You, Me, Us: Artwork in Response to Bullying

November 1, 2011

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release

LOCAL ARTIST RESPONDS TO GAY BULLYING WITH POSITIVE ABSTRACTIONS

Artist Maura McGurk shares moving body of work and begins local art call for youth in support of Homeless Youth Services & Sylvia Rivera Food Pantry of MCCNY

New York, New York – October 30, 2011 – Jackson Hall Gallery of MCCNY, curator Heidi Russell, co-curator/artist Maura McGurk and A Purpose for Art present a special exhibition: “You, Me, Us: Artwork in Response to Bullying”, showing Thursday, November 3 – Monday, November 14, 2011, with an opening reception on Thursday, November 3 from 6 to 8pm at the Jackson Hall Gallery, 446 W 36th St, NY, NY (between 9th & 10th).

Maura McGurk moves the viewer with magnificent colors and textures in her latest body of work promoting love, acceptance and tolerance…a direct, positive response to the bullying epidemic, especially gay bullying. The exhibit is the first in a series of four, which is organized by A Purpose for Art, whose goals also include promoting and supporting local artists and further educating the public on bullying and the NY Anti-bullying Act. A portion of all proceeds will benefit the various outreach programs of the MCCNY.

McGurk says that although the subject matter of teen suicide and gay bullying is weighty, her message, like that of the It Gets Better Project, is uplifting and supportive. As such, the artwork itself is colorful and attractive. Event organizer Anthony Matulis agrees. “I have often found abstract work ostentatious and intimidating in the past, however Maura’s work is inviting and encourages positive dialogue.” Furthermore, Maura takes her message to local youth and encourages them to participate in the dialogue by initiating a two-month long call for youth art to culminate in a joint exhibit with Maura and other artists in January and February, celebrating MCCNY’s 40th Anniversary.

Maura has exhibited her paintings at various venues in New York, New England, and Italy. One of her sketchbooks toured the United States and can be seen as part of the permanent collection of the Brooklyn Art Library. The artist has participated in numerous charitable events affiliated with the It Gets Better Project and victims of Hurricane Katrina and currently teaches art in Manhattan.

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If you would like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview, please contact curator Heidi Russell via phone at 646.272.8879 or via email at heidirussellpublicist@gmail.com.

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