Snug Harbor Announces Spring 2018 Art Exhibits: Shaolin: Into the 36 Chambers and Native Soil: Incidence and Homescapes

Release date February 5, 2018

Download: Press Release (PDF) | Shaolin image | Native Soil image

Staten Island, NY— Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden is excited to announce two new visual art exhibits for spring 2018 at the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art in buildings C & G.  The new exhibits (Shaolin: Into the 36 Chambers and Native Soil: Incidence and Homescapes) are both curated by Staten Islanders and spotlight local artists.  Both exhibits will be on display in the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art beginning March 2018.

“Both of our spring exhibitions explore what it means to be a Staten Islander in vastly different ways,” said Melissa West, Snug Harbor’s Vice President of Curation & Production. “Sarah Yuster’s paintings of the iconic vista of the lower Manhattan skyline from Victory Boulevard capture the beauty and intimacy of the landscape. Jahtiek Long’s group exhibition, Shaolin, is bound to get visitors excited about the breadth of art being created in our borough. Each exhibit will encourage visitors to reflect on what it means to call Staten Island home.”

Shaolin: Into the 36 Chambers: Curated by local artist Jahtiek Long, Shaolin: Into the 36 Chambers pays homage to, explores, and celebrates Staten Island’s culture and cultural identity. Playing on the name given to Staten Island by the Wu-Tang Clan, Shaolin highlights the work of more than 15 artists from all corners of the borough.  Featured artists include Kevin Barker, Raul Barquet, Ashley Benedict, HH Coatl, Christine Cruz, Chelsea Rae Fioravanti, Goyart, Stephanie Kosinski, Emily Long, Katinka Sattar, Lawerence Schau Jr, Search and Rescue Productions, Tabitha Lee Turchio, Gene Wagner, and Wann.

Says Long of the exhibit: “My intention is to create unity and connection between the Staten Island audience and the culture that it produces. I wanted to demonstrate an abundance of Staten Island narratives that reflect and represent the artists themselves, their communities, and their city.”

Shaolin will be on display in the Commons Galleries of the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art from March 10 – May 6, 2018, with a free opening reception from 2:00 – 4:00 PM on March 10.  “Shaolin Narratives: The Power of Representation,” a curator talk with Long, is scheduled for April 19 from 7:00 – 9:00 PM in the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art and is free with gallery admission.

Native Soil: Incidence and Homescapes: Native Soil: Incidence and Homescapes is a large-scale retrospective of paintings by Sarah Yuster, with approximately sixty works spanning her thirty-year career.  Yuster’s work is subtle and intimate, sparking sentiments from viewers that explain her propensity to invoke a sense of “home.”  Yuster has had notable success as a portraitist, with works in two Smithsonian Museums and top university collections.  On display, in addition to her series of large canvases of the Victory Boulevard hilltop view depicting the changing New York City skyline, a 90-second video titled “Twenty Nine Years” documenting her canvases of Staten Island’s harbor view will be projected and play on a continuous loop.

“The classic, storied locale of Snug Harbor is the perfect place for my retrospective exhibit,” says Yuster. “This is where I had my first long term studio, taught at the Art Lab, and met my husband. We brought our children to explore the grounds when they were young, and we still live nearby.  A lifetime of connection to home is realized in my work. I’m honored to have the elegant Main Hall of the Newhouse Center to present it.”

Former Staten Island Advance Arts Editor Michael Fressola began covering Yuster in her 20’s, and has said of her work, “She’s disciplined but generous.  Beauty often gets into the picture.  Sentimentality, never.  Naturally, it helps to have the right skill set.  Yuster can depict the dramatic interaction of wind and light inside a deceptively simple situation, like a meadow ringed with autumn trees.”

Native Soil will be on display in the Main Hall Gallery of the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art from March 24 – September 23, 2018, with a free opening reception from 2:00 – 4:00 PM on March 24.  An artist talk with Yuster is anticipated for later in the summer at the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art.  The following local businesses have provided generous support to Native Soil: Blue, Bayou and Beso Restaurants, Empire Outlets, Door to Door Realty, Snappy Solutions, Connie Lane Real Estate, and Victory State Bank.

Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden is located at 1000 Richmond Terrace, which is open from dawn until dusk seven days a week.  General admission to the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art is $5 ($4 for students/seniors, free for Snug Harbor members), and spring-autumn hours are Thurs-Fri from 12:00 PM – 7:00 PM and Sat-Sun from 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM.  Snug Harbor’s Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art acknowledges generous support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and the Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation.  Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden is a proud Smithsonian Affiliate.