Marianne Barcellona

Marianne Barcellona’s artwork is dynamic, her thinking is refreshing, and her perspective inquisitive and varied.
When she finds herself creatively blocked, she climbs back using every tool available to her. She uses drawing, photography, and painting. She tears paper. She reads. She uses imagination and “emotionally projects herself” into the artwork.

“Several years ago I was going through a “dry” period of feeling artistically blocked. I happened to be in the Strand Bookstore one day and saw a book by the German artist Gerhard Richter entitled Wald (Forest). It consisted of hundreds of photos of dense, leafless trees – brambles, impenetrable underbrush, with no pathway through the obstructions. The images resonated with the way I was feeling creatively stuck.


Marianne Barcellona

So I bought the book and selected a few images to use as “jumping off” points.  I pretended I was lost in the woods. I emotionally projected myself into these photographs one by one, and used my pen points and my brushes as my feet,  to try to penetrate the woods. I would climb a tree with the pen point, jump to another branch like a squirrel, lose my footing, scamper back, fall into a knot of brambles, start off again from the front, stumble on rocks and fallen logs, get lost, claw myself sideways, retrace my steps over and over on the uneven ground.”

If she runs into problems, she adapts and builds upon her mistakes. If a drawing develops a hole, she incorporates it. She considers this part of the dialogue she shares with the piece.


Marianne Barcellona

“Because I was originally working only in ink I frequently lost the white of the paper, so when I wanted to edit some marks, I scraped. Eventually the paper developed holes which needed patching from the back. After awhile I also started patching on the front and re-
drawing over the patches to obscure them.  When I didn’t like a result, I would pull off the patch. I found this often left unpredictable debris of interesting textures.  Dialoguing with the landscapes and with my materials this way has developed into my current process.

When I start a drawing I have no real idea how it will finally turn out. The “drawings” themselves (now more collages) seem to slowly dictate to
me, step by step, what the next single action should be. I never know how long a work will take.  Sometimes the “instructions” come fast; sometimes the work needs to sit for days or weeks before it suddenly tells me the next step.  Then unexpectedly the drawing will tell me “Enough! This is the way I want to be.”

Currently I use my own photographs as my inspiration. When I travel I make a point of capturing the portions of landscape that intrigue me, so I can welcome them back to the studio and have an interactive, process-oriented conversation with them.”


Marianne Barcellona

Marianne is showing her work at Rockaway Brewing Co. on Thursday night from 6pm-9pm. We would love to see you there. Facebook Event Page


Thom McKenna Pop-Up Show


Long Island City, NY: August 18th, 2016 6pm to 9pm, 46-01 5th St, Long Island City, NY
In partnership with Rockaway Brewing Co., Jettison Art Group presents Thom McKenna
A solo pop-up show featuring photos by Thom McKenna

Thomas McKenna is a New York based content creator specializing in capturing still and/or moving images.  He is continuously enamored by the idea of photography and the fact that humans have the ability to create an instant visual record of their environment.

We hope you will join us on this special night, as we celebrate the arts.
For more info or to rsvp please visit ThomMcKenna Pop-up

