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Session

The flow of mud/barro

Marcela Torres and Assembly

Due to the process-based nature of the Session program, this project will undergo constant modifications; the features of this page provide accruing information on the project’s developments.

December 14, 2023–February 4, 2024

Open Gallery Hours
Thursdays - Saturdays, 12-5 pm

Private Studio Visits with the Artists

Fridays and Saturdays Upon Request

In an effort to create greater connection between Recess’s Session artists and its Assembly Program for systems-impacted youth, Recess has recruited two artists for the 2023-2024 cohort that have the interest, life experience, facilitation skills, and artistic practices that match Assembly youth's interests and aspirations. Assembly invites young people to take charge of their own life story through artistic expression and connections to working artists, while serving as an alternative to incarceration and its complex intersecting systems of oppression. For the first of these new Session X Assembly partnerships, we invited Session alumnus Marcela Torres (they/them) to return and spend two months as a teaching artist, building relationships with Assembly fellows to collaboratively build out a Session installation and related programming.

The result of their process is The flow of mud/barro, in which the team is exploring the history of New York through its soil and natural clay deposits. As a collective (Marcela Torres in collaboration with Assembly Fellows and Recess staff), we are engaged in developing a consensual relationship with our soil home, Lenapehoking, also known as New York. As diasporic people, this land sustains us, but we are not their original caretakers. Throughout the course of Session, we’re slowing down to listen and learn about the land. From the geological characteristics that create natural pressures resulting in resilient clay. Clay is a body in transition, transformed through water and wind and vitrified through heat. Through clay we can work with the flesh and bone of our shared home to make new rituals of unison and rightness with the land.

In the Session space, the collective will spend the first two weeks creating a pop-up ceramic studio with an experimental printing station supported by Kristina Bivona, Recess Print Shop Teaching Artist. We will build vessels as a celebratory instrument to our earthly home, formed from commercial clay and natural clays we’ve sourced from our friends at Denniston Hill (Glen Wild, NY), ENGN Civic Creative Space (Callicoon, NY), and a site off the Hempstead coastline of Long Island. The gallery will hold a series of clay land altars that are built with upstate clay and with the public. Additionally a series of clay objects that continue to explore the collective relationship to transitional bodies of land will accumulate over time on display shelves mounted on the walls.

The public are invited mid-December to shape a clay into adobe bricks, which will then be used to create sculptural altars made by project artist Marcela Torres. January programming will expand to include a communal potluck with vessels made during Session, drop-in artmaking studios with clay and printmaking, a live performance, a lecture, and a closing event centered around Assembly Fellows reflections and talents.

This project is made possible through a network of partners. We thank Denniston Hill, ENGN Civic Creative Center, Socrates Sculpture Park, and ArtShack Brooklyn, who have shared their land and knowledge with us. Like tributary waters, we flow into one another.

Ways to experience the project

Calendar

Drop-in Hours - No RSVP needed

Thursday-Saturday, 12-5 pm

Recess staff will guide you through the installation components and key project themes.

Private Studio Visits with the Artists

Fridays and Saturdays Upon Request

Please email info@recessart.org if you are interested in scheduling a studio visit with Marcela and/or Assembly Fellows. Provide at least two dates/times that work for you.

Drop-in Art-Making Studios

These drop-in dates are a series of workshops led by project artist Marcela Torres or Assembly fellows with Recess staff. Visitors will be guided in physical making of clay flutes or experimental printmaking. Please check back later for specifics.

About the artist

Marcela Torres

Marcela Torres is an artist, organizer, and educator that uses strength-building exercises and community rituals, to propose forms of reparations. Born in Salt Lake City, Utah and residing nomadically. Their physical research builds on methods of transcendental rituals, racial struggles within the United States and contemporary Latinx diaspora. Torres received a BA in Sculpture Intermedia and a BFA in Art History from the University of Utah, continuing their studies with a MFA in Performance from School of the Art Institute Chicago. Torres has performed at Performance Space New York, the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, The Momentary, Fringe Festival and Time Based Arts. Torres has exhibited work at Hyde Park Art Center, UW-Parkside University and Petzel Gallery. Torres has been in residency at John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Franconia Sculpture Park, Recess, Links Hall and Creative Exchange PICA. They were a 2022 Chicago Dance Maker Forum Lab Artist, and a 2023 IACA Artist Fellowship Awardee for New Forms.

