Altars, Portals & Grottos

The idea behind this show is to fulfill the human need for spiritual experiences bringing light and hope during the darkest time of the year, and therefore to transgress the darkness, to connect with the community through the experience of oneness, to raise beyond the divisions of faith, and to celebrate the transition into the new year.

Opening Reception Saturday December 21, 6:30-10:30pm
On view until December 30th
Saturday December 28th “Art as Spiritual Practice” conference, 5:00-8:30pm
On view until December 30th

The Park Church Co-Op
129 Russell St, Greenpoint, Brooklyn
G-Nassau, L- Graham

In celebrations of the WINTER SOLSTICE
magic & shamanism series
NOUMENA: deLIGHT curated by Jana Astanov
with an art show “Altars, Portals and Grottos”

ARTISTS: Katie Cercone, Agnieszka Pestka, Kat Ryals, Elena Chestnykh, Shayma Aziz, Miah Artola, Claire Zakiewicz, Maria Liebana, Janice Sloane, Jana Astanov.

“Altars, Portals and Grottos” is a group show presenting works from multidisciplinary female artists who work in the medium of installation, sculpture, light, performance, and video. Located in The Park Church Co-op sanctuary, the artworks will illuminate the main space of the temple during the Christmas period, relating to the advent tradition in Christianity and ancient pagan beliefs where the celebration of advent comes from. The idea behind this show is to fulfill the human need for spiritual experiences, bringing light and hope during the darkest time of the year, and therefore to transgress the darkness, to connect with the community through the experience of oneness, to raise beyond the divisions of faith, and to celebrate the transition into the new year.

On view by appointment, December 21-30, 2019
Public access during Noumena: deLIGHT Dec 21st 6:30-10:30pm
+ “Art as Spiritual Practice” conference December 28th 5-8:30pm

Opening reception:
Saturday December 21, 6:30-10:30pm


Katie Cercone aka “High Prieztezz Or Nah” is an interdisciplinary artist, curator, scribe, yogi and spiritual gangsta. Cercone has been included in exhibitions at the Brooklyn Museum, Bronx Museum, Whitney Museum, Dallas Contemporary and C24 Gallery. She has published critical writing in ART PAPERS, White Hot, Posture, Brooklyn Rail, Hysteria, Bitch Magazine, Art511, Utne Reader and N.Paradoxa. She is co-leader of the queer, transnational feminist collective Go! Push Pops and creative director of ULTRACULTURAL OTHERS Urban Mystery Skool. Cercone was a 2015 National Endowment for the Arts Fellow for the U.S.-Japan Exchange Program in Tokyo. Follow her on instagram @0r__Nah_spiriturlgangsta and learn more at

Katharine Ryals b. 1988. Originally from Little Rock, Arkansas, Kat Ryals is a southerner who received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography from Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia. In 2015, she completed a Masters of Fine Arts degree at Brooklyn College, followed by a certificate in Museum Education in 2016. Ryals has shown her work nationally, and was included in recent group exhibitions with Ortega Y Gasset Projects, the Holocenter on Governor’s Island, Trestle Art Space, Temporary Storage Gallery at Brooklyn Fireproof, and the Wassaic Project. She has also completed several artist residencies, including the Vermont Studio Center Fellowship in January 2018, the Wassaic Project in January 2019, and ChaNorth in August 2019. She is the cofounder of the curatorial project and art space, Paradice Palase, based out of Bushwick, Brooklyn. In recent years, she has been pursuing an interdisciplinary approach to her artistic practice where she creates lens based and digital works, 3D objects, wearables, and installations.

