QNS.com on "Crushing Baby Animals" at The Plaxall Gallery:
"Blending physical theater, multimedia, improvisation and a healthy dose of humor in a unique artistic setting, the play reflects both creators’ real shared experience as women making theater in New York City, and the scary discovery of what that shared nightmare could possibly mean..."
(Tammy Scileppi at QNS.com )
AnteMag.com on 'Drink Me, Taste Me' at The Plaxall Gallery:
Drink Me, Taste Me – An Exhibition of Curious Things acts both as narrative and dream sequence: offering an entry point to the woman artist’s experience, or denying a firm narrative by traipsing down a wonderland of nonsensical occurrences..."
Melting Point on 'Inexcusable' at The Plaxall Gallery:
"Cristian Pietrapiana is losing patience.
You tell from the work. Around the Plaxall Gallery on 46th Avenue in Long Island City hang pages of newspapers furiously scrolled on with paint, pastel and pen. Feverish lines encircle headlines and rippled down and across columns of newsprint..."
(Melting Poing blog)
ArtBreakOut on LIC-A's exhibition, 'Inside/Outside':
"Curated by Nancy Bruno... the provocative, forceful exhibition... showcasing an eclectic range of works reflecting the experiences and perspectives of living with mental illness, was organized in partnership with Fountain House Gallery and the Flushing Interfaith Council..."
"Inside/Outside at the Plaxall Gallery"
Press Release: LIC-A and the Secret Theatre present The Tempest...
"Producer Stephanie Wilson & Artistic Director/Producer Richard Mazda in association with LIC-Artists present an immersive production of The Tempest, performed in the Plaxall Gallery in Long Island City, NY...
This exciting production of The Tempest will be unlike any you've seen before!"
Long Island City Courier on LIC-A's recent exhibition, 'L.I.Centric':
"Norma Homburg curated the show which features local artists Orestes Gonzalez, Jonathan Lev, Manolo Salas, Tony Vaccaro and Jesse Winter. Together, the group aims to highlight local figures in Long Island City through a series of vibrant, personalized portraits..."
Read the full Long Island City Courier article below or read on Qns.com
For those who were unable to attend, here's a glimpse of the live music performances by Pat Irwin and J Walter Hawkes at our recent LICentric event at the Plaxall Gallery...
Quiet Lunch on LIC-A's recent exhibition, 'politics of space':
"A Triumph by Long Island City Artists and Sculptors Guild... By making space both political and public, “politics of space” led a fearless charge for the artists of today to be the harbingers of political and artistic change for a brave new art world of the future"
Sculptures on display in LIC-A's recent exhibition, 'politics of space' (Photos: Norma Homberg)
The Queens Chronicle on LIC-A's recent exhibitions, Manipulated Life and LIC Fear Returns:
"Manipulation, fear and gore abound at a former warehouse in Long Island City this October, and it’s all a bunch of rollicking fun..."
Photos from LIC-A's recent exhibitions, 'MANIPULATED LIFE' & 'LIC FEAR RETURNS'
Press Coverage for "Flushing Bound" Exhibition
Press Coverage for "My White Dress" Exhibition
Press Coverage for "Fever" Exhibition
Press Coverage for "CreArt" Festival
Art Spiel (3/1/18) – http://artspiel.org/then-she-did/
ArtSlant (3/3/18) – https://www.artslant.com/global/events/show/465026-then-she-did?tab=EVENT
Ravelin Magazine (3/12/18) – http://ravelinmagazine.com/posts/plaxall-gallery-lic/
Artefuse (3/14/18) – https://artefuse.com/2018/03/14/then-she-did-exhibition-at-plaxall-gallery-125426/
Art Nerd New York (3/20/18) – http://art-nerd.com/newyork/then-she-did-i-didnt-know-an-art-exhibition-with-female-artists-was-a-what-the-fuck-moment-anymore/
"Then She Did" Official Site – https://www.thenshedid.com/install-plaxall-gallery/
Isabella Albonico flashes a knowing smile in "Guggenheim Hat", one of the new fashion images printed for the Plaxall Gallery show.
