ARTIST STATEMENT

I’m a sculptor and performance artist in search of a place that does not yet exist.  I imbue my pieces with a single intention: that these operate as protective amulets over vulnerable individuals and communities. Invoking reappropriation theory, I work from ancient, medieval and modern rituals, iconography, and ceremonial objects to sublimate contemporary diasporic experiences of violence. Weaponized words, images and objects become tools for protection, self-determination, compassion, and survival. I create at the fraught intersection of myriad histories and experiences: queerness and the daily experience of being femme, of having/having had a womb, of single motherhood & matrilineal oral traditions, of the unavoidable truth of my Jewish blood, of an intersectional progressive activist ethos, of the inevitability of failure and the impossibility of safety. Materially maximalist and conceptually saturated, my works draw from art history, social criticism, pop culture, current politics and reporting, and individual and collective memory. While rooted in the images, tastes, smells, and sounds of my 1990s Brooklyn Jewish childhood and the Eastern European Jewish diaspora of my ancestry, I operate from both specific and universal positions. I’m intrigued by the capacity for a single object, gesture, or tenet to hold significance for vastly different people. Inherently Jewish, my work relies upon humor, wit, and irony in a perpetual search for nuance in a world of binary insistence, how to be both/and, how to hold rage and softness in simultaneity: how to be a Jewess both in this moment, or in an imagined possible future.

BIO

Chelsea Steinberg Gay (b. 1986, Brooklyn, NY) is a New York-based fine artist. She holds an MFA in Fine Art from Parsons School of Design, an MA in Jewish Art & Visual Culture from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, and a BFA in Sculpture from SUNY Purchase College. She is an alumn of LaGuardia High School of Music and Art and the Performing Arts in New York.She was the founder of Salon 690, a monthly salon and group crit for women artists living in Fairfield County. Her works have been exhibited domestically and internationally, as part of the Sixth Edition of the Jerusalem Biennale, at the Dr. Bernard Heller Museum at Hebrew Union College, the Neuberger Museum of Art at Purchase College, 25East Gallery, and the Sheila Johnson Design Center Gallery. Her public art work consisting of an installation housed inside a 1969 Lincoln Continental was exhibited on Fifth Avenue in 2023, as part of the Parsons MFA exhibition Matter As Fallen Light. She has performed at the Bronx River Arts Center, in the DUMBO Art Under the Bridge Festival, at The John L. Tishman Auditorium at The New School for Social Research, and at Unity EcoVillage in Kobina-Ansa, Ghana. Her work has been featured in AJS Perspectives, The Jewish Telegraphic Agency’s Jewish Week, The Jerusalem Post, Exponent II, Sunstone Magazine, and Lilith Magazine.

 

CV

Education

2023 MFA Fine Art, Parsons School of Design, The New School, New York, NY

2018 MA, Jewish Art & Visual Culture, The Jewish Theological Seminary of America, New York, NY 

2007 BFA, Sculpture, State University of New York, Purchase College, Purchase, NY

2005 Drawing Intensive, State University of New York, Purchase College, Pisciotta, Italy

2003 – 2006 The Art Student’s League of New York, New York, NY

2002 – 03 Education Alliance Art School, New York, NY

2003 LaGuardia High School for Music & Art & the Performing Arts, New York, NY

 

Group Shows

2024 Activate: A New York Women’s Perspective, Koresh 14, The 6th Jerusalem Biennale, Jerusalem, Israel.

2023 Activate: a New York Women’s Perspective, Dr. Bernard Heller Museum, Hebrew Union College, New York, NY.

2023 Matter as Fallen Light, The Sheila Johnson Design Center, New York, NY.

2022 PAUSA – Performance Art USA, Bronx, NY.

2022 Ukraine Fundraiser, Ceres Gallery, New York, NY

2020 ArtAbility, Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital, PA

2020 Tiny But Mighty Group Show, d’Art Center, Norfolk, VA

2020 Contemporary Art Gallery Online

2020 Las Laguna Gallery, CA

2020 August Group Art Show, Jones Gallery, Kansas City, MO

2020 The Word Show, ShockBoxx Gallery, Hermosa Beach, CA

2019 Art As Advocacy, Springfield Art Association, Springfield, MO

2017 Small Works Show at the ISC Sculpture Conference, Kansas City, MO

2016 Sixth Annual Blooming Arts Festival, New York, NY

2015 Fifth Annual Blooming Arts Festival, New York, NY          

2011 Paint on Metal Exhibition, Sculpture Barn Art Center, New Fairfield, CT           

2010 Art in the Landscape: Sculpture Barn 7th Atelier Exhibition, Sculpture Barn Art Center, New Fairfield, CT

2009 Atelier VI, Annual Member Artist Exhibition, Sculpture Barn Art Center, New Fairfield, CT

2009 Annual Show, Art Student’s League of New York, New York, NY

2008 Small Works Group Show, G.A.S. – Gallery and Studio, Poughkeepsie, NY

2008 Sky-Rights, a Martine Kaczynski Site Specific Installation, 12th Annual DUMBO Art Under the Bridge Festival, Brooklyn, NY

2008 Let Them Eat Art, G.A.S. – Gallery and Studio, Poughkeepsie, NY

2007 Interpreting Beacon, Chthonic Clash Coffeehouse, Beacon, NY

2007 What We Do, Group Show and Open Studio Event, The Art of the Dia:Beacon Gallery Attendants, Spire Studios, Beacon, NY

2007 Neuberger Museum Gala, Neuberger Museum, Purchase, NY

2007 Between the Lines, Senior Thesis Exhibition, SUNY Purchase, Purchase, NY

 

Residencies

2022               RUC – Rural Residency for Contemporary Art, Lombardy, Italy.

2019                Rural Projects, Gallatin, NY.

2019                Unity EcoVillage, Kobina Ansa, Ghana.

 

Speaking Engagements

2022 The Conney Conference for Jewish Art in the Expanded Field, University of Wisconsin at Madison, Madison, WI.

 

Publications & Books

2024 Forthcoming. The Iron Flock, 6th Edition of the Jerusalem Biennale, exhibition catalog.

2023 Matter as Fallen Light, exhibition catalog.

2023 Don’t Be Chicken, Fear is the Mind Killer, exhibition catalog.

2023 AJS Perspectives, “The Justice Issue”, The Association for Jewish Studies, Fall 2022, page 32-33. Photographs and statement.

2014 Exponent II Magazine, “Women and the Priesthood” Issue, Summer 2014 Issue, Vol. 33, No. 4, page 39. Photographs and statement.

2010 Photos Enclosed :NYC, Compiled by Stacy Ward Kelly, Mail Art Projects by Artists of the Beacon Art Salon

2008 Beacon Soul, Compiled by Stacy Ward Kelly, Artists of the Beacon Art Salon

 

Commissions

2017 The Caretaker, Bronze Bust of Catherine Violet Hubbard

2016 Series of Nine Bronze Cast Tree of Life Sculptures, Private Collection

2011 Blue Ribbon, welded steel equestrian sculpture, Private Collection

2010 Tree of Life, bronze casting, Private Collection