Sat, April 25: Artist as Ally: a panel discussion

From Käthe Kollwitz’s artwork addressing the tragedy of war in the early 20th century to the Art Worker’s Coalition pressuring NYC museums to implement economic and political reform in 1969, there has always been a space in the art world where artists have been a force in social change both among their peers and the world at large.

Artist as Ally, a panel discussion hosted by SOHO20 as part of its “Conversations” series, brings together five panelists that engage in the arts in ways that not only address social issues but also incubate fellow artists in their practice and pursuits. Moderated by Kelly Savage, the panelists will discuss their work, the tools they employ, and how the intersection of creative and social engagement fits into the contemporary art world.

Kelly Savage is an artist based in Brooklyn, New York. She received her BFA summa cum laude from Brooklyn College. She is the founder of the artist collective Subject to Change and a member of the Visual Arts Committee at ABC No Rio. Savage’s art has been in numerous group exhibitions in NYC spaces including: ABC No Rio, Bullet Space, Not an Alternative/Change You Want to See, Petri Space, St. Mark’s Church and Soho20 Chelsea. In 2010, Savage installed a mural for 4th Arts Block titled Are We There Yet and in 2013 she had a solo exhibition at Brooklyn College, an all-paper installation titled Stuffing. She is the recipient of the Charles G. Shaw Brooklyn College Art Department Scholarship and the Sarah Koltun Scholarship. Savage is the recent recipient of the Soho20 Chelsea Fellowship award.

Clarity Haynes is an artist, writer and educator. Her "Breast Portrait Project", ongoing for more than 15 years, is a socially engaged,multi-disciplinary work that is grounded in the practice of painting from observation. Haynes' work has been exhibited nationally and has been written about in the Huffington Post, Beautiful/Decay Magazine, Juxtapoz Magazine, and Two Coats of Paint. In addition, she has written about art, feminism and activism for COLLECT Magazine, Hyperallergic, and other publications. She is an active member of the Corpus VI and tART collectives, and teaches drawing at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York.

Victoria Law is a long-time volunteer at ABC No Rio and a co-founder of Books Through Bars--NYC. She has curated several exhibitions of art by people in prison and is the sole editor of the zine Tenacious: Art & Writings by Women in Prison. She also writes extensively about conditions in women's jails and prisons as well as resistance and organizing to change these realities.

Caitlin Steitzer is a social worker and comedian living and working in New York City. She has been teaching improv theater to young adults at the social work agency the Center for Family Life in Sunset Park for 5 years. During that time, she has developed and co-lead workshops that promote leadership skills, team-building, confidence and self expression through improvisational theater that have reached over 2,000 people. When not shaping bright young minds in South Brooklyn, you can see Caitlin performing regularly and teaching sometimes at the Magnet Theater in Chelsea.

Jason Lujan is originally from Marfa, Texas and lived in New York City since 2001. Previous exhibitions and performances include the Heard Museum, Phoenix, AZ; the National Museum of the American Indian, NY, NY; the Curibita Biennial in Brazil; the Continental de Artes Indígenas Contemporáneas at the Museo Nacional de Culturas Populares, Mexico City and a recent solo installation Summer Burial at the Museum of Contemporary Native Art in Santa Fe. He has participated in residencies at The Center for Book Arts, New York, NY; Vermont Studio Center, Johnston, VT; and Triangle Arts Association, Brooklyn, NY. Jason occasionally curates and co-organizes exhibitions in New York City; last year he curated the exhibition Zines Plus and the World of ABC No Rio at the NY Center for Book Arts. Jason is currently the co-chair of the ABC No Rio board of directors and owner of Native Art Department.

Debbie Rasiel is a photographer and art historian. She has worked for NGO’s in both New York and South Africa. In New York, her work for NGOs and privately funded advocacy organizations has documented the condition of inner-city youths and developmentally disabled adults. In South Africa she spent several years documenting a papermaking poverty relief program and an AIDS orphanage. Her photographs from South Africa are included in a book, “Women on Purpose,” funded by the Ford Foundation. Debbie has also written about and curated exhibitions for other artists, including a book and an exhibit on Dorothea Lange, and has taught workshops in creative expression in both South Africa and New York. She received a BFA from the University of Florida, her MA from Tufts University and has completed coursework toward a PhD at the City University of New York with a concentration in photography and contemporary criticism. Debbie has had extensive training in digital media at the International Center of Photography. Her photographs are in many collections, both private and public, including Rutgers University, and the University of Johannesburg. She is represented by SoHo20 Chelsea Gallery in New York City.

Saturday, April 25, 5 pm

548 W. 28th St, Suite 333, NYC “CONVERSATIONS”, a series of panel discussions at SOHO20 Chelsea Gallery, brings together artists and experts in other fields who share a common interest.