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Join us to virtually explore library installations created by BGC’s current Library Artists in Residence (AiR), Harley Ngai Grieco and Jennifer Tobias. These “pop-up exhibitions” and their accompanying catalogue are the culmination of a year of research and exploration in the BGC Library. Learn about the artists’ creative processes and how they worked with the BGC Library collection and staff to achieve their visions.

In Working with the Hands: Applied Arts Training in New York City, 1800–2020, Jennifer Tobias investigates applied arts training programs in New York City from the 1800s to today.

For her exhibition, Imagining the Artifact: Collaging Blue and White Chinese Pottery, Harley Ngai Grieco researched blue and white Chinese export porcelain (with an emphasis on Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties) and explored the parallel history of chinoiserie. The culminating exhibition has two series: Reconfigure (a cyanotype photographic series) and Remnants (a photo-sculptural series). These two series explore a material and artistic kinship between ceramic surface and photographic surface, while exploring the conceptual origin of blue-and-white pottery.

Artist Bios

Harley Ngai Grieco is a Chinese-American lens-based artist, born and raised in State College, Pennsylvania. She is fascinated with the historical representation of the natural world, the production of decorative domestic objects, and how these traditions participate in their own decay. She earned a BFA from the Cooper Union School of Art in 2013, receiving the Vincent J. Mielcarek, Jr. Memorial Prize and the Sara Cooper Hewitt Fund Prize. Harley has participated in residencies at Trestle Art Space and the Vermont Studio Center, in addition to completing a fellowship at the Bronx Museum. She has received scholarships and grants to attend workshops at UrbanGlass, the Ox-Bow School of Art, and the Penland School of Crafts. Currently she is based in Brooklyn, New York.

Jennifer Tobias is a scholar and illustrator. She holds a PhD in art history from the City University of New York, an MLS from Rutgers, and a BFA from Cooper Union. She provided reader services at the Museum of Modern Art and Parsons School of Design libraries. Her illustrations are included in Health Design Thinking (MIT Press, 2020) and Design is Storytelling (Cooper Hewitt: Smithsonian, 2017), both by Ellen Lupton. She and Lupton are currently developing Extra Bold: a Feminist, Inclusive, Subversive, Non-Binary Field Guide for Graphic Design, forthcoming from Princeton Architectural Press.