On View from October 26, 2020 – December 12, 2020

Curated by Juanita Lanzo

Exhibition on view from October 26 through December 12, 2020

Join us for a Virtual Artist Talk

December 10th at 6:30pm

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Window Installation shot: (L to R) Laura Alvarez, Tammy Wofsey, Tijay Mohammed

Watch a segment of an OPEN BxRx episode, where host Rhina Valentin interviewed curator Jaunita Lanzo and artists Tammy Wofsey & Tijay Mohammed about BRAC's JUSTICE exhibition.

Watch Interview

Artists and Community Reception on November 12 from 6:30pm - 8pm

(Virtual reception via BRAC's Facebook Live page from 6:45pm - 7:30pm)

Bronx River Art Center (BRAC), is pleased to announce this Fall’s exhibition JUSTICE in which four artists will activate the windows and gallery space at BRAC to create artworks that document, illustrate, converse and capture our shared humanity, pain, and joy, daily life struggles, and resilience. The works in the exhibition will be developed by ongoing public interactions by the artists in everyday or regular encounters with Bronx residents, visitors, and students at BRAC.

Participating artists Laura Alvarez, Rejin Leys, Tijay Mohammed, and Tammy Wofsey will create work in the space that will be installed on the windows and other spaces at BRAC, in a wide array of media (from paintings, drawings, and mixed-media installations that will be seen by West Farm Square/East Tremont Ave area residents and beyond). 

JUSTICE is a work in progress exhibition that takes place while NYS has been in lockdown, due to COVID-19, and has begun to partially re-open. The artists will present work to create a dialogue around the racial and social disparities that have been exacerbated by the Pandemic, resulting in the loss of thousands of Black, Brown, Asian and Indigenous lives. This includes the disruption of education and social services to working-class and poor families, food insecurity, urban violence and police brutality. 

Laura Alvarez will be creating a DNA inspired painting, reflecting our shared humanity, what we have in common, our sameness.

Rejin Leys will present a bilingual (English/Kreyol) number book, produced during the Covid-19 crisis with support from Haiti Cultural Exchange.

Tijay Mohammed's installation of masks will display the responses by individuals to these times ranging from gratefulness, resourcefulness, pain, struggles, joy, and hope. 

Tammy Wofsey’s prints will comment on the relationships between health care, race, class, and environmental issues.

About the Artists:

Laura Alvarez was born in Valencia, Spain and studied an MA in Fine Arts in Spain and England. In NYC, she juggles between her city job, her artist career, and her commitment to her Bronx community.

Laura is the Co-Founder, Vice-President and COO of BxArts Factory, a non profit organization whose mission is to make art accessible to everyone in the Bronx. They believe everyone is an artist and they will help you unlock it.

She has received several awards and grants that she has used to continue promoting the arts among the Bronx youth and to create work that starts a conversation, touching issues like ecology, womanhood, racism, tradition, inequality or immigration. She has exhibited all over Europe and New York in collective and solo shows. In most of her shows she tries to program free workshops to pass along her love for art and her mantra: “everyone is an artist“.

Rejin Leys is a mixed media artist and paper maker based in New York, whose work has been exhibited at such venues as Centro Cultural de España, Santo Domingo, DR; Kentler International Drawing Space, NY; Queens Museum, NY; and Les Ateliers J.R. Jerome, PaP, Haiti. Her work is in the collections of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Yale University, and Rutgers University Caribbean Studies Department, and she is a recipient of a fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts.

Ghanaian-born artist Tijay Mohammed has exhibited his works nationally and internationally, including features at Katonah Museum of Art NY, Hudson River Museum NY, Materials for the Arts NY, Art League Huston, Longwood Art Gallery NY, Green Drakeumms Art Gallery PA, and The National Museum of Ghana.

In addition, he has received numerous accolades and residencies from The Laundromat Project NY, Children’s Museum of Manhattan NY, Hudson River Museum NY, Materials for the Arts NY, Ravel d’Art Cote d’ivore, Harmattan Workshop Nigeria, Global Crit Clinic and Asiko Artist Residency Ghana. Among many grants, Tijay is a recipient of Arts Fund, Artist for Community and New Work grant from the Bronx Council on the Arts, and the Spanish Embassy Ghana Painters Award. He is committed to working with the diverse communities with which he surrounds himself. The artist currently resides in The Bronx NY and also maintains a studio in Ghana.

Tammy Wofsey is a visual artist with a focus in printmaking and book arts. She established Plotzing Press, a publishing press and printmaking studio in the Mott Haven section of the South Bronx. Her work varies in size and type, from elaborate, hand-bound art books to large, multi panel prints based on natural forms. The paper-based prints are both visual and tactile, combining strong images based on natural forms with deep embossed surfaces. The artist's work has been installed in libraries, public spaces and private collections.

BRAC is pleased to offer TWO FREE art workshops based on our current exhibition "JUSTICE" curated by Juanita Lanzo! Register through Eventbrite!

Workshop 1: Printmaking workshop with Tammy Wofsey from 1:30pm to 2:30pm at the Bronx River Art Center.

