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March 6, 2017 at 4:30 pm

Damali Abrams Artist Talk at UConn-Stamford

Franklin Street Works past exhibiting artist Damali Abrams (Danger Came Smiling, Summer/Fall 2016) will give an artist talk at UConn-Stamford. This is a free public event, so anyone can attend. It is co-sponsored by the UCONN-Stamford WGSS department and Franklin Street Works. March 6 from 4:30 – 6:00 pm at MPR (Room 108), UConn, Stamford.

Damali Abrams is an emerging artist who uses youtube videos to directly connect with viewers, in part, bypassing the gallery and museum system to reach a broader audience. Writer Dominique Hunter elaborates on Abrams’ practice, “She is a feminist, a self-professed “pop culture critic” and “glitter priestess”. Like so many other artists, Damali Abrams uses her own lived experiences, good and bad, as catalysts for her own bodies of work. And although using “self” as the source as well as the vehicle for communicating with the public is hardly new, her work is quite different because it continuously blurs lines that have traditionally been shrouded in obscurity. Performance art might seem like an alien concept to most Guyanese but for this New York-based Guyanese artist living in such a dynamic art hub, it is anything but.” (http://www.dominiquehunter.org/single-post/2016/01/03/Damali-Abrams-Power-and-performance-art)

Damali Abrams the Glitter Priestess is a project-based artist born and raised in NYC by Guyanese parents. She constructs spaces and experiences of fantasy and myth, using collage, video installation and performance, that explore Black Utopia through the lenses of Afrofuturism and Afro-Caribbean syncretic religions. She examines folklore and contemporary popular culture, placing them in dialogue with one another to create a site of liberation for the Black imagination, rejecting tragedy as the sole, dominant narrative of the Black experience.

Damali’s work includes video, performance, installation, and collage. She earned a BA at NYU, an MFA at Vermont College of Fine Arts, and recently completed the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program. She has been a fellow at A.I.R. Gallery as well as with apexart in Seoul, South Korea. She has been an artist-in-residence at Fresh Milk (Barbados), Groundation Grenada, JCAL, The Center for Book Arts, and LMCC on Governors Island.
In New York City, her work has been exhibited at The Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Art (MoCADA), A.I.R. Gallery, JCAL, Rush Arts Gallery, The Point, The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, BRIC Rotunda Gallery, and the 2013 bienal at El Museo del Barrio. She has presented her work or taught workshops at Soho House, BMCC (Borough of Manhattan Community College), SUNY Purchase, Barbados Community College, NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering, Hunter College School of Social Work, and Syracuse University’s 601 Tully.


March 25, 2017 at 4:00 pm

B-YOU/Build Your Own University with Bruce High Quality Foundation University

B-YOU/Build Your Own University is a workshop that explores how to start your own school and is led by organizers Bruce High Quality Foundation University, a free university started by the internationally exhibiting, anonymous artist collective Bruce High Quality Foundation in 2009.  Faculty member, award-winning poetAna Božičević, and artists-in-residence from Bruce High Quality Foundation University,Nina Behrle and Jesse Chun, will lead a sharing session, workshop and primer on how to build your own university at Franklin Street Works on Saturday, March 25, from 4:00 – 6:00pm. The workshop will delve into questions around pedagogy and organizing a grass roots platform for learning.  What can you teach and what do you want to know about art? How does one even design and implement administrative policies and a curriculum? This is a free public program. Drop-ins welcome, but RSVPs help us plan. RSVP: terri@franklinstreetworks.org.

This event is one of seven free, educational programs planned around our current exhibition “Love Action Art Lounge,”  a group show featuring works that are generated from or encourage convivial social scenes, freedom of expression, and interpersonal connectivity.  Two of the exhibiting collectives in the show, House of Ladosha and Go!PushPops, met in art school and began making work after getting to know each other socially. Similarly, the originators of Bruce High Quality Foundation University are a collective that was formed when they were in art school at Cooper Union. New York Times critic Roberta Smith wrote about their genesis in 2009, “The Bruces, as the members … are often called, guard their anonymity fiercely. But they are generally known to be a band of artists, all male, some of whom became friends while undergraduates at Cooper Union in the late ’90s, when Hans Haacke, one of the fathers of institutional critique, was still teaching there.”

This free, two-hour workshop will take place in Franklin Street Works’ upstairs gallery. The exhibition “Love Action Art Lounge” will also be on view, providing participants with opportunities for both hands-on and viewing experiences at the event.


BHQFU is New York’s freest art school, a learning experiment where artists work together to manifest creative, productive, resistant, useless, and demanding interactions between art and the world. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, BHQFU offers completely tuition-free courses on a variety of subjects during fall and spring semesters, hosts public programs and exhibitions year-round, and operates cost-free artist studio residency programs.


Nina Behrle graduated from Mason Gross at Rutgers in 2014. Her 3D kinetic work bridges the worlds of sculpture, prop design, and comedy. She is a figurative sculptor, figuratively speaking. She’s also an MFU Artist in Residence at BHQFU, where she teaches Skill Yourself, a hybrid course comprised of skill-based workshops and an immersive, interdisciplinary, collaborative exhibition project.

Ana Božičević is the author of Joy of Missing Out (Birds, LLC, 2017), the Lambda Award winning Rise in the Fall (Birds, LLC, 2013) and other books of poetry, and the translator of It Was Easy to Set the Snow on Fire by Zvonko Karanović (Phoneme Media, 2017). Ana has read, taught and performed at Art Basel, Bowery Poetry Club, Harvard, Naropa University, San Francisco State University Poetry Center, the Sorbonne, Third Man Records, University of Arizona Poetry Center, and The Watermill Center. She is the studio manager at The Bruce High Quality Foundation and teaches poetry at BHQFU.

Jesse Chun is an interdisciplinary artist from Seoul, Hong Kong, New York and Toronto. Her practice engages with the elements of language, context, and cultural memory to investigate the conditions of belonging. Select venues of exhibitions and fellowships include the Bronx Museum of the Arts, Spencer Brownstone Gallery, Fridman Gallery, BRIC and Lehman College Art Gallery (NY), CICA Museum and Incheon International Women Artists Bienniale (Seoul), Lite-Haus Galerie (Berlin) and Space Debris Art (Istanbul). Her work has been reviewed in Artforum, the Wall Street Journal, the Korea Times, Hyperallergic, Vice, Asia Literary Review and Art21. She’s an MFU Artist in Residence at BHQFU, where she teaches ESL: Transcultural Poetics, a class examining the interplay of image and text, poetry, and multilingual narratives.