Elevate Your Mood at NCC’s Firehouse Plaza Art Gallery in Garden City

I and I in the sky
You make me feel like I can fly
So high, Elevation


Twelve Planes (Locked and Crossed), 2014

Keep your spirits up as summer comes to an end by visiting the Firehouse Plaza Art Gallery at Nassau Community College in Garden City. Elevate is a group sculpture exhibition consisting of three large works: Twelve Planes (Locked and Crossed) by Rachel Mica Weiss, Containing Tenaciousness by Monika Zarzeczna and Untitled by Carolyn Salas. There will also be some small works to go along with the larger installations.

“The title and theme of the show, Elevate, came from the link in the artists’ creative process of transcending materials into works of aesthetic impact and emotional resonance,” said faculty member and curator Nathan Wasserbauer. “While sculpture as a discipline is often associated with weight and mass, these artists’ works seem to levitate—carrying with them light, color, translucency and space. Along with a defiance of gravity, the pieces also carry the hopes and fears, anxieties and aspirations of their creators, displayed in a diverse manipulation of materials. Taken into consideration with their surroundings of the NCC gallery and campus, the sculptures invite the viewer to consider and experience these ideas in real time and space as both the materials and ideas lift off and become something new.”

Twelve Planes (Locked and Crossed) – Represented by Fridman Gallery in New York, artist Rachel Mica Weiss lives and works in Brooklyn as a resident of the chashama studio program.”Hand-strung on site,” Weiss’s “labor-intensive installation is a reference to the repetitious act of warping—the measuring, threading, and tensioning of thousands of threads into the loom.” As you can see from the photo above, Weiss uses her “environment’s unique architectural elements,” (in this case, the patio just outside of the Firehouse gallery’s window) “as her framework, creating lurching architectural interventions: bold blockades that confront the viewer and engender feelings of vulnerability.”

Containing Tenaciousness – Born in Warsaw, Poland, artist Monika Zarzeczna grew up in the Netherlands and moved to New York in 2002. She lives and works in Brooklyn and currently has a residency at the chashama studio program. Her work reflects impressions of her daily encounters with discarded and devalued objects and makeshift structures in her Brooklyn neighborhood. She often works in series and Containing Tenaciousness is a follow up to the 2012 Hardnekkig installation. Made almost entirely of discarded materials and inspired by electricity towers, staircases and sidewalk gardens, ‘Containing Tenaciousness’ combines suspended, descending and rising elements that add up to a fragile, ramshackle structure, a 3D drawing that is looking for balance, weight and weightlessness.

Untitled – Appointed lecturer in sculpture at Yale in 2011, artist Carolyn Salas is a recipient of the studio residency program at the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, New York. She uses a wide array of materials including found objects, photography, moldmaking, collage and recycled items to create sculptural platforms where material and concept meet to transform space and the way we view it. In a culture obsessed with mass production and disposability her work is a conduit of her opposition to this standard. With laborious craft and a handmade touch, the imperfections and human attributes of burdens, failures and achievements of our everyday are exposed. Salas looks at the work as a self-exploration of the subconscious, where she tries to physically create a state of mind. Responding to Carl Jung’s idea of artists and alchemists projecting part of their psyche into matter or inanimate objects, possessing in a sense a secret soul, the objects eventually live out a life of their own.

The exhibit runs from September 2nd through November 13th. Firehouse Plaza Art Gallery at Nassau Community College is located in CCB Building, Plaza Level, Room 140. Admission is free.

An artist’s reception will be held on October 9th from 5-7pm in the gallery. All are welcome.


lisa heffernan

Lisa Heffernan received a master’s in Communications from Emerson College before moving to New York. She has worked for publications such as: Details, Nylon, Rolling Stone, Time Out, Newport Mercury, American Songwriter and W magazine.