Alumnus Jeffrey Meris '19 Awarded NXTHVN Fellowship for 2020

BY Audrey Deng, January 29, 2020

Out of the 250 applicants for NXTHVN’s second year of studio fellowships, nine were accepted, and alumnus Jeffrey Meris '19 is among them. Meris also currently has a solo project on display at Hunter East Harlem Gallery titled Let Me Die For My Country. This exhibit is part of the gallery’s series “Gallery Cubed: Network of Extraordinary Artists,” which will close on Jan. 25, 2020.

Gallery Cubed is a portable pop-up, a 4 x 8 foot gallery in a box designed by Nathan Sinai Rayman. The franchise kit includes hidden electrical power, easily replaceable parts, and manageable, stackable, flat-pack, space-saving, interlocking panels that are easy to assemble. Between these walls, the Network of Extraordinary Artists (NEA) presents a series of six solo exhibitions. Meris’s work in this cube includes his photography as well as sculpture pieces.

Meris’s NXTHVN fellowship, on the other hand, gives him a larger and more long-term place to work. Studio Fellows each receive a 600–1,000 square foot private studio with 24-hour key access, and Curatorial Fellows are provided dedicated workspace and unrestricted access to NXTHVN’s resource library.

NXTHVN, according to their website, “is an ambitious art space housed in two former manufacturing plants in the Dixwell neighborhood of New Haven, Connecticut. Its mission is to cultivate a sustainable creative community immersed in the area’s rich intersection of art, academia, and history. NXTHVN’s exhibition gallery, black box theater, and co-working spaces further establish an atmosphere of collaboration, inclusion, and social engagement with the goal of attracting and retaining local and international creatives.”

Jeffrey Meris is an artist born in Haiti and raised in the Bahamas. Meris’s work considers the impacts of naturalization, (dis)placement, and racial interpellation while considering transcendence. His work disturbs the notion of geographically-based identity and investigates spaces where presupposed structures of that identity fail both the individual and the collective. Meris holds an MFA in Visual Arts from Columbia University in 2019, a BFA in Sculpture from Temple University in 2015, and an AA in Arts and Crafts from the College of The Bahamas in 2012. Meris is a Harry C. Moore Lyford Cay Foundation Scholar and an alumnus of Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture 2019, among other residencies. He has shown at the Wallach Gallery at Columbia University, NY; the Jewish Museum, NY; Halle 14, Leipzig, Germany; Leroy Neiman Gallery, NY; and the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas, amongst others.