Blue Medium Newsletter: Spring/Summer 2024



“Art is a source of awakening and joy”

If unrest—at the personal, political, and, now, global climate levels—is evergreen, so too are our modes of resistance. We may not have all the answers, and may be inundated on all sides with cultural output and mixed messages. But what matters is: art, architecture, and design can exist at the center of this disruption, offering modes of exchange and expression that undermine that of war. Art is a source of awakening, and of joy. In this role, it clarifies itself as a tool to make sense of the present, examine the past, and articulate a vision—maybe, of hope—for the future.

In August 2022, in response to the increased violence and acute turmoil, journalist Jason Farago visited Ukraine to unpack ideas surrounding the role of art and aesthetics during wartime. Farago writes:

“Through art we establish similarities between past and future, near and far, abstract and concrete, that cast received certainties into doubt. We look and listen in a way that lets thinking and feeling run parallel to each other. And in extreme times, this sort of cultural appreciation can rise from an analytical to a moral plane. If we pay close attention — a task made harder with every meme-burst and iPhone rollout — art and literature and music can endow us with improved faculties to see our new present as something more than a stream of words and images.”

Our clients may be touching different sectors of the architecture, design, and visual arts realms working in different communities in New York and beyond, but their vision of the world—one in which visual arts and design play not only an important role, but have the capacity to make a real impact in their communities—doesn’t vary from the vision proposed by Farago, and by us, and hopefully, by you as well.

Let’s acknowledge reality while envisioning something greater.

—John, Michelle, Andy, Meg, Dalia, Max, and Katrina, and Katarina


Featuring Leslie Jones

Leslie B. Jones serves as the Director of Museum Affairs and Chief Curator for The Preservation Society of Newport County. She joined the Society in 2019 to oversee curatorial, conservation, collections management, site stewardship, exhibitions, interpretation, and programmatic initiatives such as family programs and lectures. Leslie directs the fellows program, which annually hosts four emerging scholars who focus a year of work on dedicated research opportunities. The Architecture and Design division at Blue is delighted to be working with Leslie on amplifying upcoming programs at Newport Mansions.

Previously, she was the Vice President, Museum Affairs & Curator of Decorative Arts at Cheekwood Estate & Gardens, a 55-acre botanical garden, art museum, and historic house in Nashville, Tennessee. Before joining Cheekwood, Leslie was Curator and Director of Historical Resources & Programming for the White House Historical Association. Both roles included major preservation projects, including the revitalization of the White House Visitor Center (2014) and the restoration of Cheekwood’s c. 1930s domestic spaces (2017).

As an independent consultant, Jones has provided advice and leadership in all areas of museum administration to many clients, including Meadow Brook Hall in Rochester, Mich., the Green-Meldrim House in Savannah, Ga., Woodlawn Plantation in Alexandria, Va., and Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, Australia.

A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Jones received her Bachelor’s degree in the history of art and architecture from Miami University in Ohio, a Master’s degree in the history of decorative arts from the Smithsonian Institution’s joint program with the Corcoran College of Art + Design, and another Master’s in the appraisal of fine and decorative art from New York University.




KAWS + Warhol, May 18 — January 20, 2025

Marking the Museum’s 30th anniversary, KAWS + Warhol will foreground the art historical link between the two artists, examining the threads and subject matter common to both of their work. More than 90 works will be on view, the first time KAWS has been aligned with Warhol in a two artist show.

Contact: Max Kruger-Dull


Sarah Zapata: Beneath the Breath of the Sun, February 10 – July 24

In this exhibition, on view until mid-summer, Zapata employs weaving, tufting and traditional craft techniques to create loud, architecturally responsive installations that traverse themes of gender, colonialism and fantasy. Zapata’s site-specific works reflect her intersecting identities as a queer woman of Peruvian heritage raised in Evangelical South Texas and now based in New York.

Contact: Max Kruger-Dull


Deconstructing the Boundaries Symposium, July 2024

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, in partnership with Indigo Arts Alliance, will continue their multi-year project that centers Black/Brown/Indigenous relationships with the land. In July, the Gardens will host a panel of thought leaders and workshop presenters curated by Indigo Arts Alliance to explore environmental justice in Black and Brown communities, alongside a public art installation.

Contact: Katrina Stewart


Art Works Grant Application Period Opens, May 20

Applications for Forman Arts Initiative and Philadelphia Foundation’s fourth year of Art Works, a $3,000,000 grant program that celebrates individual artists and cultural institutions working toward positive social change within Philadelphia and the larger cultural community, will open May 20. Current grant recipients include Monument Lab and Walé Oyéjidé, among other local changemakers. For more information about Philadelphia artists, check out the latest installment of FAIStories, an ongoing series between the organization and The Philadelphia Citizen.

