Artist Spotlight: Ezra Benus, Hayley Cranberry Small, Alex Dolores Salerno

Installation photograph for Crip Ecologies: Vulnerable Bodies in a Toxic Landscape. Photograph taken by Frank Piccolo, GXZ Design Inc.

Meet three of the artists who are part of our current exhibition Crip Ecologies: Vulnerable Bodies in a Toxic Landscape, curated by Amanda Cachia, as well as our upcoming conversation on April 12th, “Entwining Social Justice with Social Policy: Empathy in our Pandemic Environment”, moderated by Sean Lee. Read on to learn more about Ezra Benus, Hayley Cranberry Small, and Alex Dolores Salerno!

Ezra Benus

Left to right, back to front: Ezra Benus, meet me at the testing van, 2022; high low risk, 2022; high low pain, 2022; Touch Me Tenderly, 2021. Photography taken by Frank Piccolo, GXZ Design Inc.

Ezra Benus is an artist, educator, and curator whose work addresses a range of themes such as constructions of time, relationships of care, pain as a portal, and the mundaneness of illness. Ezra’s practice is cradled by embedded Jewishness, queerness, and sickness as purviews and navigational tools in this world. Social, political, and spiritual forces collide through reflections on bodily knowledge and social constructions around values of normativity in their art.

Hayley Cranberry Small

Installation photograph for Crip Ecologies: Vulnerable Bodies in a Toxic Landscape. Pieces in foreground, from left to right: Hayley Cranberry Small, untitled mucous membrane (with gold scar), 2021; phlebotic self-portrait, 2018; cervical chunk, 2021. Photography by Frank Piccolo, GXZ Design Inc.

Hayley Cranberry Small is a ceramicist and urban planner based out of New York City. Her work explores themes including the body, the sick/chronically ill experience, and the relationship between humans and their environment. Many of Hayley’s ceramic pieces represent the self abstractly, each work a synecdoche that highlights one part of her identity. Her ceramic depiction of illness is often juxtaposed with the delicate form and flow of each vessel, recognizing the body’s natural beauty and imperfections. Hayley is the founder and curator of Lutte Collective, a space for disabled and chronically ill artists.

Alex Dolores Salerno

Alex Dolores Salerno, Pillow Talk, 2017, stained pillowcases, yarn, memory foam, used injection needles and syringes, dimensions variable. Photography by Frank Piccolo, GXZ Design Inc.

Alex Dolores Salerno is an interdisciplinary artist based in Brooklyn, NY. Informed by queer-crip experience, they work to critique standards of productivity, notions of normative embodiment and the commodification of rest. Beds and bedding are some of their primary materials which allow them to explore the bed as a site of care, collectivity and protest, and redefine what is typically considered to count as “work”. Salerno’s practice embraces slowness, and they argue that to celebrate diverse bodyminds requires a reconfiguration of value and time away from capitalist frameworks.

Want to learn more from these artists? Be sure to register for our conversation “Entwining Social Justice with Social Policy: Empathy in our Pandemic Environment” — we can’t wait to see you there!

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Art Windsor-Essex (AWE) is a non-profit public art gallery that uses the power of art to open hearts and minds to new ideas. Change happens here.

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Art Windsor-Essex

Art Windsor-Essex

Art Windsor-Essex (AWE) is a non-profit public art gallery that uses the power of art to open hearts and minds to new ideas. Change happens here.

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