In/Out – Light/Dark: Women in the Heights and Art in Our Time (Part 1 of 3)

The artists featured in this exhibition represent the richness, diversity and artistic voices of women of northern Manhattan.


March 2021-In these unprecedented times of political shifting and a worldwide pandemic, women continue to lead the way by shedding light on important issues, building bridges, questioning boundaries, and envisioning a better world.
The artworks, created in a variety of media and styles, explore social gender constructs while honoring the struggles, triumphs, and contributions of women in our world today.

A year into the Pandemic lockdown and as we find ourselves still in confined spaces, artists find freedom in their creativity, showing us the light -and the art- at the end of the tunnel.
Enjoy, and be inspired.Andrea Arroyo, Curator

Lift (2020) by Diana SchmertzNorthern Manhattan Arts Alliance


"Due to the current political and social hostilities that surround us every day in America I feel compelled to create works that are inclusive, stressing the importance of positive social agreements in our society." -Diana Schmertz

From Female Figurine Series 2 (2021) by Gal CohenNorthern Manhattan Arts Alliance

From Female Figurine Series 2

"The ‘Female Figurine’ series is based on prehistoric (2000-20,000 BC) sculptures, accounted to be the most ancient form of representation of the female body in humankind." - Gal Cohen,

Grey Matter (2020) by Laurence Elle GrouxNorthern Manhattan Arts Alliance

Grey Matter

"Each work is created with an expression of introspection and invites visual engagement which I hope raises a sense of curiosity and suggests the paths we chart in our lives which are often filled with a multitude of emotions." - Laurence Elle Groux

Renaissance (2020) by Laurence Elle GrouxNorthern Manhattan Arts Alliance

Renaissance, Laurence Elle Groux, 2020

I view every new work as a sort of miraculous creation where my fears, sorrows, joy and love can pour forth and capture the essence of the human experience.

Who Gets To Determine Who Belongs Where (2021) by Julia JustoNorthern Manhattan Arts Alliance

Who Gets To Determine Who Belongs Where

"The flag was made from discarded clothing I bought and used during my time as an immigrant in America. The project seeks to create a platform to resist injustice and speaks to how we could move forward collectively."- Julia Justo

Discussion with Julia Justo, Julia Justo, 2020-03-01, From the collection of: Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance
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Watch our talk with Julia Justo to find out why she decided to make this beautiful piece of artwork. 

Matter (2020) by Campbell CathleenNorthern Manhattan Arts Alliance


"I’ve been photographing Harlem and Uptown Manhattan for decades but only recently began exhibiting. My photos relate to the theme: In “Matter,” the boy is  inside looking out onto a world that requires more than “Black Lives Matter” murals to keep him safe." Cathleen Campbell

Other Peoples Children (2019) by Sky PapeNorthern Manhattan Arts Alliance

Other Peoples Children

"Facing mass extinctions, social inequity, teetering democracy, and a ravaging pandemic, I am interested in how geometry and patterns may provide clues for contending with systems that verge on widespread cataclysm."-Sky Pape

Untitled (2018) by Jessica MaffiaNorthern Manhattan Arts Alliance


"My body is a map on which I inscribe my inner landscape. I am conducting a thorough psychological excavation using Nature as metaphor for psyche."-Jessica Maffia

Jessica Maffia, Jessica Maffia, 2020-04-01, From the collection of: Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance
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How does Jessica Maffia use different elements of nature to express her inner nature? Be sure to watch to find out why! 

Cyanotype of Natives (2020) by Vicky AzcoitiaNorthern Manhattan Arts Alliance

Cyanotypes of Natives

"After the pandemic had begun, beyond its casting a shadow on the promising early light of spring and having consumed midsummer, I felt a need to make peace with the growing anxiety of uncertainty through artistic expression." -Vicky Azcoitia 

Lacrimae (2020) by Patricia MirandaNorthern Manhattan Arts Alliance

Lacrimae, Patricia Miranda, 2020

Found textile and natural dyes are frameworks for creating monumental works with a small ecological footprint. Sewn into large shroud-like works, I layer objects of lamentation akin to ex-votos, reliquaries, and ritualized body forms.

Interview with Vicky Azcoitia on Her Artwork, Vicky Azcoitia, 2020-04-01, From the collection of: Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance
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How did the pandemic influence Vicky's artwork?  

Dangers Which Lurk (2021) by Karen GreeneNorthern Manhattan Arts Alliance

Dangers Which Lurk

"A camera is always on my person because one never knows when light and the subject will be just right." -Karen Greene

Selfless Service (2020) by Maria FernandezNorthern Manhattan Arts Alliance

Selfless Service

"My work as a photographer has consisted in exposing the inequalities I see everywhere I go. When people see my work, I’d like them to feel that moment of shared emotion and experience. Photography is a source of some of my utmost pleasure."-  Maria Fernandez

Mestiza Consciousness (2019) by Kiri AvelarNorthern Manhattan Arts Alliance

Mestiza Consciousness

"My artistic practice is designed to further provoke thought around the artistic, physical, and cultural borderless experience of Latinx artists in America." -Kiri Avelar 

Talk with Kiri Avelar, Kiri Avelar, 2020-04-01, From the collection of: Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance
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Watch to see what inspired and influenced Kiri's artwork 

Keep reading with Part 2 of In/Out – Light/Dark: Women in the Heights and Art in Our Time.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.