The Dream House 

By Lauren Grucci
Have you ever wanted to see what it’s like to hang out inside a lava lamp for an hour or so? Perhaps a lava lamp that sat on the shelf of a favorite psychedelic mascot like Jim Morrison or Ken Kesey – Yes? Well if you have, then this is the place for you…IMG_8092
The Dream House was created in 1993 by husband and wife – composer La Monte Young and visual artist Mariah Zanzeela. The couple was greatly inspired by classical indian vocal techniques and together founded the Theater of Eternal Music. This project explored effects of long form drone sounds and involved collaborations with many well known avant garde video artists, composers, and singer song writers such as John Cale – a founding member of the Velvet Underground. The exhibit has been described as an exercise of all the senses and exists in an empty apartment on the 3rd floor of a building in Tribeca.
It was a Friday night and before the exhibit I decided to meet up with my friend Shannon and her friend Christie. It was crab cakes at Westville to vodka sodas on Elizabeth street where I played a less than glorified game of pool and smoked cigarettes with a boy who claimed I smile too much. It’s very unlike me to leave a bar early but at 10pm I decided I’d finish my melted cocktail and head to the exhibit id been dreaming about for months (no pun intended).
I originally found out about The Dream House after seeing a magenta glow from the installation on the street in college. It wasn’t until my job moved down to Soho that I realized it was A. still open and B. so close.
I had my cab drop me on the corner of Orchard and walked through the bitter cold to the front door only to be greeted by a broken buzzer and a paper flyer with instructions that read “buzz floor 3 or call this number”. After attempting both suggestions several times with frozen fingers and no answer, a loud buzzzzzzz came through the intercom and I was given access to a steep white staircase. At the top I was greeted by a friendly, long haired attendee or “gate keeper” as I like to call them, who calmly and almost therapeutically instructed me to remove my shoes and avoid participating in any photography (bummer). He presented me with the suggested donation of $5 and while trying to unzip my boot without alluding to the fact that I had a strong buzz going on we discussed information on how to volunteer for his position. As I prepped to enter the room I felt a certain vibration coming from the walls and the dusty hardwood floors. The attendee opened the door to the space and I was hit almost immediately with the scent of incense. The sound pulsating from the empty apartment was a haunting hum that throbbed with a frequency similar to that of white noise, however slightly more palatable. I took a step into the space, placed both feet on the soft white carpet, and the door was shut behind me.
Upon entering you are bathed in a mix of pinkish purple lighting and given the option to go left into a larger room or right into a smaller room. I chose right and floated into an area where one of Mariah’s geometric sculptures lived and pillows leaned against the base boards. After adjusting to the sensory overload I continued to the opposite end of the narrow hallway passing a sign on the wall that read “The Dream House” forwards and backwards.
In the larger room there were several bodies horizontally positioned across the floor – resting their heads on the pillows provided by the installation. Some were resting alone while others laid coupled, holding hands or tangling legs. No one spoke and at times I had to question whether certain people were breathing. There was a shrine on one of the walls set for Pandit Pran Nath – a Hindustani classical singer who strongly influenced Young and Zanzeela’s work. After observing the alter and the giant amps in each corner of the room that were producing the psychedelic pulse, I chose my place on the ground and followed suit. The slightest movement would alter how you processed the humming in the room and it was so intense at a level closer to the ground that I felt slightly nauseous although some of that nausea probably had to do with the 3 beverages I decided to hang out with previous to the visit. Out of respect to the artists I tried to keep my photo snapping to a minimum and after blindly pointing my cell phone towards the suspended swirled cut outs hanging from the ceiling, I rolled to my left side and rested in fetal position. I found that the humming went from irritating and invasive to soothing and womb like which not only comforted me, but made me want to stay. I could have potentially slept there if not for the fact that the attendee would be waking me up atmidnight telling me The Dream House does not function as an Airbnb.
At first laying between two couples created a sense of loneliness which soon shifted into a moment of solitude – are we actually ever ALONE in this city? As I tossed and turned noting the effect of my motion on the sound, I thought a lot about concepts of public and personal space. I remember doing studies in college on “spaces” and how they categorized themselves based on intentions of use, who inhabited them, and what part they played in the flow of life. Concepts of place or space are strongly perceived by the elements that create it. Our understanding of the function of a space is usually related to the presence of mobility and communication at that specific moment we are present within it. We as individuals (whether living on our own or with 6 roommates) are faced with moments of being “alone” in extremely public places everyday i.e. commuting on the subway, washing your clothes at the laundromat, or waiting at a bar for a friend. Utilizing this space as a think tank brought to mind the idea of something deeper than physical “place” – somewhere in which you are not communicating or mobilizing with second or outside parties, but communicating and mobilizing internally. An existence of “mental place” in a public space – public meditation – something that requires extreme concentration, or a visit to the Dream House.
Ok – back to earth…
All in all the time spent at Young and Zanzeela’s installation was enjoyable and completely worth the late night visit. The combination of sound and light created stimulation of all the senses and allowed for a one of a kind experience. At times I was waiting for someone to pass around a tray of Kool-aid and ask me to wear all white however the hour spent in the exhibit allowed me to sit with my own thoughts without any distractions, something that is rare in this busy city. I would recommend going at night in order to appreciate the intensity of the visuals and whether you bring a partner is up to. I’m sure – like the ever changing perception of the piece – the experience will be unique for everyone.
Check out The Dream House – located @ 275 Church Street – open from 2pm-12am Wednesdays through Sundays

The Knockdown Center

By Jay Varney 

Maspeth is a strange and beautiful place that has been forgotten by most New Yorkers. It is a labyrinth of factories, warehouses, metal shops, and railroad tracks tangled within the source of the Newtown Creek. Though it is only about 3 miles from midtown, Maspeth has remained somewhat immune to the flood of hipsters, young investment bankers, and trust fund babies invading other parts of Brooklyn and Queens. It’s lack of subways and express bus stops has allowed the neighborhood to stay true to the working class people who live there. The large mural welcoming you to the business district depicts a bald eagle and an american flag. The mural reads, “Maspeth is America.”

