Saturday, June 8, 2013

We're getting the band back together

Greetings friends and artists of Botanic, 

It's been a long time since I've posted here because, it's been a while since we've had anything to write about relating to the gallery that was "Botanic".  Fortunately we've got some exciting news which is that Botanic is in the process of securing a new space which will open in July or August of 2013.   Botanic will reopen around the corner from our original location, in another ground level, location in what we hope will be a more sustainable way.   We've learned much since our first show, and with that new knowledge in mind, we wanted to put out some more firm guidelines and tips for artists and curators alike for proposals in the future.

The mission of Botanic was, and is, serving the local art community with programming, openings and events that are fun, engaging and hopefully challenging in the best possible ways.   That being said, we're welcoming proposals for shows and artists that are living & working in Bushwick/Ridgewood.  In this case, when I say proposals, I only mean something more formal than, hey, check out my work, can I show it at your space?  I'm hoping you have something to say about your work, and why you're excited about showing it.  So basically, I'm asking for a brief statement of what your project is about, and ideally, why you think it would be right for our space.  Basically introduce yourself, and let me know what would you show[?] or what would you do[?], how would you do it[?] and why?

In the spirit of community engagement, I'd ask that you be willing to sit the space at least two days during the run of your exhibition to answer questions on your work, and patiently share your practice with anyone that comes in.  I've found that through doing this myself [for my work, and the work of others] helps me to better understand the work, and how people are seeing the work.  I've also learned about sharing and discussing the work with all types of people, including those who may or may not be artists or traditional artist audience.

Botanic is a DIY operation.  I'm going to have to re-learn to properly hang drywall, lights, and other construction skills long forgotten.  It is my hope that Botanic's artists will also be willing to take a DIY approach to their own shows and solving the problems of practically putting together your exhibition since we do not have a staff [yet!].  This means that you're willing to figure out how to burn your own looping a DVD, hang a heavy thing safely, budget your time for install, consult actively with me on the design a card/image, and be proactive about promoting your own show.  

Finally, while it may sound like a small thing, we ask that artists bring at least one bottle of locally purchased wine [we highly recommend Vinos en Wyckoff] to share with awesome people willing to come all the way out to Bushwick to come to see your art work at your opening.

Whew...  If you're still with me, thanks, your persistence is impressive!  Submissions, press inquiries, suggestions, questions, and especially to let me know you'd like to volunteer to help hang drywall can be sent to paulmnicholson at anything, twitter, vine, yahoo gmail, facebook and so on.

Paul M Nicholson

Post Script: I want to thank all of the excellent artists that have shown with us in the past and have gone on to wonderful things, hopefully encouraged by their brush with Botanic.  I'd also thank everyone that has come to an opening, event or night out at Botanic.   Thanks to JF Lynch, who has helped in too many ways to count including with installations, inspiration, and curating a wonderful show during Botanic's initial run, and rolling a cart of drywall 20 blocks across Bushwick with me [Hey JF wanna do that again at our new location?];  Finally, I'd like to say a special thanks to Vinos en Wyckoff for sponsoring our first space, we're independent not but haven't forgotten your generosity.  It's one thing to pay lip service to supporting the arts, and an entirely different thing to put your time, energy, and money where your mouth is, and Vinos stepped up big time, and for that we will be eternally grateful.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Botanic's first commercial [c'mon let's allow ourselves to have a little fun once in a while!]

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Commons
Installations by Brooklyn artists Sarah Butler & Julie Tremblay; Curated by Paul Nicholson

OPENING RECEPTION Saturday March 10, 2012; 6:00 – 10:00 PM
(Part of Bushwick’s Beat Nite)

Botanic Gallery
150 Wyckoff Avenue, Brooklyn New York, 11237
Gallery Hours: Saturday/Sunday 1:00 – 5PM & by appointment
The Commons will be on display at Botanic Gallery through April 1st

Sarah Butler
In a site-based work created specifically for Botanic’s storefront window, Sarah Butler has transcribed observed text from the local graffiti and signage and intertwined it with notional annotations from her personal experience. By marking the glass window of the gallery, the invisible barrier becomes both personal notebook and public display; a lens and screen at the same time. The formal casement of a storefront window frames the artist’s own subjectivity through which she reflects on the poetic lyricism of advertising rhetoric, parking ordinances, and neighborhood graffiti on Wyckoff Avenue.

Sarah Butler is a Bushwick based artist whose text based creative practice uses self-imposed rules, guidelines, and systematic limitation to share glimpses of her autobiographical bias on page and plane. Often using a methodological approach, she employs lyrical pen strokes, through backwards cursive, simultaneous ambidextrous and automatic writing to offer glimpses of a biased autobiographical essay. Her words and text are at first familiar but at the same time obfuscated by context, juxtaposition, and formal play, making them quickly unrecognizable. Meaning is illusive, thereby frustrating the viewer by being at the same time both revealing and concealing.

In 2011 her text-based artworks were exhibited at Regina Rex Art Gallery in Queens; The Do Right Hall in Marfa, Texas, and Interstate Projects in Brooklyn, New York. Sarah is chapter author and co-editor (with Raymond Quek and Darren Deane) of the forthcoming book Nationalism and Architecture (London: Ashgate, 2012)

Julie Tremblay
In her first Botanic exhibition Julie Tremblay offers a new installation titled Simulacra. She has transformed the gallery into an artificial green space that is saturated with vibrant grass, bright sun, and an unlikely perch from which viewers are encouraged to take it all in. Tremblay has covered the entire floor of the gallery with patio-style astroturf. In the center of the gallery, a seamless turf-covered chair boyishly leans back, absent its’ occupant, under two specialized spotlights that are positioned as if to nourish the plastic flora. Astroturf since it’s advent in the ‘60’s has been not only a kitsch-symbol of urban oases but also a genuine space for both informal and professional play. In the context of Botanic Gallery, Tremblay has embraced and combined these associations, creating a new game that she invites us to partake in.

