Studios team up to blend art with movement


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Aug 12, 2023

Studios team up to blend art with movement

If you’ve ever taken a yoga class, it is likely you did the tree pose, a balancing posture in which weight is shifted to one leg while the other knee bends and the foot is placed on the inner calf or

If you’ve ever taken a yoga class, it is likely you did the tree pose, a balancing posture in which weight is shifted to one leg while the other knee bends and the foot is placed on the inner calf or thigh, improving posture and alignment.

So for Shelly Yang, the new addition of art focused on trees is perfect for her studio Form + Flow in Long Island City, where practitioners can stand tall and root into the ground and look to the works for inspiration.

The Tree of Life exhibition comes from Studio 41, the newly formed art collective right next door to the studio.

An opening for the new exhibit, free and open to the public, will be next Friday, March 17, from 7 to 9 p.m. at 27-05 41 Ave.

It is the second time Studio 41 and Form + Flow have partnered up to adorn the space. Yang, who opened her studio four years ago, has rotating exhibits on view.

She described the studio as “a community hub that blends yoga, art and wellness to inspire and nurture the soul.”

“It’s beautiful when people do yoga and they get to admire these pieces,” said Yang. “We get a lot of students in the studio every day versus a gallery that won’t get many people inside the space.”

And that’s what Studio 41 co-founders Dianne Martin and Nancy Gesimondo hope for as they work to draw visitors to their new co-creation space.

“We were really happy to have developed this relationship with Form + Flow,” said Martin. “Shelly stopped into our studio not long after we opened and saw what we were doing. A lot of the artists, including Nancy and myself, worked with nature-related themes so the relationship seemed pretty automatic,” she said.

The artists hope to “cross-pollinate” visitors who may be interested in both expressions.

The works on view at Form + Flow include Martin’s monotype prints, James Seffens’ enamel paintings on wood, Tina Glavan’s encaustic, or hot wax, paintings on wood and Gesimondo’s mixed-media assemblages.

Gesimondo’s three-dimensional “Tree of Life” series features tiers of glow-in-the-dark tiles symbolizing the body’s chakras, energy centers prominent in Hinduism and Buddhism that yoga is said to revitalize.

Aside from yoga, the works were inspired by Swedish artist Hilma af Klint, says Gesimondo. They are made up of materials like laser-cut steel from the nearby Edison Price Lighting factory and leather, wallpaper and mirrors that she would use as an interior designer by trade.

Once a hub for artists, the area of LIC just north of Queensborough Plaza has been transformed by development. But tucked away on 41st Avenue is Studio 41, open on Saturdays and Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m. with art, jewelry and gifts for sale.

“Our goal is really to be a source for local artists and handmade artisan items in the neighborhood,” said Gesimondo.

Studio 41 offers pop-up shows and workshops like drawing and memory-box making.

“We’re trying to be a very dynamic spot,” said Gesimondo. “We’re really listening to what the community wants and saying ‘yes’ because we want people to come in and to know that we’re here,” she said. “For me, it’s a really important thing because I feel strongly that artists deserve to thrive, that artwork is in fact work and we ought to be paid for our work.”

Studio 41’s theme is “What’s on your walls?” explains Gesimondo.

“A lot of the new neighbors own these lovely brand-new apartments and, you know, we imagine they need some art on their walls,” she said.

The brainchild of Martin, Studio 41 opened last Labor Day weekend.

On weekends, the artists, who also include Violet Baxter, Jason Cina, Casey Concelmo, Joachim Marx and Sheila Ross, take turns holding down the gallery fort.

Gesimondo can be found welcoming in people on the street while Martin operates her etching press with stencils of plants plucked from her own garden.

Martin and Gesimondo are part of the Long Island City Artists nonprofit, which promotes Queens artists. Studio 41 also joined the Long Island City Partnership, which advocates for all different sectors, including culture and tourism.

Gesimondo said she hopes Studio 41 can be another destination for visitors who can take in some local culture and perhaps leave with a token of New York.

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