Elena Chestnykh was born in Novosibirsk, Russia and currently, lives and works in New York. She has exhibited both nationally and internationally including at the Museum of Contemporary Art Erarta (MCAE) in Saint-Petersburg, the Art Center WINZAVOD, in Moscow, the State Museum of  Novosibirsk, Tomsk, and Kemerovo in Russia, and Nord Art 2010, Rendsburg, Germany. In 2013, Urban Reflections travelled to MCRAE’s Erarta Gallery in NYC and became Chestnykh’s first solo exhibition in the United States. Also, Chestnykh presented her work in New York at R&Dstudio BUSHWOOD, SFAprojects Gallery,Trenton Artwork Center, NJ, and in a selected group exhibition at the School of Visual Art Gallery in Chelsea, NYC.

Janice Sloane is a mixed media artist who lives and works in NYC . Her work deals with the body, it’s process of transformation, and  impermanence,.In her work, she often uses the head – holder of the spirit, soul and mind. It is her fascination. She explores this part of the body and it’s complexities through sculpture, drawing and digital mediums. Janice has exhibited at Honey Ramka, SRO Gallery, Radiator Gallery, SPRING/BREAK ART SHOW, The Parlour Bushwick, The Last Brucennial, The Nightclub, Miami, Newman Popiashvilli Gallery, Galeria La Refaccionaria, Mexico DF, X Teresa Actual, Mexico DF,  El Centro de La Imagen, Mexico DF, White Box , Neue Galerie Graz, ZKM Center for Art and Media Technology, Karlsruhe, Germany, Tel Aviv Artist Studio Gallery, DESTE Foundation, Athens, Greece, Museo de Arte Carillo Gil Mexico DF, Museo Universitario del Chopo Mexico DF, Brooklyn Museum among other spaces in USA, Europe and Mexico. Her works are in several private collections in New York, Mexico, the C-Collection in Vaduz, Lichtenstein, and the Neue Galerie Graz, Austria.  Janice will be in upcoming shows at La Plataforma in Barcelona and with Kazumi Tanaka at MH Project, NYC.

Jana Astanov is a multidisciplinary artist, a poet and an independent curator living in New York. Born in Poland she studied anthropology, philosophy, and linguistics in France, and arts in the UK. She is a founder of CREATRIX Magazine:, portal for creative expression focused on art, activism and spiritual practice. Her work includes photography, poetry, performance art, sound art, and installation. She describes her performance art practice as “mythology vs ideology” referring to her two main interests the political & economic foundations of our civilization and mythological/ religious values. In her work, she utilizes elements of hypnosis, spirituality, dance movement derived from the Grotowski technique, sound art, ritualistic theatre and astrofeminism, term she has developed through her character Yannanda The One Who Speaks With The Stars. She has started three feminist performance groups JeDeive (Self Proclaimed Goddess), Red Temple (also a publishing house) and W.I.S.E. focused on ecological emergency. Astanov encourages other women to create and write their own stories that she often includes in her performances with an aim to portray the female world. Together with her partner Niko van Egten she co-created an electronic music group ASTRALOOP featuring her poetry in dark electronic arrangements. She is also the author of five collections of poetry: Antidivine, Grimoire, Sublunar, The Pillow Book of Burg, and Birds of Equinox. Web:

Claire Zakiewicz is a British inter-disciplinary artist and curator working across drawing, film, sound and performance. Zakiewicz’s practice examines the physical and metaphorical relationships between sound and drawing. It is a philosophical and practice-based enquiry -thinking through making.  She says, “Our physicality is our cosmic home. Each line is drawn with attention to the body and to the drawing itself and our interactions outside of ourselves whether verbal or experiential, moment-to-moment.” Zakiewicz’s practice re-examines the pictorialization of space and the intimacy of exchange. Her animated films have been shown at Alive In the Universe for the 58th Venice Biennale, 2019 and at Tate Tanks and Tate Modern (London) in the exhibitions Tweet Me Up, 201 and Label, 2012. Zakiewicz has exhibited regularly throughout the UK, USA, Italy and Norway and has produced and performed in numerous productions and international institutions including Resonance FM (UK); ARTI3160 (Venice, Italy); USF (Norway); Bill Young’s Dance Studio (NYC); Mothership NYC; Last Frontier NYC and Itinerant Performance Arts Festival (NYC). Zakiewicz lives and works in London, UK and New York, United States. Zakiewicz writes for the publications Creatrix Magazine, Art511 Magazine and Hypocrite Reader. 