When I heard about a new events center opening in Maspeth, I knew I had to go. It was sure to be a cathedral to industrial age New York.

The space is called The Knockdown Center and it did not disappoint.


The Knockdown Center is a huge compound behind a corrugated steel fence with a rolling gate. Once through the unassuming entryway, you are greeted by its brick walls and smokestack buttresses. The website gives us some history of the building:

“Knockdown Center is an art center and event space dedicated to unusual projects and collaborations.

The 50,000 square foot building has seen continuous use for more than 100 years: first as a glass factory, then as a door factory. It is named for the Knock-Down door frame that was invented here in 1956 by Samuel Sklar and remains an industry standard to this day. The frame could be shipped in pieces — or “knocked down” — and installed into existing walls, revolutionizing the speed and efficiency of building construction.

The factory has since remained in the Sklar family and is again a site for innovation. Having undergone a renovation that is equal parts preservationist and state of the art, Knockdown Center now produces and hosts cultural events and exhibitions that respond to its unique architecture and dimensions. Featuring programming of diverse formats and media, Knockdown Center aims to create a radically cross-disciplinary environment.”


Out front, visitors are greeted by “A Way From Home” a mobile art project by J McDonald. The Knockdown Center uses it as a venue for various small installations and events.

During my visit, they were showing an installation called, “Suspended Forest,” by Michael Neff. In the true spirit of the Knockdown Center, the artist repurposed old Christmas trees by suspending them from the ceiling. Like the space in which they are shown, the trees find new life after their original purpose has been served. This highly interactive display is representative of the hottest trend in art. Experience and narrative are highly valued. Viewers want to know the backstory and process. They want to touch the art and they want an experience that stimulates all the senses.

The Knockdown center is a highly interactive space. It is true to its nature and genuine in the projects it supports. While I was there, they were working on an expansion. In the future, I’m sure we will see more great things from them.

Relevant Links:

Knockdown Center

Dingle Alumni Exhibit

By Jay Varney 

I first met Professor George Dugan 9 years ago. I was in his Drawing 101 course at Binghamton University. I was young and stupid, but I was smart enough to know how little I knew. This self awareness has helped me throughout the years. Over the next few months, George taught me proper perspective and rule of thumb. I was starting to see how my presumptions and beliefs were affecting how I saw the world. Without the ability to objectively measure and analyze, perception is a transitory wave of confused emotion.

He told me about the study abroad program he hosted in Ireland and he suggested that I go. I agreed. I didn’t realize at the time how big of an impact that trip would play in my life and future. I had seen images of George’s work on his website. He obviously knew something I didn’t, so I was willing to do whatever he suggested. He saw things I couldn’t see. How could two people look at the same thing yet see something completely different?

That summer, at 19 years old, I left the United States for the first time. Before that flight, I had only been on a Cessna once, as a child. I was scared by the idea of flying. I was scared of the lack of control and I was scared of landing in a new country where people might not understand me. I would have liked to turn back, but I had already seen behind the curtain and I needed to see more.

As the plane took off, I had a feeling of exhilaration. My face was glued to the window for the entire seven hour flight. The sky was never so blue and the clouds never so white. As the Western-most point of Europe rose above the horizon, it shone as the brightest Emerald I had ever seen.

I spent the next month in Ireland learning oil painting through plein air. Two years later, in 2009, I returned as George’s Assistant Professor. Every minute spent abroad was a dream. I learned to see as an objective and sensitive observer. I fell in love with the world around me and I made friends that will last forever. Seven years later and living in NYC, my heart still remains on the West coast of Ireland.

A few months ago, Emily Gibbons, one of my classmates from the study abroad program contacted me. She explained that as Executive Director of the Cultural Council of Cortland County, She would be organizing an exhibition featuring the work of former students from the Ireland program. My friends and I jumped in my Jeep and took a road trip to Cortland for the opening reception. I would have never imagined what a crazy adventure that little road trip would be. We had a blast and met a lot of interesting people. We saw some beautiful countryside and had great conversations. On our way home, the engine gave out on my Jeep. We had to get towed to a garage near a Metro-North station and take the train the rest of the way home.

Life is full of surprises. Depending on your perception, this world can be a desert or an oasis. Find something you can believe in, find someone who’s footsteps you can follow in, and make sure your friends don’t get left behind in the process.


Relevant Links: