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In Conversation: Exhibit Opens May 20

Studio of artist Leslie Wayne, by (c) Laura J. Gerlach
Studio of artist Leslie Wayne, by (c) Laura J. Gerlach
May 7, 2015

NEW YORK, NY: April 22, 2015 — IN CONVERSATION is a diverse group exhibition inspired by a series of recent studio interviews including the artists featured. It will open on Wednesday, May 20, 2015, 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Shirley Fiterman Art Center in Fiterman Hall at BMCC/CUNY and run through August 1. A related panel discussion is scheduled for June 10.

In Conversation features the following artists:

Polly Apfelbaum, Kathy Butterly, Hermine Ford, Tara Geer, Jacqueline Gourevitch, Michelle Jaffé, Joyce Kozloff, Kathleen Kucka, Melissa Meyer, Luisa Rabbia, Jennifer Riley and Leslie Wayne.

In addition, photographs of the artists’ studios, by Laura J. Gerlach will accompany the art at the installation.

Impetus for the exhibit 

Between January 2013 and March 2015, guest curator Stephanie Buhmann conducted 14 interviews with New York-based artists. Her frustration with the media’s increased focus on art as an investment rather than a source of inspiration served as her impetus for this project. It invites the audience to the place where art is the most intimate and concrete: the artist's studio.

“As the art market landscape continues to become commercialized and evolve around art fairs and auctions, the artist’s studio serves as a contemplative counter-point,” Buhmann says.

Instead of focusing on monetary values or the general marketability of art, Buhmann’s interviews, which are to be assembled in a forthcoming publication, stress concepts of individuality and diversity. They refer to technical aspects, such as the artists’ processes, but also discuss personal history, philosophy and the artists’ eclectic sources of inspiration.

Different media and styles

“In our fast-paced world, we often only glance at who and what is around us, making quick assessments based on our tastes and experiences,” says guest curator Buhmann.

“However, I believe that looking at art, which requires true personal engagement, should continue to defy this trend. Each conversation reveals just how much thought, emotion and resilience goes into making a work of art.”

IN CONVERSATION is sparked by these interviews and helps to illustrate them. Though all of the artists featured are based in New York, they are working in different media and styles, reflecting some of the eclectic concerns and methods found in the city’s contemporary art world today.

Stephanie Buhmann is a member of the Association Internationale des Critiques d'Art and the Deutscher Fachjournalisten-Verband. She is a contributing editor at Artcritical. Her essays and art reviews have been published by international galleries, newspapers, and art magazines including Kunst Bulletin, Sculpture Magazine, The Brooklyn Rail, ARTPulse, Art on Paper, Art Papers, Art Collector, Art Lies and many others.

In partnership with the BMCC Foundation Board, a not-for-profit organization, the Shirley Fiterman Art Center is dedicated to raising funds for scholarships and ensuring the success of its students, who come from every borough of New York City and many countries around the world, seeking better lives.

A portion of all sales from Shirley Fiterman Art Center exhibits goes to support the BMCC Foundation scholarship fund.

FOR INFORMATION: about the exhibit IN CONVERSATION, contact Kathleen Kucka at


Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) is part of the City University of New York (CUNY) and enrolls over 27,000 degree-seeking and 11,000 continuing education students a year, awarding associate degrees in 33 fields. BMCC ranks #4 among community colleges nationwide in granting associate degrees to minority students, according to data from the U.S. Department of Education. Visit:


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  • New exhibit, In Conversation, features work by 12 artists
  • Also features photographs of the artists' studios by Laura J. Gerlach
  • Guest curator is Stephanie Buhmann

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