Artist reimagines the Tang Mezzanine with an evolving installation centered around earth, air, water, fire, and the cosmos
SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY (October 3, 2023) — The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College announces the opening of a new exhibition, Yvette Molina: A Promise to the Leaves, on view from October 21, 2023, through September 7, 2025.
Molina, an artist who works across media and disciplines with an emphasis on care and social justice, will make all new work for the exhibition, including a rug, a bench, textile artworks, papier mâché sculpture, and papier mâché furniture to be created in collaboration with Skidmore College students. Molina is the fifth artist to transform the Tang Mezzanine into a community hangout space, breaking down traditional barriers between visitors and museums by inviting tactile engagement with the art and the use of the gallery for conversation and contemplation. Over the course of two years, Molina’s site-specific installation will evolve while remaining centered around the four elements—earth, air, water, fire—and a fifth constituent, the cosmos. Molina’s work reminds us that all earthly beings are made of star stuff and that in the entangled circles of life, care is equally as important for ourselves as for all life forms.
Molina’s exhibition will also include work by invited artists, bringing together multiple perspectives, styles, and materials, and regularly re-energizing the installation’s balance between comfort and provocation. For the first iteration of the exhibition, Molina has invited two New York-based artists: Bel Falleiros, who was born in Brazil and whose work focuses on place and belonging, and Cinthya Santos-Briones, who was born in Mexico and is a visual artist, educator, and cultural organizer with indigenous Nahua roots. Future artists will be announced later.
The exhibition will open on Saturday, October 21, at 10:30 am, with One Only Earth: A Grounding Ritual. For this public event, Falleiros and Molina will lead a ritual ceremony in the exhibition before moving outside to welcome the elements and create a sacred space. Later that day, at 5 pm, a public reception will celebrate Yvette Molina: A Promise to the Leaves and all the other exhibitions at the Tang.
Previous Tang Mezzanine artists were Liz Collins (2015–17), Kamau Amu Patton (2017–19), Nicole Cherubini (2019–21), and Lauren Kelley (2021–23).
Admission to the Tang is free. For more information, contact the Visitors Services Desk at 518-580-8080 or visit https://tang.skidmore.edu.
Yvette Molina is a Mexican-American artist focused on the relationship between justice and care. Her work, often emanating from her community engagement and activism, incorporates processional banners, ritual, storytelling, costumes, collage, painting, and sculpture. An organizer and activist, Molina participates in parades and marches for social justice, including with the art collective Wide Awakes. Molina has exhibited across the United States and internationally, including at the Stockholm Fringe Festival, the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center, the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, Arsenal Contemporary Art, SPRING/BREAK Art Show, NADA FAIR, and the Legion of Honor and de Young Museums of California. Molina lives in Oakland, California.
Bel Falleiros is a Brazilian artist who lives and works in New York and whose practice focuses on place and belonging. She has worked to create spaces for grounding and connecting people, stories, nature and place, at Pecos National Park, New Mexico (2016); Burnside Farm, Detroit (2017); Santa Fe Art Institute’s Equal Justice Residency, in collaboration with Tewa Women United, New Mexico (2018); Socrates Sculpture Park, New York (2020); The Border Project, New York (2021); and Panorama da Arte Brasileira, São Paulo (2022–23). She was a More Art Engaging Artist Fellow (2021) and an artist-in-residence for the Dia: Teens Program (2021–22) and is a Wave Hill Sunroom Project fellow, presenting a solo exhibition there in fall 2023. She is the founder of the group Manxs Americanxs (2018–current), a gathering group that connects women and non-binary people from Latin America living in New York and working with issues of culture, immigration, and identity. Beyond her studio practice, she participates in collaborative projects across the Americas connecting art, education, and autonomous thinking.
Cinthya Santos-Briones, born in Mexico, is a visual artist, educator, and cultural organizer with indigenous Nahua roots based in New York. Her art focuses on a multidisciplinary social practice that combines participatory art and the construction of collective narratives through photography, historical archives, writing, ethnography, drawings, collage, embroidery, and popular education. Her work has been shown in galleries across the country and published in the New York Times, Vogue, Open Society Foundations, Buzzfeed, the Intercept, the New Yorker, and the Nation Magazine, among others. She is co-author of the book The Indigenous Worldview and its Representations in Textiles of the Nahua community of Santa Ana Tzacuala, Hidalgo. She has worked at pro-immigrant organizations in New York as a community organizer on issues such as detection, education, and sanctuary. She holds an MFA in creative writing and photography from Ithaca-Cornell and teaches at the Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York.
The Tang Teaching Museum at Skidmore College is a pioneer of interdisciplinary exploration and learning. A cultural anchor of New York’s Capital Region, the Tang’s approach has become a model for college and university art museums across the country—with exhibition programs that bring together visual and performing arts with interdisciplinary ideas from history, economics, biology, dance, and physics, to name just a few. The Tang has one of the most rigorous faculty-engagement initiatives in the nation, and a robust publication and touring exhibition program that extends the museum’s reach far beyond its walls. The Tang Teaching Museum’s award-winning building, designed by architect Antoine Predock, serves as a visual metaphor for the convergence of art and ideas. The Museum is open to the public on Tuesday–Sunday, noon–5pm, with extended hours until 9 pm Thursday. https://tang.skidmore.edu