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Root Systems: Artist Collectives in NYC

ABC No Rio, Amos Eno Gallery, Culture Push and Southeast Queens Artist Alliance

July 14-30, 2022

Curated by Audra Lambert

Curatorial Assistant, Yamile Baez

"Root Systems: Artist Collectives in NYC" examines the enduring legacy of grassroots artist-run collectives through a survey of marketing collateral, posters, fine art and oral and written histories documenting each organization’s unique imprint in the New York alongside contemporary artworks from artist members of these organizations.  This two-week exhibit features the efforts of four NYC-based artist collectives: Amos Eno Gallery, ABC No Rio, Southeast Queens Artist Alliance and Culture Push. Each collective will have a space in the gallery to present their mission, values and artist members' studio practice in a manner that is meaningful to their own imprint on the past and dialogue with the present as we move toward a resilient future for artist communities based in New York City’s five boroughs.

Visitors to the exhibition will encounter materials from the 1970s until today which offer insights into the rich experiences that artist-run spaces and initiatives have contributed to the wider cultural landscape in New York City. Special events throughout the course of the exhibition are featured on our Events page.



ABC No Rio is a community center for art and activism. This artist-run organization has its roots in The Real Estate Show of 1980, held in Lower Manhattan. ABC No Rio is a community center for art and activism. The gallery and performance space was founded by artists committed to political and social engagement who retains these values to the present. Currently ‘in exile’ while they await the return of their headquarters, ABC No Rio offers opportunities for artists to in partnership with nonprofit, activist spaces including Bullet Space (Manhattan) and The Clemente Soto Velez Center (Manhattan) among others.

Founded in 1974, Amos Eno Gallery is one of New York City’s longest operating artist-run gallery spaces. The nonprofit art gallery provides a full season of exhibits by emerging and mid-career artists working in visual, performance, installation, interactive, and/or digital media/video. The organization’s season is complemented by a diverse series of performances as well as educational and public programs for the New York area and beyond.

Culture Push is an arts organization that creates programs to nurture artists and other creative people who are approaching common problems through hands-on civic participation and imaginative problem-solving. The mission of Culture Push is to create a lively exchange of ideas between many different communities; artists and non-artists, professional practitioners and laypeople, across generations, neighborhoods, and cultures. Culture Push was founded in 2008 by Clarinda Mac Low, Aki Sasamoto, and Arturo Vidich. Their individual visions feed into a larger vision; a fluid culture where the lines between art, politics, daily life, and social experiment can blur, and challenging the lines between disciplines leads to challenging the form of society.

Southeast Queens Artist Alliance provides community and support for artists and arts workers living in the area of SEQ (South East Queens), and advocates for quality arts programming in the local community. This artist alliance centers South East Queens as the area in which it builds community and engages the public with their work. The Southeast Queens Artists Alliance is comprised of visual artists and writers. The Alliance’s mission is to nurture local talent and to support quality cultural programming



Audra Lambert is a curator based in Brooklyn, NY. Her curatorial perspective is informed by her MA-level research on artist collective and publication, Heresies: a Second-wave feminist publication originating in SoHo during the early 1970s. Lambert's curatorial practice centers around grassroots initiatives and artist-run projects. In addition to her role as Director, Amos Eno Gallery, she is a founding member of alt_break, a grassroots NYC-based nonprofit seeking to elevate community-based organizations. As Principal, Antecedent Projects, she has curated for and collaborated on exhibitions with socially conscious organizations such as Fountain House, White Roof Project, Art to Zebras, Women of Color Advancing Peace and Security (WCAPS,) Art to Zebras, Radiator Gallery, chashama and more. 

Yamile Baez is a City College of New York S. Jay Levy fellow based in Bronx, NY. Her studies at the City College of New York focus on Art History, having taken classes on Ancient Mesoamerican art to Modern Latin American Art. Recently, she earned a Connor Merit Award in the Undergraduate Art History department. In addition to her studies at CCNY, she previously worked as a curatorial intern at the Glyndor Building at Wave Hill through, acquired through Bloomberg Philanthropies and

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