Contact: Max Kruger-Dull


Käthe Kollwitz, March 31 — July 20

Don’t miss Käthe Kollwitz at the Museum of Modern Art, a major retrospective for the German printmaker originally championed by Otto Kallir at his Neue Galerie in New York and featuring gifted works from the Kallir Research Institute, on view until July 20.

Contact: Katrina Stewart


100 Years Neue Galerie Vienna: Homage to Otto Kallir, May 8 — June 28

Wienerroither & Kohlbacher, in collaboration with Jane Kallir, will present a comprehensive exhibition honoring Otto Kallir in their New York space (Sheperd W & K, 58 East 79th Street). 100 YEARS NEUE GALERIE VIENNA: Homage to Otto Kallir will be a survey adapted from the exhibition in their Vienna gallery with works by artists supported by Otto Kallir: Klimt, Schiele, Kokoschka, Kubin, Waldmüller, Beckmann, Kollwitz, Lerch, Faistauer and Jungnickel.

Contact: Katrina Stewart


Entwined: Freedom, Sovereignty, and the Sea, April 20 — April 19, 2026

Entwined: Freedom, Sovereignty, and the Sea will be on view all summer at the Mystic Seaport Museum. Curated by Akeia de Barros Gomes, Mystic’s William E. Cook Vice President of Maritime Studies, and designed and fabricated by SmokeSygnals, the exhibition will survey maritime histories in Indigenous, African, and African American experiences both past and present.

Contact: Katrina Stewart


Delamar Mystic, October 2024

Delamar Mystic, a new boutique hotel on the water, will also open in October in collaboration with Mystic Seaport Museum, featuring a boat from the Museum’s collection suspended over the farm-to-table restaurant.

Contact: Katrina Stewart


Artist’s Council Announcement + Black and Indigenous Land Rights and Agriculture Grantees

This spring, The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation will announce the recipients of the fourth annual Artists Council grants and the second edition of Black and Indigenous Land Rights and Agriculture grants. The initiative awards funding to initiate the rectification of historical injustices, loss of land, and capacity for wealth generation, and to offer both financial and spiritual support.

Contact: Katrina Stewart


Narrative Obsessions in the Post-Colonial Psyche, May 16 — July 27

Narrative Obsessions will explore post-colonialism from the perspective of 12 artists addressing the harmful global histories and present-day legacies of imperial subjugation. Featured artists: Firelei Baéz, Gerard & Kelly, Brian Jungen, Hew Locke, Joiri Minaiya, Frida Orupabo, Keith Piper, Yinka Shonibare, Elisa Sighicelli, and Kara Walker.

Contact: Max Kruger-Dull


Inaugural Cohort Announcement,  July 2024

Trellis Art Fund, a newly-launched grantmaking organization supporting the creative work of individual artists, will announce their first cohort of artists in July. Twelve artists will be awarded 12 unrestricted grants, totaling $100,000 each over two years. The artists will be selected by an anonymous jury and awarded to artists with a “demonstrated trajectory of excellence.” Two grants will be reserved for artists with children under twelve.

Contact: Katrina Stewart



The Brook

The Brook, a new, 52-story mixed-use skyscraper developed by Witkoff and Apollo Global Management, topped out in early April in Downtown Brooklyn. Designed by Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners, the 598,000-SF, 600-foot tower includes 591 apartments, 30% of which are reserved for affordable housing. In addition to living spaces, the project comprises 41,000 SF of retail space and 30,000 SF of resident amenities, including a library, an outdoor pool, a basketball court, lounges, fitness studios, landscaped terraces, and more. BBB took design inspiration from the proportions and color palettes of historic Brooklyn architecture, reinterpreted for a contemporary high-rise facade. The building’s lobby, designed as an oval atrium, creates a fluid connection to the many surrounding streets and modes of transportation.

Contact: Michelle DiLello


College of Charleston

BBB has recently completed the Strategic Framework Plan for the College of Charleston. The plan for one of the country’s most beautiful and historic urban campuses is a national model for balancing historic preservation with contemporary academic priorities, while meeting urgent demands for accessibility, sustainability, and coastal resiliency. Guided by four key overarching approaches – historic preservation and adaptive reuse; sustainability and resiliency; space optimization and innovative space; and campus in the region; the plan outlines a roadmap of opportunities for infill development, preservation and adaptive reuse, program relocations, property acquisition and disposition, housing renewal, landscape and open spaces, sustainable infrastructure, resiliency and stormwater management, and parking.

