Short video of the exhibition. videoinstall:menagerie
Link to Thirsty Thursday discussion:
Menagerie on 23rd Street
The exhibition windows of NIAD on 23rd street are wildly overstuffed this holiday season. Amongst a backdrop of drawings that are doodled and dotted, emerge a collection of creatures that are striped and spotted. This menagerie includes an assortment of tickles and roars from the furriest felines to amphibians galore.
At daybreak, dapper penguins appear, as mischievous musketeers, parading their way through showers of shapes. Marsupials, with pocketfuls of petunias, patiently postpone their leaping while snails slowly scribe a chalk hopscotch design.
By midday, squirrels engage in patterns of play by using their tails as paintbrushes to carry colors along. These flurries of bristled swoops create new routes for intense frolicking. A bubble blowing hippo joins a unicorn with a mane of spun yarn to prance upon these often sideways highways. A bunch of baby orangutans toss their bananas aside in delight of this unusual sight. They marvel at the spectrum of strands that shed from the unicorn as it shakes its shampooed tresses. The babies scamper to gather the emitted magical threads and weave them into friendship bracelets. They enthusiastically adorn the orange arms of one another with these ribboned rainbows tied tightly.
This menagerie is full of afternoon festivities. Acrobatic bats cloaked in knitted capes perform in an eco-friendly gymnasium made from geraniums. Limerick cracking lemurs entertain crowds of bejewelled beasts and besties. Canines, with smiles shaped like spirals, celebrate by slurping up melting birthday cake. Elephants rejoice by linking their trunks together in a garland formation. Chickens disco all day.
In the evening, frogs full of dessert quiet their burping. A moose with heart shaped eyes looks lovingly at a butterfly unfurling its trapezoid wings. Precocious pigs on pillows drift off to sleep, soothed by a llama’s cooing lullaby.
The menagerie on 23rd street is a boisterous community of laughing, lunching, brunching, chanting, and dancing creatures who admire one another’s distinctly different seasonal coats. This merry menagerie is an ensemble of the entire alphabet of animals enmeshed in raucous joy.
About the Curator
Prajakti Jayavant is an artist and educator whose students have ranged from ages three to one hundred and three. She has taught Fine Arts in elementary schools, special education, colleges, and convalescent hospitals. This year, Prajakti designed the holiday card. It includes eighteen original artworks by wonderful NIAD artists that are digitally collaged with bows and stars.
“Menagerie on 23rd Street” features guest appearances by characters from her on-line exhibitions “Chameleon with a Kaleidoscope” along with Spike and Feathers from “Travelogue.”
Copyright © Prajakti Jayavant 2021