CITY COLLEGE CENTER PRESENTS ‘VOID OF DEATH,’
NEW ART EXHIBITION FEATURING WORK OF ARTIST JULIO MEJIA
Exhibit showcasing pieces reflective of the interplay between art, expression and identity runs September 12 through November 27 at Aaron Davis Hall
NEW YORK (August 30, 2017) – City College Center for the Arts (CCCA) will present “Void of Death,” a new exhibition featuring the paintings of Atlanta-based artist Julio Mejia this fall. Curated by guest curator Susan Luss, the solo exhibit will highlight eight large abstract gestural paintings by the artist and will run from Tuesday, September 12, through Monday, November 27, in the Aaron Davis Hall Gallery. An Opening Night reception with the artist will be held on Thursday, September 14. The exhibit represents another successful step in CCCA’s ongoing effort to make art and cultural performances more accessible to Uptown audiences.
Reflective of Mejia’s love of family and heritage as well as his own personal experiences working at the U.S. Embassy in Lima, Peru, the eight featured paintings invite the viewer to experience the artist’s passion for life. Overflowing with color, movement and intensity, each piece in “Void of Death” is a recent work by Mejia created during a self-imposed period of isolation meant to exorcise his demons. The creations—gestural, from a fine arts movement featuring expressive, sweeping brushwork revealing an artist’s emotions, personality and process—give voice to his journey. The large pieces are a mix of works of acrylic on panel and oil on canvas. One featured piece, a 54” x 96” masterwork entitled “Memoria del Fuego” (“Memory of Fire”), was created using bullets, rust and milled bone on panel and is a reflection on Mejia’s own experience with counterterrorism in Peru in the 1990s.
“My work has matured over the last decades into a conversation through abstraction that is now being understood through the bold gestures, visceral actions and pushing of the medium,” said Mejia, whose artistic family includes a great-great-grandfather, Prospero Dupre Cazeaux, a French impressionist painter, and a grandfather, Gabriel “Chula” Clausi, a musician, composer and orchestral director. “It is -more- 2 not just of the action, but of the work having its own narrative of power and lineage through its own unique dialogue.”
The host venue itself provided inspiration for two pieces in the show, “Commitment” and “Focus,” both 48” x 16’ acrylic on panel pieces. Each was influenced by Mejia’s love of the architecture of Aaron Davis Hall and will be featured in prominent locations near the hall’s entryway. “Focus” will be unveiled at the exhibition.
“Julio Mejia is no stranger to Aaron Davis Hall. In 2014, Julio exhibited here as part of Smoke School of Art’s traveling group show ‘Calculated Resistance,’ curated by Ray Llanos,” said CCCA Managing Director Gregory Shanck. “Julio’s work was very well received and it was absolute destiny that he return with his solo show. His work is bold, daring and as gentle as the artist himself.”
“Void of Death” will be on display during gallery hours, which are Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. Private viewings can also be scheduled by calling the Aaron Davis Hall Box Office at (212) 650-6900. The Opening Night reception on Thursday, September 14, will be held from 5:30 p.m. – 9 p.m. For more information or to reserve a ticket for the opening night reception, please visit http://www.citycollegecenterforthearts.org. City College Center for the Arts is located at West 135th Street and Convent Avenue (129 Convent Avenue) and can be followed on Twitter and Facebook at @ccnyarts
ABOUT THE ARTIST: Julio Mejia was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, and is an American painter of Latin and European descent. Mejia combines his dynamic lineage and experiences into a richly romantic visual narrative. Mejia’s works have been recognized and added to prominent international permanent collections. These collections include: Cultural Patrimony of Peru, Foreign Ministry of Peru; Tubman AfricanAmerican Museum Permanent Collection, Macon, Georgia; Latino Art Museum Permanent Collection, Pomona, California; The City College of New York Permanent Collection, New York City; and the permanent collection of the United States Southern Command, Miami, Florida. The artist’s gallery is in Atlanta and he resides in the North Georgia Mountains.
ABOUT THE CURATOR: Born in El Paso, Texas, Susan Luss, received her MFA from the School of Visual Arts, New York, and her BFA in Studio Arts Painting from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York. Luss has exhibited her work at various venues in the New York area and beyond, including Lowe Mill in Huntsville, Alabama; Chashama in Brooklyn, New York; Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition; The Knockdown Center, Maspeth, New York; Sideshow Gallery, Brooklyn, New York; The Hole, New York City; Haverstraw RiverArts, Haverstraw, New York; Garner Arts Center, Garnerville, New York; Westbeth Gallery, New York City; and The Painting Center, New York City; among others. Luss has curated exhibitions at Pratt Institute; DeKalb Gallery, Brooklyn, New York; Artober Art Walk, Brooklyn, New York; Westbeth Gallery; and Aaron Davis Hall, City College of New York. She serves as an advisory board member of ArtShape Mammoth, a nonprofit -more- 3 organization with the mission to cultivate arts research, education and dialogue by supporting the development of artists and by connecting them with new communities. Luss’s work is held in public and private collections including Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and LaTable des Artists in La Defense, France. She recently completed an artist residency at the old Pfizer Building through COPE NYC.
ABOUT THE PRESENTER: The City College Center for the Arts hosts an ambitious, year-round calendar of student and professional performances. The mission of the City College Center for the Arts is to provide a creative arts center and focal point for the City College of New York, building a sense of community within the College, elevating the profile of Aaron Davis Hall in the greater New York area, and connecting the College to the surrounding community through the arts.