer (USA) (2012); The 124. Annual National Art Exhibition in Norway, Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo, Norway (2011). She has participated at UNTITLED Art Fair, Miami, FL, with Prosjektrom Normanns, Norway (2015/2014/2012).

Aanestad is co-founder and co-curator of the artist run space Prosjektrom Normanns in Stavanger and is co-founder and –owner of the co-working space Erfjorgata 8 in Stavanger. She also is currently the Advisory Board of Kunsthall Stavanger.

Betty Yu

What is the cHURCH? | Betty Yu | Artist Website

January 17, 2016

"The Garment Worker," an interactive media installation at the Tribeca Film Festival Interactive Showcase, 2014

“The Garment Worker,” an interactive media installation at the Tribeca Film Festival Interactive Showcase, 2014

Betty Yu is a Chinese-American NYC based filmmaker, multi-media artist, media educator and longtime social justice activist. Her documentary “Resilience” about her garment worker mother fighting against sweatshop conditions, screened at national and international film festivals including the Margaret Mead Film and Video Festival. Betty’s interactive multi-media installation, “The Garment Worker” was part of a 5 week art exhibit in Chinatown in 2013, and featured at Tribeca Film Institute’s Interactive 2014. Betty was a 2012 Public Artist-in-Resident with the Laundromat Project and is a 2015 Cultural Agent with the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture (USDAC) a people-powered network.

Betty is currently on the Board of Directors of Working Films, Deep Dish TV and Third World Newsreel, three progressive media arts centers that distributes and exhibits social issue films. Betty’s work has been exhibited, screened and featured at the International Center of Photography, The Directors Guild of America, Brooklyn Museum and The Eastman Kodak Museum. In addition, Betty has more than 15 years of community, media justice and labor organizing in NYC’s Chinatown. Betty’s organizing recognitions include being the recipient of the Union Square Award for grassroots activism and a semi-finalist of the National Brick “Do Something” Award for community leadership in Chinatown.

Rachael Wren

What is the cHURCH? | Rachael Wren | Artist Website

November 8, 2015

Rachael Wren, Outlook, 2014, oil on linen, 36” x 36”

Rachael Wren, Outlook, 2014, oil on linen, 36” x 36”

Rachael Wren’s paintings combine elements of both landscape and geometric abstraction. Join us as she discusses the evolution of her work: from representational landscape paintings to pure abstractions, and now, more recently, to a synthesis of the two.

“My paintings use geometry to structure ephemeral atmospheric and natural phenomena. I am intrigued by moments in nature when air has a tangible presence, almost becoming visible – fog playing between tree branches, light peeking through clouds, the darkening sky before a thunderstorm. At these times, form and space seem to mingle; edges disappear and atmosphere becomes all-encompassing. To reproduce this sensation of dense, particulate space, I work with an accumulation of small, repeated brush marks of subtly shifting color. These individual marks echo the fundamental particles that compose all matter. They hover, shimmer, and vibrate between the crisp lines of an anchoring grid, an interplay that suggests the universal duality between structure and randomness, order and chaos, the known and the unknown.”

Rachael Wren received a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and an MFA from the University of Washington. She has had solo shows at The Painting Center, Schema Projects, the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, and Providence College. Her work has been included in group exhibitions at the Weatherspoon Art Museum, the National Academy Museum, Jeff Bailey Gallery, Geoffrey Young Gallery, Trestle Gallery, and the Fosdick-Nelson Gallery at Alfred University, among many others. Rachael is the recipient of the Julius Hallgarten Prize from the National Academy Museum and an Aljira Fellowship. She has been awarded residencies at Chashama North, the Saltonstall Foundation, the Byrdcliffe Art Colony, the Vermont Studio Center, the Anderson Center, and the Artist House at St. Mary’s College of Maryland.

Panel Discussion: Ethnicity/Community/Identity/Art

Ethnicity/Community/Identity/Art | Panelists | Facebook Event

October 18, 2015

Betty Yu, New York City, 2010

Betty Yu, New York City, 2010

Artist Savas Boyraz’s work looks at Kurdish ethnic identity and community and the ways it has been disrupted by borders, wars, and government policies. His work seeks to reunite Kurdish identity and document current Kurdish experiences and communities. This panel will draw on the themes in Boyraz’s work to explore issues around ethnic heritage, community, identity, and political self-determination and the ways art can contribute to the creation of community or how art suffers as communities are disrupted or destroyed. While most of us acknowledge the need for community and desire greater connections through our communities, the term is inherently vague and as there as many ways to identify community as there are forms of identity – ethnicity, race, class, gender, sexual preferences, professions, neighborhoods, social or political interests, sports, and the list can go on and on. What are the advantages or disadvantages of the multiplicity of identities and communities in a city like New York/Brooklyn? How can these overlapping communities serve the social and political needs of the 99% or 99.9% in the face of popular media that often represents the interests of the 1%. And finally what is the role of artists and art work in creating, sustaining, and uniting communities or how is creativity impacted when artist-friendly communities are not sustained.