Tony Vaccaro "Orphan to Photographer"
Vaccaro's First Major Exhibition At Home
Long Island City, NY, Thursday, July 5, 2018: Photographer Tony Vaccaro opens a seven week show at the massive Plaxall Gallery in Long Island City at a 7:00 pm kickoff. After more than 275 international shows in 50 years, it is the first time he exhibits near his home. "The Maestro" retired to Long Island City in 1982. All sales are through the Monroe Gallery of Photography.
The Plaxall Gallery, a jewel of converted industrial space, is organized and administered by the not-for-profit art advocacy group, Long Island City Artists (LIC-A). LIC-A promotes fine art, theater, dance, PTA, Girl Scouts, children's workshops, ESL classes at LaGuardia College, and more. Special thanks for making this show possible go to president Carol Crawford, Edjo Wheeler, Norma Hombergeir dedicated staff.
The Plaxall Gallery
525 46th Avenue
Long Island City, NY 11101
The Plaxall Gallery is open Thursdays, 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm, and weekends, 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Currently Mr. Vaccaro is exhibited in Pescara, Italy, and has images at Los Angeles' Annenberg Space for Photography in their Library of Congress show, "Not an Ostrich". Mr. Vaccaro's other solo shows this year include an exhibit of 140 prints at Berlin's Villa Schoningen in August, a 56 print exhibition at the Getty Images Gallery in the heart of London in September, and a November exhibition at the Monroe Gallery of Photography in Santa Fe, NM. The Berlin show is Mr. Vaccaro's largest since his 70th anniversary of D-Day show at Normandy's Memorial de Caen.
The Plaxall Show will be the first curated by Tony Vaccaro's daughter-in-law, Maria Vaccaro, and will highlight many of the fashion images discovered by the Tony Vaccaro Studio. Maria has run the Tony Vaccaro Studio since 2016, and has been Tony's darkroom assistant since 1994. The Tony Vaccaro Studio opened in 2015 when Tony, aged 92, allowed his family to access his approximately 500,000 negatives, transparencies, and chromes.
Tony Vaccaro Studio
44-02 23rd Street, Suite 503,
Long Island City, NY 11101
A Sci-fi Exhibition curated by Edjo Wheeler
Opening Reception, Friday April 13th, 7-10pm
On View, April 12 - May 13th, 2018
Long Island City Artists @ The Plaxall Gallery presents Escape Velocity, a Sci-Fi themed fine art exhibition including three original feminist sci-fi one-act plays from The Navigators Theater Company.
Opening reception is Friday, April 13, 7pm-10pm at 5-25 46th Avenue in Long Island City, NY.
In this multifaceted curated group exhibition, contemporary artists from across the NY Tri State area are inspired by science fiction’s capacity to imagine new realities, both utopian and dystopian. Works on view depict unique artistic landscapes exploring parallel universes, alternative realities and perspectives surmising on the past and the future. Artists utilize science fiction to suggest diverse modes of existence and represent everything "out of step" and alien to our traditional ways of being in the world. Visual Artists include: Adrian DiMetriou, Artem Mirolevich, Bonnie Rothchild, Carol Crawford, Daniel Ludlow, David Vigon, Daniel Sinclair, Danielle Draik, David Tommasino, Dirk Rowntree, Ellen Stedfeld, Felix Sherman, Graham McCarty, Greg Hildebrandt, Howard Stevens, Isaac Roller, J F Bautista, Jacob Hicks, Jada Fabrizio, Jean Foos, Kaiser Kamal, Mafe Izaguirre, Max Tzinman, Michael Connors, Michael Sheng, Nancy Bruno, Nobuko Saji, Rosanne Ebner, Sachiyo Takahashi, Sharon Taylor, Steve Palermo, Tessa Kennedy, Yelena Tylkina, Tanya Leyva and Zoran Crnkovic.
A featured artist of Escape Velocity is Greg Hildebrandt, best known for his JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings paintings and most notably the original 1977 Star Wars movie poster. Hildebrandt’s paintings on display will include Marvel Comic covers, Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire and this beautiful 1976 CL Moore book cover. Catherine Lucille Moore is one of the first women to write science fiction and fantasy and Hildebrandt’s work on this cover perfectly captures her story and this era.
