Professor Mary Hafeli and the P+S Collective Sculpture Featured in Brooklyn Art Exhibition

bwac color exhibition p and s collective 2016

Untitled (Distributed Upcycling of Post-Consumer Plastic Waste), 2016.


We are thrilled to announce that a sculpture (pictured above) created by Mary Hafeli, Professor of Art and Art Education, and her students last Spring was chosen to be featured in COLOR at the Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition. The artists, also called the P+S Collective, came together in a graduate studio course entitled, Processes and Structures in the Visual Arts, and are also led by Professor Hafeli.

The sculpture, which was constructed entirely of plastic materials, was one of 105 pieces accepted for the exhibition, and selected from 1,766 submissions overall.

In the artists’ statement, the group explains,

Susan Freinkel writes that plastic bags ‘seem kind of miraculous’—they are light, yet they hold 1000 times their weight. As artists, we are interested in plastic’s singular properties of a different sort: the ways shopping bags and their text and images can be pulled and stretched thin, de-formed and re-messaged to resemble skins covering a surface. Or compressed, wadded, knotted, and woven into dense, trailing suspensions.”

Working with other plastic materials—acrylic and polyurethane glazes—and with a focus on the ubiquitous, plastic shopping bag, we set out to explore distributed authorship and social interaction as viable art production strategies. All decisions around this piece—selection and collection of materials, overall form and construction, interior and exterior surface treatments, color connotations and relationships, configuration and placement of appendages—are the result of divergent, collective experimentation with materials and consensus on ways to move forward with forming and constructing. While shopping bags are symbolic of waste and environmental demise in our consumerist culture, here we reimagine them as ‘vibrant matter’—as agents of aesthetic possibilities and systems and as relational players in Nelson Goodman’s ways of worldmaking.

The P+S Collective have also had their works featured on several occasions in Macy Gallery at Teachers College and at the Hyde Bridge Gallery in Ireland. The P+S Collective invites the community to see the sculpture in person during the exhibition from July 23 to August 14 on weekends from 1p.m. to 6p.m. and an Awards Ceremony with live entertainment will also be held Saturday, July 23 at 3p.m. For more information, visit

Contributing artists for Untitled (Distributed Upcycling of Post-Consumer Plastic Waste), 2016:

Bert Benally                                                          Joseph Mathews

Jung Eun Choi                                                      Rory Parks

Tiffany Choi                                                          Jinling Quan

Ava Cotlowitz                                                      Priscila Camargo Ramalho

Mary Hafeli                                                          Shakira Soderstrom

Jessica Jean-Baptiste                                        Corene Suhr

Eunji Lee                                                                Gina Tribotti

Dina Lutfi                                                               Leying Zhang