Jenkins Johnson Projects is pleased to present its inaugural exhibitions curated by Brooklyn-based multidisciplinary artist, Derrick Adams. The opening reception will be on Saturday, September 30 from 4-7 pm with a DJ set by April Hunt. The first gallery of its kind in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Jenkins Johnson Projects plans to engage the local community and celebrate the vibrancy of the neighborhood and greater Brooklyn. Derrick Adams’ curation will include a solo exhibition of Brooklyn based artist, Arjan Zazueta: Beautification, as well as a group exhibition, Hidden in Plain Sight: Carris Adams, Stephen Gurtowski, Harlan Mack, Devin N. Morris, Mary A. Valverde, and Kennedy Yanko.

Arjan Zazueta is a multidisciplinary visual artist based in Brooklyn, NY, with previous exhibitions at Rush Arts, The Lux Center for the Arts, and Munson Williams Proctor Museum of Art, among others. Zazueta’s floral collages transform the Project’s parlor level into a colorful garden reflective of the adjacent Prospect Park and Brooklyn Botanic Garden. For this series Zazueta draws inspiration from Jan van Huysum, the 17th century Dutch artist known for his luscious paintings of impossible floral combinations. Using historical flower paintings as a model, this series responds in a minimal and personal way to death, politics and aging through beauty.

Hidden in Plain Sight highlights six diverse artists that navigate the contemporary urban environment by igniting photography, painting and mixed media sculpture in a way that expands spatial confines. The artists in this exhibition come from Brooklyn, Chicago, and beyond, and navigate the contemporary urban environment. They touch on signifiers of connection and disconnection within the city, as well as themes of otherness, racial difference, queerness, and isolation. The works inhabit the Project's more industrial basement-level gallery, as well as a signature jewel box.

Carris Adams was recently featured in the exhibition, Palatable, at the Studio Museum in Harlem and named a Breakout Artist of 2017 by Chicago’s New City Art. Her ¬¬¬paintings and drawings investigate language in the form of signs. She describes, “I grew up riding buses and using signs as markers and as points for navigating the city. In doing this, it was very clear to me what kinds of things were available in a Black or Brown space versus a white space. This included the mutability of the language, the age of the surface, typographic design and how history and politics are intertwined in all these markers within the landscape.” For the first time ever, she will be showing works from her Bones series, daily or weekly sketches which enable her to remain engaged and active.

Stephen Gurtowski is a painter based in New York City whose work explores the history of abstraction, as well as themes of queer identity and queer experience within an urban society. Art critic, Jan Avgikos describes his work as, “Very urban. Very mental. Experimental—just you and the blank surface, the weight of history, and heaps of expectation: Just what painting is and potentially will continue to be.”

Harlan Mack uses as a vehicle the narrative of speculative fiction to express his thoughts, ideas, and personal experience. His forged steel faces are evidence of humanity amongst the distillation of symbols relating to labor, identity, family, perception and environment. He calls the steel faces his “Future Kin.” Hidden in Plain Sight includes his Future Kin works, Forecast Revival which are created from steel shovels and a site-specific installation of his framed steel masks in the Project’s jewel box.

Devin N. Morris is a Baltimore-born, Brooklyn-based artist whose work was recently shown in Queering Space, the first queer show at the Yale School of Art. In his monochrome photograph series, 11 Conveniences, he creates imagined environments with fabrics, domestic furnishings and figures. He states, “Subjects and objects are arranged in a way that reads as an assemblage, as I am often trying to readdress the many assembled parts of the disparate African American history.”

Mary A. Valverde has served on the NYC Public Design Commission since 2015 with Hank Willis Thomas. Valverde creates installations reminiscent of sacred spaces and material offerings. Her works bring together various ephemera material to formulate a visual network based on arithmetic diagrams. Artist William Cordova describes her as, “a cultural practitioner invested in ritual, the quotidian and syncretic relationships. She is a copious researcher with a ravenous appetite for the trans-physics we create as a society.”

Kennedy Yanko is a Brooklyn-based sculptor who works in metal, marble, wood and acrylic to expose the beauty in the abject. Learning more about her materials’ pasts has encouraged Yanko to repurpose metal and change our experiences with it by altering the way it participates in a space. In her work, Mobility, she uses taxi-yellow which “embodies the spirit of New York. It references the quintessential experience of urbanites who exist, survive and thrive within the frenetic movement of NYC traffic, and the standard pace of life.”

Adams recently served as guest curator for the inaugural curated section of VOLTA NY 2016. His work has been shown at MoMA PS1; Brooklyn Museum of Art; Studio Museum in Harlem; Contemporary Art Museum Houston; and the California African American Museum.