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donna kessinger projects

Interconnected Practices Panel Discussion


Interconnected Practices The best forms of art making exist within a community conversation and context. To make art and share it requires an interconnected infrastructure centering creativity, labor, and exchange. This panel will look at strategies and tools for building art spaces and interconnected practices that center creativity, diverse creative processes, and community inclusion.

Panelists: Kelly Cave is a working artist and educator born and raised in New Jersey. She received her BFA from Syracuse University with a degree in Fiber and Material Studies and completed her MFA at the University of Cincinnati in the sculpture department. Following graduate school, she served as Artist in Residence in sculpture at Northwest Missouri State University. Cave has attended residencies and created public artworks at Salem Art Works, Franconia Sculpture Park, the Scottish Sculpture Workshop, The Gilbertsville Expressive Movement, and participated in the 2020 Nashua International Sculpture Symposium. In the spring of 2021 she completed a major public artwork in Glenside, PA as part of the Arcadia Public Art Project. Currently, Cave is a student, fellow, and instructor at Teachers College Columbia University in pursuit of a EdDCT degree in Art and Art Education. In her research, she examines how artists and students navigate feelings of ambiguity in creative spaces. With the intention of reorienting our perspective on moments of ambiguous uncertainty as not just uneasy, transitional obstacles. Instead, these moments can be understood through their potential to harvest creativity and help us to navigate the ever-changing landscape of life. 

Eve Biddle is an artist and co-founder of the Wassaic Project, a residency program and exhibition space in Wassaic, NY. Her practice includes making art, making connections between people, curating, collaborating, building projects and institutions, helping to bring other artist’s art into the world, throwing parties, making and facilitating public art. As an object maker her influences are more personal: her parents, their photography and sculpture, her extended family, our experiences with our bodies, both beautiful and strange. Recent exhibitions include The Williams College Museum of Art in Williamstown, MA, Davidson Gallery in New York City and The Buffalo Institute for Contemporary Art in Buffalo, NY. - Photo by Jeff Barnett-Winsby 

João (Juno) Zago is a queer visual artist working in Newark, NJ. Born in Brazil, Zago came to the US in 2005 where he’s since lived in and around Newark. In 2016 he obtained his BA in Visual Art from Ramapo College of New Jersey. He’s been an artist in residence at Gallery Aferro in Newark, NJ since 2017. His work brings together disparate media and images to create process-based compositions dealing in themes such as personal introspection, religiosity, and sexuality, all while appropriating images in a similar way to fast-paced internet culture. His work has been shown in various galleries in Newark and throughout New Jersey. He has also exhibited at the Newark Museum of Art, Morris Museum in Morris Township, NJ, and the New Jersey State Museum in Trenton, NJ. In 2020 he was one of 45 grantees of the Newark Artist Accelerator Fund. In 2023 he stepped into the role of Creative Director at Gallery Aferro where he previously worked as Registrar and Collections Manager for nearly six years. Today he leads the gallery’s curatorial and programmatic endeavors. 

Donna Kessinger is an Artist and Curator who focuses on projects that encourage collaboration between artists and communities, resulting in a marriage of art and commerce in the form of a possible intervention, public art project, or traditional gallery exhibition. Donna has recorded iconic oral video herstories including Nancy Spero, Janet Henry, Carolee Schneemann and Kate Millett. She produced an interview with Kate Millett for DykeTV which screened on MNN in 2000. She was part of Project Involve Residency for Documentary Filmmakers, Independent Feature Project, IFP, in 2003. Her video work has screened at the Jersey City Museum, Dineen Hull Gallery, Gardenship Drive-ins, Wavelength Pandemic Projects, and other venues internationally as part of ARTFEM.TV. Kessinger’s video project Les Biens, is archived in the New Museum’s Rhizome, Artbase. Kessinger was a REPOhistory Collective member during the Entering Buttermilk Bottom sign project and the 1996 Cultural Olympiad, her work with REPO has been archived at the NYU Fales Downtown Collection.