Communal Medicine: Tending Abundance
curated by Juan Omar Rodriguez

Gina Goico • Perla Mabel • Rixy
September 2 - October 2, 2022

PRESS RELEASE

Boston, August 11th, 2022 - LaiSun Keane is pleased to present an exhibition curated by Art Historian and Curator, Juan Omar Rodriguez titled Communal Medicine: Tending Abundance featuring Gina Goico, Perla Mabel and Rixy on view from September 2 to October 2, 2022. An Opening Reception will be held on Friday, September 2 from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm and an Artist Talk on September 3 from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm. 

 

Gina Goico, Perla Mabel, and Rixy have individually explored abundance as an aesthetic strategy and political commitment oriented towards healing collective traumas. Communal Medicine: Tending Abundance brings their works into conversation to consider how their strategies of somatic engagement, world-building, and storytelling facilitate an expansive model of community care.

 

In an essay about storytelling, disability, and justice movements, the historian and activist Aurora Levins Morales notes that, “We survive, when we do, because we are able to build webs of relationships, able to tend to each other, feed each other, able to chain ourselves to fences in loudly chanting groups, able to insist on our own stories about who we are.” Despite the salience of violent discourses and policies that render certain bodies and minds as dangerous, defective, and disposable, we survive. Linking individual needs with collective struggles, Levins Morales reminds us that the ability to heal and resist trauma exists not only within us individually, but also within our relationships to our communities. The paintings, photographs, and sculptures by Goico, Mabel, and Rixy in this exhibition resonate with these sentiments and affirm the strategies of survival we carry individually and collectively.

 

Gina Goico is a multidisciplinary artist, educator and self-proclaimed necia. Through their work, Goico navigates their identity and the spaces where they exist in the Dominican Republic and the United States. Through their career they have come to create a diverse body of work that ranges from embroidery to installations, ink drawings and performance. Goico also facilitates spaces for temporary communities and dialogues around healing in the current status quo. Goico was a Van Lier Fellow and artist in residence with Smack Mellon. They also participated in AIM fellowship at The Bronx Museum of the Arts; The Laundromat Project, Kelly Street Resident Artist, among others. They have exhibited in the US and the Dominican Republic, and continue to actively support socio-political initiatives in the island and in diaspora. Goico holds an AAS in Fine Arts and Illustration from Altos de Chavon the School of Design in the Dominican Republic and a BFA in Fine Arts from Parsons. They also hold a MA in Arts Politics from NYU and is a PhD student in Performing and Media Arts at Cornell.

 

Perla Mabel is an Afro-Caribbean multi-disciplinary artist. They were born in Boston, MA, and grew up both there and in the Dominican Republic. They deeply identify with their Dominican heritage, channeling themes of survival and recalling historical events and figures from their culture. Their practice reclaims their Blackness by incorporating satin fabrics used in rituals practiced in Santeria; they honor the people they paint by using the fabric as their canvas. Along with other fabrics, beads and objects in her paintings and installations in order to incorporate practices passed down from generations before them and throughout the African Diaspora. From reclaiming spaces of vulnerability and trauma to highlighting joy and resilience, Mabel’s portraits expand the possibilities of Blackness in art as a healing and empowering act. Now they are expanding their work into armor and public art challenging the ways in which their art can be accessed. 

Mabel received their BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University, where they received the Springborn Fellowship and were selected for the Student Juried exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Their work has always broken barriers to create inclusion and accessibility to art. They have taken the initiative to create mental health days for Boston’s emerging Black LGBTQ+ artists at public parks and their backyard. Taking on the role of an art historian they teach others to explore ways in which art can allow them to express their identities. They were the first Artist in Residence at the Boston Arts Academy in 2019-20. Today they are the Lead Artist for the Community Initiative Arts program at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. 

Rixy is an interdisciplinary visual arts explorer and public storyteller from Roxbury, MA. As a first generation Latinx womxn with blood roots in Honduran Garifuna & Dominican Caribeñe lands, Rixy is primarily community and self-taught. She uses a mixture of mediums, such as traditional acrylic and aerosol paint, inks, food dyes, fabrics, and other sustainable and recycled materials to create intimate conversations via her artwork. Rixy received her BA in 2019 from University of Massachusetts Boston, where she concentrated on sculpture with a focus on material, sensual and spatial awareness. Her work has been exhibited on street-wide and institutional spaces from New England to Latin America, and she is currently a Public Art Accelerator with Now + There’s Cohort 4, and an artist in residence with Elevated Thought.

 

About the Curator - Juan Omar Rodriguez is a curator of contemporary art. His recent exhibition projects include Negotiating Grids at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and Vernacular Glamour at the Cambridge Art Association. Juan Omar received an M.A. in Art History and Museum Studies from Tufts University in 2019 and a B.A. in Neuroscience from Oberlin College in 2017.

 

An exhibition catalogue accompanies this exhibition with essay written by Rodriguez and this press release incorporates text provided by him. The exhibition will be installed collectively and the artists will present a collaborative work which they invite the public’s participation at the Artist Talk. 

An Opening Reception will be held on Friday, September 2, 2022, from 5:00 - 8:00 pm and an Artist Talk on Saturday September 3, 1:00 - 2:00 pm. For more details and the exhibition checklist, email info@laisunkeane.com