Elizabeth Axtman, Shawn Gooden, Rafael Melendez and Carol Pereira

organized by: Mary A. Valverde
October 10 - October 20, 2017

CODED is an interdisciplinary project that includes an exhibition and panel series that showcases intersecting bodies of work through the use of thoughtful critical discourse. CODED will engage with emerging and established authorities in a range of disciplines including contemporary art, writing, academia, media, film, and activism among others. The project aims to chronicle the artwork, writing, and discussion from each panel to create an archive of contemporary culture that includes content from leading influentials.  The series will act as a project incubator to support the sharing, critiquing, and fostering of interdisciplinary excellence.







Elizabeth Axtman is a multidisciplinary artist who creates works on the complexities of race and humor. She received her BA from San Francisco State University in 2004 and completed her MFA at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2006. She was also a participant in the Skowhegan School of Painting and Drawing in 2006 Summer Residency Program.


Shawn Gooden is an interdisciplinary artist, based in New York and Baltimore. Gooden received her BFA from The School of Visual Arts, NY in 2005. Gooden has exhibited her work though the Cooper Union Summer Program, AC Institute Gallery, among other venues.


Carol Pereira is a performance and visual artist, originally trained as a painter, with an MFA from Yale University and a BFA from Cooper Union. Pereira merges traditional painting, drawing, photography and digital editing techniques to deconstruct, isolate, abstract, recreate and resituate familiar images; and, through this exploratory layering of processes, she grounds her work within the realm of painting. Amongst her accolades, Pereira is a U.S. Fulbright Grant recipient, a Skowhegan School of Sculpture and Painting Alumnae, and a recent recipient of CUNY’s PSC Faculty Research Grant.


Rafael Melendez has spent his life in NYC exploring the art of journal keeping. He’s been recording his version of what it’s like for a queer from humble beginnings and of Mexican origins to call NYC his home since 1999. The basis of his work has been the ties, friendships and hardships that have shaped his survival and dependency on the city that never sleeps.


Mary A. Valverde is an interdisciplinary artist, professor, and writer based in New York. Valverde teaches at Hunter, and has lectured at institutions including The Ford Foundation, Stanford University, University of Pennsylvania, F.I.T., and Long Island University’s MFA departments. Valverde serves as a Commissioner (Sculptor seat), Arts Commission / Public Design Commission of the City of New York, since 2015. She received her MFA at the University of Pennsylvania in 2012 and her BFA from the School of Visual Arts, NY in 1999.








AC Institute is debuting the first 4 sessions of an ongoing interdisciplinary series organized by artist, Mary A. Valverde.



Exhibiting artist Elizbeth Axtman, joins Ivan Monforte, Lyric Prince, Swati Khurana, Jaishri Abichandani, and Mary A. Valverde, to discuss their recent projects and the theme of politics and agency through imagery, criticism, and advocacy.




Exhibiting artist Shawn Gooden, joins Charles Harbison, Derrick Adams, Esperanza Cortes, Cyriaco Lopes and Mary A. Valverde, to discuss their recent projects and the importance of intergenerational mentorship, and contemporary figurative gestures and use of the feminine gaze through visual language.



Exhibiting artist Carol Pereira, joins Quiayara Gonzalez, Omar Olivera, Arjan Zazueta, and Mary A. Valverde, to discuss their recent projects and the use of conceptual gestures to narrate and chronicle intimacy through action, leadership, and organizing collaborative projects.



Exhibiting artist Rafael Melendez, joins Glendalys Medina, Eva Mayhabal Davis, Ivan Gaete, and Mary A. Valverde, to discuss their recent projects and the power of drawing, abstraction and the use of digital design to present conceptual imagery as visual language.