Meet Manhattan Plaza's Artists...
In October 2022, MP hosted the first FOOD & ARTS FESTIVAL on the plaza. These artists, whose works are featured at that event, are members of the MP community (residents and staff members). You can learn more about them below!
Alberte Bernier is a visual artist who lives in New York City. She is an artist in residence at ChaShaMa. Over the years her artistic expressions have been inspired by a landscape of cultures and traditions. She is a member of ProArts and Ceres Gallery. Her work has been exhibited at the New York State Museum, Albany, The Herb & Milly Iris Gallery, SOPAC, Pleiades Gallery, and more recently at ChaShaMa Gallery & Studio, Drawing Room, Jersey City Hall Rotunda Gallery and Ceres Gallery. In the last few years she has produced three individual art books and collaborated with numerous group art book projects. In April 2022 she has collaborated with Choreographer Kara Jhalak Miller and Jhalak Dance Company in a live dance performance movement media art event “What is Revealed” at the KOA Theater in Honolulu, Hawaii. The production featured Bernier’s painting series “Leak” alongside Jhalak Miller’s live dance choreography and improvisation sketches. She also collaborated with Kara Jhalak Miller and Jhalak Dance Company in an Artist Talk and Live Performance at the Hawai’i State Art Museum in Honolulu, Hawaii. In June 2022 she has collaborated again with choreographer Kara Jhalak Miller, Jhalak Dance Company and actress and writer Jannie Wolff in the installation and live dance performance of “What is Revealed” along with her painting series “Leak” at ChaShaMa Gallery in New York City.
Tamara Flannagan is an actress, artist, theatrical technician and mother of two. Her art has graced the flagpoles at Lincoln Center, with her “Red, All and Blue” flag and has been seen here at Manhattan Plaza’s pop up art installation. She is currently working as the Technical Director of the new, Off-Broadway, AMT Theater.
Director, Producer Karen received her B.F.A. in painting from Parson’s School of Design. She supported herself by selling her paintings on the streets of Soho and her murals have adorned walls of New York City Public schools and the now demolished 42nd Street Project. “BEGGING NAKED” is her first feature-length documentary. It is now in the permanent collection of The Library of Congress, a rare honor. It attracted the attention of the late Roger Ebert as well as Martin Scorsese. It was broadcast in the US and Internationally and is available on premier on demand video platforms such as iTunes and Amazon. Continuing her focus on quintessential NYC stories, Karen’s second feature documentary focuses on the legendary NYC barbershop, Astor Place Hairstylists. She is on-set most days as an EPK behind-the-scenes Producer for film and television. In addition, she is a Producer for a long-form true crime show.
Akwesi Asante has served in the in the entertainment industry for over 30yrs, appearing on & off b'way, reginal theater, film, television & concert stage. Few past highlights have included dancing on Stevie Wonder's World Tour, working with Tito Puente & Celia Cruz, Sesame Street (Cousan Leon), Big Apple & The Universal Soul Circus. He has traveled/toured and worked with other artist in the U.S. and abroad and in his own show Asante's African Safari. Since 2003 Asante has worked in the fitness arena in NYC, servicing children through adults, privately and for YMCA, Services for the Aging, Catholic Charities, Board of Education & private schools.Akwesi is a certified personal, group trainer & Hatha Yoga (RYT), martial & circus arts & bodyworker/Qigong practicioner/student.
Christine Arand, Soprano, began her career touring throughout Europe and the United States creating the leading role of Lise in the world premiere of LES ENFANTS TERRIBLES, a Dance-Opera by Philip Glass and directed by Susan Marshall. Described as an “Up-and-Coming Diva” by The New York Times, Christine has performed on both broadway and opera stages. She made her debut on Broadway in the Tony-award winning, LA BOHEME ON BROADWAY directed by Baz Luhrmann and Tony winner, NINE, directed by David Leveaux and with Lincoln Center Theater, Christine performed Yvette Guilbert in Martha Clarke’s BELLE EPOQUE. in Paris, Christine performed Eliza Doolittle in Robert Carsen’s MY FAIR LADY and in Emilio Sagi’s THE SOUND OF MUSIC she played both Maria Rainer and the Baroness with the Théȃtre du Chȃtelet. She has sung with Glimmerglass Opera, New York City Opera, San Francisco Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Hawaii Opera Theater, Arizona Opera, Fort Worth Opera, Chicago Opera Theater, Dorset Opera, UK, Teatro Massimo and Opera Festival of Chicago. Christine studied at The Juilliard School and Northwestern University where she earned a Bachelor of Music, a Bachelor of Art, a Masters of Music and chosen for the prestigious Juilliard Opera Center.
Joan has been lucky enough to live in MP since 1977. While In high school, Joan showed her tissue paper collages at the Village Gallery in Croton-on-Hudson, NY and had her art work published in Seventeen magazine. While attending SUNY at Buffalo, her primary artistic focus became acting. After graduating, Joan dubbed movies while living in Paris. She also performed in regional theatre, off & off-off Broadway, and 4 European tours. Joan’s most recent work has been in film. Joan has continued to create art in various mediums: watercolor, oil pastels, and felt appliqué with embroidery. Her appliqués, celebrating the Chinese New Year have been auctioned off to benefit the Taoist Tai Chi Society, and three of her designs were featured on fund raising T-shirts. Her favorite stitch is the French knot.
