Gallery New World Stages, located at 343 West 49th Street, today announced the upcoming opening of FIRST CONTACT: UFOs, Aliens and Broadway. This exhibition of 100 works of cartoon and comic art includes pieces by syndicated cartoonists and contributors to The New Yorker and will be on view from September 7, 2012 through January 6, 2013, with an Opening Reception on Friday, September 21, from 5pm to 8pm.
"I'm gratified to have so many distinguished artists participating in this show, which has been two years in the making," said Bernard Stote, curator of Gallery New World Stages. "I knew I wanted to do an exhibition spotlighting cartoon and comic art, but at first there was no specific theme. As artists began to submit work, I was surprised to see how much of it focused on outer-space aliens and UFOs, with some pieces cleverly including references to Broadway and theatre. That's how FIRST CONTACT: UFOs, Aliens and Broadway was born."
Among the more than 20 artists whose work is showcased in FIRST CONTACT are syndicated cartoonists Dave Coverly (Speed Bump), Hilary Price (Rhymes With Orange), and Rick Stromoski (Soup to Nutz). Contributors to The New Yorker: Bob Eckstein (author of The History of the Snowman), Felipe Galindo, Amy Hwang, Susan Camilleri Konar, Maria Scrivan, and Shannon Wheeler (author of Two Much Coffee). Also participating in the exhibition are illustrators Kenneth Kudulis ("Kudu-lah Critters"), Tom Motley from The Brooklyn Rail and Pop artist Peter Marco ("Marcoart"), who designed the limited edition "Alien Baby" Swatch watch.
Emerging artist Gerard Conte, a freelance cartoonist and graduate of the School of Visual Arts, has created a signature work for the exhibit: a 26-image pen and ink comic book titled FIRST CONTACT ('Starring The Little Angry Alien'). It tells the tale of an Alien who crashes to earth (upstate New York), only to fall in love with an actress whose image he sees on the cover of a Playbill. (She happens to be appearing in a play at New World Stages.) He makes his way from farm country to New York City, where he encounters the Occupy Wall Street protesters. He then rides the subway to Midtown to claim his beloved, and when he discovers the object of his desire kissing her co-star in a scene onstage, The Little Angry Alien steps in and proves his devotion in a bold and witty conclusion.
A poster featuring Conte's signature image will be available for sale.
Gallery New World Stages will donate 10% of net proceeds from art sales and sales of the Gerard Conte poster to the National Parkinson Foundation. Bernard Stote's father, John Stote, lives with the disease and was a cartoonist for the Unites States Navy in the South Pacific. This exhibition is dedicated to him.
New York City-based singer-songwriter Andrea Daly will perform at the September 21st Opening Reception.
Gallery New World Stages is a 150 linear foot exhibition space on two floors of the renowned performing arts complex New World Stages, located on the site of Worldwide Plaza in the heart of the theatre district. New World Stages houses five theatres ranging in size from 199 to 499 seats, complemented by thousands of square feet dedicated to audience and artist services. Bernard Stote and Hanging Art Organization manage the gallery space.www.hangingart.org
Gallery New World Stages, 343 West 49th Street, New York NY 10019. Gallery Hours: Monday through Sunday, 10am to 6pm.