New Collaborative Exhibition Opens During Asia Week 2023 In Harlem

March 2, 2023

In the exhibition Root of Color, artists showcase the role that color has played in bridging cultures, emotions, and traditions throughout history.

For this special show in AHL’s uptown gallery, four artists of Korean and Afro-Latino backgrounds were selected.

AHL Foundation, Inc. supports artists of Korean heritage working in the United States and promotes exposure of their work in today’s highly competitive contemporary art world. Their mission is to seek, identify and promote talented Korean and Korean-American artists active in the United States; provide the artists with a platform and resources to further develop their talents; and host educational, cultural, and artistic events with the goal of building wider public awareness of contemporary artists of Korean heritage. 

In the words of Savona Bailey-McClain, Executive Director of West Harlem Art Fund and guest curator of this exhibition, “Harlem has become a home for people from multiple diasporas. I believe that we share a lot of the same dreams and struggles. We need to dialogue”.

View the large sculptures by Tai Hwa Goh in the exhibition that appear to come alive; then there’s Chanee Choi’s new digital and animation art; Francisco Alvarado-Juarez’s has photography collages; and Luis Pagan presents abstract paintings with religious overtones

Root of Color opens with a reception on March 18, 2023 at 3 p.m. and runs through April 28, 2023. The address of the gallery is 2605 Frederick Douglass Blvd, New York, NY 10030 at the corner of 139th Street. Public hours are Wednesday through Saturday from 11 am to 5pm. The phone number is 646-590-2900.

An artist talk will be held on March 19th at 2 pm moderated by Savona Bailey-McClain

Artist Bios

During the last forty-five years, Francisco Alvardo-Juarez has spent his artistic career, at home and abroad, working with museums that give me the freedom to experiment without limits of expression, averaging about one individual exhibition a year. I have completed more than 45 individual and 80 group shows. His last three installations (Southampton Arts Center, North Dakota Museum of Art and Denver Art Museum) simultaneously evoked a sense of calm and chaos, while poetically alluding to the complicated environmental problems for which mankind is responsible. Throughout his career, Francisco has been lucky to receive more than 20 awards. His artwork is represented in the permanent collection of more than 25 museums around the world.

Chanee Choi has developed a ritualistic craft-based art practice that transcends the conservative and isolationist roots of traditional East Asian craftwork by focusing on a celebration of feminist theory and modern tech. Within this hybrid genre, she produces both embodied and virtual immersive experiences exploring the effect of immigration on issues of identity, and the synesthetic processes of corporeal-cognitive space.

Chanee is a transdisciplinary artist. She is originally from South Korea and now lives, works, and studies in Seattle, Washington. She earned her BFA in Craft Design from Dongduk Women’s University in 2013 and MFA in Fiber and Material Studies from the Art Institute of Chicago in 2016. Choi earned Ph.D. in Art and Technology at DXARTS at the University of Washington in 2022.

Her projects and exhibitions have been shown domestically and internationally, New York, Chicago, Covington(KY), Seattle, Los Angeles, Hongkong, Taipei, Berlin, Barcelona, Helsinki, and Seoul.

Tai Hwa Goh is a Korean-born artist who primarily works with printmaking and paper installation. Goh received a MFA degree at the University of Maryland specializing in printmaking and sculpture. She also received a MFA in printmaking at Seoul National University in Korea.

She built a strong career as a professional artist and a lecturer in Washington D.C. area during 2000-2007. She actively interacted with local artists and gallery curators to explore new idea of merging printmaking with sculpture.  

She moved to New York Metropolitan area in 2007, and continued to present her art works in numerous shows. Her exhibitions including Wave Hill, William Paterson University, IPCNY, DUMBO Art Festival, Islip Museum , Gallery Aferro, AIR Gallery, Snug Harbor Center for The Art  and many more, have been highlighted in the local media and art community. In the mean time, she has also invited to have exhibitions in D.C. area, including Johns Hopkins University, Flashpoint Gallery, and Korean Cultural Center.

She has been awarded grants and residencies from Museum of Art and Design, Lower East Side Print Shop, Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, Aljira A Center for Contemporary Art, and Vermont Studio Center, to name a few.

Luis A. Pagan is an abstract painter, born in Arecibo, Puerto Rico and raised in the South Bronx. During childhood, his interest in art began in the 1980s graffiti movement, and drawing Marvel superheroes. Luis didn’t think of becoming an artist until he met his college roommate who was studying art education at Pace University in 1991. Inspired by art, creativity, and the will to learn something new, Luis enrolled at FIT in 1995 to study fine arts. He graduated Cum Laude in 1997 with an AAS degree. He continued his art education at Purchase College studying art history and painting in 2003. He was placed on the Dean’s list twice and earned his BFA in 2005. Since graduation, Luis’ work has been on display at over 100 venues throughout NYC, Westchester County, Florida, and Puerto Rico.

Curator Bio

Savona Bailey-McClain is a Harlem based curator and arts administrator. She is the Executive Director/Chief Curator of the West Harlem Art Fund, which has organized high-profile public arts exhibits throughout New York City for the past 20 years, including Times Square, DUMBO, Soho, Governors Island and Harlem. Her public art installations encompass sculpture, drawings, performance, sound, and mixed media, and have been covered extensively by the New York Times, Art Daily, Artnet, Los Angeles Times and Huffington Post, among many others. She is host/ producer of “State of the Arts NYC,” a podcast program on Podyssey, Radio Public, Youtube, Mixcloud and other audio platforms. She is a member of ArtTable, Advisory Board member of NYC’s Dance in Sacred Places, Governors Island Advisory Council and new Board member of NY Artists Equity Association.

Photo credit: West Harlem Art Fund.

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