On behalf of myself, Perri Neri and co-artist Dr. Mark T. Wright, we excitedly introduce the following visual arts curatorial project known as Refrigerator Poetry. We believe this project creates a new vision affording an opportunity to the art community and ANY visual artist to expose their work without prejudice while documenting the experience and connecting people with art. We believe that artistic expression is a basic and common human experience. Thirty thousand years ago in northern Spain, humans made observations, and for some compelling and inexplicable reason, used ochre and charcoal, to record these observations expressing the events via lines and marks on cave walls leaving us a legacy, a visual time capsule, and recording of events happening in a very particular time. Persons as Joe Campbell (Campbell) and photographer Steven Alvarez (Alvarez 2021) showed us that these expressions were common around the world, diverse but common in concept and representation. These marks, this art, are today invaluable artifacts representing brilliant connections of our collective human existence. This expression, in one form or another, has and continues to occur to this day.
The Refrigerator Poetry project is a ‘no jury-no prize’ ongoing exhibition for all self-identified visual artists regardless of history, popularity, race, age, gender, or economic status. Our plan is to exhibit original pieces of artwork created by each artist completed within one year of a monthly ‘call for entries’, the diversity. As an important part of this project, we are creating a permanent document recording this and all future shows via a website and a published hardcopy, the legacy (the cave walls). This means that the work will stay up in the virtual gallery in perpetuity. There is no prize, no judgement. The Refrigerator Poetry project is about exposure. We believe that art can nourish, embolden, and assist the work of social healing and there may be brilliant artists waiting to be discovered but for lack of exposure.
We see the power in documenting art in real time as a critical component of the project. Our plan is to digitally archive the artwork of every artist, laying the groundwork for an ongoing Visual History Archive of the community (digitally painting on the cave walls). We believe that the Refrigerator Poetry project can contribute, positively, to existing programs that help bring communities together through art with solid educational programs, outreach programs, and contemporary art exhibitions. We believe strongly that the Refrigerator Poetry project will honor and expand existing community artistic visions by making the art scene more accessible to the public and the visual artist who is just discovering their talent, who is struggling financially, or who simply does not know how to get their work exposed.
I grew up in St. Petersburg and took my first painting class at The Community Arts Center. Since graduating from Pratt in 2007, I have had several national exhibitions, curated many shows, and am currently on the Executive Board at The Painting Center in NYC. Mark, as well as being a multi-media artist, has practiced architecture for over 40 years and received his Master of Fine Arts and his Doctorate in Urban and Public Affairs. It is from our collective and diverse experience that we recognize that all art must be seen and documented for posterity. This project needs to be done. And maybe, the Refrigerator Poetry project, through assemblance, documentation, and encouragement of the physical indiscriminate anonymity of creating, sharing, and exposing all artists work, can bring us together in civil conversation independent of malicious discourse and lean us toward harmony.
Director, Refrigerator Poetry