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SMORGASBORD: Engaging Artists presentations at CUE Art Foundation.

December 4, 2019

Header image: Cracking locally foraged chestnuts. Table by Candace Thompson for “SMORGASBOARD: Engaging Artists presentations at CUE Art Foundation.” December, 2019.

When: Saturday, December 14th

  • Workshops: 2:30 – 5:15pm (Limited capacity, RSVPs required. See schedule below)
  • Public Presentations: 6:00 – 9:15pm

Where: CUE Art Foundation, 137 West 25th Street (between 6th & 7th Aves), NYC 10001.

More Art is proud to present SMORGASBORD, a series of workshops, performances, and presentations led by the 2018-19 cohort of Engaging Artists fellows, including Ro Garrido, Nola Hanson, Zaq Landsberg, Manuel Molina Martagon, Julian Louis Phillips, Philip Santos Schaffer, and Candace Thompson.

SMORGASBORD will provide a sampling of the projects EA fellows have been incubating through the program for the past year, addressing a wide range of topics including: empathy through interactive performance; boxing as a pedagogical practice for trans youth; transformative-­justice organizing; displacement in Bedford-Stuyvesant; food as a vehicle for conversation; urban foraging and the climate crisis; and biodegradable public sculptures commemorating the environmental disaster that is Newtown Creek.

ENGAGING ARTISTS (EA) is More Art’s Fellowship program for artists seeking to both develop and sustain their public art and socially-engaged practice. This one year Fellowship provides an infrastructure and laboratory for NYC-based emerging and underrepresented artists to gain a deeper understanding of the history of the field, incubate and present their work, collaborate with communities in shaping society, and build sustainable careers in the field of public art.



The CUE Art Foundation gallery is wheelchair accessible. There is an all-gender, ADA compliant, single stall bathroom in the gallery. The space is not scent-free, but we do request that visitors come low-scent. The closest wheelchair accessible MTA subway stations are Penn Station and Herald Square Station. If you have specific access questions or needs, please contact or call 646.416.6940.




Ro Garrido, Podmapping discussion and workshop

2:30 – 3:30pm

*Limited Capacity. Separate RSVP required (see RSVP options here)

Ro Garrido will be facilitating an intimate space for reflection and discussion on creating systems of support and accountability. A small group of participants will take part in a workshop and discussion on pod mapping, a tool created by the Bay Area Transformative Justice Collective. Together we will explore how pod mapping can be used to transform how we respond to harm and violence in our communities.

Please come to this workshop with a friend, colleague, partner, or family member. *Workshop capacity limited to 6 pairs (12 people). When registering, please register just one person in the pair.


Philip Santos Schaffer, SQUiD PLAY PLAY

3:45 – 5:15 pm

*Limited Capacity. Separate RSVP required (see RSVP options here)

SQUiD PLAY PLAY is a play for no actors about a 7th grade class dissection of a squid. This workshop on empathy takes the form of a board game under the guise of a piece of theatre masquerading as a science class. In each scene, audience participants take turns teaching lessons, handing out worksheets, leading discussions and more. This is a fun and easy way to dive deep with friends and strangers; asking “what does it mean to have a sense of self?” and “who can that sense of self love?”

SQUiD PLAY PLAY was originally created as part of MORE Art’s Emerging Artist Fellowship by Philip Santos Schaffer. Philip is a multi-disciplinary play maker creating interactive performances in unconventional places. Philip’s work deals with politics, pop culture, intimacy, and empathy through participation, humor, music, and more.



Candace Thompson, The C.U.R.B.

The C.U.R.B. is an interdisciplinary media and activism project that reconnects urbanites with our fragile (and oft-displaced) food web as we face climate crisis. Candace Thompson is documenting her process learning about/with/from the plants and animals that survive and thrive in her post-industrial neighborhood a half-mile from a Superfund site. What can we do to make our streets clean enough to eat off of in the future? Part multi-species storytelling, part citizen science experiment, the guests follow her findings via instagram (@the_c_u_r_b) and at four annual community ‘banquets’ foraged from the streets of Brooklyn and beyond.

For this event, Thompson will offer a brief presentation of her research, including a tasting of Gingko cheese, Curly Dock Crackers, and Mugwort ale foraged from the greater New York area. You will also get to assist in the process as she tries her hand at making acorn flour for the first time.

