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We Recommend this panel discussion and this wonderful art exhibition

Danny Simmons Jr. Panel Discussion
Saturday, November 23, 2013, 2-4pm
Skylight Gallery 
Panelists: Leonardo Benzant, Danny Simmons Jr, SOL’SAX, Alice Zinnes
Moderator: Sherman Fleming
Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation
1368 Fulton Street, 3rd floor, Brooklyn, New York, 11216
The Sacred and the Surreal: The Role of Spirituality In Abstract Art
The search for meaning can lead us on an unpredictable path — which may explain why some artists who work in abstraction can feel supercharged or haunted by the presence of the divine. Like art, and perhaps especially art guided by an unseen hand, spirituality can deliver equal bouts of certainty and doubt before it offers up faith.
“The Sacred and the Surreal: The Role of Spirituality In Abstract Art,” a panel discussion held during the Danny Simmons, Jr. exhibition, Noisy In the Next Room, will explore those issues with a mix of creators, who, like Mr. Simmons, seek to reconcile the worldly with the transcendent.

Featured In the Panel Discussion
Leonardo Benzant: “I imagine the artist as a kind of Urban Shaman. His aim is to bridge the visible and the invisible worlds. I use the rhythms of stitching, cutting, painting, constructing, and collaging to develop a statement that is at once personal and universal. My work grows from an inner dialogue to resolve and celebrate issues of identity, ancestry, race and particularly as it relates to my Afro-Dominican/Haitian-American heritage. My work is an embodiment of my self-determination as a black man. My inspirations are fused with the complexities of growing up in Brooklyn.”
Danny Simmons, Jr., is an American abstract painter from Queens, NY, who once coined his style of painting as “neo-African Abstract Expressionism.” He is Vice Chair of Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, which he co-founded with his brothers, hip-hop impresario Russell Simmons and rapper Joseph “Reverend Run” Simmons. The foundation provides arts education programs to NYC schools, and its two art galleries offer curatorial residencies and exhibition programs for adult artists. Simmons is creator of the award-winning Def Poetry, and a champion of arts and culture.
Since 1990, SOL’SAX has produced objects, images, and performances that fuse modern African-American culture with traditional African religions like Yoruba, Congo, Mende, Akan and Fon. He has been awarded a NYFA Fellowship in Sculpture, a Guggenheim Fellowship in Sculpture, a public commission by MTA Arts for Transit, and a residency at Socrates Sculpture Park. He was the first artist to be given a solo show at Rush Arts and he has exhibited at The Brooklyn Museum, The Queens Museum, The Museum of the City of New York, The Studio Museum in Harlem, P.S. 1 MoMA, Sculpture Center, and the Fowler Museum in Los Angeles, among other venues.
Provoked to visual explosions by the great Indian epic, The Ramayana, and by Celtic mythologies, the oil paintings of Alice Zinnes are transformations from myths to mysterious worlds, where the boundaries between underworld and waking earth are traversable. As Mark Daniel Cohen wrote in NYArts Magazine, “Clearly, Zinnes understands the tragic, creative fall into darkness. Every work enacts the chaos of the soul, the eternal battle of darkness with light that is the source of creativity – the source of life itself. Atmospheres of seething hues infiltrate each other, as if suffusing intuitions of things enlightening and deadly were grappling, battling for possession of the spirit.”
Artist/curator/educator Sherman Fleming has been actively involved in performance art since the 1970s. His work often explores the body’s expressive power and the limits of endurance, confronting issues of black masculinity and psychosexual tensions surrounding the black male body. He received his BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University and his MFA from Hartford Art School. His performance work is widely celebrated, mostly recently at Radical Presence: Black Performance In Contemporary Art. His visual art has been exhibited throughout the U.S. and overseas.
November 3, 2013 – January 3, 2014
Skylight Gallery | Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation

Brian Tate | Sherman Fleming
Jacqui D. Woods, Director, Skylight Gallery | Ché Baraka, Curatorial Consultant
Tracey Capers, Executive Vice President, Programming and Development
All art (c)  Danny Simmons, Jr.
Top Image-Clockwise from left: SOL’SAX, Alice Zinnes, Leonardo Benzant, Sherman Fleming, Danny Simmons
Middle Image:  Top left-Danny Simmons, Leonardo Benzant, Sherman Fleming (pictured), SOL’SAX, Alice Zinnes
Below Image: from the public reception for Noisy In the Next Room. Photos by Ed Marshall.


November 22, 2013 - Posted by | ART, CULTURE, ENTREPRENEURS, HOLIDAY GUIDES, LIFESTYLES, opportunity, Uncategorized, We Recommend | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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