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The new online art space at 92Y’s Gilda and Henry Block School of the Arts

Simon Benjamin, A Return (2019), Edition of 4 with 2AP, 32 x 40 in.
Simon Benjamin, A Return (2019), Edition of 4 with 2AP, 32 x 40 in.

“We’re missing art.” Allison Valchuis, director of 92Y’s Art Center, is talking on the phone from her apartment. “We’re missing the immersive, meditative experience of walking through an art space. We’re craving the excitement of discovering a new idea, a new take, a new approach. How are artists responding to everything that’s going on in the world today? What art is being made now?”

This week, 92Y’s Gilda and Henry Block School of the Arts sets out to answer these questions with Works in Progress, a new online art space dedicated to exploring contemporary work. The program pairs curators with visual artists to produce virtual exhibitions that are free and accessible to all. 100% of the proceeds of any art that is for sale will go to the artists.

The first show, Between Land and Sea, combines still photography with sound and film. Curated by Stephanie Baptist of the gallery and project space Medium Tings, it features the work of Simon Benjamin and Timothy Yanick Hunter, two Caribbean multi-disciplinary artists raising questions about Africa and the diaspora, and the impact of the past on our present.

You can explore their remarkably beautiful works here. The artists and Stephanie Baptist will discuss their work at a free talk on November 18, and Timothy Yanick Hunter teaches an online workshop on visual assemblage on November 19.

“The beauty of building an online art space is that anyone with an internet connection can not only access it, but participate and respond too,” says Allison. “Our hope is to create meaningful connections and inspire real conversation about art in this moment of global change. We’re excited to amplify the voices of artists through their current work – and to provide new audiences with access to the art and ideas that are arising now.”