Jill Slaymaker was born in Youngstown, Ohio, and has lived in Manhattan Plaza since 2000. She has a BA from Indiana University and a MFA in painting from Texas A & M. Her artworks have been exhibited at the Tate Modern, London, Museum of Modern Art, New York, Dabawenyo Museum in the Philippines, and the Davis Museum of Contemporary Art, Barcelona, among others. Collections include The Museum of Modern Art and Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, and Caroline Kennedy’s ambassador residence in Tokyo, Japan. A digital retrospective of Jill’s work will be shown at Yellow Fine Arts Gallery in New York this fall. She is married to the composer Ned Paul Ginsburg and they have a son, Alex. Jill’s website is www.jillslaymaker.com
I bought my first camera 9 years ago, fell in love with photography and have been shooting and educating myself in this medium ever since. July 2022 I was chosen as one of 68 International photographers to exhibit in Chania, Greece.
Actor and painter. Former student of Knox Martin at the Arts Student League.
Dorian Devins is an artists jazz singer/lyricist, and the cofounder/ producer of the Secret Science Club, a public science lecture series. Having a mother who was a professional artist exposed to to art her whole life. She studied on and off at the Art Students League but has consistently experimented and created in many mediums throughout her life.
Patricia Wersinger is a French artist who has lived in New York for the past thirty years. As a teen, art was her pair of wings to escape into a more sensual and poetic reality. Though she studied literary criticism in college and grad school, she went back to her first love of painting when she moved to New York and studied painting at Columbia University, Parsons School of Design and the Arts Students League. Patricia’s paintings have evolved from moody explorations of identity and memory to whimsical fantasy, portraiture and abstraction. She has shown her work in the US and France. During the Covid crisis, Patricia has worked on 10 realistic paintings of her Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood, simply painting the view from her window on the 31st floor. Look at more work at www.patriciawersingerart.com or Instagram @Patriciawersinger. Email her at email@example.com
Before I even attempt to draw a single line on an empty canvas, I go to a ‘quiet’ place, if not physically, at least in my mind, hoping the ‘muse’ would come. My dreams, memories, reflections of events in my past, present and perhaps future become my inspirations. Painting to me is an expression beyond words. It is my ‘healing’ meditation. Ching Valdes-Aran is also an award winning actress, a director, and dancer-choreographer
Gregory Russell is a creative visionary exploring new materials and methods of creating narratives. He is a Fulbright Fellow and has an MFA from The Maryland Institute College of Art as well a graduate degree from Hunter College School of Social Work.
Marcia Haufrecht was fortunate to have been born, bred and buttered in Manhattan, NYC. She graduated Performing Arts High School in 1954 as a dancer and proceeded to perform on Broadway and touring Broadway shows in the U.S. Marcia moved on from there to acting in theatre, film and t.v. After years as an actress she added playwriting, directing and teaching in New York, Australia, Austria, and Portugal. She came to painting late in life. At the age 70, while teaching master acting classes at The New School University, she decided to take classes herself and enrolled in an oil painting class. In 2018 Marcia wrote and directed a short film “Full Moon and High Tide in the Ladies Room (35 minutes) which is currently showing in a number of film festivals. Marcia continues studying, painting and showing in New York. She is a member of The Actors Studio, Ensemble Studio Theatre and The Art Students League.
I was born in Brooklyn and later moved into this artsy neighborhood of Hell’s Kitchen which is still my home to this day. My passion for drawing began when I was in the 3rd grade. I have a deep love for all the Arts but my focus became the street art known as “Graffiti”. As a kid growing up in NYC, Graffiti was all around us, all different styles and sizes and colors. My style was heavily influenced by local Street artist “Mr. Mace” who was part of the “TN5 Crew” and another street artist named “Doze” who was affiliated with the “Rock Steady Crew” and “TC5 Crew”. I’m sharing with you a few pieces from my personal collection, I hope you love them!
Walter is a second generation Manhattan Plaza baby. He loves visual arts and loves to use different media. His favorite is chalk pastel. In hos art video, Walli re-created Georgia O’Keeffe’s Red Poppy using oil and chalk pastels when he was in first grade. He was hoping to showcase the actual artwork in the temporary gallery Manhattan Plaza had created next to C&C. But then The Purple Tongue took over the space so he decided to submit a video of himself re-creating Red Poppy to the MP Talent Share instead. He is also submitting pictures of three of his other pieces. He is currently starting third grade and still enjoys being an artist and building structures. When he is not busy creating, you can find him reading, playing chess, or making his little brother, Vik, laugh. Walli is only eight but aims to continue being an artist in one way or another for the rest of his life. Art is just a part of who he is. Hope you enjoy his work!
Daniel Pearce is an enrolled Citizen Band Potawatomi actor, musician and visual artist based in New York City. He received a BA in Theater Arts from SUNY New Paltz and an MFA in Acting from New York University. In addition to his film and television work, he has appeared in 10 productions with the Public Theater. In 2017 he was awarded the Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship for excellence in acting. After being yanked off stage at the beginning of the pandemic he started oil painting again after a break of many many years.
John J. Bonk
John J. Bonk After earning my BA in Theatre from Loyola University, I moved to NYC to embark upon a long career as a professional performer in the musical theatre; a second career as a published children’s book author followed that. I’ve been immersed in art as well ever since I could hold a crayon. (Renaissance man!) So, when I wasn’t tap-dancing on a stage or doing a book signing, I was taking art classes at the Art Student League, Pratt Institute, The New School, etc. Currently semi-retired, I’ve returned to my lifelong passion for art, diving back into the world of watercolors. I recently opened an Etsy shop called The Artful Splash and I’m happily selling my artwork and loving it.