Category Archives: Bronx

Meet Assemblage Artist Suprina Kenney

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In her senior year of high school she studied sculpture formally, apprenticing under a husband and wife duo that owned a small art school in Halesite, New York. Having only ½ day classes at school she spent her afternoons and weekends learning casting, welding, modeling, and drawing.

She studied sculpture at Philadelphia College of Art. Focused on the figure and anatomy early on, then tried glass blowing, ceramics, metal work, wood carving, you name it. “I had a ball in school, learned everything I could”. She also created her very first ‘found object’ sculpture. “Looking back on it I didn’t study under any teacher that worked with trash. I was struck by the beauty I saw in the gutters of Philadelphia and a lifelong marriage began”.

Suprina took to the road for the next few years as she traversed the West Coast, spending time in Nevada and California before returning home. “The northeast is where I belong”.

It was shortly after her return to the East Coast that Suprina began working at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade studio, a job that would shape her craft in a significant way. After sculpting for the parade for a year, “I asked if I could work for the head carpenter to learn more about structure. It was such an important year in my life. Once you have the theories you can build anything”.

Departing from the commercial pieces she crafted for Macy’s she began to create wearable art “personas” for private collector- personalized portraits using old photos, tin types, cherished objects and found objects combined. Rather than aim for a visual representation of the individual, Suprina strived to evoke emotion and tell a story. Over the course of 3 years she sold over 1,000 “personas”, not including private commissions. All the while creating oversized props on a freelance basis, working with clients like Apple Computer, Annie Liebovitz, NY Botanical Gardens, Bloomingdale’s, and Vogue on an ongoing basis. Suprina welcomed the challenges of this transition, drawing on her real-life experience—“I went from making a 15 foot moon to a scene that was ½” in height. I loved being able to do all those scales successfully.”

In 2002 Fortunoff offered Suprina a position as art director. She managed a team of 7 visual artists, coordinating seasonal displays for the home goods chain as well as year-round artistic direction. She continued her private sculpting work, slowly gaining the confidence and skill needed to show it publically. Retail was short lived for Suprina, “ it’s hard to find the value in the massive amounts of home goods products produced to make a sale, I call most of them ‘landfill’”. She left Fortunoff to devote herself to art.

The figure is a constant element in her work. She explains “Art is made for humans, so to communicate in the same voice feels natural to me…it’s all ego-centric, it always relates back to us.”

 

 

 

Thomas Callahan and Horse Cycles — Design

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Thomas Callahan started Horse Cycles—a custom-made bike shop—because he was obsessed. Callahan tells us, “When I started making the bikes, I just had no control over it. I was so excited. I couldn’t sleep at night.” Callahan, who has a background in fine arts, started handcrafting bikes at a time when his career as an artist was leaving him unfulfilled. “I needed something where I could make a connection with other people. It’s like playing music by yourself or playing with a group of people, it’s all just multiplied when you have positive relationships and are interacting with the whole community.”

Furniture maker Rex Kalehoff

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Rex Kalehoff  is a maker of unique sculptural, utilitarian, and decorative works of art.

With extensive international experience as an artist, educator, and modern-day explorer, Kalehoff’s work is inspired by first-hand observations and driven by both deep conceptual input and highly refined technical applications.

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Artist Tomo Mori

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Tomo Mori was born in the countryside of Osaka, Japan. She studied fundamental drawing and painting intensively at Tokyo Metropolitan High School for Music and Fine Art. In 1991, she entered the Atlanta College of Art to pursue studying contemporary art in the U. S. However  she took a career path in journalism and digital media field. During this time she continued to paint and produced small collection of work, hoping one day she will go back to art full time.

In 2010, Tomo made the big decision to return to fine art as her full time focus. Since then she has been working almost exclusively in a meticulous, hands-on process of canvas-on-canvas collage. Her work has been exhibited in New York, Atlanta and Tokyo, including Rogue Space Chelsea, Chashama, Dwyer Center, Canvas Paper Stone Gallery, Renaissance Fine Art, Knox Gallery, Bill Lowe Gallery and Tokyo Metropolitan Museum. She received the congressional record for her winning painting for Bid on Culture banner design contest for 2011 and 2012. In 2011, she was selected as a semi finalist to present a proposal for MTA Art in Transit.

Tomo currently lives in West Harlem, NYC as her creative base, as she continues to explore the world from Bamako to Hanoi. She believes experiencing new culture adds more colors to her palette and her life.