The Timely Exhibition ‘At Home’ Opens at Living with Art Salon in the Mt Morris Historic District of Harlem




‘At Home’ exhibition at Living with Art Salon with large painting by Giannina Gutierrez behind the red couch, and from the Home Series, a collage by Elan Cadiz near the window

Living with Art Salon opened its doors to three  diverse women in the arts, Elan Cadiz, Giannina Gutierrez and Leah Poller. The exhibition, At Home, explores how we live at home, as a family ~ as neighbors, as friends, as lovers ~ looking back on your dad’s favorite chair growing up, waking up in your own bed, working from home in this moment in time, and the emotions connected to the people and places that home ‘is’. Come along on our preview of this thoughtful and timely exhibition.

From her ‘An American Family Album,’ mixed-media chair portrait by Elan Cadiz, with Zoomers Portraits by Leah Poller below and to the right

Elan Cadiz ~ Six of the artists’ fabric paintings from the series, An American Family Album, are the impetus for the exhibition. Each mixed media portrait depicts the chair that was a family members’ favorite spot created with textiles and various fiber techniques ~ and, as mentioned in Vogue Magazine (2018), the artist even reimagined her next of kin in this unlikely form, where she engages family members in abstract conversations about representation and identity.

Large collages from the Home Series created by Elan Cadiz

Eight of the artists collages from the Home series III, also including in this exhibition, are reflective of the sameness that you might find in a suburban housing development. Each home is identical in shape, but depicts the variations of identity that exist within. The series also references conflicts that can arise when dealing with home as place, such as eviction, privacy and power distribution.

Elan Cadiz ~ (L) top large format collage from An American Family Album (L) below, large format painting by Giannina Gutierrez; on the (R) Elan Cadiz, from the Home Series. Photo credit: Connie Lee

Read more about the Home series III in the 2017 El Museo del Barrio exhibition, Uptown: Nasty Women/Bad Hombres   and the artist featured in New American Paintings magazine (issue #146 juried by Jerry Saltz), An American Family Album.

Elan Cadiz lives and works in Harlem.

Checking out Gia’s portfolio with Curator/Founder, Living with Art Salon ~ Gia’s large-format, very sensual painting in various shades of pink/red, above the table, right.

Giannina Gutierrez ~ Gia’s abstract paintings are personal in their emotional context. The emotions expressed in the artworks are recognizable to each of us. Pleasure Dome, a sensual, large-scale painting is rendered in shades of red with explosive white marks. Enter the Unknown began as a warm, harmonious piece, transitioning into looming uncertainty as the weeks and months of COVID-19 became our day-to-day reality; Stormy Weather reflects a turbulent period in the artists personal life, expressing disappointment; Breath Deep portrays a ghost of a figure, expressing the flow of air and a sigh, as if waiting to exhale.

A closer look at Gia’s painting on the wall at the entrance to the Salon. Photo credit: Connie Lee

The exhibition also includes seven works on paper, graphite drawings, and mixed media works rendered with pastels, ink and watercolor ~ a wonderful surprise by an artist we are use to visiting outdoors, creating large (very large) murals, like the one in White Park (East Harlem) in 2017, commissioned by NYC Parks Department.

Giannina Gutierrez was born in Columbia, and lives and works in East Harlem, NYC.

Leah Poller, Part of the Zoomers Series ~ Zoom Meeting of the Bored with Bonnie Belle Lete

Leah Poller ~ It was a studio accident, and forthcoming extended bed-rest, that kick-started the artists’ series entitled, Bed ~ a study of our relationship with the bed where we ultimately spend about a third of our lives. Here, Poller uses the bed as a metaphor to capture a full-range of ideas, humor, whimsy, sarcasm, tragedy, and passion ~ offering tangible evidence of our shared humanity in table-top size sculptures.

….and the male version of Zoom Meeting of the Bored with Hardie Hedfort. Each one of the Zoom Series pieces is created using bones from cooking ~ mainly soup bones.

The exhibition also includes select pieces from Poller’s ongoing series of work, Zoomers, inspired by making soup and attending Zoom meetings throughout 2020 and into 2021.

Leah Poller, from the Denim Series; Covid Spread, Spread generously, You Are Toast + Ma Belle, Corona Hot Line (phone) Yes, that’s static coming out of the receiver!

Two sculptures from the Denim series, a rotary phone and a place setting, are installed exactly where you would expect to find them ~ At Home, where the Living with Art Salon takes place.

Artist Leah Poller ~ Beds! There are ten beds in all in this exhibition. Photo credit: Connie Lee

About Living with Art Salon ~ an ongoing series of curated exhibitions installed salon style in a Harlem Brownstone. The artists showing within the Salon live and work, or have ties to the neighborhoods of Harlem, upper Manhattan, and the Bronx. Each exhibition features two or more artists whose work interacts seamlessly, often in unexpected ways.

Elan Cadiz large-format collage on the wall; Leah Poller ‘Beds’below. They include (L-R) Brass Bed; Hide-a-Bed; and Bed, Bath & Beyond. Photo credit: Connie Lee

The Salon began as a way to create opportunities for emerging artists, women artists, Black and Latinx artists, and the collectors and arts professionals interested in supporting them.

Elan Cadiz in the forefront; Gia on the back wall. Photo credit: Connie Lee
Exhibition ‘At Home’ Image courtesy Connie Lee, Living With Art Gallery

I am a public art organizer. I collaborate with artists to develop their projects to be installed in public parks and spaces uptown, north of 96th Street in the East side and north of 110th Street on the west side. I work closely with each artist for about one-year, and in that time I get to know them and their art practices well. I have been toying with this idea of curating an art salon and presenting the work of the artists that I collaborate with ever since I moved into my current space. I have great walls, great light and a long list of creative and talented individuals to draw inspiration from. The artists and I look forward to hosting salon receptions again soon, viewings currently are by appointment only.” ~ Connie Lee.

We can’t leave the Salon without a visit to the ‘Back Room’ ~ where every artist who has shown in the Salon can display artwork. Artwork in ‘The Back Room’ is revolving and includes portfolio’s.

The exhibition, At Home: Elan Cadiz, Giannina Gutierrez, Leah Poller, is curated by Connie Lee and will be on view through May, 2021, by appointment (email, located in a brownstone in the Mount Morris Historic District of Harlem at 121st Street between Lenox Ave’s Restaurant Row and Marcus Garvey Park.

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