REFRAME launches Conversations

Throughout February 2019, REFRAME is partnering with the Women’s Leadership Network at Christie’s, The Women’s Forum at Neuehouse, Art Production Fund, Heymama and Goldman Sachs to bring a diversity of voices into the conversation. The public is encouraged to join!

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Lydia Kutko
Handling Women in Art: Confronting Marginalization in Art and Corrections

In Spring 2018, REFRAME has will educate and place in art jobs the first graduates of Art Handling in Practice & Profession. The class of 30-40 will all be women, many of them minorities. Can we handle formerly incarcerated women leveling the playing field in art? I hope we thank every woman who graduates from this class and goes out to serve our art community for breaking another boundary. 

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Lydia Kutko
Reframing the Future

Yesterday the first NYC Contemporary Artworld Education class at Rikers graduated. There was no pomp and circumstance, no music, no food and no family to witness their achievements. Instead, we sat in a circle and talked about their lives before and after jail. It was humbling to see how natural it is for these men to speak positively despite their surrounding and their unknown futures. They have levels of passion and commitment rarely known. When asked, they attribute it to survival -- and this class. I believe them. 

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Lydia Kutko
One of my guys worked at a Chelsea gallery near you

What if I told you one guy in my class worked at an established gallery in Chelsea, probably handling your art or some of the work you've seen in recent shows? He loved that job, excelled at it. Or that another worked in logistics at the United States Postal Service? And that both did excellent work and had no issues with their employers. 

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These Artworld people are coming to Rikers

It takes 2 hours and any combination of train, Uber,  DOC car, Correction and MTA buses to make it onto Rikers Island. Crossing the bridge isn't easy. But neither is or was these men's lives prior to incarceration. I'd like to dedicate this Memorial Day post to the civilians who have joined me in reframing how the formerly incarcerated are accepted into the NYC artworld.

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What men at Rikers think of the NYC Contemporary Artworld

On May 9, 2017, I started Oppression, Expression, Profession: The New York Contemporary Artworld, a class at Rikers to show these men a future they wished they'd known as boys. We got a few guys from Sunset Park, more from the Bronx and the rest from hoods I'd never heard of. Looks like both sides knew where the line was drawn. Despite their place in life, and right now that was on child-sized bright blue chairs they'd set up without delay in the gym, their eyes burned curiosity, a desire to know the world from a different framework.

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Lydia KutkoReframe