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For Immediate Release

ARENA at Suite 806 is pleased to present Wrap Around 14, the fourteenth in a series of exhibitions curated by Renée Riccardo featuring recent works by Rachel Goldsmith, Nikolina Kovalenko and James Rauchman. The location, Suite 806 at 89 Fifth Avenue (near 16th St.) in Manhattan is the office of Lee Shapiro, Psy.D, Licensed Clinical Psychologist. There will be an opening to the public this Saturday, November 18th from 2 – 5 p.m. and afterwards the exhibition will open by appointment through March 2018. These artists take nature as their form of departure. The works that are presented in the context of a therapist’s office offer the viewer a place to contemplate and transform our thoughts through a universal theme.

Rachel Goldsmith presents a group of 3D abstract sculptural drawings made with the world’s first 3D pen. Included are works that are a hybrid of drawing and relief; a drawing that becomes a sculpture. In her words, “My process of creating, the repetitive movements of my hand, is a mind-clearing practice that yields intricate art. Each piece is a record of the path that my hand has traveled, a visual map of the movements that allow me to enter my flow-state. My artwork is inspired by two sets of contrasts: In my environment, the contrast between man-made and nature; and in materials, the contrast between the control I have over the media and how the media naturally interact with each other. This inspiration manifests itself in my final pieces through contrasts in color, in line, shape and form, and in textures. The scientific, almost stringent and exact, aspects of the environment are reflected in my obsessive attention to detail. These details are added through a very controlled use of materials. In contrast, the spontaneous aspects of nature are present in the organic and fluid aliveness of my compositions, often created through allowing the materials to combine in an uninhibited fashion.”

In conjunction with Wrap Around 14 Goldsmith has created a site specific installation at 3Doodler in Suite 802 also at 89 Fifth Avenue, NYC. Max Bogue, co-founder and CEO has arranged for designer Erin Song to be present during the opening. She will be demonstrating how to create with the 3D printing pen.

Goldsmith’s work has been presented in several exhibitions including Trestle Gallery and St. Joseph’s College, Brooklyn. Her work was recently featured in the windows of the MoMA Design Store, NYC and is included in several collections. She lives and works in Brooklyn.

Nikolina Kovalenko was born in Moscow, Russia in 1987. Kovalenko’s work is about our fragile connection with nature. Through her dreamy rainforest inspired paintings the artist strives to increase the world’s awareness and expose the consequences our everyday actions have on the environment. Her paintings are elusive, something we can’t quite grasp or define. They reveal the ephemeral nature of our memory, available to us momentarily, only to recede into the darkness of our subconscious a moment later.

In 2011 she received her MFA from Moscow Surikov Art Institute and studied at Universität der Künste Berlin. She holds a Gold Medal from the Russian Art Academy. She has had solo exhibitions at Gitana Rosa Gallery and Dacia Gallery. Group shows include Townsend Modern/Contemporary, Cheryl Hazan Contemporary, Mayson Gallery, Select Art Fair and Museum of Russian Art (NJ). In 2014 she attended LMCC Artist Summer Institute. Recently Kovalenko was awarded an artist residency at ESKFF, MANA Contemporary. Her work is in numerous corporate and private collections worldwide. She currently lives and works in New York City.

James Rauchman presents a group of paintings that are part of a recent series of images from Riverside Park located near his studio uptown in Morningside Heights. In his words, “ I have taken refuge in Riverside Park ever since I moved to the Upper West Side 33 years ago. I wander its curving paths on weekdays, when people are at work. Here, I have found a ‘private woodland’, where my thoughts are my own and nature is triumphant, behind the giant stone wall that separates it from the city. Really, it is just a tree museum, of course…but somehow this adds to its poignancy, in these days of environmental destruction. At night and during the day I take photos along the tree-lined paths. I am interested in the shape of shadows cast by street lamps, and the powerful patterns of light and dark made by the sun. First I draw pictures based on these photos, and then I apply the paint, as the image becomes an objective correlative for the feelings that the Park evokes. I also try to push these paintings into the realm of abstraction, just a bit…”

Rauchman has an MFA in Painting from Columbia and has been painting for decades. He has exhibited in many solo exhibitions including The Arsenal Gallery, New York City Parks & Recreation and in group exhibitions including Locks Gallery, Philadelphia and CRG Gallery, NYC. His work is included in several collections including Barnard College, NYC, Bristol Myers Squibb Corporation, Princeton, NJ and the Federal reserve Bank of New York and Fidelity Back, Philadelphia. He lives and works in NYC.

ARENA@Suite 806 is a unique venture between Renée Riccardo and her therapist, Lee Shapiro, Psy.D. Although the space is open to the public by appointment only (after the public opening) the aim is to create a stimulating, healing environment for the patients that visit and a new way to experience contemporary art firsthand. The pieces in the exhibition were carefully chosen to work off of one another regarding the colors, content and nuances that exist in each artist’s work. These art works are placed in this particular setting to assist in creating a space to inspire all who enter.

Renée Riccardo is an independent curator. She was an adjunct curator at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center in New York from 1987 to 1988 and independently organized shows of postmodernist photography from 1985 through 1990, including the traveling exhibition Acceptable Entertainment for Independent Curators Inc. In 1991 she opened ARENA, a gallery dedicated to emerging artists working in all media, and in 1996 and 1997 she co-organized with John Good the Art Exchange Show, an New York art fair that focused on new art, music and performance that took place in two abandoned Wall Street office buildings. Riccardo continued ARENA through 2004, having it sited in Soho, Cobble Hill, Williamsburg, and Chelsea at various times launching many artists very early in their careers such as Joanne Greenbaum, Rachel Harrison, Fabian Marcaccio, Jason Middlebrook, Marilyn Minter, Vik Muniz, Wangechi Mutu, Mickalene Thomas and Kehinde Wiley among dozens of other now well known artists. In 2004 she established ARENA Projects, a roving curatorial and consulting entity. She also currently regularly curates a space of contemporary art, ARENA at Brooklyn Dermatology at 440 Atlantic Ave. in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. She recently co-curated a show entitled Maker, Maker with Paul Laster at The CMA in NYC in June 2017.

Lee Shapiro is a Psychologist who grew up in New York City on the Lower East Side. He attended two different private Quaker schools and graduated from Vassar College in 1995. He received a Masters in Counseling Psychology from Teacher’s College, Columbia University and his Doctor of Psychology (PsyD), from the Ferkauf School of Psychology, Yeshiva University. His dissertation was on Post-College Transition. During his doctoral training he worked at both New York University and Marymount Manhattan College’s counseling centers, as well as the Forensic Service of Kings County Hospital. He did his Internship at North Central Bronx Hospital. After completing a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital he took a staff psychologist position at Woodhull Hospital where he worked in both the adult outpatient clinic and Inpatient service from 2007 until March 2013, when he entered full time private practice. In June of 2010 he completed the Eastern Group Psychotherapy Society’s, “The One Year Training Program”, and is qualified to be a Certified Group Psychotherapist. He has been working in private practice in downtown Manhattan since 2009.

For additional information regarding Wrap Around 14 or to make an appointment to visit the exhibition please contact Renée Riccardo at 646 734 2261 or e-mail at arenagalbyreneericcardo@gmail.com

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