Miah Artola creates interactive installations that combine her paintings and drawings with new media. She has shown her work nationally and internationally in venues such as  The Dome at PS1/MoMA, Queen’s Museum, Museum of Natural History, ARCO Madrid, Andrew Roth Gallery, Experimental Intermedia, Pioneer Works, Galapagos.  She is co-inventor of APE (Audio Peak Etcher), a software which generates sound responsive visuals. Miah is the founder of Artola Digital and a faculty instructor at School of Visual Arts.

Agnieszka Pestka is a Polish born artist living in New York City, creating and exhibiting in the USA. ​Prior to her arrival to the USA, she travelled and lived in Europe, Australia, and Asia for a decade. While abroad, she soaked up the many unique flavors of vibrant cities. She moved to NYC in 2017 to attend classes at the School of Visual Arts, where she started with silk-screening , to eventually choose sculpture and etching as her signature technique. Her art funnels the complex universe of human thoughts and feelings, displaying the tensions present and conflicts raging between and within them.

Maria Liebana is an interdisciplinary artist who lives and works in New York. Her practice involves collects pop-culture images and thrift-store finds to reassemble them with organic and abstract forms. Maria received her BFA from Pratt Institute and MFA from Maine College of Art.  She is a recipient of 2018 Queens Council on the Arts New Work Artist Grant. Her work has been exhibited at Field Projects (NY), Trestle Gallery (NY), ICA (Portland, ME), and Local Project Art Space (NY). Liebana’s solo show¿Tres Marias, Donde Esta Mi Felicidada?, was exhibited at Local Project Art Space. Her work has been featured in Hole History: The Origins of the American-Style from Little Leg Press, Studio Visit + Interview with Gallery Gurls, Queens Courier and About Themselves. In 2019, she was part of the Every Woman Biennial (New York).

Shayma Aziz is visual artist, whose work combines traditional fine arts technicality with new media practices, focusing particularly on painting, sculpture, interdisciplinary projects and animation. Born in Asyut, Egypt. Aziz obtained her BFA in painting from the Faculty of Fine Arts in Luxor, where she investigated representational formats in ancient Egyptian art before she moved to Cairo and actively engaged in its growing art scene for 17 years. She received several production and residency grants including Al Mawred Al Thaqafi’s Artist Production Grant, Centre d’Arte i Natura/Spanish Embassy in Cairo 2010, L’officina Marseille 2011, Siwa Studios residency 2013 and 3rd place prize at Caravan’s Global Mosaic exhibition 2019. She moved to New York in the spring of 2019 where she’s currently based. 

Her work has been exhibited widely, both in Egypt and abroad including exhibitions in Berlin, New York, Thessaloniki, Tehran, Beirut, Tunis, Terni, Amsterdam and Marseilles. Some of her latest shows include her large scale ink painting series “A state of body” that was shown in 392 Rmeil 393 contemporary art gallery in Beirut 2016/ Goethe Institute in Cairo 2018, her drawing installation “Floating Over the Cairene Sky” that was exhibited in Cairo at Artellewa Arts Space, examining urban decay and the taboo/criminalization of “public display of affection” in Egypt. “Women in Black” at ZicoHouse Beirut 2009 that mourns the disappearance of the female figure from public space in Arab cities depicting figures in ghostly poses borrowed from Modern Art history’s dominant male gaze on her canvas. Her New York Live Arts painting/performance live mural “At WAR(k)” at Live Ideas Festival : MENA/Future Cultural Transformations in the Middle East North Africa Region 2016 looks at fallen bodies, the poetics of war murals, mass immigration and different temporalities between labour, dreamers, dance and drowning.

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