Women authors have been at the heart of science fiction since its earliest stages including authors like Mary Shelley and Sara Coleridge, author of the first fairy-tale novel, Phantasmion (1837). The Navigators Feminist Sci-Fi Theater takes us to the next dimension with presentations of three short Sci-Fi themed plays starring female protagonists. There will be a preview performance on Opening Night @8:00pm as well as ticketed shows on Fri/Sat/Sun, April 20-22, & 27-29. (http://www.navigatorstheater.com)
A unique kinetic installation in Escape Reality, Sachiyo Takahashi’s installation Everything Starts from a Dot, is inspired by abstract visual artists, most notably Wassily Kandinsky. “Everything Starts from a Dot” is a performance with live projection and object manipulation in live space. The project is currently a work-in-progress and will premiere in November 2018 at La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club (Manhattan). This exhibit represents a small excerpt of the show. Pieces are controlled by pulleys and motors simulating the movement of the performer and choreography of objects. There will be a 20 minute performance on Opening Night @7:30pm; CosmiConte is a visual-auditory story told through live projection and live music, featuring Korean musician Gamin (Concept, Visual and Sound Design, Choreography: Nekaa Lab / Sachiyo Takahashi,Technical Advisor, Builder: Willie Gambucci. Everything Starts from a Dot is supported by The Jim Henson Foundation.
Escape Velocity offers viewers a wide range of science fiction culture through paintings, drawings, sculpture and Sci-Fi theater.
Long Island City Artists Inc. (LIC-A) is a not-for-profit arts advocacy group, proud to be supporting artists in western Queens since 1986. Now with the help of Plaxall Inc., LIC-A is providing needed space for other organizations in fine art, theater, dance, local PTA and Girl Scout troops, LaGuardia ESL classes, children’s workshops and much more.
The Plaxall Gallery
Thursdays, 6pm to 10pm
Saturday & Sunday, 12pm to 5pm
"Garden Of Delights" by Fernando Arrabal
Produced by Dirt [contained] Theatre Company
and Associate Produced by LIC-A
Review by Adam McGovern, July 31, 2017
There may be no second acts in public life, but for the inner life, there is no end. Traditional tragedy was about great men and women with a void at their center; when these scenarios were repeated as absurdity in the mid-last century (see: Fellini’s 8½), they were more about celebrities who are all roiling, troubled core, with a somewhat indistinct array of accomplishments orbiting around it.
Garden of Delights takes us to the eternal middle of such a saga, at the center of the psyche of mythic yet only broadly outlined actress Lais (Tana Sirois). An orphan, Lais is the tabula rasa of Western identity, at one early point remarking how this absence allowed her to envision all kinds of origins, including famous monarchs as parents, or her Athena-like emergence “from the imaginings of a poet,” which of course, she did — Fernando Arrabal, at this point a legend himself for pioneering works of molded consciousness like this one (written in 1968).
In a feat of rare, cerebral physicality by director Maria Swisher, the play travels trough the cavern of an ex-industrial space in Queens, NY, with the audience called on to change their vantage point from time to time. An accompanying thematic exhibit covers the walls and spills into the action with the totemic sculptures and cotton clouds laced with LED lightning by designer Giannina Gutierrez, which share the space and serve as settings and props for the play. The cumulative avant-carnival feel lets you experience what was happening at modernist “happenings,” with zero pretension or Disney-Broadway cheese, though the author and re-imaginers have a wide eye for pop-culture references and a circus-like lack of self-importance and authentic eagerness to please and entertain.
