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Character Strengths: TALK BACK Workshop
May 23 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Yai Arts Pop Up Exhibition
As part of TALK BACK
Thursday, May 23 6:30 – 8:30 pm
Flux Factory and YAI Arts are pleased to present Character Strengths, a pop-up exhibition featuring artworks that flex vigor and nerve, delivering juice and punch. Join the artists of YAI on Thursday, May 23 for the one-night-only event, occurring alongside Flux Factory’s TALK BACK exhibition.
YAI Arts is a studio and gallery, based in the Hudson Yards, supporting artists with intellectual and developmental disabilities. While YAI artists vary greatly in terms of subject matter and style, many overlap in their predilection toward subjects with bombastic personalities and unorthodox aptitudes. In 2004, psychologists drafted a list of 24 character strengths believed to encapsulate common virtues among people spanning various times, places, and cultures. Curiosity, perspective, leadership, humor and hope are among them. For the past 15 years, positive psychologists have used these qualities to assess individuals, highlighting their abilities rather than deficiencies. This exhibition alludes to and toys with this significant psychological advancement, loosening the terms involved to make space for infinite characters with infinite strengths.
In his ongoing series “Captain Monster,” Jimmy Tucker populates an imaginary world with superheroes with disabilities. Bespectacled aliens, pocketsize detectives, and mustachioed hot dogs make up the cast, replacing the tradition of a singular protagonist with an abundance of exceptional eccentrics. Devoted cat lover Jennifer Quinones reimagines pop culture and history with felines at the forefront. Cruella de Ville, Frida Kahlo, Joan of Arc, and the cast of “Ghostbusters” are among the notable figures transformed through Jen’s catcentric vision. For Everette Ball, architecture becomes a leading character in New York’s story. His colored pencil drawings capture the city’s iconic and underacknowledged structures alike, imbuing them with vitality and dynamism. Jaric Andre creates psychedelic mosh-pits of creatures cackling, chain-smoking, and melting into one another. And finally Tyron Davis channels old school Americana with his kitsch depictions of patriotic leisure time.
Whether human, superhuman, feline or somewhere in between: your strengths define you. From this spirit of abundance and ability, YAI artists will discuss their practices and artistic journeys.
Character Strengths is presented as part of TALK BACK, an exhibition that centers the lives and leadership of disabled artists and organizers.
Flux Factory gallery and ground floor, gender-neutral bathroom is ADA Accessible. No ID or fee necessary for entry. Free tap water is available as are chairs with backs.
The closest subway stations with street level elevators is Queens Plaza (E, M, R trains), and 21st Street Queensbridge (F Train). MTA Elevator and Escalator Status. TALK BACK will include audio guides and large-print and braille versions of written work. There is a quiet space within the gallery with low-level lighting, earplugs, chairs, cushions, eye masks, and reading material. Service animals are welcome. Please arrive fragrance free and with quiet phones. If you require ASL interpretation or real-time captioning, please reach out by May 14th, 2019, if possible. Thank you!
Please feel free to contact curators Lexy Ho-Tai or moira williams at firstname.lastname@example.org about access needs and questions.
TALK BACK is made possible through in-kind support from Materials for the Arts, Disability/Arts/NY a generous donation from Joe Cardillo, and supported by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs Create NYC Disability Forward Fund Enjoy Life