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Studio in a School, the largest visual arts organization in NYC, fosters and celebrates the creativity of NYC youth in a range of settings from under-resourced public schools to community-based organizations. On view though Tuesday at its studio space, located at One East 53rd Street in Manhattan, is Boundless Imagination: Creativity in the Time of Covid-19 from Studio in a School NYC. Featuring 46 delightful artworks created by NYC children and teens, it showcases the achievements of its remote and hybrid learning programs during 2020 and 2021.

The drawing featured above was fashioned by first-grader Daria P. — under the instruction of NYC artist Gail Molnar. Several more images captured on my recent visit to the enchanting exhibition follow:

First-grader Hashem S., Drawing — under the instruction of Traci Talasco

Second-grader Lyle S., Digital art — under the instruction of Miguel Tio

Fourth-grader Leo G., Drawing — under the instruction of Mildor Chevalier

Eleventh-grader Shelly F., Drawing — under the instruction of Mildor Chevalier

Eleventh-grader Mary M., Collage — under the instruction of Mildor Chevalier

The spirited exhibition — a testament to creativity and resilience in a particularly challenging time — remains open to the public through Tuesday and can be viewed weekdays at Studio in a School’s gallery space from 8am – 8pm. The works on view were selected from 70 exhibited earlier at varied Montefiore Medicine’s campuses.

Photos of images: Lois Stavsky


The son of the renowned poet and songwriter, Victor Bokov, Konstantin Bokov was born in 1940 in Shostka, Ukraine. Since immigrating to New York City in 1974, he has created endlessly inventive assemblages and sculptural works from found objects, along with paintings, drawings and DIY public installations. Addressing a range of subjects from the personal to the political, they provoke and delight. The subject of a 2012 award-winning documentary entitled “Free,” Konstantin Bokov has garnered ardent admiration from lovers of outsider art, urban art and contemporary art.

Exhibited concurrently with  “Van Der Plas Gallery x The Living Museum,”  a solo exhibition of Bokov’s works in a range of media is on view at Van Der Plas Gallery’s showroom on Manhattan’s Lower East Side through March 6.

The image above features the artist standing in front of several of his assemblages. Additional photos of individual works — all including elements of found objects — follow:

“American Eagle,” Oil stick and oil paint on found and repurposed objects, 2010

“Liberty,” Oil stick and oil paint on sled, 2008

“Van Gogh with Liberty,” Oil stick and oil paint on found objects, 2017

“Magpie,” Oil stick and oil paint on wood, 1998

“Anchor and Mermaid,” Oil stick and oil paint on found objects, 2009

“Cock with Clock,” Oil stick and oil paint on found objects, 2009

Also on exhibit are oil paintings and a huge range of works on paper. Located at 156 Orchard Street on the Lower East Side, Van Der Plas Gallery is open daily from 12pm – 5pm.

Special thanks to Atlas Torres for capturing these images


Founded in 1983 by Dr. János Marton and the late Polish artist Bolek Greczynski, the Living Museum — housed on the grounds of the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center — continues to serve as a model arts community for those living with mental illness.

Through March 6, works in a wide range of styles and media by seven Living Museum artists can be seen in a delightfully intriguing exhibition at Van Der Plas Gallery on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. “Sitting Beyond” — the painting featured above — was fashioned by the West Indian figurative painter Nyla Isaac. More images from “Van Der Plas Gallery x The Living Museum” follow:

Multimedia visual artist Frank Boccio, “Untitled,” Mixed media on canvas

The award-winning multidisciplinary artist Issa Ibrahim, “At the Crossroads,” Acrylic and ink on canvas

Ronald Clark, “Untitled,” Acrylic on foam

Edwig Stinvil, “Les Paysannes,” Acrylic on canvas

Paula Brooks,“Tiger Lilles,” Acrylic on canvas

The endlessly inventive mixed-media artist John Tursi, a selection of exhibited works — two fashioned with coat hangers

Wide view featuring additional works by Nyla Isaac and Frank Boccio

Located at 156 Orchard Street, Van Der Plas Gallery is open daily from 12pm – 5pm.

