18,443 Souls: SACI MFA in Studio Art Graduate Maria Nissan, opens June 7th at the SACI New York Gallery in the Chelsea arts district.
SACI New York Gallery
OPENING RECEPTION: Thursday, June 7 from 6:00-8:00pm
ON VIEW: June 7 – July 6, 2018
18,443 Souls: SACI MFA in Studio Art Graduate Maria Nissan opens Thursday, June 7th at 6:00 pm in SACI's new gallery space in the Chelsea district of New York City. The exhibition features an installation by Maria Nissan, a 2018 graduate of the MFA in Studio Art program at SACI. Join us for the opening or visit the gallery throughout the month of June to see the work.
2018 MFA in Studio Art Graduate
If you plan to attend, please RSVP here.
454 W 19th St, New York, NY 10011-3802, United States
Maria Khalid Nissan
18,443 Souls is a community-based sensorial installation composed of large-scale textiles created from used coffee and tea filters that are draped throughout the space as an expansion of local community and a reflection of multicultural identity. Coffee filters collected from two places that heavily influence the artist’s identity – Athens, GA, and Florence, Italy – were transformed by sewing them into monumental tapestries and sculptural forms. Community outreach involving filters from local restaurants resulted in an ongoing transatlantic dialogue between the artist, restaurant staff, and patrons. Each coffee filter has been used by twenty people. At this stage, a total of 18,443 people have contributed to the art piece, forming a new sense of community. This installation emboldens the fabric of the community, threading together the diverse ways in which coffee culture, as a shared experience, organically mends international exchange.
Maria Nissan is an installation artist and a 2018 MFA in Studio Art candidate at Studio Arts College International, with a bachelor’s degree in art education and a minor in painting and drawing from the University of Georgia. She taught art at Athens Academy and worked as a ceramicist for Winterhawk Pottery before moving to Florence, Italy, to pursue her master’s degree. Over the past year and a half, Maria has created immersive sensorial installations that merge cultures and communities. The installations include different materials, evoke all senses, and have a strong performative aspect. Her work creates experiences through the transformation and manipulation of recycled and organic materials.
“My work investigates the central themes of cultural identity and ethereal conceptions of ‘home.’ Being from an Iraqi, Assyrian family with an American education, my fractured background generates my desire to create multicultural art projects. These projects bind together diverse and sometimes opposed tendencies in my own being, as well as the cultures in the countries where I develop my artwork.”