Artist Website

Assembly

Artists

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Ana Teresa Rodríguez (she/her) is an illustrator and artist from San Juan, Puerto Rico. She specializes in drawing, painting, and murals. The imagery in many of Ana's works are directly inspired by the confusion and uncertainty she feels when facing the socioeconomic and political reality of her homeland, Puerto Rico. Some themes explored in her personal work are the connection between beings and nature, the contrast between what is industrial and natural, and the human sentiment.

Wow Quisqueya (they/them) is a Brooklyn born and bred multifaceted artist with the mission of bringing light to color, sound and touch in relation to each other to share their unique and often relatable experiences. Their physical and visual art is often aligned or accompanied by poetry, thoughts and/or sounds. Wow works with acrylic paints, watercolors, ceramics, waste materials, and voice to embrace all 6 senses.

Clay Floyd (he/him) is a novelist, hip hop artist and multi instrumentalist as well as fellow in Recess focused on the creation of worlds, stories, and characters meant to inspire the viewer. Clay is also the accountant/ a member of 3LS3WH3R, a music collective out of New York City.

Hoshy (he/him) is a stylist and visual artist based in New York City born and raised in Ethiopia. As a passionate visual artist and stylist, he navigates the intersection of creativity and style, transforming visions into tangible expressions through photography, storytelling, and fashion.

Grim (she/her) is a digital artist, tattoo artist, and print shop lead at Recess Art based in Brooklyn NY. Specializing in technical printing as well as digital illustration, Grim creates dynamic designs and works - a deep passion since 2nd grade.

Tai Lee (he/him) is a native NYC based artist, musician, and designer working primarily with text based paintings and designs. From a young age, Tai has been drawn to the way creativity and language intersect and how it can be used to convey complex emotions and ideas around identity through both lyrics as a musician, and lines as a painter and designer. Working primarily in painting, Tai creates intricate pieces that are both visually stunning, emotionally charged, and full of his own personality and experience.

Baruch Bourdeau (he/him) Baruch is an experienced musician, studio engineer, photographer & aspiring actor with a strong taste for detail and a passion for capturing beautiful sounds and images. Baruch is skilled in both traditional and digital photography, proficient in post-processing, sound production, software engineering as well as being a community organizer and band leader.

Founded in 2016, Assembly offers system-impacted young people aged 18-26 an inroad to art and connections to working artists, while serving as an alternative to incarceration and its intersecting systems of oppression. The curriculum empowers young people to take charge of their own life story and envision a future through art. The program diverts both misdemeanor and felony charges and in 2020 expanded to include a peer-to-peer referral model, allowing us to broaden our reach.

Website

Key Recess Collaborators

Kristina Bivona (she/her) is a printmaker and book artist living in West Philadelphia. Her studio practice emphasizes the lived experience of criminalized sex workers and drug users. Kristina has worked with her hands since childhood, and she confronts a society that has no problem objectifying women but criminalizes women who profit from their objectification. She curates an exhibition space for underrepresented artists (www.jargonist.org) and she specializes in teaching printmaking as a form of harm reduction and prison diversion/re-entry.

Glenn Quentin George (he/him) is honored and grateful to be in collaboration with Recess, the Assembly Fellows and Marcela Torres to facilitate ongoing project documentation and reflection. He is a multi-hyphenate artist, educator and healer based in New York City. Glenn received a B.F.A from Rutgers University University Mason Gross School of the Arts and is currently a masters of social work candidate at Howard University.

Kyle Ingram (he/him) is a Brooklyn based art handler, fabricator and spatial designer who translates artists’ ideas into tangible spaces. Starting with collaborative dialogue, Kyle then integrates technical skill with creative ingenuity to produce contemporary art exhibitions. Kyle is founder of NYA Group, a fine arts Installation and transportation provider, and has experience working in the fields of furniture fabrication, fine art installation, and international art shipping and logistics with an emphasis on international art fair logistics.

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