Epicenter NYC is pleased to present our 2023 group exhibition, Ground Games, at The Local NYC, from November 1 – 30. Nine artists from the Epicenter NYC archives will provide a glimpse into the broad spectrum of the NYC area art scene. 

The title alludes to the surfaces on which we as artists put our marks; the land we as humans leave our mark on, and the way our actions and decisions reshape the specific geographies we’re connected to, and how those can be a catalyst for reverberations of global proportions.

Artists: Saks Afridi, Marc Alain, Ophelia Arc, Shelly Bahl, Ruby Chishti, Khalil Chishtee, Traci Johnson, Debbi Kenote, Peter Stankiewicz

Curated and organized by Nitin Mukul and Epicenter-NYC

For more information, press images or sales inquiries, contact hello@epicenter-nyc.com

See profiles and links for all artists at epicenter-nyc.com/artists

Artist bios and works in the show:

Saks Afridi is a Pakistan-born, NYC-based multi-disciplinary artist. His work exists in a genre he terms “Sci-Fi Sufism,” which is about discovering galaxies and worlds within yourself. Afridi visualizes this search by fusing mysticism and storytelling. He makes art objects in multiple mediums, drawing inspiration from Sufi poetry, Afrofuturism, South Asian folklore, Islamic mythology, science fiction, architecture and calligraphy.

These artworks are intricate blends of Persian rugs fused with Spaceship interfaces, sprinkled with engineering schematics and Arabic and Urdu Calligraphy. Once a composition is made with these ingredients, it is vectorized and outlined using color gradients. Each object is then algorithmically blended into each other multiple times, as well as in in various directions. The end result is a delicate woven portal with a unique persona of its own. I like to think these objects are in search of each other, and in their quest to meet true love, they disintegrate into each other, and something new emerges. 

Woven Portals #1, #17, #24, #28, 20 x 16 inches, archival giclee print

Shelly Bahl is an interdisciplinary artist born in Benares, India. She spent her formative years in India and in Toronto, and is currently based in Brooklyn. Her art projects have been presented in a number of solo and group exhibitions in North America and internationally. Her art practice explores the strange and surreal aspects of cultural hybridity and old and new forms of colonization. She is interested in the global transmission of iconographies and other forms of visual culture. Bahl also investigates the surrealistic experiences of women who lead enigmatic transcultural lives. These narratives are based in facts and fictions rooted in specific cultural histories, which she then recontextualizes and reimagines. She has worked with numerous arts organizations as an educator and curator, and is currently teaching at Saint Francis College in Brooklyn. 

Seed>Root #5, #8, #9, #10, pigment print and water-based ink on paper, 10” x 8”, 2023  

Ruby Chishti is a New York based sculptor and installation artist whose work is largely autobiographical in nature. Chishti was a critic in residence at Cornell University’s graduate program in fiber science & apparel design. Her work has been exhibited at Asia Society Museum in New York; Queens Museum; Rossi & Rossi, Hong Kong; Aicon Gallery (London and New York); Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi, India; National Gallery Islamabad, Pakistan; Arco, Madrid; Art Hong Kong; India art fair; and the Armory Show NYC to name a few. Her work has been published in publications including the New York Times and Art Asia Pacific. 

Anonymous biographies Vll (L), Anonymous biographies Vlll (R)
Recycled clothing, felt, artificial moss, wood, 2023

Khalil Chishtee spent ten years teaching at the National College of Arts in Lahore, Pakistan. His installations, sculptures, and site-specific works have been exhibited internationally, including participation in the 2015 56th International Venice Biennale, The Visual Arts Gallery, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, India,  Politics of Being Human, Sanat Gallery, Karachi, Twelve Gates Gallery, Philadelphia, PA and many others. 

(L) Sweet Prison, recycled trash bags, approx. 59 x 20 inches
(R) Your love made me dance like the crazy man 1, powder coated 5mm steel, 59×36 inches, 2019

Debbi Kenote is a New York-based artist who received her bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Western Washington University and her master’s degree in fine arts from Brooklyn College. She has exhibited at galleries internationally, including shows at Duran|Mashaal Gallery, Cob Gallery, Fir Gallery, Page Bond Gallery, Peep Space, SPRING/BREAK Art Show, and the Peekskill Project. Kenote’s work has been published through the Innovate Grant, Elle Magazine, the Hopper Prize, Art of Choice, Page Bond Gallery, White Hot Magazine and Otra Vox. She has curated exhibitions at Open House and the 2018, 2019 and 2021 SPRING/BREAK Art Shows. 

Anemone, 2022, Acrylic on dyed canvas over shaped stretcher bar, 26 x 26 inches (L)
Hands All Around, 2022, Acrylic on dyed canvas over shaped stretcher bar, 28 x 28 inches (R)

Ophelia Arc is a multidisciplinary artist based in New York City. Arc uses sculpture, video, and installation to investigate psychoanalytic themes that relate to her personal experiences and memories. She is currently enrolled in the Masters of Fine Arts program at the Rhode Island School of Design. 

An Assortment of Lesions, yarn, mirrors, eyeglass lenses and latex on frame, 2022 (L)
As lonely as I’ve Ever Been, thread, latex, preserved strawberries, house flies, lace, bra strap and ribbon on ink stained frame, 8″ x 10″, 2023 (R)

Marc Alain is a visual artist who was born in rural northern New Jersey. He holds a bachelor of fine arts degree in photography from the Maryland Institute College of Art. 

Recently his focus has shifted from photography to making meticulous hand cut collages

Inspired by his surroundings and the painters of the Hudson River School. 

Exploding Geode (self portrait) 15 x 20 inches, cut and pasted book, holographic paper, & giclee paper on board (L)
Heart (Butterflies) 15 x 20 inches, cut and pasted book, holographic paper, & giclee paper on board (R)

Peter Stankiewicz is a Massachusetts-born artist living in Manhattan and making his work in Brooklyn. He primarily makes sculptures on an intimate scale, and for this exhibition presents a new body of abstract paintings. 

Untitled 1-4,  2023, 12 x 12 inches, acrylic paint on plastic

Traci Johnson is an artist born and raised in Brooklyn. Johnson specializes in textile design, installations, and sculpture. They have shown at numerous galleries including Art Port Kingston, Sweet Lorraine Gallery, Micheal David & Co, the Museum at FIT, and the FIT Art & Design Gallery. Johnson is a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology, where they studied fine arts and art history. 

Sacred Geometry, 2023, yarn, cloth, 3.9 ft by 3.8 ft (L) 
Don’t Look Back, 2022, yarn, cloth, 2.10 ft by 9.5 in (M)
Femme Fur, 2022, yarn, faux fur, 24 in by 26 in (R)

Nitin is a visual designer, gallery artist, and community arts activist. Past desk-oriented posts include: PBS, Digitas, K12, Inc., Fox News, The Wall Street Journal and Sesame Workshop International....

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