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CAS - Michele Araujo, Joy Episalla and Carrie Yamaoka - November 2023

Livingston Manor, NY – Catskill Art Space is pleased to announce Front of House, an exhibition of new work from Michele Araujo, Joy Episalla and Carrie Yamaoka. The exhibition will be on view in the ground floor galleries of Catskill Art Space, 48 Main Street, Livingston Manor, NY, from December 2 – 30, 2023. Exhibition hours are Friday and Saturday, 11am – 5pm, and Sunday 11am – 3pm.

Front of House Michele Araujo, Joy Episalla and Carrie Yamaoka have known each other since they waited tables together at what was probably the first Cajun restaurant in New York City, La Louisiana. It was the 1980s and they were all in their twenties. The restaurant was small and there were many times when it was just the three of them working the floor with one busboy. Restaurant staff are divided between front of house and back of house. Back of house prepares and cooks the food and does the dishes. Front of house delivers and presents the food to the customers. Waiters are like ambassadors for what the kitchen creates. An exhibition is a front of house activity. It is when the work, what artists do, is presented to the viewer. The work delivers the artists’ investigation, exploration, failures, and successes.

Michele, Joy and Carrie all interact with material in a way that interrogates and challenges our definitions of painting, sculpture, or photography. They combine ingredients and submit them to processes, as much culinary as aesthetic, resulting in much food for thought. In a way that strains the restaurant analogy, this exhibition offers more than a feast for the senses, although it certainly does offer that. The work in the exhibition also delves into the areas of agency, cognition, phenomenology, authorship, and subject/object relations.

Sometimes an exhibition can feel like a disruption of the artistic process, as if a chef were suddenly required to stop cooking and become a waiter, or more aptly, when the chef ventures out of the kitchen to interact with the diners. Ultimately the chef and the artist need you, the public, to complete what they make, to take their experience and make it your experience, to consume and enjoy.

—Adam Simon 


Michele Araujo is a painter living in Brooklyn, NY. Her paintings function within a contradiction. The beauty achieved through paint, color and gesture is interrupted by the inclusion of external material, collaged images from an array of sources -wallpaper, photos, contact paper, suggesting both a resistance to making meaning explicit and a love of possibility. She has shown most recently at Osmos Address (New York) and Studio 10 (Brooklyn). She has twice been a fellow at Yaddo and has received fellowships from both the National Endowment for the Arts and Art Matters. She is a co-founder of Four Walls, an artists’ forum and exhibition space whose archives are housed in the Smithsonian Archive of American Art. Writing about her work has appeared in Bomb Magazine, Two Coats of Paint, Tussle, and Talking Pictures Blog.

Joy Episalla (she/they) is a New York-based interdisciplinary artist, whose work repositions photography and the moving image into the territory of sculpture. Episalla is interested in transgressing and challenging photographic fixity. Their engagement with the dynamics of transformation, multiplicity and hybridity comes out of the queer feminist position they occupy, and from which the work is activated. She has been exhibiting in the US and internationally since the 1980s, including at MoMA/PS1(New York), Artists Space (New York), the ICA (Philadelphia), the Wexner (Columbus), Centre Pompidou and Palais de Tokyo (Paris). Writing about her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Artforum, the New York Times and Two Coats of Paint. They are represented by Tibor de Nagy Gallery (New York). Episalla is a member of the queer art collective fierce pussy.

Carrie Yamaoka is a New York-based visual artist who works across painting, photography and sculpture. She is interested in the topography of surfaces, materiality and process, the tactility of the barely visible and the chain of planned and chance incidents that determine the outcome of the object. The work addresses the viewer at the intersection between records of chemical action/reaction and the desire to apprehend a picture emerging in fleeting and unstable states of transformation. Her work has been exhibited in the US and abroad, at the ICA (Philadelphia), MOMA/PS1 (New York), Palais de Tokyo (Paris), Centre Pompidou (Paris), the Henry (Seattle), Artists Space (New York), the Wexner (Columbus) and Mass MOCA. Writing about her work has appeared in the New York Times, Artforum, Art in America, Artnews, The New Yorker, Hyperallergic, Interview and Bomb. She is the recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship and an Anonymous Was A Woman award. Yamaoka is represented by Commonwealth and Council (Los Angeles/Mexico City) and Ulterior (New York). She is a member of the queer art collective fierce pussy.

Adam Simon is an artist living in Brooklyn and Stamford, NY. He occasionally writes on art for Two Coats of Paint.


Catskill Art Space (CAS) explores contemporary art practices of emerging and established artists. Through exhibitions, performances, classes, lectures, and screenings, CAS fosters creative community in the Catskills.

Established as Catskill Art Society in 1971, CAS reopened in October 2022 as Catskill Art Space following a major renovation and expansion of its multi-arts center, located in the picturesque hamlet of Livingston Manor in the Western Catskills. CAS presents a rotating slate of exhibitions, performances and other events featuring national and regional talents, alongside long-term installations of works by James Turrell, Sol LeWitt, Francis Cape, and Ellen Brooks. Learn more at

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