Photo credits: 1-3, 5, & 6 Atlas Torres, 4 Lois Stavsky, 7 & 8  Rachel Alban


ArTech, established in 2016 by the Nonprofit AHRC New York City, provides ongoing opportunities for artists with intellectual and developmental disabilities to hone their skills and share their work in varied settings. Last year, ArTech artists across all five boroughs participated in an extended partnership with Access Programs at MoMA that culminated in How Are You? — a group exhibition featuring a diverse range of works by twenty ArTech artists.

The intriguing work featured above was fashioned with marker on paper by the prolific Staten Island-based Rayed Mohamed, a native of Yemen, who immigrated with his family to the US in 1990. Several more images on exhibit in How Are You? follow:

Bronx-based multimedia artist Cory Tyler, “Untitled,” 2021, Marker on paper

Art enthusiast Melissa Louden, “Johnny Depp,” 2021, Marker on canvas

The hugely inventive Jayson Costor, “Back in Time,” 2021, Colored pencil on paper

Puerto Rico-born, Bronx-based Jayson Valles, “Smoking Man,” 2021, Acrylic and marker on canvas

The wonderfully creative multimedia artist Thomas Gambaro, “Clay Figure Series,” 2021, Clay and aluminum foil (Small segment of a delightful array of figures exhibited in a display case)

How Are You? continues at MoMA‘s Cullman Education Center through March 31. Check here for installation views and here to reserve timed tickets.

Photos of images: Lois Stavsky


Cracking Rocks, the image featured above, was fashioned with dye on tooled and carved leather in 2011 by the late self-taught Southern African-American artist Winfred Rembert. Seen earlier this year at Fort Gansevoort in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District, it is one of his many paintings documenting the artist’s experiences as a survivor of senseless brutality and overt racism.

Several more images — all by largely self-taught artists — in this second of ART BreakOUTs ongoing series, Working, follow:

Also by Winfred Rembert, “The Gammages (Patty’s House),” 2005, Dye on carved and tooled leather

The late Puerto-Rican painter and printmaker Manuel Hernandez Acevedo,”El Patio de Mi Casa,” 1974, Oil on canvas — as seen in group exhibition “Popular Painters & Other Visionaries” at El Museo in East Harlem

Argentine architect and self-taught painter Maria Laura Bratoz, “The New Employee,” 2007, Acrylic on canvas — as seen in group exhibition at GINA – Gallery of International Naïve Art in Tel Aviv

The late Haitian painter Sénèque Obin, “Marché Clugny,” c. 1960’s, Oil on Masonite — as seen in group exhibition “Popular Painters & Other Visionaries” at El Museo in East Harlem

Photos of images: Lois Stavsky


On view through March 2 at Fountain House Gallery is FUTURES, an intriguingly provocative group exhibition that at once delights and disturbs. Curated by Barbara Pollack, it showcases an eclectic scope of artworks in a range of medium by close to twenty Fountain House artists as they envision the future from varied perspectives.

The image featured above, Dear Future, fashioned with fabric, fiber, shredded wrappers and batik dyed fabric by the wonderfully inventive fiber artist Alyson Vega, forecasts a future plagued by environmental disaster. Several more images from FUTURES follow:

Queens-based self-taught artist Susan Spangenberg,Octomission,” 2021, Acrylic, marker, colored pencils, buttons and fabric on canvas

The hugely innovative African American artist Zeus Hope,From Here & From There,” 2020, Mixed media on canvas

The largely self-taught multi-media Manhattan-based artist Roger Jones,Love is Love,” 2019, Pencil & marker on paper — close-up, as captured by the artist

Manhattan-based calligraffiti master DubbleX, “Future Fears,” 2021, Marker on canvas

The masterly multi-media Queens-based artist Issa Ibrahim, Spirit of 2076, 2012, Acrylic on canvas

Located at 702 Ninth Avenue on the corner of 48th Street, Fountain House Gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday 12-6pm.

Photos of images: 1-3, 5 & 6 Lois Stavsky; 4 Roger Jones

Note: Fountain House Gallery and Studio provides an environment where artists living with mental illness can express their creative visions, exhibit their work, and challenge the stigma that surrounds mental illness.


While some seek solitude and are actually buoyed by it, others find it sad and unsettling — particularly when unforeseen circumstances have cast it upon them. In the vibrant painting pictured above, Get In Where You Fit In, fashioned with oil and acrylic by the self-taught Bay Area-based artist Humberto Ramirez, the subject is seemingly at peace in solitude with nature. Several more visual renderings of solitude follow:

The late self-taught artist Joseph E. Yoakum, who began at age 71 drawing landscapes of the places he had visited, “Rock of Gibraltar,” Blue fountain pen, black ballpoint pen, pastel and watercolor on paper — as seen at MoMA.

