The Manifesto ShowPost an Event »

The Manifesto Show Shannon Finnegan. My place is the best place for me.

Nook Gallery is pleased to announce The Manifesto Show, a group show featuring Amanda Curreri, Serena Cole, Kevin Demery-Raien, Shannon Finnegan, Jay Katelansky, Yetunde Olagbaju, Zach Ozma, Sarah Rara, Emilia Shaffer-Del Valle, McKenzie Toma and Leila Weefur, curated by Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo. 

The Manifesto Show explores eleven artists’ relationship to text as a form of speaking out & manifesting the thoughts they want to hear in the world right now. Whether painted on a ceramic vessel, imprinted and stained with blackberries, brought to life in a 3D form or boldly stated in ink on paper, the exhibiting artists all use the written word to start conversations about love and racial politics, lesbian history and disability rights, amongst other topics. Branfman-Verissimo believes in the power and impact that these artists have by telling their stories and demanding that we take the time to understand what it’s going to take to move forward during this complicated political moment.

Amanda Curreri’s Wallet Bags (Flame Red, Royal Blue, Jade Green, Jet Black) can’t be read as directly as the pieces around it, yet they come from words and tell a history not often told. Wallet Bags (Flame Red, Royal Blue, Jade Green, Jet Black) are recreations of products advertised in the pages of The Ladder magazine (the first largely distributed Lesbian Magazine in the United States) right around the advent of women transitioning from wearing skirts to pants. In Serena Cole’s Burn Shit Down, which was made days after the 2016 election, is as Cole says “a self-explanatory reaction to our current political situation” that is painted with bold clear text. Casket by Kevin Demery-Raien uses craft and office supplies, such as glittery paper and vinyl letters juxtaposed by a statement that calls attention to the layered origin of the racial slur, “nigga”. Shannon Finnegan’s My pace is the best pace for me, is part of a series of autobiographical drawings that capture Finnegan’s many and often complex experiences of living within her disabled body. Capturing and clearly showing her every colored pencil line, it shows the commitment she makes to sharing her personal stories with the world.

With the hopes of subverting collective trauma Jay Katelansky’s screen printed, bold & very yellow, always, is reclaiming those experiences and highlighting moments of Black Joy. Yetunde Olagbaju’s Love Diagram, allows the viewer to decide how they want to best read about what love means to them through Olagbaju’s poetic experiences.

Zach Ozma’s Untitled (REACTIONARY FAG IDENTITY), stain painted delicately onto a ceramic vessel, is “reacting to reactionary queer identity.... A reaction towards specificity”. In Sarah Rara’s Circle Poem 1, she asks the viewer to ponder survival, lightness and the presence of the earth we live on. Emilia Shaffer-Del Valle asks the viewer to please take a card from each stack and continue this conversation outside of the gallery. in conversation with my calling card (thank you Adrian Piper) is in response to Adrian Piper's my calling card piece from 1986 and is a conversation the artist is having with herself about “what I would like to say when they ask about my identity”.

Sent through the US postal service (aka the original social media) from three sites across the United States, Hot Springs, Arkansas, Grand Canyon, Arizona and Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, Postcards by McKenzie Toma, are three small poem statements in response to
the politics of today. In Leila Weefur’s Blackberry Lexicon, talks about the history of Blackberries with the Black body. Examining beauty and shame, admiration and contempt while using the printed form and splashes of blackberry pulp as ink.

Open by appointment. nookartgallery@gmail.com.

Nook Gallery was founded by Shushan Tesfizigta and Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo, with the hopes of carving out an inclusive and accessible space to support and give room for emerging artists of color, women and queer artists, to exhibit and present work. The seating nook transformed into gallery in our kitchen, gives the artist(s) a clear and unique space to work with, and present work within. Thinking about the importance of gathering around a table, what does it mean to come together for a meal or to cook together, for art, for critical discussion, for storytelling? Bringing community together is what we strive to do as artists, culture makers, curators, writers and performers in the world. The Nook Gallery offers a possibility for supporting and nurturing this gathering, telling and being together. Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo is the lead curator and director of programming.