Jonathan Ferrara – Founder
Jonathan Ferrara is a New Orleans artist, gallery owner, community activist and arts entrepreneur. His eponymous gallery exhibits cutting edge works of art by local, national and international artists including paintings, sculpture, glass, metal works, mixed media, video and installation art. Exhibitions he has produced have been featured in The New York Times, Timemagazine, NPR, the AP, Art In America,ARTPAPERS, ART News, ELLE Magazine,The Art Newspaper, and on ABC’s Good Morning America and in numerous local and regional publications.
In 1995, he co-founded and built the artist collective Positive Space on Lower Magazine Street in New Orleans where he was gallery owner, director, artist and publicist. In April 1996, he co-founded (and has produced and curated ever since) The Annual No Dead Artists International Juried Exhibition of Contemporary Art that gives a voice and venue to emerging artists. In September 1996, he produced the first“Guns In The Hands Of Artists”exhibition. In June of 1999, Ferrara teamed up with Dr. Vince Morelli to found ARTDOCS(Artists Receiving Treatment DoctorsOffering Crucial Services) a non-profit medical program for artists without health insurance. This program is the first of its kind in the country. Since its inception,ARTDOCS has treated over 3000 artist-patients and organized a referral network of volunteer specialists to treat artists in the New Orleans area.
In 2001, Ferrara began his international work, traveling to Havana, Cuba to curate an exhibition of contemporary Cuban art. Since then, he has visited Cuba three times and produced a mini-documentary and two successful art exhibitions, Made in Cuba, 2002 andHavana: Inside Out, 2004 which gained widespread attention in the media includingEfe. In 2004, Ferrara brought over 20 New Orleans artists to Debrecen, Hungary. Acting as a cultural ambassador for the visual arts, he presented two simultaneous exhibitions to the Hungarian public, “As Seen in New Orleans” at the state-owned Mu-Terem Gallery and the second “Contemporary Art From New Orleans” at the Koncz/Contemporary Gallery.
Activism has always been Ferrara’s trademark, serving on the board of New Orleans’ Downtown Development District (2000 – 2007), the Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans (2013 – present ), the New Orleans Film Festival (2000-2004), ARTDOCS (1999 – present). He is an alumnus of the Council For A Better Louisiana’ s 2003 Leadership Louisiana program and for the past two years has been an invited participant and lead discussant at the Aspen Institute’s Action Forum.
Other initiatives he as produced include the Post-Katrina, New Orleans Artists In Exile, a travelling exhibition of artists affected by the hurricane that was showcased in New York, Miami, Atlanta, Shreveport and Wisconsin. Ferrara was also very involved in helping to raise funds, create awareness and promote Prospect New Orleans Biennial, the largest exhibition of contemporary art ever held in the U.S. In 2008, he curated the exhibition at the Hefler Welcome Center. He frequently travels the country to promote New Orleans, his gallery and his gallery artists.
In 2014, he produced the second iteration of Guns In The Hands of Artists to national and international notoriety. The exhibition travels to The Aspen Institute in the summer of 2015 with an accompanying 220 page book being published on the project.
He has been a voice for the arts and artists for over 19 years and is a leader in the movement to make New Orleans a national arts destination and has been honored by numerous organization for this work. In 2006, he was awarded Louisiana’s Governor’s Art Awards for Leadership in the Arts,
His gallery regularly exhibits at Miami Project during Art Basel Miami Beach, Texas Contemporary Fair in Houston, Art Market San Francisco, VOLTA NY during Armory Week and VOLTA Basel during Art Basel in Switzerland.. He has placed numerous works in museums such as The Whitney Museum, The Brooklyn Museum, The Frederick Weisman Collection, 21c Museum, The Birmingham Museum and New Orleans Museum of Art and prominent private collections such as New York-based collector Beth Rudin DeWoody and Berlin-based collector Thomas Rusche. In January 2016, Ferrara will produce an international cultural exchange exhibition between Berlin and New Orleans partnering with Berlin/Leipzig gallerist Jochen Hempel. Ferrara continues challenges his audience and himself in search of the best new art and ideas.
Brian Borrello – Founding Artist
Brian Borrello is a visual artist, designer, and public artist based in Portland, Oregon. He is also the principal of Neonjones; a custom neon lighting design and fabrication studio. Raised in the sultry deep south of New Orleans, Borrello is known for his graphic and environmental works and projects in the public realm. His experience with a broad array of sculptural and graphic techniques, and with a versatile range of conceptual approaches, is evident in his paintings, sculptures and public art pieces. As a visual artist, Brian is particularly interested in creating awareness of human life in balance with other life forms and with our shared environment. His two dimensional works are often rendered in a ‘fresco-like’ technique of ink, charcoal and motor oil on marble impregnated linen. In his work, growth patterns, principles of biological organization and natural phenomena are magnified and expressed- through the lyrical movement of a root, the curve and projection of a thorn or the sinuous tangle of mycelia. In his art for the public realm, he seizes opportunities to make and co-create interesting ‘places’ by activating urban spaces with provocative forms and unexpected encounters, reflecting deeper localized contexts of history, community and living processes.
Megan Koza Young – Director