Mother Nature/Human Nurture (Exhibition)

On View: April 27 – June 26, 2023

Location: Old Stone House, 336 3rd Street, Brooklyn, NY 11215

Healing, breaking, regrowth, fertility, spirituality – works in this exhibition explore the complex interconnections among nature, nurture, sustenance, renewal and the cycles of life.

Mother Nature/Human Nurture presents works by artists Pamella AllenQiana Mestrich, and Dara Oshin in a range of media, including natural materials and human-made representations of the same. They investigate nature as a life source that is universal and spiritually grounding among a diverse set of cultural perspectives. Inspired by their own experiences as caregivers, all three artists eschew traditional figurative representation of motherhood and care in favor of symbolic natural elements that also have strong local and cultural associations: eggs/birds, leaves/branches, bones, seashells, mandalas.

By connecting the repetitive yet regenerative activities of caregiving with natural and spiritual phenomena, the work in this exhibition serves to elevate the role of both the “human nurturer” and the natural environment and suggest their interdependence during a time when our ability to care for both our environment and each other is under threat.

Curated by Katherine Gressel (OSH) & Grace R. Freedman (Why Not Art)

Counter Histories (Group Exhibition)


Opening Reception: Thursday May 18, 2023 | 7 - 9 PM (RSVP)

Exhibition Open Hours: May 25 - July 27, 2023 | Thursdays, 3 - 6 PM

Location: Magnum Foundation, 59 East 4th St, 7W | New York, NY 10003

Image: Qiana Mestrich. From the series, Reinforcements, 2023.

Magnum Foundation’s Counter Histories Initiative supports visual storytellers that creatively reframe the past to engage with urgent questions of the present and future. The program continues Magnum Foundation’s long-standing commitment to reframe and confront dominant histories through inserting alternative narratives and conceiving inclusive archives for the future.

Beginning in 2022, MF supported an intergenerational and transnational cohort of twenty photographers who are collectively exploring ways to intervene critically into the existing visual landscape of archives and memory.

Featuring four artists from the larger cohort this Counter Histories exhibition incorporates bodies of work that began with an investigation into personal and familial histories. Each artist’s engagement of found archives prompted interventions into gaps in historical and familial records in order to create more inclusive, nuanced depictions of place, cultures, and community.

Qiana Metrich will present work from @WorkingWOC, An independent, multimedia archive that visualizes the labor history of Black women and women of color—especially those who are immigrants—in America’s workplace.

Tamara Abdul Hadi will present her project, Re-Imagining Return to the Marshes. Part archival, part storytelling, and part community engagement, this project asks: can histories be colonized even in imagination?

Alan Chin will present a series titled, Chinese-American Family Albums. A community sourced archive that explores how immigrant families—including Chin’s own—use photography to maintain connections, pass on traditions, and highlight the extraordinary courage, faith, and fortitude in their everyday lives.

Naomieh Jovin‘s project explores archival photos of Jovin’s mother parallel to original works, Jovin emphasizes a spiritual connection between her familial history and present self.

Picturing Black Girlhood: Moments of Possibility (Group Exhibition)

Exhibition Dates: February 17- July 2, 2022
Venue(s) Paul Robeson Galleries (PRG), Rutgers University – Newark (RU-N)
Express Newark (EN), Rutgers University – Newark (RU-N)

Two images from The Black Doll series by Qiana Mestrich will be on view in the group show, Picturing Black Girlhood: Moments of Possibility. Opening on February 17th, this exhibition will coincide with the start of Black Portraiture[s]: Play and Performance, the seventh annual Black Portraiture[s] Conference.

Picturing Black Girlhood: Moments of Possibility is an exhibition that focuses on the concept of Black girlhood in over 150 works by 70 Black women, girls, and genderqueer photographers and filmmakers who range in age from 8 to 94 years old.

Bringing pioneering Black photographers such as Carrie Mae Weems, Doris Derby, Lorraine O’Grady, Deborah Roberts, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Lola Flash, Tawny Champion, Sophia Nahli Allison, and others in conversation with over 30 Black girl photographers, Picturing Black Girlhood is curated by Scheherazade Tillet and Zoraida Lopez-Diago and is supported by the Express Newark curatorial team of Alliyah Allen and Anonda Bell.

First appearing at Columbia University in 2016, “Picturing Black Girlhood” explores the meaning of race, gender, sexuality, and the complex ways that Black cis, queer, and gender-expansive girls, function as creatives, intellectuals, activists, caregivers, and children within our communities and American life.

RAY Triennial 2021 - IDEOLOGIES 

3 June – 12 September 2021

Fotografie Forum Frankfurt
Braubachstraße 30–32, 60311 Frankfurt am Main
@rayfotografieprojekte and @fff.gram

The effect of ideologies on the identity of individuals and entire societies is explored by Akinbode Akinbiyi, Johanna Diehl and Qiana Mestrich in the exhibition at the Fotografie Forum Frankfurt, curated by Celina Lunsford. 

ORDER: The RAY 2021 IDEOLOGIES catalog published by Kehrer Verlag.

WATCH: Virtual Artist Talk with Celina Lunsford and Qiana Mestrich (YouTube)

VIEW: RAY Triennial 2021 exhibition installation images (below) of my series THRALL (2017-2020) and Namesake (2013). Photo Credit: Esra Klein

Photography Workshop with Justine Kurland (Winter 2021)

This winter 2021, I will be co-teaching the Practices, Strategies and Techniques photography workshop with Justine Kurland. 

This eight-week online workshop combines a trio of necessary skills with which to build a photographic practice: critical theory, art histories, and technique. Through a series of assignments and lectures, students will consider the overarching concepts that inform their work.

In the spirit of experimentation and play, drawing from research and everyday experience, students will test their theories in practice. Our time will be divided between group critiques and lectures. Students are expected to make images weekly towards the goal of producing a cohesive and original body of photographs and developing a generative practice based on a process of making, thinking, and remaking.

Necessary equipment and programs not provided: computer, hard drive, camera, and Adobe Creative Cloud Suite.

Wednesday 7:00 pm-8:00 pm, EST
Sunday 12:00 pm-3:00 pm, EST

Winter session: January 20–March 14, 2021

Open to all ages and levels; space is limited to 12 students, register now.