Julie Tremblay is an interdisciplinary artist working in performance, sculpture and installation from her Bushwick studio. Recent exhibitions include Luxembourg, Montreal, and New York, including upcoming shows at 571 projects on April 5th The Nassau County Museum in Rosyln NY later this year.

Botanic Gallery is sponsored by Vinos en Wycoff we love this place and hope you do too!!!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Popular Subculture

An exhibition of recent work by Bushwick artists, Mark Bouthilette &

Daniel Derwelis

OPENING RECEPTION: Friday, February 3, 2012 7-9PM


150 Wyckoff Avenue, Brooklyn New York, 11237

Gallery Hours: Saturday/Sunday 1–5PM & by appointment

Popular Subculture work will be on display at Botanic Gallery through Feb 19th

Mark Bouthilette is showing a new series of works influenced by the illustrated natural history books and music culture from his youth.Bouthilette’s works employ representational images of animals painted with an earnest amateur naturalist's sensibility placed on top of abstract glossy foundations. Using radical juxtaposition, he combines archetypal imagery from competing hobby's from his rural New Hampshire childhood; on one hand in hispsychedelicbackgrounds blend and swirl in the muted tones reminiscent of 1970's album art, simultaneously various animals atop sit indifferent to the chaotic surroundings.

Daniel Derwelis' recent paintings are inspired by the artist’s dreams; in these visual transcriptions he shares his own questions about the meaning and substance of the dream plot. Appearing almost cinematic in nature, Derwelis’ cathartic paintings invite participation through ambiguous narratives waiting to be filled with meaning.

Botanic Gallery is generously sponsored by Vinos en Wyckoff

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Mutatis Mutandis:


January 6th – January 27th, 2011

OPENING RECEPTION: Friday, January 6th, 2012 7-9PM

150 Wyckoff Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11237

Gallery Hours: Saturday / Sunday 1:00 – 5PM or by appointment

In a changing neighborhood, a warring microcosm has emerged where drawings and sculptures enliven Botanic, a provisional gallery space in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn. Lithographed birds fly off the page to escape being affixed as prostheses to hybrid mammalian monsters. Crystalline skeletons rest on white gallery pedestals transformed into examination tables. They hold fossilized evidence of the violence of which echoes an upheaval happening all around us.

This exhibition is the first major collaboration by Emi Brady and Nikki Romanello. While divergent in their approach, each artist posits an alternate world full of oddities, mutations and deviations from the objective artifact. Brady’s excised print images seem to flutter around the room and come alive; flat & linear; they simultaneously maintain their “drawingness” while fully engaging the interior of the three dimensional gallery space. Romanello’s sculptures, skeletons composed of various animal bones re-cast in glycerin soap. They become inanimate objects of existential contemplation. Though derived from things once animated they are motionless objects whose fragility is heightened by the nature of their material. The whole installation is an environment where the viewer is permitted to walk among the remnants of a primordial land.

Brady and Romanello’s creatures are carefully considered down to the last detail where each bone, limb, bird and flock was chosen and arranged for its’ relationship to the whole. Axioms surrounding creation, augmentation, and biodegradation heighten the interpretation of these combinations. The incredible cultural artifact collides with the credible depiction in this exhibition. And it is this conflict that creates a sense of timelessness, a moment of tranquility in the center of the melee that affords us the opportunity to be absorbed in these artists’ vision.


B o t a n I c G a l l e r y i s a p r o v I s I o n a l s p a c e g e n e r o u s l y s p o n s o r e d b y V I n o s E n W y c o f f

Monday, December 5, 2011

A Strange Sense of Calm
An unconventional drawing show highlighting creative experimentation by 8 artists

December 3 – December 26, 2011 at Botanic
Opening Reception for the Artists
Friday 12.9.2011, 7 – 9 pm
150 Wycoff Ave, Brooklyn NY 11237

Artists: Amanda Browder, Joy Drury Cox, Justin Goetz, Parinot Kunakornwong,
JF Lynch, Paula Searing, Marc Slanger, Jessica Walker; curated by Paul M Nicholson

A Strange Sense of Calm is intended to shine light on to the notional and aesthetic meanderings of artists employing a drawing methodology in their creative practice. For this show finished and unfinished works were chosen from a group of 8 artists [most of who do not self-identify as drawers]. Nonetheless, each artist makes use of drawing in their own way, they have ideas, make plans, sketch things out, experiment, record and describe in some way as a part of their creative practice.

Drawing is a process to record, work out, and describe ideas using sign, symbol and form; it’s one of the oldest and most accessible ways of working that almost every practitioner in every discipline uses at one time or another. Moma’s recent exhibition, On Line; Drawing Through the Twentieth Century, put forth a persuasive argument in support of drawing’s “departure from the institutional definition of drawing” while abandoning the burden of the illusionistic representational image paradigm. Drawing as a practice has undoubtedly gone well beyond the page in this our digital era manifesting itself in every form imaginable, while at the same time mark-making has managed to maintain its importance.

Employing a minimalist sensibility, Justin Goetz’ 2011 piece “A Strange State of Calm”, uses a deceptively simple approach which is at the heart of this unique exhibition. In this work we’re presented with a photocopied book of ephemeral line drawings depicting utopic homes, castles, manors, and other environments, each image crafted in a strange state of calm.

Sunday, November 27, 2011