Kate Capshaw Paintings To Be Featured at Neighborhood Center and The Art Show
By Henry Street Settlement
Henry Street, together with the Art Dealers Association of America, on October 31, 2023, will present an exhibition of paintings by the artist Kate Capshaw. Coinciding with the 35th edition of The Art Show and Henry Street Settlement’s 130th anniversary, the presentation features two new portraits of individuals close to the Settlement and its programs, in addition to portraits from Capshaw’s Unaccompanied series. The exhibition is free and open to the public from October 31 to November 5, 2023, with limited viewing times from November 8 to 19, at the Lower East Side’s former Engine Company Unit No. 15 firehouse, now Henry Street Settlement’s Dale Jones Burch Neighborhood Center, at 269 Henry Street. In conjunction with the exhibit, one of Capshaw’s new portraits will be presented at The Art Show at the Park Avenue Armory from November 1 to 5.
Capshaw is known for her Unaccompanied series that has raised awareness of the circumstances of youth facing housing insecurity. In her work, she often subverts the art historical tradition of highlighting powerful individuals through portraiture and instead uses it to draw attention to overlooked people and communities.
In conjunction with her Henry Street exhibition, Capshaw has created two new oil paintings that elevate Henry Street’s work by depicting three participants and one team member. The first is a group portrait of Rashun, Jayden, and Jayvon, three brothers who, since coming to Henry Street, have become part of the organization’s fabric, participating in nearly every program available to them, from flag football and basketball to the 2023 Summer Youth Employment Program. All of the boys have participated in Mentoring and Nurturing (M.A.N.)—a program that supports young men at risk of not realizing their potential due to economic, family, or educational obstacles—and the eldest, Rashun, is now a member of the Expanded Horizons College Access and Success Program.
The second painting depicts Toddrick Brockington, our “credible messenger,” who brings his experience of incarceration to his leadership of the M.A.N. program and has engaged the three brothers in Henry Street programs over the last few years. The new paintings will be presented alongside works from the Unaccompanied series, which Capshaw began in 2016. The series, the result of painting sessions in eight cities, has highlighted more than 20 youth across the nation who have experienced some form of housing insecurity.
“From the moment we first met Kate and her team, their connection, care, commitment, and passion for our work was palpable. As the partnership evolved, the stories of Henry Street became inspiration for new paintings, and we were able to host Kate to paint studies at Henry Street with our program participants and team members,” says David Garza, Henry Street president and CEO.
“We are honored to work with Kate to celebrate the milestone anniversaries of these two organizations and their work,” says Maureen Bray, ADAA executive director. “We are greatly inspired by Kate’s practice as an artist. Her exhibition highlights Henry Street Settlement’s invaluable work while underscoring the ever-fruitful collaboration at the heart of The Art Show and the power of art to both raise awareness and show solidarity among our communities.”
Capshaw, who was born in Texas and raised in Missouri, is a former teacher who began her art studies in 2009. In 2016, she saw a way to use portraiture to bring public awareness to youth homelessness and other issues. In February 2023, Capshaw debuted the full Unaccompanied series in her first solo exhibition at the Bo Bartlett Center at Columbus State University.
In conjunction with the exhibition at Henry Street Settlement, Capshaw and Garza will hold a public discussion at The Art Show on Saturday, November 4, 2023. The two will discuss Capshaw’s artistic practice, the nature of their collaboration, and art as an agent of change. For more information on the programming, please visit The Art Show website here.