Contact: Dalia Stoniene


Under Present Conditions, May 2 — June 15

Friedman Benda invites you to its summer group show, Under Present Conditions, a survey of responses to the urgencies of our time by leading contemporary designers. Central to the exhibition is the exploration of materials, as opposed to mass processes of industrialization and extraction. With concerns such as overconsumption, the overexploitation of resources, and the search for sustainability, the works presented are personal expressions of and, in some cases, poetic responses to the conditions under which we live. The exhibition showcases work from design luminaries such as Estúdio Campana, Paul Cocksedge, Joris Laarman, Erez Nevi Pana, Fernando Laposse as well as emerging designers Marlène Huissoud, Full Grown and Hamed Ouattara

Contact: Michelle DiLello


Najla El Zein: Opacity, Transparency, and Everything in Between, June 27 — August 10

Friedman Benda is pleased to announce Opacity, Transparency, and Everything in Between, Lebanese designer Najla El Zein’s second solo exhibition with the gallery, opening June 27. The exhibition reflects on one’s initial perceptions, misunderstandings, and the necessity to decipher the layers beneath—as truth often lies between the lines. The title came to Najla long before its form or direction materialized, representing her persistent quest for a deeper understanding of life’s intricacies. This exploration naturally extends into Najla’s artistic expression, where she seeks to methodically break down and interpret these observations.

Contact: Michelle DiLello


Sea Crest Beach Resort, Summer 2024

The architecture, interiors, and visual identity practices of Boston-based design firm Hacin partnered to bring Streetscape to the Sea Crest Beach Resort on Cape Cod, slated to open at the beginning of the summer 2024 season. Streetscape will offer a collection of dining concepts, ranging from seafood and pizza restaurants to an ice cream shop, with the branding and design of each space conceived by Hacin’s collaborative hospitality team.

Contact: Dalia Stoniene


Mooreland House

Mooreland House, originally established in 1925 as a gentleman’s residence at 397 Commonwealth Avenue in Boston’s Back Bay, is currently being reimagined as luxury boutique condominiums with five unique residences, designed by Hacin’s architecture, interior design, and visual identity teams. In addition to the architecture and interiors services, a full suite of branding assets and interior renderings were produced for the residences, which are expected to complete construction in the fall of 2025, in order to offer potential buyers with a fully realized vision for the future homes.

Contact: Dalia Stoniene


The Isaac Bell House Restoration

The Isaac Bell House is nearing the completion of its remarkable $3.285 million exterior restoration, a celebration of architectural heritage and craftsmanship. Although not as lavish as some 19th-century Newport mansions, this structure is widely considered a masterpiece of early Shingle Style architecture and was one of the first commissions by McKim, Mead & White. The current restoration enhances its understated elegance with new Alaskan yellow cedar shingles and a host of meticulous updates, including exterior woodwork, storm windows, original shutters, updating the wood columns and other features, and repointing of chimney and base-level brickwork. Managed by Kirby-Perkins Construction, the project is on course for completion by the end of June. Acquired by the Preservation Society in 1996 and previously restored soon thereafter, this National Historic Landmark is left sparsely furnished to emphasize its unique design.

Contact: Michelle DiLello


Gilded Age Newport in Color, March 15 — June 30

Last month, The Preservation Society of Newport County, in partnership with the Rhode Island Black Heritage Society, launched the Gilded Age Newport in Color at Rosecliff, which takes visitors back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries when African heritage families were active members of a new type of urban setting—the resort community.

At Rosecliff through June 30, this exhibition will display more than 150 objects ranging from photographs, handbills, business cards and news clippings to furniture, clothing, jewelry and ceramics, from the collections of the Rhode Island Black Heritage Society, The Preservation Society of Newport County, and other institutions.

Contact: Michelle DiLello


RISD at the ICFF / Wanted 2024, May 19 — 21

RISD will present Material Opulence at ICFF / Wanted 2024 (booth W875), offering a vibrant and inclusive  reimagination of grandeur through a collection of functional chairs and domestic objects. Incorporating an expansive range of materials—from aluminum, indigo and OSB (Oriented Strand Board), to paper and ceramics—the work in this collection rethinks hierarchical material associations and creates space for a broad understanding of value. The designers envision a future focused on creativity, equality, and sustainability, and moving away from exploitative practices. Emphasizing craft, synergy with nature, and multifaceted utility, Material Opulence champions innovative perspectives on creation and existence.

Contact: Michelle DiLello


Terminator Collection at Tuleste Factory New York, May 2024

Following its debut during Milan Design Week this month, Roham Shamekh’s Terminator collection will be presented at Tuleste Factory in New York,  as part of the gallery’s exhibition Chromatic Stance. The show coincides with Frieze New York and NYC x Design. Created and curated by Satu and Celeste Greenberg, The Factory is a quintessential New York multidisciplinary art and design destination featuring a rotating roster of some of the most avant-garde designers and artists of their time, showcasing furniture, design objects, photography, and fine art, with a focus on experiential design.

