BAC was proud to unveil Marela Zacarias’s, Mannahatta, on Thursday, September 22, at The William Vale Hotel in Williamsburg. The opening featured an incredible panel discussion with Zacarias, ART21 Curator Wes Miller, and Hyperallergic Associate Editor Elisa Wouk Almino. Mannahatta, a site-specific artwork, is presented by BAC’s Arts Consultancy program in partnership with The William Vale Hotel, who awarded Zacarias the lobby commission in 2015.
Zacarias’s 25’ x 20’ x 3’ sculptural painting offers multiple visual and historical views of Brooklyn’s history. The three-dimensional work resembles the shape of a Brooklyn map and scales the hotel lobby walls and ceiling. Comprised of 20 panels, the map’s color palette and interlocking geometries engage the visual tropes of Brooklyn’s Native American roots while referencing Brooklyn’s current locus as a hub for avant-garde art and contemporary design. The work was constructed by Zacarias and eight other Brooklyn artists in Zacarias’s studio, which is located in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood.
A longtime resident of Brooklyn, Marela Zacarias was born in Mexico City. In 2012, she was the first artist-in-residence at the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at the University of Connecticut. She is a graduate of Kenyon College and received an MFA in painting from Hunter College. She has taught mural art in Washington, DC, Connecticut, and Mexico City.