Steph Smith /

Sad Gallery

Solita: or the pleasures of solitude, curated by Steph Smith, February 4, 2017.

Alexis Howell, Alicia Adamerovich, Claire Christerson, Diana Rojas, Emily Johnston, Emma Kohlmann, India Menuez, Hayley Martell, Heather Hankins, Jing Wei, Jo Rosenthal, Maren Karlson, Mars Rojas, Rachel Levit, Sarah Lammer, Steph Smith, Tara-Jo Tashna / photos by the curator

quezon city 1984 , Lionell Guzman, January 27 2017.

Why this show? Why now? I've been wanting to do a show like this since 2011-12 around the time the DREAM Act was last re-introduced into congress. I started going to immigration rallies and passing out flyers to get a group of artists to do the show with me. Around that time a lot of immigrant rights activists were getting arrested and deported. To do a show outing yourself as undocumented wasn't exactly the smartest thing to do and I understood that. A year later Obama passed the DACA policy and things died down. Now people all of a sudden started giving shit which is great for everyone who's in the same situation as me. Its just a shame that it had to take electing a fascist pig to get everyones attention. How does distance and time interact with your memories of the Philippines? After 20+ years of trying to fit in and be American you kind of forget that you grew up in a whole other world, thats what it seemed like at least. It was only in the last 5 years that I started asking my mom specific questions about my childhood in the Philippines. Then all these snippets of memories started coming back to me. Have you documented your memories of the Philippines before? Just sketches here and there. How would you define home? To me home is where you are at the moment. Home is a winnebago that fits in your pocket. Your work comes across as playful and joyous. How does this tone relate to the more serious theme of uncertain immigration status? I wanted to tell my story from the begging, from where I came from, so people would understand a little better for how it is for me now. My memories from the Philippines were mostly happy and colorful. Also I could really only tell stories with jokes in between. The sense of humor kind of runs in the family. In what ways is this body of work in conversation with everything that's going on with immigrant rights currently, particularly in NYC, a "sanctuary city"? Theres something like 700,000 undocumented immigrants in NY. Even in sanctuary cities like NY people are still very scared, which is understandable. With such a vulnerable status its hard to feel safe. I think we feel connected knowing that there are others like us. Thats why its important to come out of the shadows and share these stories. Its easy to feel alone and in a sort of limbo when the whole community is always in hiding. Are you excited that your mom is coming? Haha. A little nervous but yeah I am. She would never be surprised by any of this. / photos by miriam abrahams

Eye Spy, curated by Emma Orlow and Rachel Davies, December 1, 2016.

Aimee Lin, Aleia Mirawski, Carol Civre, Collen Tighe, Corey Olsen, Eliza Callahan, Emma Courtney Cook, Emma Orlow, Erin Carr, Hayley Vyvey, India K, Isa Beniston, Jen Shear, Justine Reyes, Kelsey Ryder  / photos by yulia zinshtein

(sent with gentle effect), Hayley Martell, November 11, 2016.

 / photos by will rose

A Night of Intimacy, curated by Jo Rosenthal, September 16, 2016.

Nick (R)atkins, Azzah Sultan, Emma Orlow, India Salvor Menuez, Bailey Nolan, Natasha Le Sourd, Richard Perez and Bridget Collins, David Steine, Izzy Jackson, Susannah Simpson, Steph Smith / photos by Zachery Grayson