Female Urban Art Collective YOUNITY Presents Exhibition Exploring the Themes
Mother Earth, The Hood, and Sustainable Agriculture in conjunction with
The Yonkers Riverfront Public Library and Sarah Lawrence College
lmnop, Ayiti (detail), mixed media, 2011, approx. 5ft x 2ft
Queens, NY (August 15, 2011)— All female urban art collective, YOUNITY, presents GODDESShood: Our land is our jewel, an art exhibition that will feature 10 artists in conversation with the themes mother earth, the hood and sustainable farming. Opening on Saturday, September 10, from 2pm – 5pm at the Yonkers Riverfront Public Library, during the annual Yonkers Riverfest event, the project utilizes urban art as a platform for visual discourse on sustainable agriculture, food systems, food justice, and mother earth, and closes on Sunday, December 4th, 2011. Additional programming in the City of Yonkers and at Sarah Lawrence College will take place throughout fall 2011, including youth workshops and a panel discussion.
All of the artists in the exhibition, Lichiban, Swoon, Sofia Maldonado, Krista Franklin, Marthalicia, Diana McClure, Faith 47, lmnop, Lady Alezia, and Alice Mizrachi, engage with the theme mother earth or nature, and related concepts, both directly and indirectly in their individual artistic practices. In the context of this exhibition the artists were asked to utilize the idea of the hood as a metaphor for not only local neighborhoods and urban culture, but also land, nature and the natural environment at large. And, finally, the genesis and inspiration for the exhibition stems from the curators’ discovery of La Via Campesina (The International Peasant Movement) and an intense global movement for land and agricultural rights taking place below the radar.
Krista Franklin, Naomi in the Okra Patch, collage and inclusions in handmade paper 17 1/5″ x 11 1/2″
In the YOUNITY tradition, GODDESShood: Our land is our jewel will include painting, murals, photography, and stencils, as well as video and sculptural objects. The exhibition picks up where YOUNITY’s last exhibition FRESHER!, which addressed consumerism, environmentalism, health, and renewable energy, left off in the fall of 2009. Co-curator Diana McClure says, “With the GODDESShood: Our land is our jewel exhibition we wanted to use the YOUNITY platform as a tool for social change and disseminator of information by bringing visibility to a battle being fought by peasants, small and medium-size farmers, landless people, women farmers, indigenous people, migrants and agricultural workers from around the world. A battle that seems to get lost in mainstream media’s disregard for the economic politics of green living.” With the success of YOUNITY’s premiere exhibit in 2007, The C R O S S O V E R, the second annual Heart and Soul show and book publication in 2008, and FRESHER! in 2009, YOUNITY has become one of the most sought after all-female collectives to date. Co-curator and YOUNITY co-founder Alice Mizrachi says, “After 3 years of annual exhibitions, wall productions, youth workshops, etc. The core YOUNITY production team decided to take a year off in 2010 to explore new ideas and individual creative pursuits. During that time we’ve all developed and hope to use our growing cultural capital to continue to support female urban artists and address social issues as individuals and a collective.”
For more information on public programming in conjunction with the GODDESShood: Our land is our jewel exhibition, including youth workshops led by Co-Curator/Arts Educator Alice Mizrachi for Yonkers youth, and a panel discussion moderated by Co-Curator Diana McClure at Sarah Lawrence College, visit www.theyounity.com.
About YOUNITY: artists Alice Mizrachi and TOOFLY founded YOUNITY in New York City in 2007. After spending many years involved in the art world, it became evident that urban contemporary women artists did not have a properly organized forum through which to disseminate ideas and showcase work to their contemporaries and the public at large. The confines of galleries were too rigid and staid and the ‘white cube’ did not lend much room for personal expression and individual style. So, Alice and TOOFLY decided to: 1) create a place where females could tell their stories in more universal, down-to-earth voices; 2) build a stable community in which they could teach the next generation of women the process of curating exhibitions and successfully spreading artistic ideas; and, 3) allow members to explore their own flavor while retaining their identity within the context of a collective body. YOUNITY is also committed to the documentation and archiving of itself as a community of unique, autonomous participants through exhibitions, new media and publishing.