For Brooklyn-based artist Jacquelyn Strycker, the last few years have been marked with personal and practice-based metamorphoses. While adjusting to parenthood, the pandemic, and changes in workspace availability, her printmaking approach evolved to become modular and storable, making the best out of limited resources. Strycker is one of eight artists selected to kick off New Voices, a pilot program at the Print Center New York that was designed to support the professional development of emerging artists who meaningfully engage with print media.
The program’s inaugural exhibition, organized by Brooklyn Museum curator Carmen Hermo with help from the center’s exhibition and programs coordinator Robin Siddall, focuses on notions of transformation and will open on June 1 at the Print Center New York’s upgraded ground-floor gallery location in Chelsea.
“There was definitely a sense of many artists embracing the traditions of the medium, while marshaling it for their own inquiries — or even recasting or reimagining the process itself, especially in the wake of pandemic disruptions,” Hermo said to Hyperallergic in reviewing the pool of nearly 500 applications across the US. Joining Strycker in the pioneering New Voices cohort are New York-based printmakers Eriko Tsogo, Nina Jordan, and Farah Mohammad; Julia Curran from California; Lois Harada from Rhode Island; Aaron Coleman from Indiana; and Juana Estrada Hernández from Kansas.
“I have been drawing a lot of strength from the fierce spaces for self- and social-affirmation these artists create in their varied practices, and in many of their works there is a kind of swing space between and beyond binaries, divisions, memory, and truth,” Hermo continued.
Hermo and the Print Center New York selected the group of eight to participate in the three-month-long exhibition, engage in a variety of virtual and in-person professional development opportunities over the next six months, and receive an unrestricted honorarium of $2,500 each for their inclusion. New Voices is not a residency and doesn’t require that the artists create work throughout the program’s duration, but the artists will be brought to New York for a three-day convening that overlaps with the exhibition’s opening reception. That event will include public talks with a variety of print professionals, private exhibition walkthroughs with critics and curators, and behind-the-scenes tours of iconic print media locations across the city.
“A key element of this program is that the artists’ voices, wants, and needs are what come first,” said Siddall. “The most requested resource was networking during the in-person gathering in NYC, building in time to be with artists, curators, critics, and public audiences, to be in conversation around the work and the artists’ practices and goals.”
Strycker and Mohammad both expressed their excitement about meeting each other and the rest of the cohort.
Strycker, who has five risograph-printed fabric works in the exhibition, said she welcomes this opportunity to meet with the other artists after revitalizing her print practice in an external studio with her very own riso duplicator. Also based in New York, Mohammad, who has two monotypes and two mixed media print works in the exhibition, has relied on the Print Center New York as a source of inspiration for years and wanted the opportunity to work with Hermo and display her work in the nonprofit’s expanded gallery space.
“It’s fitting that transformation is the guiding theme for the pilot year of New Voices, as we are in the middle of our own exciting period of change and growth,” Jenn Bratovich, director of Exhibitions and Programs, told Hyperallergic.
“The most obvious example is our move last fall to a ground floor location, which has dramatically increased our exhibition space and visibility,” she continued. “But the pandemic was also an opportunity to pause and reflect on the goals and effectiveness of our artist programming and to think about how we can leverage our resources to meaningfully support early-career or under-recognized artists.”
The exhibition will be on view from its opening reception at 6pm on June 1 through August 26 at 535 West 24th Street in Manhattan. Each of the artists will be participating in either a Q&A panel or an artmaking workshop throughout the duration of the summer.