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Rory Golden

Pack up a Little Truck and Keep it on Push: Works on Paper 2008 Forward | October 12th – December 1st 2012

Publication with essay by curator Wayne Northcross

Opening reception: Friday, October 12th 7:00 – 11:00PM

Gallery Hours: 1:00 – 5:00PM Saturdays* through December 1st

Artist Talk: CANCELED because of Sandy – please come to the closing event to talk with Rory about his work!

AB2E Kids Family Workshop With the Artist: Saturday, November 17th 1:30PM

Closing Dialogue/Panel: Saturday, December 1st 7:00PM

Art for Change Gallery | 1699 Lexington Ave (between 106-107th Sts) | Basement Level

An exhibition publication with essay by curator Wayne Northcross accompanies the work. Northcross writes: “These illusionistic, playful, and phantasmagorical paintings draw a highly surreal map of the black male body in spaces populated by feral and tame familiars, marked by the repetition of talismans and hidden phrases…. “In ‘Chicken Bones’ and ‘Extra Fresh,’ the black body is not a classic temple of perfect form but a frenzied and manic visual site that investigates complex homoerotic roles. Golden’s expressionistic images present sexuality, and black-on-black homosexuality as messy and humorously perverse. They can be read as a flight from gay cultural norms in which the sexual roles of black men reinforce political, social and economic stereotypes. But the paintings also celebrate the homosocial: the men in his pictures kiss, embrace, hump and preen. Other paintings contain nods to Zen Buddhist philosophy and “the concept ‘Mu,’ a full emptiness, completion, wholeness and transcendence.”

Art for Change is proud to exhibit the work of Rory Golden, which so clearly speaks to the organization’s mission to spotlight social inequality, intolerance, and injustice. The themes represented in his work challenge audiences to address issues that are simultaneously difficult to confront, yet critically important. The energy in his voice is unique and its strength is evident – Art for Change looks forward to a powerful and inspirational show.

Artist Bio

Rory Golden has received fellowships from Yaddo, the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, the Blue Mountain Center for major projects “Your One Black Friend” and “See Related Story: The Murder of J.R. Warren.” Recent awards include a research grant from Duke University Libraries Special Collections, a Puffin Foundation Grant, a residency at Blue Sky Project and the Manhattan Graphics Center, all towards completing “You Think I Can Eat All This Chicken Here?” His current project “No Reenactments Without Prior Permission” is presented in October 2012 as part of the 8thAnnual Art in Odd Places Festival. Rory is currently the 2012 Phillip C. Curtis Artist in Residence at Albion College (MI).

Curator Bio

Wayne Northcross was born in Detroit, Michigan, where he received a BA in Italian language and literature; he completed a degree in law at the University of Miami, Coral Gables, in Florida. As a magazine editor, Northcross has produced art and fashion features for a range of lifestyle publications, such as Vogue Hommes, Esquire, Un-Titled, Out and Gay City News. As an independent curator, he has organized exhibitions for the Fusebox Performance Festival in Austin, Texas, and for the Bronx Museum of the Arts, The Project, the Venetia Kapernekas Gallery, and the Bronx Art Space, all in New York. In 2011, he was a featured curatorial judge in Art/Trek NYC, a documentary-style journey to discover talented artists in every borough of New York City and introduce them to the collecting public.

To see images of Rory’s work, please visit www.rorygolden.net or visit:




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Know Gays Aloud

Featuring artists, D. Shayne Aldrich, Ryan William Turley, Christopher Udemezue, Micaela Anaya, Michael J. DiRaimondo, Darlene Ascbacher, Olivia Frazao, Paul Baker Prindle, Felipe Baeza, Rory Golden, Rochelle Williams, Nicole Goodwin, Ivan Velez and Cecilia Givens.

The LGBT community has struggled to ensure equality of their civil liberties for over three decades. Though there has been significant progress in obtaining equal rights in the United States, such as the recent vote that passed a marriage equality law in New York, violence still persists against the LGBT community especially in minority populations. The increase in hostility towards the LGBT community in the Caribbean, the Middle East, and Africa has led to a rise in murders and teen suicides, notably for the transgendered. In Puerto Rico, even though murders of transgendered are becoming more frequent, the government is seeking to take these crimes off of the list of hate crimes, further justifying these acts of violence. This exhibition aimed to expose the violence and prejudice that LGBT communities of color have endured through systematic cultural and religious persecution. KGA also received some great press – check it out!