Alabama-based mixed media artist Tameca Cole, “All Locked in a Dark Calm,” 2016, Collage and graphite on paper (created when the artist was incarcerated) — as seen at MoMA PS 1

The late German-born visual artist Rosemarie Koczy, best-known for her searing works about the Holocaust, “KZ: Ottenhausen / Traunstein,” 1996, Ink on paperas seen at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore

Colombia-born, NYC-based painter and designer Guiomar Giraldo-Baron, “Mask On,” 2021, Print on paper on wood — as seen at Fountain House Gallery

Photos of artworks: Lois Stavsky


Currently on view at the Bronx Museum of the Arts is “Bronx Calling: The Fifth AIM Biennial” featuring over 65 artists who took part in the 2018 and 2019 cycles of the Bronx Museum’s AIM (Art in the Marketplace) Fellowship program. In this richly diverse visual meditation on our current uncertain times, the artists on exhibit grapple with a range of issues from the personal to the political in varied styles and media.

The image featured above is a close-up from a huge, commanding mural, “Protest and Counter Protest,” crafted with latex, acrylic paint and crayon by the multidisciplinary, socially-conscious artist Jesse Kreuzer. Representing the current divisiveness in American society that has at times turned violent, it spans eight plywood panels.

Several more images from “Bronx Calling…” follow:

Puerto Rican visual and teaching artist Carlos Wilfredo Encarnación, one of several mesmerizing images on exhibit from his ongoing series “Florido (Flowery),” Polyptych of annatto powder, acrylic, gouache, spray paint, tissue paper on wood panels. The artist states, “I construct symmetrical patterns of imaginary connections between my memories, motherland and myself…I mediate with my identities as a spiritual/gay/Puerto Rican/man, seeking for them to coexist.”

Buenos Aires-born, Tel Aviv-bred and New York-based artist Gabriela Vainsencher, “Mom,” Porcelain. Described by the artist as a self-portrait that began as a small drawing, it was inspired by living through the Covid-19 pandemic, during which she cared for her daughter and worked from home “doing all the mom things…”.

Brooklyn-based, Chilean-born visual artist and educator Catalina Schliebener Muñoz, close-up from “Satanic Panic Series,” site specific mixed-media installation in which the artist draws on images, objects, and narratives associated with childhood and explores gender, sexuality, and class

Brooklyn-based artist and arts educator Katherine Toukhy — whose work is largely inspired by her Egyptian ancestry — close-up from “The lies she didn’t think she knew emerged into something true,” Mixed-media installation

Interdisciplinary Puerto Rican artist and scientist Ricardo Cabret — whose work fuses the disciplines of computer science, code and painting –“Tierra destruida (Destroyed Earth),” Gel polymers, marble dust, acrylic paint on canvas

Mexico-native interdisciplinary artist Gabino Abraham Castelán — whose work largely reflects the “histories of subjugation and the worker experience,” — “Our Mothers Have Not Abandoned Us,” Mixed media

Co-curated by Ian Cofre and Eva Mayhabal Davis, the exhibition continues through March 20. Located at 1040 Grand Concourse, the Bronx Museum’ is open 1:00 to 6:00 PM, Wednesday to Sunday. Admission is free, but all visitors must reserve a ticket. You can reserve your ticket HERE

Photos of images by Lois Stavsky


Located in the glass-walled lobby of FIT’s Pomerantz Center, the Art and Design Gallery features works fashioned by FIT students, faculty, alumni and select outside artists. On view now through January 23, 2022 is the tantalizing group exhibition, Journal and Pattern, showcasing work in a range of media from distinctive illustrations of a shoe collection on paper to a huge, mesmerizing crochet installation. On a recent visit to the gallery, I had the opportunity to capture several images.

The image featured above, Walking Palm, was crafted with yarn and found wood by the wonderfully talented NJ-based, socially and environmentally-conscious fiber artist Woolpunk. Fashioned in 2018, it was originally installed at Morir Soñando, a multimedia group exhibition curated by Alex Santana at the Knockdown Center in Queens. To its left is a sketch from the “Travel Journals” of the renowned educator and illustrator Bil Donovan projected onto a screen.