Shamekh is among the current generation of innovative and progressive designers from the UAE, and Terminator, characterized by its visually striking, silver-toned candelabras, addresses the pressing issue of climate change through its design and narrative, silver-toned candelabras, addresses the pressing issue of climate change through its design and narrative. The pieces, resembling monumental flower candleholders with a jewel-like texture, embody Shamekh’s distinctive approach to challenging conventional design boundaries.

Contact: Michelle DiLello


Introducing Zero Art Fair

From July 19-22, the inaugural Zero Art Fair will be held in New York’s Hudson Valley during Upstate Art Weekend. Zero Art Fair, led by artists Jennifer Dalton and William Powhida, is an experimental fair to match artworks with people free of charge—but with some strings attached. On the first day of the four-day fair, artworks will be available for sale at their retail prices, with 50% allocated to the selling artist and the remaining 50% distributed among all the participants using a profit-sharing model. For the remaining three days of the fair, all artworks will be available at no cost but using a contract to govern ownership transfer and track provenance.

Applications Open The Beverley Art Writers Travel Grant to Australia

The American Australian Association is pleased to announce The Beverley Art Writers Travel Grant (The Beverley) is open in the 2024 application round, through May 10, to support American journalists and writers to travel to Australia to explore and report on the wealth of Australian visual arts culture.

The Beverley is a $10,000 grant awarded annually to an established American freelance writer who has an outstanding reputation for arts journalism. The grantee will be given access to visual arts leadership in Australia to assist with introductions to ideas both in advance of their visit and onsite in Australia, and will be encouraged to visit museums, galleries, art schools, artists’ studios, and private collections, subject to their specific interests. In 2023, the committee——comprised of art world professionals with a working or personal connection to the visual arts community in Australia—selected Lauren O’Neill-Butler to receive the grant.

Stay tuned in the coming months for more information on the 2024 grantee—and learn more about Lauren’s trip to Australia later this summer.


ANDY WARHOL MUSEUM: From The Andy Warhol Museum exhibition: Left: Andy Warhol, Ambulance Disaster, 1964-65, Dia Center for the Arts, ©The  Andy Warhol Foundation, Inc. Right: KAWS, COMPANION 2020, 2020, © KAWS
ASU ART MUSEUM: Sarah Zapata, detail of “Braided Topographies”. Photograph by Shaunté Glover
COASTAL MAINE BOTANICAL GARDENS: Courtesy of Coastal Maine Botanical Garden
FORMAN ARTS INITIATIVE: Photo Credit: Isabel Koko
KALLIR RESEARCH INSTITUTE: Entrance to the Neue Galerie, Vienna, 1923. Courtesy of The Kallir Research Institute. Käthe Kollwitz. The Mothers (Mütter). 1918. Line etching, sandpaper, needle bundle, and soft ground with the imprint of laid paper overworked with black ink, opaque white, charcoal, and pencil. Plate: 9 5/8 x 12 1/2″ (24.5 x 31.8 cm); sheet 12 5/8 x 16 5/16″ (32 x 41.4 cm). Collection Ute Kahl, Cologne. Fuis Photographie
MYSTIC SEAPORT MUSEUM: Entwined: Freedom, Sovereignty and the Sea. Courtesy of the Mystic Seaport Museum. Delamar: Courtesy of Delamar Hotel Collection
ROBERT RAUSCHENBERG FOUNDATION: Chinatown Art Brigade – past recipient of Black and Indigenous Land Grants. Courtesy of Robert Rauschenberg Foundation
SHELLEY & DONALD RUBIN FOUNDATION:(Left to right) Yinka Shonibare CBE, Hybrid Mask (Koré) II and Hybrid Mask (Bamana Ntomo), 2023  Wood acrylic paint and brass. Courtesy of the artist and James Cohan, NY
TRELLIS ART FUND: Courtesy of Trellis Art Fund
ZERO ART FAIR: Image courtesy of Zero Art Fair


BEYER BLINDER BELLE: Photos and renderings courtesy of Beyer Blinder Belle
FRIEDMAN BENDA: Under Present Conditions photo courtesy of Friedman Benda. Opacity, Transparency, and Everything in Between photo courtesy of Friedman Benda and Najla El Zein, Photography by Damien Arlettaz
HACIN: Sea Crest Beach Resort and Mooreland House images courtesy of Hacin & Associates
NEWPORT MANSIONS: Isaac Bell House and Gilded Age Newport in Color images courtesy of the Preservation Society of Newport County. Photograph by David Hansen
ROHAM SHAMEKH: Photo courtesy of Roham Shamekh Studio