The C.U.R.B. is a mutli-platform documentary series with a playful, approachable, (non?)humanist look at how we can address the climate crisis through what we eat- and how we treat- the oft-overlooked nature all around us. It’s time to consider the more-than-human world as resilience role models, collaborating with them to create local, sustainable food webs for all. Perhaps there’s still time to eat one another away from the brink of extinction.

Manuel Molina Martagon, Acquired Taste

As Manuel Molina Martagon grew up in Mexico, he never noticed how his family dynamic was different from other families’ meal structure. The simple addition of an electric appliance—a hot plate to heat tortillas at his grandparent’s table—was enough to allow people to sit together and reduce the rounds of back-and-forth to bring warm tortillas, a task always done by the women in the family.

Acquired Taste is a performance lecture/cooking class that incorporates a hands-on experience in which cooking and food will be used as a vehicle for conversation regarding topics like authenticity, tradition, technology, access, identity, etc. It is developed as a moment to pause, eat, and think about the economic and emotional connection that exists in the food we eat: from who gets to eat and who gets to cook; to an observation of the different elements that make up a recipe. Acquired Taste can be an opportunity to connect in different ways to fellow participants and parallel stories.

Photo by Ada Jane McNulty.

Nolan Hanson, Trans Boxing

Trans Boxing is an experimental, artist-run boxing club founded by Nolan Hanson in 2017. For over two years the project has facilitated weekly boxing classes exclusively for trans and gender variant people in New York City. Through the Engaging Artists Fellowship, Nolan’s research– largely done in collaboration with Hill Donnell, a member Trans Boxing– has investigated applications of the sport in performance, pedagogy, and restorative practices. On December 14th Nolan and Hill will present their work to the public through a performative lecture, where they will demonstrate elements of their past work as well as introduce their most recent activation at The Door, a youth services organization in Lower Manhattan.

Julian Phillips, Notes on (Dis)placement

Julian Phillips will present on his project, Notes on (Dis)placement, a periodical investigating his and others’ relationship to a changing Bedford Stuyvesant. Through walks, interviews, and delving into family history and city records, Notes on (Dis)placement looks to create a secondary narrative around gentrification. By giving voice to the causes and effects of systematic displacement, Phillips aims to allow space for a conversation that does not reduce the issue to talking points and acknowledge the psychological and topographical trauma that gentrification causes.

Picture: This photograph is the home at 143 Lewis Avenue. This is the home that Phillips’s father bought with his grandmother in the 1970s. This was the house was Phillips first home and the house that his family eventually sold because of the proliferation of violence in the neighborhood. Upon returning to Bed-Stuy, Phillips found himself obsessively walking from his new home to this house in order to become acquainted with the neighborhood again.



Zaq Landsberg, Remediation

On view in the gallery on December 14 will be documentation and mycelium tiles from Zaq Landsberg’s Remediation project. Remediation is project is to create a biodegradable public sculpture made of mycelium, commemorating the environmental disaster that is Newtown Creek, working with local Greenpoint youth to create the elements of the piece. The result will be an ephemeral memorial, the work will offer a mirage of what public space and the future of the environment could be.

Decades of industrial pollution, have ravaged Newtown Creek and the soil beneath most of Greenpoint. This legacy of toxicity is the children of Greenpoint’s inheritance, and they were born into a situation they did not create, where the water in the Creek is so toxic they cannot safely touch it.

We held our first workshop in November at the 61 Franklin Street Garden. We challenged local kids to envision what they would like to do in Newtown Creek in the future. The kids sculpted scenes of sea life, watersports, fishing, swimming, etc, in bas-relief with clay. We cast these scenes into mycelium tiles, which will eventually adorn a larger structural framework of the piece. The cast mycelium tiles will be on view.

Mycelium are fibrous, rootlike, bonding elements of fungi. They can grow into molds of any shape to create a sturdy tough material. Unsealed, it will slowly biodegrade over a few months. There is a metaphorical aspect to the material. The use of this material acknowledges that no material lasts forever, and that attitudes, issues, demographics, neighborhoods will not last forever. Fungus also is an organism that can actively remediate contamination in soil and other polluted environments. There is an educational opportunity for participants and viewers to think about how we may deliberately use natural processes to heal the damage of our industrial past.

The project is a collaboration between Zaq Landsberg (sculptor, public art specialty) and Fran Agnone (Environmental Educator).