Art & Social Activism Festival at 32 Orchard St, NY

Gina Adams, Merritt Johnson & Renée Stout

September 26 - October 20, 2019
Opening Reception: Wed Sept 25 from 6-8pm

Accola Griefen Fine Art is pleased to present the work of Gina Adams, Merritt Johnson and Renee Stout at the Art and Social Activism Festival.

Gina Adams is a descendant of both indigenous (Ojibwe) and colonial Americans. Her formal education includes a BFA from the Maine College of Art and MFA from the University of Kansas, where she focused on Visual Art, Curatorial Practice and Critical Theory. Adam's cross-media, hybrid studio work includes sculpture, ceramics, painting, printmaking, drawing and large scale antique quilts which she restructures to include words from broken treaties between the United States and Native American tribes. Adams draws on cultural practices passed down from her ancestors as well as from family history of forced assimilation. Her work has recently been acquired by museums including The Boston Museum of Fine Arts, The Peabody Essex Museum, The Hood Museum and The Asheville Art Museum. Her work has been featured in numerous publications including the New Yorker, Hyperallergic and the Art Newspaper and others.

Merritt Johnson’s work is a navigation of periphery, intersectionality, separation and connection.  Her multidisciplinary works are containers for thought and feeling. For two decades Johnson’s work has insisted on facing and destroying the oppression of bodies, land, sex, and culture. Her practice is a synthesis of necessity, a refusal of binaries, fractions of division and control. She embraces peripheral overlap and the impossibility of disentanglement. Johnson is pan-sexual cis-gender woman of mixed descent, she is not claimed by, nor a citizen of any nation from which she descends. The multiplicity of materials and processes Johnson employs embody her insistence that a multiplicity of tools is needed to destroy oppressive systems and survive them. She creates tools for critical thought and action: seed baskets woven in the shapes of hand-grenades and a portable oxygen tank, wearable bolts cutters, a tin can telephone to listen to land, a basket to translate a heartbeat to a love song, paintings mapping invisibility, and instructional videos to exorcise America from our bodies, land and water. Johnson is the mother and stepmother of 6 children, and holds a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh) and an MFA from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design (Boston). She lives and works with her family on Lingít Aani, her partner’s home territory, in Sitka Alaska.

Renée Stout grew up in Pittsburgh and received her B.F.A. from Carnegie-Mellon University in 1980. Originally trained as a painter, she moved to Washington, D.C. in 1985 where she began to explore the spiritual roots of her African American heritage through her work and eventually became the first American artist to exhibit in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art. Inspired by the African Diaspora, explorations into Voodoo and Hoodoo cultures in the American South, as well as everyday life in her DC neighborhood, Renee employs a variety of media, including painting, drawing, mixed media sculpture, photography and installation in an attempt to create works that encourage self-examination and attention to the complex world we live in. Stout’s work is included in many public collections including: The National Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; The High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia; The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC; Ackland Art Museum, Chapel Hill, NC; Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD; The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC; Saint Louis Museum of Art, Saint Louis, MO; The Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, MI; San Antonio Museum of Art, San Antonio, TX; Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Fort Wayne, IN; The Flint Institute of the Arts, Flint, MI; The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, KS; The Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH; The National Museum of African American History & Culture, Washington, DC; The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington, DC