Several more images of works on view in Journal and Pattern follow:

Award-winning FIT BFA Candidate, fashion designer Esther Yitao Li — from the Supima Collection

Moss-like sculpture by FIT Fine Arts Student Chloe Apostle, “Untitled,” Mixed media

Artist and educator Melanie Reim, “Shoe Stories: A Quarantine Journey of My Life Through My Shoes”

Herbalist/Artist Donna Troy Cleary, PPE, Painted mannequin head, crocheted yarn, stuffed with reused plastic bags

Located at FIT, 227 West 27th Street in Chelsea, Manhattan, the Art and Design Gallery is open 9 am to 6 pm daily. 

Photos of artworks: Lois Stavsky


With her keen eye, sensitive soul and boundless passion, Korean-American photographer Kelly Han. deftly captures a hugely impressive range of subjects. Currently on view in a solo exhibition at the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning and in Fountain House Gallery‘s “Small Works” annual show, Kelly Han‘s elegant, artful photographs delight and provoke. While visiting Kelly’s exhibit at the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning, I had the opportunity to pose a few questions to her:

When did you first hold a camera in your hand with the intent of capturing an image?

I’ve been taking photos for as long as I can remember, but I first become serious about photography when I was in college at SUNY—Geneseo. I spent one of my college semesters in Florence, Italy. I loved being in a new and different city. The experience of exploring the city and taking photos there — that elicited positive feedback — made me want to study photography.

You have since produced an amazingly impressive body of work. Is there a central theme that ties your work together?

I’m particularly interested in different cultures, traditions, ceremonies and rituals. I love to travel, learn about them and photograph them.

How has your photography evolved in the last decade?

I’ve perfected my relationship with both the camera and subject. I’m less inhibited and more at ease when capturing my subject. I strive to produce images with interesting content that are technically excellent, as well.

What are some of the challenges you’ve faced in your attempts to capture a moment?

I use natural light, so having the lighting that works to bring out the eyes and capture the colors — as to best enhance them — can be a challenge. And another challenge is trying to capture a particular scene when there are people in the way.

How long do you generally spend on the editing process?

I’m not a big fan of cropping or photoshopping images. So the amount of time I spend on editing a single image varies from no time at all to an entire day if the photo needs close attention.

I’ve seen your wonderful photos at Fountain House Gallery and now here at the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning.  What are some other sites that have hosted your photography?

I’ve also exhibited at the Salmagundi Club, Jay Hawkins Gallery, Local Project, Silks Building, Josephine Herrick Project/NAMI, Too Tired Project, and the Mayor’s Office NYC.

How important is the viewer’s response to you?

Of some importance. I would like the viewer to be moved by my photos.

Do any particular memories stand out?

There are many. Rituals, in particular, stand out. I remember feeling that I was about to get burned at the cremation ceremony in Bali, where many of the dead are cremated on the same day. It is a massive celebration marked by blazing flames and organized chaos!

How has your family responded to your passion for photography? When I was younger, they didn’t encourage me. They didn’t see it as a practical career path. But now they are very supportive.

Have you any favorite photographers?

Yes. I especially like the Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado. His black and white photos depicting gold mines are among my favorite. And I love the late NYC-based Helen Levitt’s street photography. 

You have a degree in Studio Art from SUNY—Geneseo. Have you studied elsewhere?

Yes. I’ve taken classes at ICP, SVA, Parsons and the Arts Students League.

Where are you headed?

I am in the process of applying to an MFA program in Photography, and I’m interested in advancing my career as a photographer.

What is your dream assignment?

Working as a photojournalist covering cultural events.

Good luck! We are looking forward to seeing more of your wondrous photography.

Featured images:

1. White Samba Costume

2. Men Celebrating Holi

3. Children Celebrating Holi

4. Jericoacoara Horseman

5. London Eye

6. Brooklyn Bridge

Note: Kelly Han‘s solo exhibition, Portraits of Strength and Resilience, continues through January 15, 2022 at the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning, and other select images remain on exhibit in the group show Small Works at Fountain House Gallery through December 29.

Interview conducted and edited by Lois Stavsky; all photos courtesy Kelly Han.