Open to Adults, Teens, Seniors, Youth and Parents

This workshop will be held outside the BRAC building, near our performance space to allow for social distancing. Artist Tammy Wofsey and participants will work with a portable washer press, printmaking ink, paper, and autumn leaves. The group will collect autumn leaves from the surrounding area, near the recently opened bicycle path. The work will be inspired from nature and allow for quiet time to reflect and work with our hands and heart to heal from a tumultuous year of personal, economic, and social unrest. We will hang the prints on the windows of the building for display. For the safety and health of our community a maximum of 8 participants are allowed to register for this in person program. Masks are required. 

Materials: The art center will provid all materials for this class. Please dress warmly and for art making. 

Workshop 2: Join artist Laura Alvarez and create with us one line Self-portraits! From 3pm to 4pm on Zoom.

This virtual workshop will meet on Zoom and is open to all ages!

This workshop connects to representation and identity, celebrating our diversity, and common humanity. In spite of variations on culture, race, gender and points of view, we will create artwork together. This is one of the main themes for the exhibition JUSTICE. 

Materials: paper, pen, pencil, markers, mirror or photograph

Bronx River Art Center’s exhibition covey needed love, support, and voices in the wake of this global pandemic.

By Jennifer Abreu | Weblink 

The Bronx River Art Center (BRAC) featured the art exhibition Justice curated by Juanita Lanzo. Each artist’s creation explores the experience, struggle, hope, resilience, and social injustice intensified during Covid-19. 

Laura Alvarez created X and Y chromosome motif paintings that mirror all people are the same. Alvarez is fascinated by the complications of human DNA. It is more than cells that divide to create life. She questions what does identity means. What are the connotations based on given labels? How it depends on where you were born and how were you raised? There are many layers to a person, and you cannot put people into different groups. Watching the pandemic, protesters, and police brutality unfolding as she worked on her creations, she reflected that we are all people at the end of the day.

“Why can’t we see people as people instead of seeing someone as different or by the color of their skin. It doesn’t make sense to me. Creating [these paintings] helps me process what is happening in the world. I chose bright colors because colors reflect the state of people and how bright people’s souls are.” 

Tijay Mohammed‘s installation appears as a web-like sculpture of masks. It is a collaboration with the community’s voice about their experience during the pandemic. The public inscribed each mask to present their messages about the changes brought upon this year regarding the black lives matter movement, politics, police brutality, loss, death, family, hope, pain, gratitude, and joy. It aims to educate, inspire words of hope through solidarity and comfort to fulfill dreams and justice. Some masks are coated with different colors of glitter. The colorful glitter adds on is a symbolic form of healing.

“It’s about honoring everyone who connects to the Black Lives Movement. It is unity, womanhood, our community, LGBTQ, and everyone living below the standards of how they should live.”

Tammy Wofsey’s black and white linoleum prints examine health care issues, classism, and environmental problems. The prints are derived from her artist book, “Soil and Water.” Wofsey reminds us that soil is everything and non-renewable. If you cannot grow anything, you don’t have access to healthy food. Inspired by “Keep the Aspidistra Flying” by George Orwell. She created the aspidistra as a double helix. The aspidistra plant is a symbol of the middle class. The aspidistra indicates making it to the middle class and questioning how can you be in the middle class and not have adequate health insurance in America.

“You need to step back and think about things for yourself. Take that information and figure out what is true to yourself, not what you are constantly fed to the media. That is what art is. It gives you space to feel and think for yourself.”

Rejin Leys’ mixed media installation and painting is an English and Kreyol number book. Crafted during the pandemic with the support from the Haiti Cultural Exchange. Her creations are layers of words and images that incorporate social issues, cultures, and creativity. 

This exhibition modeled essential compassion and encouragement, and its art is here to voice it.

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Bronx River Art Center
1087 E. Tremont Ave., Bronx, NY 10460
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Monday - Friday: 3:00 - 6 PM
Saturday: 12 - 5 PM
Gallery hours are only in effect during the
exhibition dates.

Monday - Friday: 10 AM - 6 PM
Saturday: 10 AM - 5 PM

DIRECTIONS TO CENTER:  By Train: Take #2 or #5 to West Farms Square/East Tremont. Walk one block east to Bronx Street. By Bus: Take #'s B9, 21, 36, 40, 42, or Q44 to East Tremont and Boston Road. By Car: Take Bruckner Expressway to Sheridan Expressway, and exit at East Tremont Ave. Turn left at the traffic light one block down onto East Tremont. Turn left after one block onto Bronx St. (Cross Bronx Expressway) towards Rosedale Ave, then exit. Turn left onto Rosedale Ave, then take a left onto Tremont Ave. Drive four blocks to West Farms Square.

This program is made possible with support from the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, including Council Members Eric Dinowitz, Althea Stevens, Kristy Marmorato and the Bronx Delegation. Additional support is from Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson, the NYS Council on the Arts with support from Governor Kathy Hochul and the NYS Legislature. Foundation support is from Con Edison: The Power of Giving, The New Yankee Stadium Community Benefits Fund, The Lincoln Fund, and private donors.

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