Stacie Evans

What is the cHURCH? | Facebook Event | Livestream

August 14, 2016

AIR Headshot 2

Join us at the cHURCH as Stacie Evans discusses her writing and her current project, Adventures in Racism. This is a free event. Bagels and coffee will be served.

Stacie Evans lives in Brooklyn, in a real “neighborhood neighborhood” where people ring the bell to borrow sugar or eggs and then leave fresh-baked cookies or a bottle of fancy olive oil or wine as a thank you. She is a four-time alum of VONA Voices, the only multi-genre workshop for writers of color, a frequent reader at Big Words, Etc., and just participated in the New York City Poetry Festival, overcoming her abject terror of calling herself a poet in public. Stacie writes essays, stories, angry rants … and poems. She also writes and draws Adventures in Racism, a comic. Adventures started small – a 4-page vent about a conversation too many people of color have far too often (“Oh, you speak so well!”) – and is evolving into a larger work.


What is the cHURCH? | play:ground website

July 17, 2016

Join us at the cHURCH as members of the play:ground team discuss their work and perspective on adventure playgrounds. This is a free event. Bagels and coffee will be served.

play:groundNYC is an adventure playground on Governor’s Island in New York City that provides a space for young people to explore the world, a safe space for building, imagining and risk taking. play:groundNYC is a space for and by young people to test themselves and develop a sense of ownership and belonging which fosters long term responsibility to their community and world. A player-determined space for exploration and experimentation, play:groundNYC is rooted in the concepts that immediate and local access to the natural world and self-directed play can have an everlasting positive effect on young people.

Marco Castro

What is the cHURCH? | Marco Castro’s website

June 12, 2016

October 22nd, 2010. Turkana elder man posing for a portrait at a traditional Turkana Wedding.

Marco Castro, 2010. Turkana elder man posing for a portrait at a traditional Turkana Wedding.

Join us as photographer Marco Castro discusses his work at the cHURCH.

Marco Castro was born and raised in México City, where the mixture of cultures gave birth to the nation that we know as México. His grandmother was the last in my family who spoke fluent Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs. Due to the racism in those days, she never taught her daughters the language, and therefore, his family lost their cultural heritage. Castro has been involved, however, with the indigenous world, even though he does not believe this happened by coincidence.

Castro considers himself a photojournalist with a humanistic approach; he has an opportunity to rapidly built rapport with his subjects allowing him to break the barriers of language and culture, opening the doors for him to get a glimpse at their experience of daily life and activities. Taking advantage of the old school and the digital imagining, Castro take the Previsualization of an image as taught by Anselm Adams with the algorithms of the new digital era and combines them to enhance what he sees and experience at the moment of capture.

CHURCH OF MONIKA: What We Talk About When We Talk About Community-Based Art [Spaces]

May 15, 2016


At this Sunday’s cHURCH, Maria-Christina Villaseñor will invite the community to explore community spaces.

The shifting demographics of Open Source’s immediate community, at the intersection of South Slope, Sunset Park, and Greenwood Heights, reflect an alarmingly ramped-up pace of gentrification and the challenge of escalating housing and artist studio/exhibition space costs. As a result, increased time and economic pressures often leave little time for meaningful exchange between us as creatively-engaged, progressively-minded neighbors.

At the same time, Open Source and a number of new, recent projects and spaces have popped up in our surrounding neighborhoods that strive to offer artistic exchange with the community and provide a space for dialogue. The paradox is that a thriving arts community often invites the kind of mass gentrification and development that leads to the displacement of the working-class and often creative community-bases. We invite you to join us at this presentation and informal open forum, embodying the ethos of Open Source as a shared network, to share how your work and projects, need for community-based artistic presentations, dialogues and gatherings are working (or not working), and what you think is needed to make a more inclusive and responsive arts community in South Slope.

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)


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10th Annual South Slope Derby

Facebook Event | In the New York Times | On Brooklyn Independent Television | 2016 Derby | 2015 Derby | 2014 Derby | 2013 Derby | 2012 Derby August 26, 2017 Noon Every year in the end of August you can experience the thrill of witnessing our participants from the summer Soap Box Workshop race […]


2017 Exhibitions
Sana Obaid: دیوار | De-war | Wall
Omar López-Chahoud
Reimagining Tradition
Kimberly Mayhorn


Andrew Snyder: 9 Meditations
Francesco Simeti: Swell
Liinu Grönlund: It could have been
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