Nassau-based gallery and artist cooperative Popop International Center for the Visual Arts (Popopstudios) recently announced that it will be exhibiting at international art fair Volta NY for the fourth consecutive year. The selected galleries come from 50 cities around the world and feature artists of 43 nationalities.
This year, the featured artist for Popopstudios will be local painter and sculptor Tessa Whitehead. Whitehead’s solo show at a major international art fair will be a first for Bahamian female artists. Known for conceptual explorations of objects that examine the connection between journey, landscape, love and loss, Whitehead offers a fresh perspective on contemporary art.
Trained as a painter, her practice has expanded to include sculptures and installations using raw materials like cement, wood and stainless steel. Whitehead’s Volta NY work includes a 15-foot high sculpture entitled Rainbow of Stars which is comprised of 354 individually-cut wooden stars that are strung up like a necklace, then haphazardly cajoled into the shape of a rainbow. In addition to sculptures, Whitehead will also be exhibiting a series of paintings depicting seemingly spontaneous moments of intimacy and heroism.
“The sculpture and paintings that I will be exhibiting at Volta NY are descriptions of drawings from my sketchbook. By recording a curious or fleeting moment and reworking it slowly, I can examine the idea of objectifying suspended time,” said Whitehead. “I like to work in a way that the outcome is uncertain and so I am really looking forward to seeing this new body of work in such a formal space.”
Established in 2008, Volta NY is a rigorously curated boutique event, showcasing the best in contemporary art from emerging international artists. It is renown for consistently identifying talent from cutting-edge trendsetters and next year’s rising stars. An estimated 45,000 people attended Volta NY last year and the numbers are expected to increase in 2016.
The New York City-based fair is the American iteration of Volta, one of the top 10 art fairs in the world. Volta was co-founded in Basel, Switzerland by Ulrich Voges and Amanda Coulson, Director of the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas and artistic director of Volta.
“Popopstudios was the first gallery from the Caribbean to participate in Volta NY. We are honored to once again have the opportunity to show the world the amazing contemporary art that comes from this region. Volta NY is also an invaluable global platform to show that The Bahamas has a rich and dynamic visual culture with artists that can stand on the world stage,” said John Cox, CEO and Creative Director of Popopstudios and featured artist at Volta NY in 2014.
Volta NY will take place at PIER 90 in Hell’s Kitchen, New York City, from March 2 – 6, 2016.
For more information and the latest news on Tessa Whitehead’s journey to Volta NY, please visit www.popopstudios.com and follow on social media @popopstudios.
Captions: (From top to bottom): Artist Tessa Whitehead in front of her painting Ocean Hum (2015), oil and charcoal on linen; You can Call it My Arc (2014), cement; Construction of sculpture Rainbow of Stars (2014), wood and rope.
Established in 1999 in an historic district in the heart of Nassau, Bahamas, Popopstudios International Center for The Visual Arts (Popopstudios) is a non-profit, independent art studio and gallery dedicated to the preservation and advancement of alternative Bahamian visual culture. Popopstudios is the only artist-run studio space in The Bahamas and is the country’s premier platform for international artist in residence programs. Its goal is to educate, promote, expose and defend new and challenging developments in contemporary art in The Bahamas. Popopstudios exists to harbour both seasoned and developing artists interested in new media and mixed media processes, while projecting these efforts to a national and international audience. For more information please visit www.popopstudios.com