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November 18th-February 18th, 2011

Education, that which should be a right is often times a privilege. In this show, we asked artists to consider the disparities that exist in our education system through the lenses of class, school districts, and race. School budgets based on property taxes in some areas are one example of the stratification of schools based on class. Furthermore, the achievement gap between minority students and their white counter parts increased in recent years due to the reliance on standardized testing and the ever uncertain budgetary constraints. Indeed there is a need for educational reform to a system that was developed to reflect white middle class values, instead of the culture where the school is embedded. In fact the development of East Harlem as a community embodies these varying disparities within its educational system.

Millenial Yell

August 6th-October 22nd, 2011

Millennial Yell! explored the distinct characteristics of a new wave of revolution sweeping across the globe sparked by youth of the Millennial generation.The “Millennials,” the last generation born in the 20th century, have been characterized by technological savvy, informed passion for public service, and collaborations towards pragmatic solutions with measurable goals over idealist visions. How are the youth of the Millennial generation redefining revolution and activism? How will this sea change of communication affect connections between nations and their diaspora or erosion of border?

Faces of the Economy

April 15th-July 9th, 2011

Faces of the Economy focused on how the pressures of the economy affect the lives of individuals locally. Current pressures such as outsourcing of jobs overseas, lack of an adequate living wage against rising housing costs, and low job security are explored visually in various mediums. Even though the lives of families and individuals are directly affected by these and other rising economic pressures, many continue to feel powerless to confront these issues. The artists in this exhibition not only give voices to those who are disenfranchised, but the artworks also work to deconstruct the complexities our economic structures.


January 4th-April 2nd, 2011

The exhibition focused on the concept of displacement as it functions locally to exclude various groups of people. Being physically apart or away, being disrespected through criticism, being dislocated emotionally by existing social structures, or being removed from zones of familiar location all reflect situations of dislocation. (dis)located explores psychological and emotional trauma created by the constraints of exclusion as a product of homelessness, sexual orientation, immigration, economic status, political affiliation, religion, gentrification, and ethnic or racial identity.



Gateway: An Artistic Response to the Immigration Crisis

September 5th-30th, 2010

Through drawings, sculptures, and site-specific installations, artists explore historical and contemporary narratives within immigration, including: acculturation; gentrification; economic inequality; discrimination and racism; the “culture of exile” and plight of refugees; immigration policies, regulations and reform; and the controversial roles played by politicians, activist groups, and privatized media.


April 16th-July 11th, 2010
Guest Curator: Ryan Joseph

The art exhibition, combined with a series of film screenings, explored the seemingly “benevolent” appeal of subcultures, and point out the parallels that exist among the subcultures of Burlesque, the Ball Scene, Roller Derby, Lucha Libre, among others. This mini-art festival will look at alternative conceptions of “masculinity” and “femininity” in spaces that redefine the role of gender and sexuality in a hetero-normative society. Participants discovered how these subcultures relate to each other and sociopolitical movements, and how they influence mainstream attitudes and culture.

HAITI: Beyond Mountains there are Mountains

January 4th-April 2nd, 2011

Haiti: Beyond Mountains there are Mountains refers to a Haitian proverb using mountains as a metaphor for continued obstacles and challenges the country has faced. Political and social earthquakes of no small scale have foreshadowed natural earthquakes and hurricanes. Yet, as the first country to achieve independence from colonial rule, mountains serve not only as a metaphor for obstacles, but also resistance of the Haitian people evidenced through an ever-present narrative of willful dissent and insurgency…The exhibition explores the political, economic, and social landscape in Haiti prior to the recent catastrophic earthquake, and examines how this topography has played out in the aftermath of a crisis.



OBAMA! Reflections

May 13th-June 28th, 2009

OBAMA! Reflections; a collection of work inspired by the campaign, election and inauguration of President Barack Obama. The works on view reflected the multiplicity of experience and emotion surrounding this historical moment. The variety of media and subject matter, ranging from snapshot photographs to assemblage art to pen and ink, cartoon-style drawings, attests to this experiential spectrum, while collectively celebrating the impulse for creative expression in light of this significant event.
The juxtaposition of works by established and emerging artists speaks not only to the ways in which the vast, seemingly disparate nation was united by the 2008 presidential election.



Sed: A Trail of Thirst

February 26th-April 14th, 2007

Artist Orlando Lara presents photomurals on canvas that illuminate the traces of hope and fear that migrants leave behind as they journey through the borderlands of southern Arizona.  Sed: Trail of Thirst was first presented in Houston for Fotofest and was shown at Stanford University. Patricia Johnson, art critic for the Houston Chronicle, described the work as “a testament to a desire so large it ignores all danger” and W. Jackson Rushing from Art Papers described it as a “positive manifestation… of the artist-as-ethnographer”; a “difficult and risky work that merits our attention.”

