Ellen Priest’s “On Being American / Jazz: Ryan Cohan’s The River” now on display in NYC

On Being American / Jazz: Ryan Cohan’s ‘The River’ #7   © 2018 Papers, oil, flashe, MSA gel. 42”x 63” 

The jazz inspiration of Delaware-based artist Ellen Priest’s dynamic abstract series “On Being American / Jazz: Ryan Cohan’s The River” is on display from March 28 to June 6, 2019 at the galleries of “the first church of jazz,” Saint Peter’s Church (54th Street at Lexington in Midtown Manhattan).

For her multi-year project, Priest reimagines Chicago-based pianist and composer Ryan Cohan’s celebrated The River suite as physical, visual art, full of color, open for viewers to see the music’s movement, space, rhythms, harmonies, and improvisation. “The River offers me rich musical spaces and emotional content to work with,” according to Priest, representing both a “coming home” and an engagement “with the contradictions in America, especially [its] persistent difficulty embracing the diversity that defines it and makes it thrive.” The exhibition will culminate in Priest and Cohan giving an artist and composer talk/mini-performance about the creation of The River art and jazz on Tuesday, May 7 at 6:30 p.m. at Saint Peter’s.

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