Elemental exhibition Stacy Adams & The Brownstone Cowboys curated by NYC stylist Heathermary Jackson turns the everyday into something strangely spectacular.

Elemental exhibition Stacy Adams & The Brownstone Cowboys curated by NYC stylist Heathermary Jackson turns the everyday into something strangely spectacular.

Stacy Adams & The Brownstone Cowboys was a two-week group art show, September 10-24, at the Great Jones Space just off the Bowery in NYC.

Curated by stylist and purveyor of all things rad Heathermary Jackson – formerly fashion editor of The Face and sometime contributing fashion editor at Teen Vogue – the show featured four about-to-break-big artists, united by a similar aesthetic and approach.

James Concannon – a maker of thrifty talismans from New Orleans – sees beauty and mystery in the mundane and discarded and sources materials from dumpsters and abandoned buildings for his often large-scale multi-media installations. Jake Lamagno – who co-owns LES curiosity shop The Hunt NYC with Dylan Reider – explores ideas of death and decay as something beautiful and celebratory using materials like precious metal leaf and bone as well as reclaimed wood and old hardware. Brooklyn-based photographer Jason Levins captures youth and adventure among his friends in the lows and highs of NYC life with his intimate documentary-style 35mm photographs. And photographer Jade Berreau, similarly based out of Brooklyn, works in both found materials and photography to create erotic and haunting three-dimensional collages that display a beautiful tension and evoke conversations about control.

We caught up with first-time curator Heathermary to find out more about the impetus behind this otherworldly exhibition and to get to grips with the ragged artwork burning its way through white-wall snoozedom.

How did the Stacy Adams & the Brownstone Cowboys show come about?
I was taking artist James Concannon around to see gallerists I know to show his work to them, he was visiting from New Orleans where he lives. My good friend Jake Lamagno took us to the Great Jones Space to meet his friend and owner, Shahnti O’Neill. I loved the space as did James and Jake so we decided to do a group show and it started from there. Soon we invited Jason Levins to join the show, an art photographer and finally Jade Berreau to make the four J’s (coincidence and slightly confusing at times).

What is the story of the exhibition?
I guess it was reusing components to make artwork. James’s work was a very in-depth journey of a dead man from New Orleans that he found the ID and some belongings of in a deserted building in New Orleans – his work was an investigation into the life of ‘Douglas Douma’. Jason’s work was exhibiting his photobook entitled Enigmatic Smile. We selected the images together which he made into prints and framed them and hung the rest of the images in a new way that created another dimension. Jason’s work is a look into his life in New York and the intimate times of his life and surroundings. Jake owns The Hunt NYC, one of my favorite stores in the LES. He works with taxidermy and makes beautiful pieces and unique lighting installations using these components. Jade combines antique meets sexual meets delicate and vulnerable in her pieces, which are beautiful.

Was there a narrative tying all the artists together?
They have a similar aesthetic and approach as well as the fact that each of them are new up-and-coming talent.

Can you describe some of your favourite pieces from the show?
I love the piece from Jade’s collection that includes an old camera front in brown leather behind a delicate peacock feather with some gold wire over the top, I love that one. I love Jason’s 100 dollar bill rolling weed picture and the daisy picture – they would both be happy on my wall. James gave me my favorite piece of his, which is Aunt Jemima. It’s wood with metal and plastic and fabric and latex. It reminds me of a take on an old African sculpture. I also loved the books Jake did but my favourite one was a book set in wood and resin with a tiny coiled snake and a bullet. Very beautiful.

As curator, what were the challenges in presenting these diverse artists’ work together?
When going into an endeavor like this, being that it was my first time and with friends, it has its ups and downs. Handling big diverse personalities was challenging but I’m normally up for a challenge. Communication is key that was probably the most important thing I learned.

What drew you to Great Jones Space?
I liked that it was new and not associated or necessarily affiliated with the art world.

What do you hope viewers took away from the exhibition? Some sort of feeling?
Absolutely. I think people loved the art and the space. Most were drawn into the minds of the artists. We had support from a great new Absinthe company owned by a friend, Kevin Herson, called Doc Spirits and Smuttynose brewing company (thanks to James’s brother Ryan Concannon) supplied us with more than enough beer to make the opening a super fun night. We had great feedback including coverage on Purple diary, Pop Magazine’s blog, a special shout out from our new friend Ricky Powell on Frank 151 as well as a few others.

Do you plan to take the show on the road? Do you have another exhibition in the pipeline?
I plan on expanding The Brownstone Cowboys into a collective and having more shows in affiliation with the name. Inviting each of the artists we work with to be part of this greater network of artists we are creating. Brownstonecowboys.com, which is being developed now, will become an online reference for the show as well as a place to buy the art and a curated collection of things I, along with my friend and jewelery designer Pamela Love, find interesting. A curated online shop of beautiful things.

I have an all female photo show in the works that I’m developing. Gathering work of friends along with work of people I admire. I want it to come together organically as the last one did. Then I think I will have a guys’ show in response to what is shown at the female one, but that all still needs to be sorted out. Many, many things to come!

Stacy Adams & The Brownstone Cowboys has now finished at Great Jones Space but check back to the website for updates on the next adventure.