Bronx artists spotlighted on Governors Island

As Governors Island reopened to visitors on May 1, New Yorkers will have the chance to see artwork from two Bronxites in a new exhibition “We are in Reach.”

“We are in Reach,” which is open through June 25, features pieces by Kraig Blue and Dario Mohr, who were both artists in residence in 2020 with the West Harlem Art Fund on Governors Island. The exhibit looks at how those of African descent honor memory, philosophy and tradition and was curated and presented by the West Harlem Art Fund.

Bronx artist Michele Brody also created an outdoor sculpture installation near their exhibition space that will be on display through Oct. 31.

“Our exhibition “We are in Reach,” is a response to COVID and how New Yorkers are trying to connect with family, memories, language and traditions more,” said Savona Bailey-McClain, executive director and chief curator, West Harlem Art Fund.” And since we all agreed that human life began in Africa, this show is African inspired.”

Blue, who uses found materials and recycled objects as metaphors, created “Strangest of Fruits,” which was inspired by the Billie Holiday song “Strange Fruit” and the original poem “Bitter Fruit” by Abel Meeropol. It is symbolic of the past and present lynching atrocities in America.

“It feels great because I got to explore and transform a room into a large idea of sacred space,” Blue told the Bronx Times. “The piece is doing exactly what I hoped for.”

Mohr creates interactive sanctuary experiences. For the exhibition, his piece is titled “Descension” and “Genesis” and is from Mohr’s “Bloodline” series. It is an original creation myth narrative by Mohr loosely inspired by the mother of the Earth (Gaia), The Bible, as well “Homo Deus.”

He taught remotely during the past year of the pandemic, but is now glad his work is on display.

“It’s very exciting to have had the opportunity to create in this space,” he stressed. “It’s just amazing to get onto Governors Island in what feels like a natural space.

In some ways I wanted to create the outdoors indoors. I wanted to create this series that honored the matriarch mother of humanity.”

Brody’s piece “Garden Sentinels,” deals with change and the environment and offers the public to engage with nature.

This past year was quite busy for Brody as she taught virtual workshops and was constantly creating things in her studio.

“It’s (Governors Island) a great location, so I think a lot of people catch as they’re coming and going,” Brody said. “It’s really wonderful to walk down the pathway and see the light catching the work.”