Esteban Cabeza de Baca, MFASO Lecture – December 18, 7pm

Esteban Cabeza de Baca, MFASO Lecture

Hunter MFA Studios, 2nd Floor Flex Space
205 Hudson Street
New York, NY

December 18, 7pm

Esteban Cabeza de Baca (b.1985) grew up in San Ysidro, one of the largest border towns between the United States and Mexico and the site of last year’s migrant caravan crisis. Esteban’s work emerges from his Mestizo culture in the Southwest United States. He has attended many residencies including the Carrizozo AIR, Drawing Center’s Open Sessions, the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, the LMCC Workspace Program and the Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program. His works are among public and private collections worldwide, including Harvard University, The Netherlands Bank, Stern Collection, and De Heus Collection. He holds a BFA from The Cooper Union and an MFA from Columbia University where he currently teaches painting. Esteban’s first NYC solo show “Worlds Without Borders” at Boers Li Gallery was featured in NYTimes as an Artist To Watch Now. He lives and works in Queens, NY.

Matt Merkel Hess, American Stoneware at Thomas Hunter Project Space


Matt Merkel Hess, American Stoneware

Thomas Hunter Project Space
930 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY

Through December 20
Reception: December 13, 6:30-8pm

Snakes, eagles, political figures, and snack food collide in this new body of ceramic work by Matt Merkel Hess. Drawing on 17th to 19th century stoneware crocks, 20th century song lyrics, and recent political upheavals, Merkel Hess weaves together signs, symbols and forms that embody and embrace the American experience. The work draws particular inspiration from the slimy, grotesque world depicted in the 19th century snake jugs crafted by the Kirkpatrick Brothers of Anna, Illinois, along with the verdant, joyful stoneware crocks made by David Jarbour in Alexandria, Virginia in the 1820s. Building on Merkel Hess’s previous explorations of plastic, everyday containers such as 5 gallon buckets, this new body of work includes 2 liter soda bottles, Kool Aid Man pitchers, and wheel-thrown ceramic Cheetos bags, which all deepen and expand the artist’s exploration of what it means to be a ceramic vessel maker.

Matt Merkel Hess has exhibited widely and has work in the permanent collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Crocker Museum in Sacramento, Calif.; and the Nerman Museum in Overland Park, Kansas. Born and raised in Iowa, he studied at the University of Kansas before moving to Los Angeles, where he received an MFA at the University of California, Los Angeles in 2010. Merkel Hess lives and works in New York City. For more information, please visit

Gallery Cubed presents NEA: Network of Extraordinary Artists: Tutu Gallery (April Zhu) x Xingze Li – Through December 28

Gallery Cubed presents NEA: Network of Extraordinary Artists: Tutu Gallery (April Zhu) x Xingze Li

Hunter East Harlem Gallery
2180 3rd Avenue and 119th Street
New York, NY

Through December 28

GALLERY CUBED (GC) is a portable pop-up, a 4 x 8 foot gallery in a box. The franchise kit includes hidden electrical power, easily replaceable parts, and manageable, stackable, flat-pack, space-saving, interlocking panels that are easy to assemble. Anyone can put together the pieces to make a sturdy, load-bearing exhibition space appear out of thin air. GC’s mission is to empower communities and artists through the transformative power of a sustainable art experience. More art for more people for less money.

Inside of the walls of GALLERY CUBED, Nathan Rayman presents his curatorial project, NEA: Network of Extraordinary Artists. The NEA supports international artists applying for the O-1 US Visa or Green Card by offering them opportunities to fulfill specific requirements—exhibitions, publications, panel participation, etc.—that prove their “extraordinariness” to immigration authorities. Like HEHG’s exhibition, The Extraordinary, the NEA is populated through an open call put out by GALLERY CUBED and selected by a jury of established arts workers.

The NEA will present a series of six solo exhibitions beginning on October 16, 2019 and rotating through March, 2020. The NEA began in 2019 and serves as an inclusive, generative network at a time when the US’s original NEA (the National Endowment for the Arts) is at risk of being dismantled and money is more often channelled through the secondary art market. In this environment of dwindling support and funding for art production, the NEA calls into question the metrics used to obtain the status of an “extraordinary” or “successful” artist. How is this lofty goal made even more difficult for non-residents? How can we re-imagine existing structures so that they might yield a more inclusive dividend of success rather than creating competition, scarcity, and rejection?