Pennee Bender (American Social History Project, CUNY)

Ozan Aksoy (Ethnomusicologist, New York University)
Betty Yu (Artist, U.S. Department of Arts and Culture)
Judy Pryor-Ramirez (Director of Civic Engagement & Social Justice, The New School)
Dean Moss (Choreographer, Curator, gametophyte inc.)
Maritza Arrastia (Educator, Turning Point Brooklyn)


Shellyne Rodriguez

What is the cHURCH? | Shellyne Rodriguez | Artist website

September 13, 2015


“Hope is a crack high. I mean that in the way that Beckett might have proposed it. Of course this implies that one might know what a “crack high” is. I will argue that one could know or at least have an idea. Lets strip it down to the core. A crack high is said to be so ecstatic, Saint Teresa De Avila’s thighs would quiver. But before you can seat yourself into its luscious euphoria, it is gone. The old adage, “ there is no high like the first high” rings true. And so the crack user becomes embroiled in a frenzied chase, trying to be consumed in that petit mort. Everything else is a purgatory. And what is purgatory? A quick Google search describes it as “a place or state of suffering inhabited by the souls of sinners who are atoning for their sins before going to heaven.” What is purgatory if not the banal moments of drudgery, between happy hour, Netflix, or the escapism of one’s choice? Despair is the alternative. This ebb and flow from nothingness, to climax, to the bowels of despair might be accompanied by a gesture. How these sensations of waiting, hoping, and transcending each moment might translate into a mark, or a form, or an object is what I’m truly after.”

Shellyne Rodriguez is a Multidisciplinary Artist based in Harlem. Pulling from various sources such as street detritus, family photos, old album covers, bible storybooks, and medieval prints she creates multiple narratives that allow her to excavate personal and social history in order to then extract objects and images. Her drawings, collages, sculptures, and installations work together as a gesture rooted in Hip-Hop culture. She received her MFA at Hunter College and has presented works throughout the city including Immediate Female at Judith Charles gallery, and The Young Lords in New York at El Museo del Barrio.

Cezar Del Valle: Step up to the Greatest Show on the Midway–The Brooklyn Theatre Index Volume III

What is the cHURCH OF MONIKA? | Cezar Del Valle | Review of The Brooklyn Theatre Index | Livestream

July 12, 2015


Join us as Cezar Del Valle, author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index Volume III, hosts the cHURCH OF MONIKA and discusses his new book about the history of theatre in Coney Island.

Cezar will discuss the concert saloons, vaudeville houses and film shows that preceded the Coney Island we know today. He will discuss not only the architecture, of which very few buildings are still extant, but the entertainment culture in Coney Island going back to the late 1800s. From the Coney Island Sideshow to entertainers like Harpo Marx, who made their debut in Coney Island, Cezar will explore forgotten and hidden aspects of Brooklyn’s history. He will also discuss how the history of the neighborhood can still be seen in surprising ways. For example, in events like the Coney Island Flicks on the Beach, one can see hints of the event’s predecessor: an open air theater that showed films at on the beach in the early 1900s.

Cezar Del Valle is an artist and freelance writer who has been involved in theatre for almost forty years. Since 1996, he has conducted a series of popular theatre talks and walks. He has written numerous articles on theatre history. The first two volumes of the index were chosen at Outstanding Book of the Year in 2010 by the Theatre Historical Society of America. Cezar’s artwork has been exhibited at galleries, museums, and art centers throughout the United States and is part of the permanent collections of the Tampa Museum and the Kinsey Institute among others.

Megan Hustad: Ghost Projects, Or, Where Do You Put Art You Never Made?

Megan Hustad | Website | Wherewithal Press | What is the cHURCH OF MONIKA? | Livestream

June 14, 2015


“In 2008 I had finished my first book but wasn’t really happy with it. During the months leading up the book’s publication, I kept myself occupied by writing a proposal for what I’d hoped would be my second book, an investigation into how ugliness in the places around us affects how we develop as people, thinkers and lovers. I called it UGLY and for months I dreamed of a life as the writer of this book. I imagined it would be a lot like Rebecca Solnit’s life. Long story short is my publisher turned the book down, then four other publishers turned it down. Now it’s nearly seven years later and I wrote another book, but not this one. Some days I experience UGLY like a phantom limb, wondering why an acquaintance doesn’t know I know or care about certain things. Then I remember; oh yes, you never went on record with those thoughts.