MAY 1st: One Year Later

May-June, 2007

Attracting hundreds of thousands of participants, the marches for immigration rights that took place on May 1st, 2006 in major cities across the United States stand out as one of the most impressive political mass-mobilizations in the past fifty years. Some have even ventured to say that these expressions of solidarity parallel the civil rights movements of the 1960s, ushering a new era of social protest and grassroots activism.Currently on display by Art For Change at Carlitos Café y Galeria is a look at photographs taken during these marches as well as posters and art made this year for the May 1st event. Also, as part of the exhibition are photographs from the visual component of the ‘Dangerous Storytelling Workshop.’

Change As Growth

November, 2007

Change as Growth is more than a retrospective; it is the time to look back at the manifestations of discontent as well as a celebration of the resistance that the following artists have created and
exhibited in the past four years of our intimate partnership with Carlitos’ Cafe y Galeria.



Stories From Home: La Ciudad Occulta

: January 16th-February 18th, 2006

‘Stories From Home: La Ciudad Oculta’ is a photographic exhibition by young people of a villa (shantytown) in Buenos Aires, Argentina…The photographers are part of the PH15 Founation. The goal of PH 15 is to teach the teenagers of the community individuality and empowerment through photography. Through donations of plastic point-and-shoot cameras and black and white film the all-volunteer faculty works at teaching the students how to use photography as a language in communication to a broader audience. Photography is used as a way to leave the shantytown and to understand it enough so to present it to the people who have never been there or never knew of its existence.

Stories From Home: The Littlest Witnesses

(Drawings from the Children of Darfur)

February 19th-March 18th 2006

In February of 2005 Human Rights Watch began interviewing the refugees in the Chad camps to begin to piece together the horrifying chain of events that led to these peoples eviction from their homeland. Through the course of the interviews Dr. Annie Sparrow and Olivier Bercault tried keeping the children of interviewees occupied by offering paper and crayons for the children’s entertainment. Unsolicited, the children began to illustrate, in astonishing detail, their experiences with the Janjaweed and the Sudanese army. Sexual violence, bombings by Sudanese war planes, tanks and helicopters and the burning of their homes and land was documented with such detail that denial of the reality of these events is no longer possible. Hundreds of drawings have been handed to Human Rights Watch officials in hopes that the stories of those that have been denied voice might finally be heard.

Life on the Block: Through her Eyes

March 23rd -April 16th, 2006

Photographer Adriana Lopez Sanfeliu, a Spanish immigrant, documented the lives of women living in Manhattan’s Spanish Harlem.  While her work is similar in style to reportage or photojournalism, Sanfeliu’s black and white photographs capture the rare blend of intimacy, humanity, optimism and joy often found in the street photography of Helen Levitt, and Sylvia Plachy. Sanfeliu’s photographs celebrate the spirit of these women as they struggle against the unflinching reality of daily life in a New York City neighborhood that is tough, vivacious, and unconstrained.

Culture Clash: Breaking Barriers

April 27th –May 21st , 2006

A Forum and Exhibition Investigating Latino-Anglo Relations

The shifting dynamics of race, culture, and identity are explored in paintings, photographs, multi-media and video installations by emerging and established visual artists in a collaborative event and exhibition hosted by The Museum of the City of New York in collaboration with Art for Change, with the forum and exhibitions taking place at the Museum and Carlitos Café y Galeria.

Stories From Home: Our Community

May 22nd -June- 16th, 2006

Through different art media, young people from a variety of New York City neighborhoods tell stories about what they consider home and how they view their community. Young people of all communities inherit the values and history of the places in which they grow up. “Stories From Home” gives our community a glimpse of how our young people are being influenced today, and where that may lead them tomorrow. The focus of this exhibition is to celebrate our community, New York City, as a whole, viewing it from the perspective of our young artists who range in age from 8 to 20 years.

Mixing Palettes: an Exhibition Honoring the Creative Force
of Art for Change Volunteers

June 19th –July 14th, 2006

“Art Belongs to Everyone,” a curatorial program of Art for Change that organizes art exhibitions at Carlitos Café y Galería, located in East Harlem, is pleased to announce an exhibition of artwork, performance, film, and mixed-media celebrating and honoring the visions of its dedicated volunteers. While most of our volunteers work behind the scenes, coordinating the many activities of Art for Change, many, if not all of our volunteers are artists in their own right. The current exhibition is a special opportunity for our volunteers to come to the forefront and express themselves through their art, and to open a dialogue with the creative communities in which they live and work.

