April 27 – May 22, 2021
Elizabeth Downer Riker
Re-enchanting the City
Ceres Gallery presents RE-ENCHANTING THE CITY a collection of paintings by Elizabeth Downer Riker, The exhibition will feature her oil paintings that provide the unique chance to look at and contemplate one of the great hidden stories of contemporary New York City – the slow rise and continued growth of rooftop farms and community gardens that are prophetic in proclaiming that another city is possible.
The exhibit opens at the end of a year of the pandemic. During this time there has been a huge explosion of interest in how to create a more habitable environment in urban areas like New York City. “Being on the rooftops, painting young New Yorkers with their hands in the soil and seeing the monochromatic, urban landscape surrounding them inspires me to think about what if these small patches of green could be spread across the whole city. Why wouldn’t that benefit us all?” said Ms. Riker. “If Covid has taught us anything, it’s that it’s time to green our urban spaces — not only will it improve the climate within cities, it will reduces flooding, pollution, noise and increase people’s wellbeing. New York has tremendous opportunities to embrace and expand upon this trend. With ‘Re-enchanting the City,’ I hope to spark a broader conversation about this possibility.”
Ms. Riker, who spent years painting farmers using traditional techniques in southern Mexico was astounded when she first learned about these rooftop farmers. “To see that they are creating a whole ecosystem on the rooftops and in the process are building community and educational programs for children was remarkable. In painting this subject I wanted to celebrate their efforts and make this visible to all of us who crisscross New York City at the street level and never see it.”
The exhibit will showcase her futuristic vision of what a “green” Long Island City would look like with the addition of eco buildings, windmills, solar roofs and rooftop farms like the ones she has painted to date: Brooklyn Grange: Navy Yard, Long Island City, Sunset Park; Gotham Greens Greenpoint; Eagle Street Rooftop Farm and others. Community gardens like the Garden of Happiness and Eagle Slope Community Garden, both in the Bronx, will also be featured, as well as upstate farms and Greenbelt woods in Staten Island.The exhibition will be accompanied by a virtual opening on May 1 at 1pm and 6pm, where visitors can view the works and meet Ms. Riker, as well as a video of the show.
About Elizabeth Downer Riker
The artist, born in Boston and raised in Paris, started out as a filmmaker, earning her MFA at NYU’s graduate film program. After discovering her love for painting, she studied at the Art Students League in Manhattan. For many years she lived in the Central Valleys region of Oaxaca, where Riker developed a close relationship with villagers, accompanying them with her easel as they worked the land. A selection of her Oaxaca paintings will be included in this show. Riker returned to New York in 2011, still passionate about the theme of people working the land, and found a new subject here — on the city’s rooftops. Since 2015 she has painted over 20 paintings of New York City’s rooftop farms and met numerous residents committed to cultivating a sustainable ecosystem here. elizabethdownerriker.com and
Artist will be present from 4-6 pm,
Saturday, May 1; Saturday May 15; Saturday May 22
April 27 – May 22, 2021
Ann R. Shapiro
Ceres Gallery presents VANISHING, an exhibition by Ann R. Shapiro, depicting the current environmental crisis in two ways: in digital collages on canvas she focuses on issues in individual countries and states, while in the torn paper collages the literal narrative refers to the broken world in general.
The digital collages on canvas are part of an on-going series subsumed under the title of MAPS and CLIMATE CHANGE. In VANISHING, the focus is on countries, cities and states, where the primary emphases are on rising waters, rising temperatures and flooding. The work is entirely computer generated. Each piece includes at least one map and/or diagram as well as other imagery pertaining to the specific area. All pieces are layered to tell a story about the geographic region including the changes that are predicted to happen or already have.
During the creation of work in the MAPS AND CLIMATE CHANGE series, each piece goes through many permutations in order to arrive at its final state. Many of the different versions are printed out, taped to the wall, studied and then rejected for a variety of reasons: too big, too small, color is wrong, size is wrong, placement is wrong. There are an infinite number of reasons. It is these print “rejects” that form the basis of the torn paper collages, titled TRANSFORMED. The paper is torn, their placement is considered, arranged and rearranged while the larger narrative stays constant the placement and tension between elements tells a more metaphoric and personal story about change and the earth.
Artist will be present from 3-5 pm,
Friday, April 30, Saturday, May 8; Friday, May 21; Saturday, May 22
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April 22 -May 22, 2021
Pachamama – Mother Earth
On ARTSY, a virtual show
Artists respond to our relationship with the earth
For the exhibition, Pachamama/Mother Earth, opening on Earth Day, April 22, 2021, artists at Ceres Gallery have taken an intense look at issues that concern the Earth’s wellbeing and share artwork that attempts to inspire the process to restore our relationship with Mother Earth.
Indigenous peoples of the Andes have cultivated a unique relationship with Pachamama/Mother Earth. For them, the Earth is their mother and as such deserves to be treated with sincere respect. Can we as a contemporary society deeply care about our Earth, or have we lost that ability? What can we do to reverse the damage we have done? These are some of the questions the artworks in this exhibition raise. We are treated to explorations of rising sea levels, endangered species, imaginary life forms residing in an unreliable cosmos, goddesses and poetry inspired work. The exhibition encompasses a rich variety of approaches and perspectives but all place concern for Mother Earth at the apex of a hierarchy of priorities.
Artists: Marilyn Banner • Kyra Belan • Jo-Ann Brody • Elizabeth Myers Castonguay • Pauline Chernichaw • Elizabeth Downer Riker • Anne Drager • Hagar Fletcher • Susan Grabel • Judith Greenwald • Marsha Heller • Hollis Hildebrand-Mills • Madelon Jones • Heidi Kumao • Libbet Loughnan • Chalda Maloff • Francine Perlman • Mary Alice Orito • Ann R. Shapiro • Micaela de Vivero.