Scherezade Garcia: In Transit/Liquid Highway

September 15, 2015–June 2016

Scherezade GarciaScherezade Garcia. In Transit/Liquid Highway, installation view at Miller Theatre Lobby, Fall 2015.
Photograph by Gerald Sampson.

Curated by Deborah Cullen

A site-specific installation for Miller Theatre at Columbia University in collaboration with The Wallach Art Gallery

Scherezade Garcia’s work inhabits a baroque universe. A natural storyteller, she uses drawing, printmaking, painting, installation, and other media to create contemporary allegories about history, colonization, and politics. Found objects, including life jackets, inner tubes, suitcases, mattresses, tents, umbrellas, religious icons, and newspapers, are transformed within her work. She has explored the consequences of migration, beliefs about salvation, and both optimistic and cynical notions of paradise. A recurring theme in her works is the very difficult experience of migration, and the feeling of being afloat, unmoored. Her works reflect on the losses and gains of emigration.

Memories lurk in the shadows beneath sun-spotted waves that can turn treacherous in the Canal de la Mona. The aquí y allá, the back-and-forth of the New York-Santo Domingo flight, journeys over so much deep water that in an instant can become a grave. On her lushly painted surfaces, delicate screen-printed drawings and stamped images surrounded by handwriting create a dancing linear web, a cresting froth. These waves, sparkling, inviting, and also terrifying and crashing, are metonyms for the journeys of transplanted Dominican communities. They are now the largest and most rapidly growing Latino community in New York, nearly a million strong. This new work explores what Garcia calls “the liquid frontier,” the wild, dangerous unknown that stands between the Caribbean, and a new life.

Scherezade Garcia was born in The Dominican Republic and has lived in New York since she arrived in 1986 to attend Parsons The New School for Design on a full merit scholarship. She received her AAS from Altos de Chavon The School of Design (an affiliate of Parsons) in La Romana, the Dominican Republic; her BFA from Parsons The New School for Design, NY, and her MFA from The City College of New York. Garcia is currently a faculty member at Parsons The New School for Design.

Scherezade Garcia's site-specific work for Miller Theatre Lobby is co-commissioned and co-presented by Miller Theatre and the Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery. This is the third collaborative project between Columbia University's two major artistic presenting spaces.

Miller Theatre is located north of the Columbia University's main campus gate at 116th St. and Broadway on the ground floor of Dodge Hall.

The theatre lobby is open to the public Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and beginning two hours before each scheduled performance.


"Liquid Highway" Revisted: Hispañola in Perspective - A Rountable Discussion with Firelei Báez, Nicolás Dumit Estévez Raful and Scherezade Garcia
With remarks by: Daily Guerrero, Abigail Lapin Dardashti and Deborah Cullen
Tuesday, March 1, 6:30-8pm
612 Schermerhorn Hall

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Rembrandt Syposium


Artist Talk and Reception with Scherezade Garcia
Tuesday, September 15, 5:00 pm
Miller Theatre at Columbia University

In an intimate and wide-ranging talk with the artist moderated by Wallach Art Gallery Director and Chief Curator, Deborah Cullen, the artist will discuss her process and influences, the relationship between New York and the Dominican Republic, and the strong role of women in Dominican art, among other topics.

This event is presented by the Arts Initiative as part of the series Creative Conversations: Ideas into Form.

Hands-on Printmaking Workshop with Scherezade Garcia
Wednesday, September 30, 9-12 noon

Come join us for a Special K-12 printmaking workshop on the Miller Theatre stage, at Columbia University with Dominican-born artist Scherezade Garcia, in conjunction with her new, site-specific mural: In Transit/Liquid Highway, in Miller Theatre lobby. Garcia is an internationally-exhibiting artist, and on faculty at Parsons The New School for Design.

Space is limited, RSVP required. Register here!