Disney itself is no minor touchpoint in this tale of people who never outgrow their childhood no matter how cramped it gets. Lais is the paragon in the castle, with stardom being the new royalty and the repressive nun-ruled orphanage of her youth standing in for the evil stepsisters. She has escaped to a bigger, shinier cage, where she keeps, in a much less figurative one, a feral manchild (Zenon, played by Adam Giannone) whose care and captivity compels her to be a Howard Hughes-ish recluse. We are never sure (though we likely can be) if every other character is a projection of Lais’ scattered psyche, with this mate/hostage embodying the id she’s tried to seal off since her guilt-inducing upbringing. Many of the incidents we perceive through Lais’ eyes have very different interpretations when we hear them retold by the occasional outsider, as if her self-reproach for hostilities and desires has gone as far as falsifying her own memories to magnify her role in these transgressions (à la Who Is Harry Kellerman or The Criminal Life of Archibaldo de la Cruz), and her lavish mansion is the prison she’s sentenced herself to.
The child-self Lais left behind is incarnated by Miharca (played by Swisher), her best friend in the orphanage and the contrasting personality (or side of Lais) that favors the comfort of the familiar, with all it restraints, to the anxiety of exploration and all its risks. Whether Miharca is holding her back or Lais is abandoning Miharca, or both, is the central faultline of human aspiration whether or not they are intended to be two people or one; and the spirit of that perilous possibility, as refined as Zenon is savage, is Teloc (Olivier Renaud), a pied-piper/imp/satyr figure Lais meets in the wilderness beyond the orphanage walls. He is the Faustian presence through which she effects her escape and ascension to worldwide fame (and also its alternate form of seclusion).
Though he’s not too refined — Arrabal and Swisher’s shared penchant for dream-vérité counters every deep-rooted tragedy and trauma with the trivial preoccupations that lurk right next to them in the subconscious, as in a memorable duet in which Lais’ sublimely vocalized “Ave Maria” is accompanied by Teloc’s virtuosic farts.
Renaud maintains utter self-seriousness during this scene, and he and Sirois have a particular weight to carry in seeming realistic through completely surreal circumstances. In Renaud’s case, this is to stay just a bit more imposing than he is ridiculous (as the trickster figure this is no small task, but Renaud has a gift of commanding camp that is way beyond the sum of Freddie Mercury and Tim Curry); in Sirois’, to remain the innocent no matter how dangerous her situations or damaging her behavior (and she fills out Lais’ humanity by putting total trust in the text, each word of which Lais believes too, investing the Alice-in-Wonderland observations with magnetic, in-the-moment suspense and empathy).
This is how the mood can modulate from farce to ordeal without ever being frivolous or grueling — Giannone’s primal pain is fearsome to behold and familiar from almost anyone’s troubled childhood or worst relationship; Swisher’s single-minded resentments as Miharca, strangling every better impulse in her personality, are what we all keep from seeping through the cracks of our civilized psyches.
A Red Shoes-like, strobe-lit ballet-seizure by Sirois, followed by a dance duet of desperate grasping and mutual collapse between her and Renaud, are kinetic paintings of pure tragedy; in contrast, the bizarre love-quadrangle of the play’s second half seems a demonic send-up of daytime soaps with plots twisted by Agatha Christie, and Teloc’s cartoonish lusts undermine the seductions of the subject-matter in a way that could make Mr. Grey safe for Saturday-morning TV.
The clashes and coordination with a well-chosen kaleidoscope of video images is inspired, as is the full use of everything from old-school overhead-projector to model-train technology (you’ll hafta be there). The troupe of Edward Gorey sex-dungeon guides, leading the audience from site to site and occasionally trampling through the action, are fine demigods-ex-machina, especially when painter-by-day (and extensive contributor to the accompanying artshow) Yelena Tylkina does a walk-on (lurch-on) as a Bergmanesque bummer-spirit in crow mask, funeral showgirl feathers and dragged-along vintage rocking-horse. And then the end comes on a note of childish euphoria that disclaims mass-culture’s enforced happiness while feeling like a relievingly lightened-up version of the finale from Bowie & Walsh’s Lazarus.
Sirois gives a performance of superhuman intensity and deceptive ease, keeping Lais the center of attention in ways the character never foresaw. But we neither get to truly know the heroine, nor can we possibly separate ourselves from the wavering path of all-too-recognizable decisions she takes. In this fairytale, there are no walls, and the mirror is turned toward us.
Photos: Mikiodo (http://www.mikiodo.com)
Link to original review: http://hilobrow.com/2017/07/31/this-unchanted