The REAWAKENING// Series I: Extremes RECAP

Creatives, influentials and people about town poured into Gallery MC on Tuesday night [July 12th] for The REAWAKENING// Series I: Extremes.
The line extended down the block on the upper west side locale, as guests were ushered for a step and repeat photo opp and into the garage-sized frieght elevator. Up…up..up…the sounds of chatty guests and music could already be heard, welcoming the lift to a brightly lit gallery jumping with artists minglings with guests and artsy sounds from DJ Bonnie Danger.
Greeted by a REAWAKENING host, with a program of the night’s happenings and a cupcake voucher, good for a taste of the offerings The Bakari owner served up for the night. Among signature Bakari petite cupcakes was a special REAWAKENING creation, Mango Chili, which coordinated with the kick of the capaisin-infused Nude Vodka x Prometheus Springs cocktails that floated between the crowd. Pomogranate Black Pepper and Lychee Wasabi cocktails turned the heat up on the already steamy space– a small A/C unit wouldn’t do for a crowd that surpassed the 300 expectation.
Though the sweat-inducing temps kept the crowd rolling, building and evolving throughout the night, chilled grab-and-drink IZZEs helped quench heated bodies as they bared it.
Some late attendees may have missed the special group viewing of film director Jessica dela Merced’s piece, “Bleached” but were afforded the chance at listening throughout the night with a couples set of headphones they could participate in with a friend, while Iyadede served up two performances of a set including hits in English and French [Download songs HERE.]
In all, artists and attendees praised the first series on it’s ability to bring everyone together in a presentation of quality art and performance. We wanted to offer a gallery experience that was curated of artists that we curators admire, and an audience of influentials and creatives in an intimate, open setting and we think we achieved that.
We sent the first hundred guests home with gift bags provided by M&J Trimming–the first giftbag that any of us have ever seen to include a giftbag menu! Filled with memorabilia-esque items that reflected the featured artists and The REAWAKENING like popcorn for Jessica’s work and flower seeds to REvitalize your space, the bag were fun and light. If you missed it, be sure to be one of the first at Series II this Fall!
//More info about the artists//
Joanne Petit-Frere
Haitian-American designer Joanne Petit-Frere, was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. Toutng an impressive resume with projects with the Museum at FIT, Dazed & Confused, The Block Magazine and TRACE, Joanne still yearned for work of her own. A return to her roots in design, she started to experiment creating jewelry sculptures with collective, COMOTROOVAYSA.
Expanding on these experiments by incorporating her personal experience, she explores the ornamental value of the braid with her  latest project: 3[4]strands, a collection of editorialized works that reconsider the usage of hair braiding. Using these works, she looks to reapply the architects of hair-braiding into objects occupying both a sculptural and fashion space.
Felipe Baeza
New york -based and Mexico-born Felipe Baeza tells the story of his life’s experiences: immigration, sex, religion through his print work. A collection of personal narratives Baeza says, “My work utilizes my biography not only to explore personal experience, but also to provide a lens for the persistent effects of social institutions and cultural practices on the individual. Reassembling imagery, I create new iconography presenting alternative understandings of colonialism, culture, sex, etc.”
“As a Mexican, I belong to a population absent from U.S. cultural and historical production and often referred to as “undocumented.” Within this context, printmaking becomes a response to the exclusionary history, media and texts that populated my upbringing.”
Awol Erikzu
After working closely with Artist David LaChapelle in New York City, Awol Erizku has gone on to shoot for and/or had his works featured in magazines such as VICE, Maxim, Whitewall & Photographers Forum.
“My work takes a critical view of social, political and cultural issues. I often look at the history of art and find moments in pop culture to produce my work, re-contextualizing familiar visual signs, arranging them into new conceptually layered pieces.” Whether it’s his African-American “Madonna and Child” or his montage of Michael Jackson images that explore his change in complexion from darker to completely fair, you can trust Awol’s works to highlight issues he strongly opposes and glorify those fascinating.
Jessica dela Merced
25-year-old Filipino filmmaker, Jessica dela Merced, was born and raised in San Francisco. At a young age, the lack of Asian representation in the media caught Jessica’s attention and she set out to change that.  After living in Tokyo for a year she entered NYU’s graduate film program, where she is even more determined to bring Asian stories to the screen. Her latest film BLEACHED made as part of her 2nd year curriculum at NYU, explores the phenonmemon of skin bleaching within the Filipino society and was shown at The REAWAKENING// Series I: Extremes exhibit.
Artist for Humanity
“Artists for Humanity’s mission is to bridge economic, racial and social divisions by providing under-served youth with the keys to self-sufficiency through paid employments in the arts. [They] have been providing design services to the Boston business community since 1991. Our unique creative products and services capture the voice, vision and virtuosity of Boston’s teen artists.”
The AFH’s ReVision furniture line, born out of recycled materials, was featured in The REAWAKENING//Series I: Extremes. ReVision is produced by the AFH’s 3-D studio and includes colorful table tops, stools, and wall tiles created out of recycled magazines and plastic bags. The tops bear seemingly graphic designs formed by patterns of origami-folded magazine and newspaper pages.
The perfect pitch when you are a multicultural inter-continental animal like IYADEDE can be a schizophrenic exercise. But in her own words, it sounds like this:”I was born in Rwanda then I died in Rwanda then I was reborn again triggered by the sound of music. My biggest dream is to mine deep and find the heart of the world. Music is the map I use to get there. Music is also the rope I grab when the land gets slippery. Its everything. When in my romantic apotheosis, I feel like I’ve cracked the code of us, I hear; millions of voices singing: “We wanna love so bad!” And before midnight, I will write a song about it.”
DJ Bonnie Danger
Source for sounds at fresh, edgy fashion events, we turned to DJ Bonnie Danger to organize the sound for the night at The REAWAKENING// Series I: Extremes exhibit. Bonnie says she wanted to keep the vibe eclectic playing faves from Theophilus London, Tigga Calore The Knife, Shyvonne and Adele.

About thereawakeningseries

acting and accessory design she continues to stay true to the belief that you do what you love first and everything else will fall into place. "I will be a leading creative force in the fashion, art, and entertainment industries." - Javana Mundy
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