In an unprecedented collaboration, Galerie Lelong has invited Luis De Jesus Los Angeles and Welancora Gallery (Brooklyn, New York) to present works by their artists in a group show. Open Doors will present a multi-generational group of abstractionists with works on paper, painting and sculpture, by Carl E. Hazlewood, Helen Evans Ramsaran, Chris Watts (represented by Welancora Gallery), and June Edmonds (represented by Luis De Jesus Los Angeles). This panel will be moderated by Daonne Huff.
About the speakers
June Edmonds was born in 1959 in Los Angeles and earned her MFA from Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, and BFA from San Diego State University. She also attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and earned a certificate in education from UCLA. Solo exhibitions include a 40- year retrospective exhibition, June Edmonds: Full Spectrum (2021-2022), organized and presented by Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles; June Edmonds (2021) at the University Art Gallery, California State Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo, CA; and a forthcoming solo exhibition at the Riverside Art Museum in Riverside, CA, opening in September 2022. Edmonds has exhibited at the California African American Museum, Davis Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, David Owsley Museum of Art, Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Luckman Fine Art Gallery at California State University Los Angeles, and Watts Tower Art Center in Los Angeles, among other venues. She is a recipient of the 2022 Guggenheim Fellowship, the AWARE Prize (Archive of Women Artists, Research and Exhibitions) at The Armory Show 2020 for best solo booth presentation by a female artist; a 2020 Harpo Foundation Grant; and a 2018 Los Angeles Individual Artist Grant (COLA) fellowship, among others.
Carl E. Hazlewood was born in 1951 in Guyana, South America. He received a BFA with honors, from Pratt Institute, and an MA from Hunter College, CUNY. Parallel to his studio practice, Hazelwood co-founded Aljira, a Center for Contemporary Art in Newark, NJ in 1983. Recent honors include Fellowships and residencies from The Brown Foundation Fellows Program at the Dora Maar House, (administered by MFAH (The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston), Ménerbes, France, Summer & Winter 2018; The Bogliasco Foundation (Fellow) Liguria Study Center for the Arts & Humanities, Village of Bogliasco, Italy, Fall 2018; NARS Foundation; the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts; Headlands Center for the Arts; Yaddo; Vermont Studio Center; and the MacDowell Colony, among others. A 2017 ‘Tree of Life’ award grantee, his fifty-two feet painting installation, ‘TRAVELER’, was commissioned by the Knockdown Center, Maspeth, Queens, in 2017. As a curator and writer, he is the associate editor for NKA: Journal of Contemporary African Art (Duke University), and “The Arts Journal: Critical Perspectives on Contemporary Literature, History, Art and Culture of Guyana and the Caribbean”, Georgetown, Guyana. Since 1984, he has organized numerous curatorial projects for Aljira such as Modern Life (co-curated with Okwui Enwezor). His project on behalf of Aljira, “Current Identities, Recent Painting in the United States,” was the U.S. prize-winning presentation at the Bienal Internacional de Pintura, Cuenca, Ecuador, in 1994. It traveled for three years to eleven other countries and museums in Latin America.
Helen Evans Ramsaran was born in Bryan, Texas in 1943. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Art Education (1965) and an MFA in sculpture (1968) from Ohio State University where she studied bronze casting with David Black and welding with John Freeman. She moved to New York in 1973 and began teaching sculpture and ceramics at the City University of New York in 1974. Shortly thereafter (1978), she created a series of bronze relief sculpture called Visual Tales. This is her only series that is autobiographical in its statement and assumes the form of a visual narrative. In executing this body of work at the Johnson Atelier Technical Institute of Sculpture in Princeton, New Jersey, Ramsaran was able to perfect the technique of casting very delicate, calligraphic, bronze sculpture. In the 1980s, Ramsaran’s work took a major shift and developed into an exploration of ancient rituals, African oral traditions, myths, fossilized remains, supernatural power, and ancient African inspired architecture. While her sculpture during this period and beyond is inanimate, there is a lurking sense of humanity’s presence. The subtle carvings on many of Ramsaran’s sculpture are meant to represent African scarification and elements in nature, such as lighting and rain that mark the change in plating seasons and that speak of a lost reverence for nature and its life-sustaining power. Ramsaran has exhibited extensively throughout the world with several international showings in Japan, Paris, and Johannesburg. Ramsaran continues to travel throughout the world, splitting her time between New York, Europe, and Africa.
Chris Watts was born in High Point, North Carolina. He attended the MFA program at Yale School of Art, New Haven, CT, after graduating from the College of Arts and Architecture, University of North Carolina, Charlotte, NC, and the Academy of Fine Arts and Design, Wroclaw, PL. The artist has held various artist residencies, among them the Marek Maria Pienkowski Foundation, Chelm, PL; McColl Center for Art + Innovation, Charlotte, NC; the Art & Law Fellowship Program, at Cornell University Art Architecture Planning, New York, NY; and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Workspace Program, New York, NY. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. He is a featured artist in the documentary film, The Art of Making It, directed by Kelcey Edwards, and from the Emmy-nominated producer Debi Wisch (The Price of Everything). The film had its world premiere at the 2021 Hamptons International Film Festival. Watts shares his time between New York and North Carolina.
Daonne Huff is an arts administrator, performance centered artist, curator and poet who was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. She is Director, Public Programs & Community Engagement at The Studio Museum in Harlem. For more than 15 years, she has worked with institutions and organizations including the Department of Art & Design, Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University; Groundswell; The Bronx Museum of the Arts; The Laundromat Project and the Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership. She holds a BA in Art History from Vassar College and an MA in Visual Arts Administration with a Non-Profit concentration from New York University. Throughout her professional career, Daonne has focused on working with non-profit arts organizations dedicated to increasing arts' accessibility to a wider, more diversified audience and advocating for the support and necessity of creative expression and arts education within society at large. Having devoted the bulk of her adult life to arts administration, Daonne has found her way back to her own artistic practice. She has performed and exhibited at venues including BLDG 92, FiveMyles, JACK, Rutgers University, Welancora Gallery and the Whitney Museum of American Art.