NYC Design Safari

Apexart Visit

Posted on October 26, 2020 | posted by: vespa522

This week we met with Elizabeth Larison of Apexart! Elizabeth is an art curator for the gallery space and has a background in human rights and international affairs. This background has given her considerable knowledge in understanding different art forms and where they come from, giving a much wider perspective to the Apexart team. 

 Apexart is a non-profit art organization located in Lower Manhattan. It was founded in 1994, offering opportunities to emerging or established artists and curators while also challenging set concepts about culture, art, exhibitions through their installations. They also offer a wide range of publications, fellowships and public programs. The gallery is free and open to everyone. The gallery focuses on showing different art forms from different places to the community and focuses on ever evolving art spaces for the viewer. Apexart is pushing the meaning of a gallery space with its new curation style.

“Woman C(a)reate” was an art piece that seeked to promote woman based art in Tehran, Iran. The piece was also developed during a residency program by Apexart.

Apexart not only focuses on a new curation style for the viewer but also challenges the artists in their residency programs to come out of their comfort zone and create art that they have been challenged by. Elizabeth explains this by saying that apexart is not limited to the interaction between the viewer and the art but to show how the art interacts with the artist and the challenges they face while creating this art, to a new interactive experience for the viewer. Elizabeth also adds that the artist is not singled out to produce work they are known for, instead they are given the freedom and liberties to adapt to new environments, personal life into their interactions with the organization.

The “Goodbye World” art piece is a “farewell tour” of sorts that seeks to bring attention to climate change and the dangerous temperature rise we are heading towards. The piece itself is located in Norway and was made by a residency program headed by Apexart. 

Elizabeth commented on the adaptation to virtual visits in regards to the impact COVID has had on the organization. The exhibit Elongated Shadows received a complete virtual tour that you can take right now by going into their website and selecting the Elongated Shadows exhibition. They have also incorporated Virtual Reality compatibility within the gallery, where visitors can choose to view the art works with a proper virtual reality headset or the simpler cardboard and phone alternative.

The interesting thing about this visit was Apexart focuses on pushing boundaries through different means. It was also interesting to see that they themselves had to go through the same changes that they put their artist through. Elizabeth commented on this and saw the pandemic has given them an opportunity to work out their gallery spaces and make them more accessible. This has led them to be more prepared for any situation and was quite inspiring to hear. The visit overall was fruitful and informative and made us realize that as designers we must be pushed and work beyond our limits.