Hours

New Art Dealers Alliance returns to Governors Island’s Colonels Row this year, where they have previously hosted the seasonal exhibition, NADA House, to participate in the Governors Island Residency Initiative. NADA’s 2020 Artists in Residence include Michael Bilsboro, Tony Chrenka, Will Corwin, Ginny Huo, Mo Kong, Jodie Lyn-Kee-Chow, and Bat-Ami Rivlin.

NADA Artists in Residence highlights:

Will Corwin (@william_corwin, @gearycontemporary)

What projects or research are you pursuing during your residency on Governors Island?
While doing my NADA residency on Governors Island I looked at various symbols embedded in the decorative elements and architecture of the island, particularly the military symbolism of the sandstone eagle armorial on the arch of Fort Jay. This piece is rich in symbolism and I wanted to deconstruct the assemblage which contains wheels, munitions, flags, fasces, as well as animal and vegetal signifiers. My response was a series of my own sand-cast and dirt-cast plaster and hydrocal objects: ladders, wheels, body parts, which are a dictionary of symbols that I find useful and relevant.

What has spending time on the Island meant to you and what impact has it had on your practice?
Besides the pleasure the almost daily ferry rides, I’ve enjoyed the historicity of the NADA house. I feel that there’s a electricity in the air of the workspace due to the fact that major figures from recent history (Gorbachev and Mitterrand) have passed through the house and my studio. It creates a psychic tension and allows for different ideas to emerge. I’ve also taken advantage of the intriguing fragments that the island has to offer—I’ve collected and used found objects: gnarled branches; inscribed text on masonry fragments, and site-specific architectural details of the NADA house itself, to generate form in the cast sculpture I’ve been making.

Mo Kong (@mosmosk)

What projects or research are you pursuing during your residency on Governors Island?
I have been working with a large drawing during the residency, It mostly related with the feeling of isolation, Covid-19 quarantine, reading time and the relationship with myself.

What has spending time on the Island meant to you and what impact has it had on your practice?
Governors Island is a similar isolation with a schedule, I want to see how one artists’ solitary , obligations and desire can project on this environment.

Jodie Lyn-Kee-Chow (@lynkeeart, @junkanooacome)

What projects or research are you pursuing during your residency on Governors Island?
I’ve been working on an ongoing project since 2018 titled “Junkanooacome” inspired by the Jamaican jonkonnu, a holiday time masquerade celebrated by enslaved Africans and their descendants in the Caribbean anglophone and some parts of the southern United States.

“Junkanooacome” consists of performance, multi-media, wearable art, interventions, social practice. In the traditional jonkonnu some characters would mock their slavemasters while knocking door to door to entertain and get tips. I’d like to think of my project as a hybridized contemporary version of this with the characters confronting these NYC historical landmarks.

I’ve enjoyed exploring Governors Island for its architecture and historic monuments amidst the lush natural landscape. These sites make me want to activate them with my Junkanooacome characters that mischievously roam around the island while interacting with monuments in these spaces.

During the residency, I’ve been drawing parts of the landscape with their buildings and monuments and incorporating my characters in these sites. This way I am able to compose the videos or photos that I hope to have created while practicing my drawing and painting. I’d also like to have these images exist through other mediums such as risographs and interactive media in the future. I’ve started a new wearable art piece for a new set of “Junkanooacome” characters that incorporates printmaking. I am very excited about this and to have a generous amount of space to do so.

What has spending time on the Island meant to you and what impact has it had on your practice?
Governors Island has been a breath of fresh air for me. Not sure I’d have survived these times without it. When I arrive on the island and especially on a nice sunny day I take it in and feel the stress and anxiety just leave my body. Then I step into the studio and become centered until outside calls me to take in the sun and the scenery. A nice distraction.

Outside has been a haven for cycling which lead me to find interesting sites to draw, take videos and photos. I’ve found that drawing from life has been so refreshing for my practice. I rarely draw landscapes but I find that I do enjoy it’s challenges. The diverse artist community on the island during these COVID times has made this residency a more meaningful one.

Ginny Huo (@gi_huo)

What projects or research are you pursuing during your residency on Governors Island?
I am interested in exploring what are the intentions of what we believe. Stemmed from my highly conservative Mormon religious upbringing, I’ve been researching these themes and topics for awhile now. On the island I’ve been playing with building sculptures, painting, and photography. The research in my works include constructing nature allegories while splicing language and imagery to discuss and question the ideas of the subtle conscious and unconscious violence that seeps into our everyday lives formed from religious dogma.

What has spending time on the Island meant to you and what impact has it had on your practice?
This time on the island has been extremely meaningful for me for many reasons. It’s been so nice to have time away from the city and in an open space with less people during covid. Being connected to nature in this way is important for me and my practice. It’s also been wonderful to work alongside other great artists from the residency and having conversations with them. Also these past couple months have been extremely crucial as I’ve been working on completing sculptures for a group exhibition opening November 18th as part of EFA Shift Space Residency. It’s been really wonderful - thank you!

Michael Bilsborough (@hell_omichael)

What projects or research are you pursuing during your residency on Governors Island?
The landscape of Governors Island is the starting point for my drawings, which range fromquick sketches to layered watercolors. I’m exploring the contours and views of The Hills, the densityof Nolan Park, and the amazing, labor-intensive horticulture and arboriculture across the Island.

What has spending time on the Island meant to you and what impact has it had on your practice?
Being outdoors on Governors Island is giving me life after the quarantine isolation of spring 2020. Theoutdoor setting also challenges me to make art on the fly, in response to changing conditions, likeweather, light, and even mosquitoes and surprise sprinkler showers.

Governors Island’s unique history and geography also invite reflection during this tumultuous time. Originally Lenape land, it was traded between military and civilian use. It sits between the Statue of Liberty and Wall Street/ Lower Manhattan. For me, the Statue inspires optimism and promise; yet Lower Manhattan still reflects the pain of 9/11 and the 2008 financial crisis. We always rebuild, and the Freedom Tower is visible from almost every spot on the Island. But are we carrying forth the best ideals embodied in the Statue of Liberty?

These aspects of Governors Island connect it to this moment in art and culture, amidst urgent dialogue about capitalism, decolonization, and climate change.