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Press Release: Pace University Art Gallery Launches ‘Substance’


Press Release: Pace University Art Gallery Launches ‘Substance’

Exhibition Includes Artist Talks, Residency, Virtual Exhibit and Gallery Showing in the Fall

New York, NY (March 1, 2021)- Pace University Art Gallery has launched the Substance exhibition and associated programs that include online artists’ talks, an artist residency, and a virtual exhibit – all culminating with an in-person exhibit in the fall 2021, the University announced today.

Substance brings together five abstract artists—Diego Anaya, Liz Atz, Linda Ekstrom, Adebunmi Gbadebo, and Alberto Lule—who express meaning via their materials rather than through representational imagery.   

To celebrate the launch of the digital exhibit, at 6:30 p.m. on March 1, the Gallery will host a Zoom artist talk by Diego Anaya. Anaya’s work is minimalist in imagery, yet he celebrates his Mexican heritage through the use of ground corn, corn ash, and sand with which he creates rough and uneven surfaces. The texture compels the viewer to examine the work closely and even to want to touch and smell the granular surface, creating an immediate and intimate connection between the viewer and the artist.

From March 2-22, the Gallery will host a residency by Liz Atz during which she will create a large-scale window installation on-site. Made of mycelium mushroom-based plastics she casts herself, Atz’s bright, immersive installations critique commercialism, materialism, and consumption. During the three-week residency, Atz will experiment further with chitosan, a substance sourced from waste shell material from the shrimp, lobster and other shellfish industry, adding pigment, and laser cutting the installation. Atz will also give a Zoom talk about her work at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 16. 

Pace students, faculty and staff are invited to drop in to see the process in the gallery Tuesday through Thursday from 1p.m.-3p.m. or by appointment. The public will be able to see the process unfold via the window installation at 41 Park Row.

At 3 p.m. on March 10, the Gallery will present a Zoom artist lecture by Alberto Lule who critiques and exposes the prison industrial complex in America as a form of modern slavery. His Investigation series offers insight to his experience as a formerly incarcerated person by using fingerprint powder—a tool used by police to prove someone was at the scene of a crime—as his drawing material. Thereby, Lule reclaims his past, present, and future, stating that he isn’t at the mercy of the corrupt American prison system any longer. 

The pre-launch included a Zoom lecture by Linda Ekstrom on Feb. 25. Ekstrom’s works from her Word series use text from religious sources as a form of inspiration and commentary. Many of her artworks are made from altered pages of the Bible, which is representative of how Ekstrom explores feminist issues, particularly within the role of Jewish and Christian religious history and tradition.  Her work addresses the suppressed stories of women both in the Bible and throughout art history via the process of disassembling and then reassembling this book which has been used to inspire, divide, and control readers. Recordings of all Substance exhibit lectures will be available in the gallery’s Instagram bio at @paceuniversityartgallery.

Also included in the both the digital and in-person exhibits is artist Adebunmi Gbadebo who writes: “My material is human hair from people of the African Diaspora. Our hair is so connected to our culture, politics, and history!” She represents identity and history in Blues People by incorporating prints of historical documents onto paper embedded with Black hair. In so doing, she exposes the grim history of American slavery that has been erased by white-centric narratives and materials. In Black hair, she finds “a material and a history in which to root my own work that positions the people who looked like me as central to my practice.” 

The Substance exhibit was curated by Sarah Cunningham, Art Gallery director/assistant clinical professor, with Samantha L. Smith, ‘21, gallery intern/research fellow, with support from the Provost’s Academic Year 2020-2021 Student-Faculty Undergraduate Research Award through the Center for Undergraduate Research Experiences (CURE). The in-person exhibit has been re-scheduled for September 27-October 30, 2021.

About the Pace University Art Gallery: Founded with the conviction that art is integral to society, the Pace University Art Gallery is a creative laboratory and exhibition space that supports innovation and exploration for both artists and viewers. Open to students, staff, and faculty from across the Pace campuses and, equally, to the Lower Manhattan community and visitors from around the world, the Art Gallery encourages personal investigation and critical dialogue via thought-provoking contemporary art exhibits and public programming. Enhancing the Art Department's BA and BFA programs, the Art Gallery offers students real-world opportunities to exhibit their own art and to work directly with professional artists to install and promote exhibitions.

About Dyson College of Arts and Sciences: Pace University’s liberal arts college, Dyson College, offers more than 50 programs, spanning the arts and humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, and pre-professional programs (including pre-medicine, pre-veterinary, and pre-law), as well as many courses that fulfill core curriculum requirements. The College offers access to numerous opportunities for internships, cooperative education and other hands-on learning experiences that complement in-class learning in preparing graduates for career and graduate/professional education choices. 

About the Pace University Center for Undergraduate Research Experiences (CURE): The Center for Undergraduate Research Experiences (CURE) in Dyson College of Arts and Sciences provides leadership, coordination and support to student-faculty research collaborations, faculty grant-funded research projects and programs, and opportunities for service learning. CURE is part of Dyson College’s long-standing, ongoing commitment to build a research culture at Pace University. CURE is one component in Dyson’s efforts to innovatively enhance the quality of both the academic experience and overall student life.

About Pace University 
Pace University has a proud history of preparing its diverse student body for a lifetime of professional success as a result of its unique program that combines rigorous academics and real-world experiences. Pace is ranked the #1 private, four-year college in the nation for upward economic mobility by Harvard University’s Opportunity Insights, evidence of the transformative education the University provides. From its beginnings as an accounting school in 1906, Pace has grown to three campuses, enrolling 13,000 students in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in more than 150 majors and programs, across a range of disciplines: arts, sciences, business, health care, technology, law, education, and more. The university also has one of the most competitive performing arts programs in the country. Pace has a signature, newly renovated campus in New York City, located in the heart of vibrant Lower Manhattan, next to Wall Street and City Hall, and two campuses in Westchester County, New York: a 200-acre picturesque Pleasantville Campus and the Elisabeth Haub School of Law in White Plains. Follow us on Twitter or on the Pace News website.