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Ceres Gallery, a feminist, not-for-profit, alternative gallery in New York City, today announced Our Bodies, Our Freedom, an upcoming exhibit dedicated to the theme of reproductive rights curated by Dr. Krya Belan. The exhibit will be on display from February 28th to March 25th, with an opening reception on March 2nd from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The Ceres Gallery is located at 547 West 27th Street Suite 201 in New York, New York, and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
"Women’s push against the powerful patriarchal structures continues in spite of frequent setbacks," said Dr. Belan. "Yet women never give up, keeping their efforts steady, resisting and pushing forward. The six artists in this exhibition use visual messages to make the public aware of the importance of women’s equality as well as the importance of maintaining the laws that guarantee it."
The following artists will exhibit their work at Our Bodies, Our Freedom:
Artist, author, mythologist, and art historian, Dr. Kyra Belan graduated from Arizona State University with a B.F.A. in Fine Arts, and from Florida State University with an M.F.A. in Visual Arts. Her Ed. D. from Florida International University is in Higher Education and Art History. Dr. Belán has had over 60 solo art exhibitions and has participated in over 110 group art exhibitions. She has received numerous awards, including Who’s Who in American Art, 2000-18; the Florida Achievement Award in the Arts, Women’s Caucus for Art Florida Chapter, 2008; the Southeastern Art Conference Outstanding Artistic Achievement Award, University of Arkansas at Little Rock 2005; Broward County’s Women’s Hall of Fame Outstanding Achievement in the Arts, 1994; and the Individual Artist Fellowship, State of Florida, Florida Arts Council 1982. Her artworks are found in numerous public and private collections.
Michele Benjamin is a New York-based artist who creates jewelry, sculpture, digital photography prints and wearable art. Her nature-inspired and activist creations are associated with cultural institutions, fashion, and social causes such as women's empowerment and wildlife conservation. Michele earned a BA in Art History from Arizona State University, completed post-graduate studies at Parsons School of Design, and specialized Jewelry Design courses at Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), including fabrication techniques, lost wax, and professional jewelry production methods. Her collections are offered in art galleries, cultural institutions, and boutiques nationally and internationally, including Whitney Museum of American Art, Bruce Museum Store, Pictor Gallery, on the runway at New York Fashion Week (NYFW), and on Amazon.
Muriel Magenta is a "new genre" artist working in video, computer animation, web technology, sound, installation, multimedia performance, and digital printmaking. She explores the interface between various electronic media, while continuing her involvement with gallery installation. Her larger objective is to create a visual/sound experience in an actual space, and then transmit it over electronic networks into virtual environments.
With a background of jewelry making, theatrical-costuming, clothing design, and psychotherapy Mary Alice Orito has a complex view of art and art making. Her art practice dates from the 1970’s when she began to work with wire, acrylic paint, beads, faux pearls, papier mache, cast paper, torn paper, punched paper, and cut paper. Mixed media focusing on the political, created from cut and torn paper, is her preferred effort.
Francine Perlman has been exhibiting sculpture, installations, and works on paper since 1985. In April 2023 at Ceres, Listen Closely includes both sculpture and printmaking while referencing the critical dialogue about Israel/Palestine. Her installation Doors Open/Close in 2017 showcased art by women in domestic violence shelters. Her outdoor sculptures in The Farm Project in Garrison, NY, were featured in press coverage in 2014 and 2015. A recent collaboration during Covid, now traveling to many venues, is Arc of the Viral Universe, with each artist filling a book of 180 pages to that theme. She has had solo shows at the historic Eldridge Street Synagogue and other non-gallery settings. Her work has appeared in the Hammond Museum, Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center, the National Jewish Museum, Snug Harbor Cultural Center, the Albright Knox Museum, Ceres Gallery, and Sculptors Alliance at Governor’s Island. Her work appeared in the 2004 Bonn Biennial in Bonn, Germany at the Frauen Museum, and was acquired by the museum.
Elizabeth Downer Riker’s work in this exhibition was inspired by the notion that men are weaponizing women’s bodies. "Pregnancy has become criminalized under current laws that give more rights to a fetus than the pregnant person themselves," said Riker. "If a pregnant person does anything to jeopardize the fetus, they risk going to prison. By being pregnant, one risks arrest, dying from complications giving birth or a failed illegal abortion. Women must have the right to decide whether or not they will carry a pregnancy to term. Reproductive freedom is a basic human right." Elizabeth Downer Riker has exhibited her work in Chelsea, NYC, nationally and internationally.
For more information about the Ceres Gallery, visit https://ceresgallery.org.