“So for CHURCH OF MONIKA I want to talk about my investigations into how people live with unmade work. Reactions range from sadness to cynicism to self-blame to blaming others, and each has its own dramas. As I see it there are two subtexts. One is worry about resources. (Do you really need to convince someone that a project is worthwhile before you can proceed with it? Do you need funding?) The other is the fear that maybe the gatekeepers and critics were right, and you weren’t qualified to make the art you wanted to make. What do people do then?”

Megan Hustad was born in Minneapolis and grew up there, in the Caribbean, and Holland. In 1997 she moved to New York and worked in the editorial departments of Random House and the Perseus Books Group before founding Wherewithal Press, an independent editorial services agency, in 2005. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, New York Post, Slate, Fortune, The Awl, and other publications. She is also the author of How to Be Useful and More Than Conquerors: A Memoir of Lost Arguments.

Erin Gleason: Copernican Views

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

Sunday, May 10, 2015

My Very Own Private Garden, 2009, installation with turf, plastic mdf, Tent Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland

My Very Own Private Garden, 2009, installation with turf, plastic mdf, Tent Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland

Join us for the cHURCH OF MONIKA this Mothers Day, May 10, as we explore our connection to light, voice, and space through a “dark” Salon. Inspired by the “re-birth” of cultural, scientific, and philosophical thought that marked the Renaissance, artist Erin Gleason will host an experimental talk where we will explore how we navigate conversations and spaces by shifting our reference point from one of light to one of darkness. Preceding the Salon, Erin will give an introductory talk about her work.

Erin Gleason is an artist based in Brooklyn, NY. Drawing from over a decade of professional experience in the fields of architecture, design, and branding, she works with concepts of space across multiple mediums including drawing, photography, installation, public art, participatory events, and curating. Each project inspects how we perceive, define, and shape space, and how space influences, defines, and shapes us.

Erin has exhibited and curated in the US and internationally including BRIC Rotunda Gallery (New York), FiveMyles Gallery (New York), Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh with Inverleith House (Scotland), The Pier Art Center (Scotland), and Shetland Museum and Archives (Scotland). She has won commissions for a number of public artworks including the Poetry Paths Initiative in Lancaster, PA and the Arts & Theatres Trust in Scotland. She is Co-Founder/Curator of the Crown Heights Film Festival, Co-Editor/Producer of the publication FIELDWORK (ASN Mutual Press), and Founder/Editor of Cultural Fluency, an online forum and interview series that examines the creative exchange between urbanism and art practice. Erin is a recipient of a number of grants including Brooklyn Arts Council Awards and a Russell Trust Award for research in Greenland. She is a 2013 Lori Ledis Curatorial Fellow at BRIC.

This summer, Erin will begin working towards a PhD in Philosophy at the Institute for Doctoral Studies in Visual Arts. She received her Bachelor of Art degrees in Fine Art and in Imaging Science (an individualized major combining Engineering, Anthropology, Art History & Studio Art) at the University of Pennsylvania. She received her Master of Fine Art degree from the Art, Space & Nature Programme at Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh, Scotland.

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Liinu Grönlund: It could have been

It could have been | Press release | Artist talk February 25-April 8, 2017 Opening reception: February 25, 7-9pm Artist talk: February 27, 7-9pm “But at the risk of sounding anti-human–some of my best friends are human!–I will say that it is not, in the end, what’s most worth attending to. Right now, in the […]


2017 Exhibitions
Francesco Simeti: Swell
Sana Obaid
Andrew Snyder
Omar López-Chahoud
Kimberly Mayhorn


The Middle Passage
Soup Kitchen 2016
2016 Exhibitions
Another Space: Permanent Construction
i Collective: Once Upon Unfolding Times
Dimensions Variable: Multidisciplinary
South Slope Derby 2016
Boa Mistura: Spread Love, It’s The Brooklyn Way
SiTE:LAB: Nothing Is Destroyed Transgression
Rawiya: In Her Absence I Created Her Image
HAI: Sole Exchange
Videokaffe: Para-sites & Proto-types
Prosjektrom Normanns: Transcendental Tactility
/rive: Anamorphosis
Soup Kitchen 2015
Mira Gaberova: Statue of Everything
Savas Boyraz: Back Drop
Cristian Bors & Marius Ritiu: Venus von Hamburg
Soap Box Derby 2015
Sara Morawetz: How the Stars Stand
Whitney Lynn: Rummage
Yun-Woo Choi: Endless, Seamless
Jasmine Murrell: Some Impossibility Without A Name
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
Box Car 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