Valerie Carberry Gallery


August 22- October 4, 2014
Press Release


Organized by Theaster Gates and presented by Black Artist Retreat, Valerie Carberry Gallery and Richard Gray Gallery.
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Derrick Adams is a multidisciplinary New York based artist whose diverse practice spans collage, sculpture, performance, drawing, and video.  Adams explores the force of popular culture in our lives and plays with perception in relation to objects and textures. An alumnus of The Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture and the Marie Walsh Sharpe Space Program, Adams received his MFA from Columbia University and his BFA from Pratt Institute.  Work from his ongoing Deconstruction Worker series was most recently seen at Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago.


Erika Allen is a social change artist, with a focus on dismantling racism and the related healing and understanding of how structural oppression impacts society. Her practice for the last 20 years has focused on community based transformation through the food system and integration of visual and installations of urban farms that integrate food, culture, spirit and the arts. Her art practice is multi-disciplinary and manifests outside of a traditional art world context. She integrates farms, spirit groves, edible landscapes, earth shaping and sporadic installations and small and large scale painted works, often integrating text rifts and recurring visual iconography as pattern and texture.  


Elizabeth Axtman is a photographer and performance artist who creates works on the complexities of love, hate, and forgiveness.  Axtman received her BA from San Francisco University; a participant in The Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture summer residency program; and completed her MFA at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago in 2006. 



Bethany Collins is a conceptual artist whose work deals with matters of racial identity through language. The Atlanta-based artist received her MFA from Georgia State University and her BA from the University of Alabama. A 2014 Studio Museum of Harlem Artist-in-Residence, Collins’ work was most recently on view there in the exhibition Material Histories.



Tony Lewis confronts the structure and meaning of language in a body of work that is primarily made in graphite on paper. By manipulating and obscuring selected words from found quotations, Lewis analyzes language and its effects through his painstaking process of application and erasure. Lewis received his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and his BA from Washington and Jefferson College in Washington, Pennsylvania.  The artist’s work was featured in the 2014 Whitney Biennial and was most recently on view at Massimo De Carlo Gallery London.


Kelly Lloyd is a visual artist, teacher, and student pursuing a dual MA in Visual and Critical Studies and MFA in Painting and Drawing at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  Lloyd’s study in Johannesburg, South Africa and work in Madurai, India during and after her undergraduate studies at Oberlin College, allowed her to explore interests in social space and identity formation. Her current work challenges preconceived notions of symbol and meaning in familiar objects. Lloyd often uses juxtapositions to reveal inconsistencies in perceived truths.


Valerie Piraino is a New York based installation artist whose work explores issues of race and identity often in an historic context.  Piraino who was born in Rwanda received her MFA from Columbia University and her BFA from Maryland Institute College of Art. She was artist-in-residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem in 2009-2010.  Her work was most recently seen at Chicago’s Jane Addams Hull-House Museum in an installation entitled A Scene, Twofold, as a part of Critical Whiteness, the ongoing series of contemporary art interventions within Hull-House.


Mitchell Squire is a multidisciplinary artist and educator whose practice engages material culture, architecture and visual art.  Known for creating highly cerebral work that explores a broad spectrum of American culture through collecting and archiving artifacts, his work explores how these artifacts are projections of the body and how material culture becomes a lens through which to view society and history.  Squire’s work was seen earlier this year in the one-person exhibition We’re gonna have to do more than talk  at Carver Bank in Omaha, Nebraska, and was recently featured as an educational program at Pèrez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) in conjunction with his summer artist's residency at Cannonball in downtown Miami.


Wilmer Wilson IV is a interdisciplinary artist whose work employs the human body in distinct ways to confront the impact of cultural histories on contemporary politics. In 2012 he was commissioned to create a suite of 3 public performances collectively titled Henry "Box" Brown: FOREVER for the 5x5 project in Washington, DC. He most recently performed his work From My Paper Bag Colored Heart at VOLTA NY in 2014. Wilson is represented in public and private collections internationally. He received his BFA in photography from Howard University in 2012. 


Nate Young received his BA from Northwestern College in MN, his MFA from California Institute of the Arts and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. He is the recipient of the Bush Fellowship for Visual Arts (2010) and the Jerome Fellowship for Emerging Artists. His work has recently been included in exhibitions at the Suburban (Chicago), The Studio Museum in Harlem (New York), the California African American Museum (Los Angeles), the Soap Factory's Minnesota Biennial (Minneapolis) and a two person exhibition with Tony Lewis at Room East (New York). He is co-founder and director of the artist run exhibition space, The Bindery Projects.