Urban Paintings

Gallery News: A Bronx Block: Urban Paintings by Valeri Larko

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Valeri Larko, Clark, Corner of Boone Ave & 173rd St, 2014, Oil on linen, valerilarko.com

Montserrat College of Art is pleased to announce Valeri Larko: A Bronx Block, now on view April 28 – May 22, 2015 in the Carol Schlosberg Alumni Gallery. Larko’s work depicts the urban fringe, which she paints on site. She began painting urban landscapes in Jersey City, NJ and has continued to paint on-location in sites across the region. The Opening Reception will take place Thursday, April 30, 5 – 7pm at Montserrat’s Carol Schlosberg Alumni Gallery, 23 Essex St. Beverly, MA.

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This exhibition features a series of paintings of the Ferris Stahl-Meyer building, a former meat processing plant on Boone Avenue in the Bronx. For ten years, the President of the plant, Guillermo O. Gonzalez, encouraged local graffiti artists to use the factory walls as their canvas. Larko depicts its physical structure, as well as, the many stories that its walls tell.

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Valeri Larko, King Bee Wall, Bronx, 2012, Oil on linen, valerilarko.com

The plant attracted Larko for its history, the surrounding neighborhood and predominantly its dynamic exterior. She explains, “There are so many fascinating clues to our cultural history in the buildings that we leave behind, in the structures that we leave behind” and continues, “I’ve always been interested in these sometimes abandoned or overlooked places, and the graffiti is almost another extension of that.” Although the Ferris Stahl-Meyer’s physical structure was demolished in December 2014, its legacy is ongoing due to Larko’s paintings. Her work preserves both the transience of the plant and the work of the artists who collectively enriched its walls.

Larko’s work has been exhibited in museums and galleries in the US and Europe. Solo exhibitions include The Morris Museum, Morristown, NJ, The Hunterdon Art Museum, Clinton, NJ, The New Jersey State Museum, Trenton, NJ, Safe-T-Gallery, Brooklyn, NY, Bronx River Art Center, NY, The College of New Rochelle, NY and the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, Summit. Notable group exhibits include The Katonah Museum of Art, NY, The Jersey City Museum, ACA Galleries, NYC, Metaphor Contemporary Art, Brooklyn, The National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC, Aljira, a center for contemporary Art, Newark NJ, the Bruton Street Gallery in London, England and the American Embassy in Minsk, Belarus.

In the fall of 2000, Larko was awarded a major mural commission from New Jersey Transit and the New Jersey State Council on the arts for the Secaucus Transfer Station. She painted four murals for their north mezzanine. Completed in August of 2003, the Secaucus Transfer Station is the largest train station in the state of New Jersey. Additional honors include grants from The Joyce Dutka Art Foundation, the George Sugarman Foundation, the New York Foundation for the Arts Strategic Opportunity Grant, a New Jersey State Council on the Arts Fellowship and an Artist in Residence Fellowship from the Newark Museum. Her work is in the collections of the Jersey City Museum, The Montclair Art Museum, The New Jersey State Museum, Johnson and Johnson, Rutgers University and a number of other significant organizations. Larko was educated at the Du Cret School of the Arts, Plainfield, NJ and the Arts Students League, New York, NY. She lives in New Rochelle, NY.

Valeri Larko, MNG Automotive, 2013, Oil on linen, valerilarko.com

A Bronx Block is on view in the Carol Schlosberg Alumni Gallery April 28 – May 22, 2015.

WHAT Valeri Larko: A Bronx Block
WHEN April 28 – May 22, 2015
WHERE Carol Schlosberg Alumni Gallery, 23 Essex St. Beverly, MA 01915
Gallery Hours: Mon- Fri 10-5, Thu 10-8, Sat 12-5
www.montserrat.edu/galleries
gallery@montserrat.edu

PUBLIC PROGRAMS
Montserrat College of Art’s public programs are free of charge and open to the public. For more information contact Assistant Curator of Education, Savery Kelley at savery.kelley@montserrat.edu
www.montserrat.edu/galleries/public-programs/

Montserrat College of Art is a small, private, residential college of visual art and design, founded in 1970 by artists, for artists, educating the creative problem solvers of tomorrow. The college offers the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, continuing education classes for youth, teens and adults, and three galleries exhibiting works by international, national and regional contemporary artists, that offer art education beyond the Montserrat classrooms through a series of public lectures, gallery talks, catalogs and events.