Donovan Nelson at Medgar Evers College Opening Reception August 30 from 6:30-8:00pm at the Charles Evans Inniss Memorial Library at Medgar Evers College - 1650 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, NY

RSVP To Attend the Opening Reception at www.valentinemuseumofart.com or phone text to 718-696-8355

 

The Charles Evans Inniss Memorial Library at Medgar Evers College (MEC) presents The Students: A Study of Color and Light works by Donovan Nelson.  This is the inaugural in a 5-year series of exhibitions designed to present contemporary art in a historical context, and a continuation of MEC’s commitment to providing a platform for the consideration and study of art.  The exhibition will be on view until October 6, 2017. 

Completed 17 years ago, over a period of 5 days, the 35 portraits in this series were created from life at the very beginning of Donovan Nelson’s teaching career.  With the exception of the one self-portrait, the subjects are Nelson’s former students, and the setting is a high school classroom in the East New York section of Brooklyn, New York.  

The series was first conceived as a demonstration for an assignment that required each student to create his or her own portrait.  Nelson decided to utilized portraiture as a teaching mechanism, for his students and himself, to resolve the difficulties in properly rendering color and light from direct observation.  The resulting works raise many questions including, how might the ease or difficultly of access to a particular teaching style affect how young people learn, and how can access to art change our perception of ourselves?

The works bear witness to Nelson’s attempt to reach his students, and his progress as a portrait artist.  As the works are viewed in succession, we see Nelson move from depicting the color appearance revealed in the soft glow of natural light, to recording the presence of artificial light; and, the stark contrast it creates in the range of colors that comprise the skin tones of his subjects.   

The moment of discovery is revealed in Student #11 as the spectrum of colors in the skin becomes the subject, in the absence of a recognizable face.  According to Nelson, it was his former instructor Nelson Shanks, the first American artist to paint the Pope, who at the time the works were created told him “Don’t paint the skin, paint the color of the light.” Similar to the Migration of the Negro series by Jacob Lawrence and Chris Ofili's Afro Muses, this series was created at a pivotal moment in Nelson's career and marks the evolution of his studio practice. 

Donovan Nelson was born in 1969 in Kingston, Jamaica.  In 1994, he received a B.F.A. in illustration from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Nelson also studied portraiture and figure painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Arts.  In 1996, he received a M.F.A. in painting from the New York Academy of Art.  Nelson has devoted the majority of his practice to rendering the likeness, personality, and the real or perceived status of the person through portraiture.  Among his notable commissions are Reverend Floyd Flake, Edison O. Jackson, the former president of MEC, and Brooklyn’s first black state Supreme Court Justice, Oliver Williams.  

The works in this exhibition are on loan from the Valentine Museum of Art’s (VMOA) permanent collection. VMOA’s collecting strategy is primarily geared toward thematically based bodies of work created by contemporary artists.   

Summer Hours

On August 13, 2017, Welancora Gallery will close for summer recess.  The gallery will reopen on October 28 for the start of our fall programming season.  

NU Hotel Brooklyn and Welancora Gallery Announce Partnership

Media Contact:

Mary Falso

Independent Collection Hotels

Ph: 267.238.5025

E: mary.falso@independentcollection.com

NU Hotel Brooklyn and Welancora Gallery Announce Partnership

The Brooklyn boutique hotel and local Brooklyn gallery are collaborating to showcase art by Brooklyn Artists. The first exhibition, featuring works by Sunok Chun, premieres on March 30, 2017. 

(Brooklyn, N.Y. – March 21, 2017) NU Hotel Brooklyn and Welancora Gallery have just announced a collaboration to present quarterly exhibitions of works by Brooklyn artists in the lobby of the downtown Brooklyn boutique hotel. The first exhibition, entitled Dissonant Abstraction, features works by Sunok Chun and will be on view at the end of March. The hotel and gallery will host an opening reception in the lobby of NU Hotel Brooklyn on Thursday, March 30, 2017 to celebrate the exhibition.

“Through the hotel’s lobby exhibitions and NU Perspectives project, NU Hotel has consistently provided local artists with a platform for their works to be viewed,” said Ivy N. Jones, the Director of Welancora Gallery. “This commitment to local artists aligns with the mission of Welcancora; this collaboration is a natural fit.”

During the term of the partnership, Welancora Gallery will loan NU Hotel Brooklyn 24 works of art by four Brooklyn-based artists.  A solo exhibition will be featured in the hotel lobby for three months for each artist.  All of the works will be for sale.   

For the first exhibition, abstract painter Sunok Chun will display six works. Chun, who was born in South Korea, holds a BFA from the Women’s University in Seoul Korea and a MFA from Pratt Institute and lives in Brooklyn. For Chun, the canvas represents a box, just as a body might be considered a container.  Within the boundaries of that box a swirl of emotion, thought, and at times cognitive dissonance are wrangled out of her inner world and transformed through painting, collage, and drawing.

The opening reception, which will be held on Thursday, March 30, 2017 from 6-9PM, is open to the public, but RSVP is required. RSVPs can be sent to art@nuhotelbrooklyn.com. Wine and hors d’oeuvres will be served.  NU Hotel will have items for sale from the newly revised menu at Nu Hotel’s bar and lounge.  Guests can enjoy delicious treats from local vendors along with old-fashioned cocktails made from local libations. 

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About Welancora Gallery:

Welancora Gallery was founded a number of years ago by Ivy N. Jones.  The gallery takes its name from the names of the founder’s parents and older brother.  The purpose of the gallery is to represent artists from around the world by placing their works with collectors, museums and corporations. 

About NU Hotel Brooklyn:

NU Hotel Brooklyn is an environmentally conscious, first-class hotel, conveniently located at the intersection of four happening Brooklyn neighborhoods (Downtown Brooklyn, Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens).  NU Hotel Brooklyn manages to encapsulate that old school Brooklyn community vibe of having exquisite international cuisine, one of a kind boutique shops and world famous entertainment, all within a stone’s throw from your doorstep.

 NU Hotel is owned by Hersha Hospitality Trust (NYSE: HT) and managed by HHM, formerly known as Hersha Hospitality Management.

For further information, please contact NU Hotel Brooklyn at (718)852-8585, www.nuhotelbrooklyn.com or Welancora Gallery at (917)848-4627 www.welancoragallery.com. For further press inquiries, contact: Natalie Fisk with the NU Hotel Brooklyn at 718-852-8585 or Afiya Romeo with Welancora Gallery at 347-489-2574.