The flow of mud/barro
Marcela Torres and Assembly
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
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.
September 14–November 10, 2023
KING COBRA and Hue Hallums