York College Art Gallery’s New Exhibition

By Tatiana Tait

Corrections: The print version of this article has misspelled the names of curator Rejin Leys, and artists Carl E. Hazlewood and Jeanne Heifetz.

York College presented Formations 2022 Southeast Queens Biennial in our very own Fine Arts Gallery and at the historic King Manor House Museum. Formations curator, Rejin Leys, features artists from across New York City. Leys is heavily involved in the Jamaica arts community and has collaborated with York college in the past biennials. Formations is the third biennial to be hosted here at York.

Jeanne Heifetz’s Pre-Occupied 90. Photo Credit: york.cuny.edu

Among the artists exhibited are Jose Carlos Casado, originally from Spain but residing in Harlem, Dominant Dansby from Jersey City, Jean Foos from Jackson Heights, Queens, Carl E. Hazlewood from Sunset Park, Jeanne Heifetz from Brooklyn, Vandana Jain from Brooklyn and Anton Kerkula from St. Albans, Queens.

Dominant Dansby’s Recycling Despair. Photo by Jeliza James.

“We chose to feature abstract art this year because we find it exciting, and rarely examined in venues in our neighborhood,” said Leys.

Leys teamed up with Professor Nicholas Fraser “to give the York community the opportunity to see those artists in person.”

The idea of abstract art isn’t the portrayal of reality but the depiction of how shapes, colors, forms, or how gestural marks create that image/picture. Each artist leaves a novelty for their audience to solve.

Jenny Foos’ Compulsive Beauty in the Fur Teacup Bar. Photo Credit: york.cuny.edu

These artists were handpicked by Rejin Leys and were featured as a result of their reputation, showcasing their photography, sculptures and exquisite paintings in the York College Fine Arts space.

“We made a list of abstract artists based in the New York area whose work is important and that we thought worked well together,” she said.

José Carlos Casado’s Margaret is Black. Photo by Jeliza James.

Each artist is unique in their own right. For example, Anton Kerkula, one of the Queens-based artists, photographed his “R3-VisioOn3D” project, which focused on the surrealism of architecture and captured the view of building structures. It helped him to create depth and perspective for his audience.

Anton Kerkula’s R3-VisioOn3D series Building 5. Photo Credit: york.cuny.edu

“At its core, this project aims to engage the viewer’s creativity and 

imagination in order to bring attention to the architecture that often goes unnoticed around them,” Kerkula wrote in his artist statement.

You can find a sneak peek of the exhibition on the York website and pictures from the past Biennials.

York College Art Gallery encourages engagement from the community and plans on bringing more exposure to the arts.

José Carlos Casado’s Hetty is Black & White. Photo by Jeliza James.
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