Selected works from Ellen Priest’s new Jazz Cubano Series will be on view at Saint Peter’s this spring. Priest’s jazz-based abstractions balance directly on the border between painting and sculpture – vibrantly colored spatial illusions when read from a distance, and 3-D relief constructions of layered, collaged paper when seen up close. Jazz has been her subject matter since 1990. Drawing is always central to her process, as well as standing on its own.
“The movement and space in Afro-Cuban jazz has long fascinated me, especially the percussion. In the Jazz Cubano Series I take those complex rhythms and melodies apart to reconstruct them visually.”
In July 2010, art critic Victoria Donohoe wrote about Priest’s work in two Wilmington exhibitions for The Philadelphia Inquirer: “Priest deliberately blurs the boundary between painting and jazz in her...painted collages. These use form as a language of music... Seeing jazz as full of joy and energy, able to transform sadness, Priest uses it successfully here to create materialized movement in actual worlds of colored space.”
The Pollock-Krasner Foundation has twice awarded Priest major grants to support her innovation. Priest received her Master of Divinity from Yale University Divinity School in 1977 with a dual concentration in Christianity and the Visual Arts. As an artist, she is largely self-taught. For more about her art and her unique process: www.ellenpriest.com
This installation is presented by Midtown Arts Common in cooperation with Saint Peter's Church.
Planning your visit
Gallery hours: daily 9:00 A.M. - 7:00 P.M.
Saint Peter’s Church is accessible to all people at the building entrances on Lexington Avenue and on 54th Street.
The E, M (weekdays only), 4, 5 and 6 trains stop nearby. As do the M57, M31, M50, M101 and M103 buses.