Observations: Of Body, Of Landscape, NYC Group Crit, 03.19.2023

NYC Group Crit and Box Factory Gallery presents artist talks and critiques by: Beth Barry, Barbara Groh, Shani Nazin, Melanese Reid and Sarah Valeri.


Sarah Valeri is a painter and art therapist living and working in Brooklyn, NY. In 2004 she completed her MA in Art Therapy at NYU and began exhibiting paintings throughout the city. Over the years, she has provided art therapy services in educational, psychiatric, and community settings. Currently, she teaches through Ohio University. Even though she mostly takes sculpture classes, she is near to completing the Certificate Program in Painting at the New York Studio School.

While producing independent and collaborative exhibitions, Sarah eventually began exhibiting internationally. In 2017 and 2018, she was invited to the Museo Ex Convento de Tiripetío for a solo exhibition and returned as an artist in residence at the Festival Guitarra de Paracho. In 2019 she participated in the Trestle Artist Residency, and in 2020 she completed a residency at the Studios at Mass MoCA. Her work is in private collections in Japan, the US, and Germany.


IG: @sarahvaleriart

Barbara Groh is a visual artist who has immersed herself in the creative process for over four decades creating highly personal abstract works of art. Many travels between continents inform her visual language as her sense of place, space and time are influenced by home and landscape. Her work has been exhibited in galleries and museums and has appeared in numerous publications and collections. Groh, who holds an MFA from Vermont College of Norwich University, has shared her talents and life experiences through teaching on numerous art faculties, primarily Drawing and Painting. She has moved her primary residence and studio from the countryside in Sweden to her studio in Brooklyn, NY. Most recently, she is represented by Gallery Sitka.


IG: @barbaragroh

Melanese Reid is a self-taught mixed media artist evaluating the “self” through the interrogation of epigenetic inheritance and intersectionality. Using various materials such as acrylic, charcoal, and pastels on canvas and black paper, she creates figures that express deep emotion. Within those figures are line markings described as MAPS. These MAPS are representative of unresolved traumas passed down from generation to generation, i.e., lost identities, self-hate, abandonment, shame, loss of femininity/female agency. In addition, Melanese explores how her own intersectionality (being a person of color, an immigrant, a woman) plays into the traumas she is gaining within this lifetime. Her hope is to bring more awareness to Epigenetic Inheritance and expound upon the conversation of Intersectionality.

Along with her career as a mixed media artist, Melanese is a seasoned fashion designer and Patternmaker, having gained industry credentials interning and working at such designer labels as Theory, Jill Stuart, Rachel Comey, Alice & Olivia, Betsey Johnson, and Rachel Roy. Currently, she is re-launching her previous RTW line with a partner as a Contemporary Art Installation and Leather Goods brand entitled I Waited For You...

The company name is a double entendre, signifying the emotion one should have to own a piece from the brand as well as the feeling both Reid and her partner had when creating IWFY, as the collaboration felt as though it was something they had been waiting for.

Reid lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.


IG: @melle___mel

Beth Barry (b. New Bedford, MA) is a process-based landscape artist, curator, and psychotherapist living in NYC. She embeds human emotion into interpretive landscapes, capturing the 'feeling' of the spaces she sees. Inspired by her father, Barry gained a love of making things as a young girl. She continued the making tradition and pursued studies at Connecticut College in Studio Art and Pratt Institute in Art Therapy. In 2000, Barry started full-time practice as a painter, depicting experiences varying from travels, natural disasters, and 'Brainscapes'— her imagined landscapes.

Barry has exhibited at galleries extensively throughout New York and Massachusetts and internationally in museums, including the Coupelouvous Family Museum, Athens, Greece, and the Masterworks Museum, Bermuda. Most recently, she completed the Artist Equity Curatorial Residency Program 2022.


IG: @bethbarryartist

Shani Nizan (born November 21, 1995) is an Israeli tattoo artist based in New York. She is best known for her 'Human-Animal' figures that she refers to as her 'Creatures'. Nizan was never trained as a formal painter, but she refined her skills by painting every day. At age 18, she joined the Israeli military as an educational NCO (Non-Commissioned Officer) in the 601st Battalion of Combat Engineering. To pass the time during the long guarding duties, she would paint on her arm with a pen. The drawings went viral on Facebook and were applauded by an audience who believed they were tattoos. This sparked her tattooing career in 2017, and she studied under tattoo artist Anat Hetzrony. In 2018, Shani received a personal invitation from a leading art studio owned by Julia Rehme in Berlin for a permanent position. During that time, she simultaneously toured Europe and was a guest artist in tattoo studios like Puro Milano, De l'Art ou Du Cochon in Paris, Through My Third Eye in London, Dots to Lines, and many others.

After working for two years in Berlin, Shani moved to New York City. Shortly after, she returned to Israel due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In September 2020, She presented a solo exhibition, "I Didn't Like Jazz" at Beit Haamudim in Tel Aviv. In 2021, Nizan founded "Drinking and Drawing NYC". In November 2022 Shani presented her latest series "Fitting In" in a solo exhibition at Inked NYC, a globally renowned Manhattan-based tattoo studio and gallery established by Inked Magazine where she also currently works as a resident tattoo artist.


IG: @shani.nizan