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(con)text Opening Reception

La Bodega Gallery is pleased to present (con)text, a group exhibition curated by Karen Mainenti and Johnny Thornton, featuring five artists who incorporate text in their art practices in dynamic ways. The artworks selected for this exhibition use language as a device to explore social and political issues within their work. Each artist utilizes text in distinctive ways—employing different mediums, techniques and aesthetic strategies—to create a visual language reflective of their respective subject matters. 

Participating artists: Elysa Batista, Delano Dunn, Grace Hong, Karen Mainenti and Katrina Majkut.


Elysa Batista-
Elysa Batista was born in Panama City, Panama. Batista earned her Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) from Parsons The New School for Design in New York City in 2013,prior to which she earned her Bachelors of Fine Arts (BFA) from the University of Miami in 2009. Her three-dimensional work explores the multiplicity of meanings in accordance to sociopolitical power dynamics and national identity. Batista carves, cuts, and folds manipulated digital typography onto materials including wood and aluminum, which are then mechanically affixed onto material such as plexiglass. Batista continues to investigate the role of our perpetually evolving languages, and their application as an interpretive tool for comprehension of the world as a whole.
Recent exhibitions include solo exhibit Scopic Ciphers at the Williams McGall Gallery, Miami, FL (2018). Group shows include Growing Pebbles at the Sleep Center, NYC, NY (2018); and Processed Prose at the Bakehouse Art Complex, Wynwood, FL (2018).

Delano Dunn-
Delano Dunn was born in Los Angeles, California. He is a graduate of the School of Visual Arts with an MFA in Fine Arts, and of Pratt Institute with a BFA in Illustration. Through painting, mixed media, and collage, Dunn explores questions of racial identity and perception within various contexts, ranging from the personal to the political, and drawing from his experience growing up in South Central L.A. He has had solo exhibitions in New York City, Los Angeles, and Buffalo, NY. Group exhibitions include I Like The Sound of That at Artspace in New Haven, Liberty and (in)Justice for All at Project for Empty Space in Newark, NJ, PULSE New York, PULSE Miami with Project for Empty Space and The Long Gallery Harlem, The Delaware Contemporary, and more. 
Recent reviews include Hyperallergic and VICE Creators; features and interviews include VICE Creators, Black Lives Matter, ArtNoir, PrintbyPrint, and Black Artist News. Dunn was the recipient of a Sustainable Arts Foundation Grant, the College Art Association’s Visual Arts Graduate Fellowship in 2016, the Delaware Contemporary’s Curator’s Choice Award, and SVA’s Edward Zutrau Memorial Award. He has been commissioned by Black Lives Matter and numerous private collectors. He is an invited Artist in Residence at Project for Empty Space in Newark, NJ, until May 2018. 
Dunn currently lives in Queens, New York and works out of Newark, New Jersey. 

Grace Hong-
Grace Hong is a Korean-American interdisciplinary artist making sculptures and paintings to explore the influence of technology and digital media on our consciousness. Hong’s practice also addresses cultural heritage, aspects of migration and immigration, and the semiotics of digital and material cultures. Her latest mixed media sculptures use plastic sheeting, polyurethane spray foam, wire, fibers, and found objects to create textures and abstract bodies that embody a meditative process of collecting and accumulating. Her paintings in acrylic or watercolor explore memories and dreams represented by bridging abstract figures with architectural spaces. Hong earned a Master of Fine Arts from Parsons The New School for Design and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Studio Arts from the University of Rochester. She currently lives and works in Brooklyn/NYC.

Karen Mainenti-
Karen Mainenti’s artwork is a frequent re-engagement of ubiquitous and overlooked materials — toilet paper, supermarket circulars, makeup — as well as appropriated text and images from media. She reframes these messages, often with humor, to show the absurdity and unnatural expectations that our society has come to accept as ordinary. She is currently a 2018 Artist-in-Residence at the Bard Graduate Center Library, Bard College. Her work has exhibited at Gallery MC and the Society for Domestic Museology in New York; Guest Spot @ The Reinstitute in Baltimore Maryland; the Cornell Museum of Art in Delray Beach, Florida; and Trestle Gallery in Brooklyn. In 2014, her outdoor street art installation, DUMBO Underfoot, was exhibited at the DUMBO Arts Festival in Brooklyn, and she had a solo show at Chashama's pop-up gallery in the Garment District. In 2013, she attended the School of Visual Arts Summer Residency Program in Painting & Mixed Media and was a visiting artist at the Tulsa Girls Art School in Tulsa, OK. Her work has been featured on Hyperallergic, Gothamist and BmoreArt. 

Katrina Majkut-
Katrina Majkut (My’kut) is a visual artist and author living and working in Brooklyn, New York. She is dedicated to understanding how social traditions affect civil rights through embroidery, painting, and writing. For her work, Majkut is listed as one of four international artists starting a new chapter in feminist art by Mic Media. Majkut exhibits her cross-stitched artwork nationally, often at U.S. colleges, where she constructively engages with students about politics, women’s health, social practices and art as activism. She has upcoming shows at Bloomsburg University (PA), University of Maine at Farmington, Future Tenant Gallery (PA), and a solo show at Harford Community College (DE). Majkut recently exhibited at A.I.R. Gallery (NY), AKart (CA), in Nasty Stitches at Victori + Mo (Brooklyn), a two-person exhibit, Don't Touch My Papaya at The Art Gallery at CUNY College of Staten Island. She was also an Artist in Residence at MASS MoCA. Majkut has been featured in multiple publications from the Huffington Post to VICE Communication's Broadly to ArtSlant. Hyperallergic has thrice highlighted her as a must-see artist in the Gowanus Open Studios. Her art catalogues are in several library collections including the National Museum of Women in the Arts, D.C. 
Majkut published her first non-fiction book The Adventures and Discoveries of a Feminist Bride (Black Rose Writing) in 2018. The book examines Western wedding traditions with feminism, intellect, wit and personal anecdotes. She has written for various publications from Bustle.comBust.com to Bitch Media. Majkut holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Babson College, and a post-baccalaureate certificate and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University.

Earlier Event: March 9
Rendering Likeness Opening Reception
Later Event: April 28
South Slope Open Studios