A Forgotten War: Photography from Uganda

July 17th-August 11th, 2006

Samantha Casolari, a world-traveled photographer and humanitarian worker, has been documenting the lives of the Acholi people, who have lived for more than 17 years in turmoil from the rebel group The Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda… Her work, unlike reportage or photojournalism, focuses not upon the atrocities and aftermath of war, but on a group of resilient people trying to go about their daily lives amidst chaos. Her images capture a universal human spirit and optimism.

Negros! A Cultural Introspection into the Afro-Latino Diaspora

September 20th-October 28th, 2006

Negros! A Cultural Introspection Into the Afro-Latino Diaspora, looks at the intricate issue of race and identity within the Latino culture. The exhibit displayed the work of three local artists that through photographs and paintings give a glimpse of the social and cultural aspects of the Afro-Latina/o communities in South and Central America and the Caribbean. While the exhibition revealed the overt, yet often unspoken of, racial and economic inequities faced by Afro-Latinos, it also highlighted the culture, traditions, determination, and legacy of the Afro-Latina/o Diaspora.

Luchadoras/Women Warriors/Mohila Jodda

November 19th, , 2006- January 19th, 2007

The exhibit will display the work of six women from Bangladesh, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, and Mexico, and feature powerful images that highlight the strength and beauty of everyday women warriors who hold their communities together. The artists participated in a collaborative project between the Center for Immigrant Families’ literacy program and unseenamerica, a national program sponsored by Bread and Roses, the cultural arm of SEIU 1199. Their photographs are accompanied with text in their native languages (Bangla, Mixteco, and Spanish) and English.



Family Nostalgia

February 10th-February 28th, 2005

A community based photographic exhibition organized by the residents of East Harlem and other friends of Art for Change to reminisce and reflect on memories from our ancestors, relatives and others we consider family.


Amar a Dios en Tierra de Indios

April 4th-May 1st, 2005







May 2nd –May 31st, 2005

Art for Change introduces Historia y Resistencia (History and Resistance), an artistic exposition about the culture of Latin America’s Indeginous people. Historia y Resistencia is the work of Ricardo Franco, a Mexican artist of indeginous heritage. Franco is also a poet, Mexica dancer, and an activist within the community of East Harlem. He says he studied in “the university of life”, which has taught him the importance of knowing one’s ancestry. The 19 paintings of Historia y Resistencia walk us through the life, work, art and faith of the Mayas and Aztecs that once dominated the continent. It is a vibrant tale that invites us to remember their struggle as a nation and continue to demonstrate pride in their history and culture.

In the Wake of Tradition: Encountering America Among Bolivia’s Highland Farmers

June 1st–June 30th , 2005

An exhibition by artist Evan Abramson, this series of photographs offer a rare, highly intimate vision of the Bolivian Andean Indigenous and the sociocultural traditions through which the life of the individual originates. This includes the widely celebrated Pre-Columbian ritual of Tinku, or “Encounter,” in which members of opposing Ayllus (clan-like extended family groups based upon ties of zone or marriage) fight each other in the bloody excesses of fiestas, which not uncommonly result in both triumph and death.

Reflections on U.S. Imperialism

July 4th-August 2nd, 2005

The term ‘U.S. Imperialism’ can signify both positive and negative aspects of American cultural and economic influence. This exhibition casts a critical eye on U.S. involvement in International affairs. Uli Minogio and Nick Harrison explore this theme, creating a forum for individuals to engage in discussion and devise answers and solutions. Their art is created not only for “Art’s Sake”. It goes beyond the personal fulfillment of creative expression and becomes a vital means to stimulate critical thinking about political events.

Body Images: Ideas of Beauty

August 16th –September 10th, 2006

Beauty comes in all varieties, and the four artists in this exhibition each explore their own ideas through images of the human body. Commercial depictions of the human form emphasize a narrowly defined ideal, which makes people unsatisfied with themselves, and turns them into consumers. In a society where the “idea of beauty” is told to us, fashions change with eras and geographical locations. The round figures of nubile women once favored in the paintings of European masters would now be deemed overweight. In West Africa the full figured woman is still idealized as an icon of fertility.







December 5th, 2005–January 5th, 2006

Javier Machado’s black and white photo imagery “Devoción,” depicts “the festival of San Lázaro” held annually in Cuba on December 17th to pay homage to the beloved Saint. Thousands of the devout go on pilgrimage seeking cures for their illnesses. Many crawl on their knees with bricks tied to their feet, others bring offerings, including gifts of flowers in hopes of their requests and prayers to come true. San Lázaro is attributed both as the healer saint and as an African divinity.