Greek Artist Stella Kapezanou’s New York exhibition Corn Maiden champions female power

Greek Artist Stella Kapezanou’s New York exhibition Corn Maiden champions female power


Greek artist and 2024 Fulbright Fellow Stella Kapezanou’s universally recognised bright figurative paintings  bring together the banal and the exotic as commentary on the western consumer dream and materialist culture. She joins forces with

New Mexico based multidisciplinary artist Kate Turner at the non-profit cultural venue Opening Gallery in Tribeca in New York around shared themes of female power, earth rituals, and the beauty and dangers in the natural and human-made world. 


Stella Kapezanou (Fulbright Fellow) and Kate Turner (Roswell Artist-in-Residence and named as one of “12 New Mexico Artists to Know Now” by Southwest Contemporary)—come together at Opening Gallery in Tribeca in New York around shared themes of feminine power. The artists converged in New Mexico as a result of a curatorial hunch initiated by Santa Fe based curator Tressa Berman. Having met Turner at her 12 Artists To Know exhibition at 516 Gallery in Albuquerque, their correspondence led to conversations about fabrication, fashion and bondage (sexual, social and aesthetic), and the conceptual turn to installation works that, on second glance, unveil masked meanings of power relations (interpersonal, historical, racial).

Professor Tressa Berman, member of the advisory board of Greece in USA, instigated a dialogue in Santa Fe between Black-American artist Kate Turner and Fulbright Fellow Stella Kapezanou and is curating a show with the two artists on behalf of Greece in USA under the Auspices of the Greek Ministry of Culture on Friday, March 29th 6-8pm  at the non – profit venue “Opening Gallery” in Tribeca.


When Kate Turner later encountered Kapezanou’s vibrant paintings organized around the theme of female sovereignty at the Santa Fe Art Institute, the iconographies somehow spoke across cultural differences. Upon meeting, the two artists lit the studio ablaze with their synergy, captured now melding into one another’s work, in sisterhood and recognition of the wound.  Both artists draw from universal cultural symbols, mindful of specificity of meanings that define history and place, while at the same time delving into deeper structures of visual language where mythological and psychological metaphors traverse social maps of connectivity.

As in Kapezanou’s Here Be Dragons, unknown cartographies are marked by demons and dragons, harkening to dark ages of fearful and violent encounters in the real and imagined maps of exploration and colonization of body, place and mind. At the same time, there is beauty. Recurring elements join the two artists in a dance of divine feminine power that defies monumental tomes of brutality—slavery, warfare, patriarchy—to the generalized dangers wrought by Mother Nature herself, especially the dual forces of fire as creator and destroyer.  


Kapezanou’s Corn Maidens and Turner’s Showing Out for the Conflagration ground the symbolic elements of the show, while crows, black cats, dragons and cloaked human forms lurk among the stalks and surprise us with life-affirming vibrancy and voluptuousness. The title takes from several elements of the artists’ combined works: Corn, as life-giving, ceremonial seed, a place to hide, a maze of play. Birds, as symbols of Spirit, messengers and protectors, omens and the warding off of evil. Crop circles, concentric areas of cultivated elements—plants, rocks, shells, bone, earth—create a swirling geometry, like a labyrinth.  In this way, the “conflagration” can ignite the scene in a sweeping flame as the artists join myths, mysteries and history in their creative exchange.

Greek artist Stella Kapezanou is a 2024 Fulbright Fellow at the Santa Fe Art Institute, and recipient of many awards, including the Clyde & Co Emerging Star Award (2017), the Cass Art Prize (2018), and the Munich Academy of Fine Arts (ADBK) Academic Exchange (2023).  Kate Turner is a New Mexico based multidisciplinary artist originally from Cincinnati Ohio. She received her MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University and has held residencies at the Galveston Artists Residency and the Roswell Artist-In-Residency program. Tressa Berman, Ph.D. is an independent curator, art writer and visiting research faculty at the University of New Mexico. Author of two books and more than 40 articles and catalogue essays, her recent publications, exhibitions  and awards include for the Nevada Museum of Art, Pop Redux: Mel Ramos and Friends, Escalante Gallery Los Angeles, and the 2022 Judy Chicago Feminist Art Education Award.

The Opening Gallery, at 42 Walker in Tribeca, New York, is a nonprofit cultural venue and initiative established in 2022, showcasing global and local artists, practice-based research, as well as performance, live events, and educational programs.  Founded by Sozita Goudouna, the Opening Gallery supports a heteroclite art ecosystem that attempts to go beyond prevalent gallery models in Tribeca.

Corn Maidens: Crop Circles, Fire and a Conflagration of Birds

Artists: Stella Kapezanou and Kate Turner

Curator: Tressa Berman, Ph.D.

Production : under the Auspices of the Greek Ministry of Culture

Opening Gallery, 42 Walker Street, New York

Exhibition Reception: Friday, March 29, 2024  6-8pm

Events: 12 – 6pm Saturday, March 30, 2024 and Sunday, March 31, 2024

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