ShapeShifter Lab is also an art venue!

We host art events (paintings, figure drawing sessions, photography, installation, poetry reading, book release, sculpture, film screening) throughout the year.

Music Was My First Love

Reception May 18, 6:30p, music 7:30p


Exhibition of new paintings + drawings, Solo Show
Opening Exhibit + Live Jazz Performance


Music Was My First Love is a collaborative event of art inspired by music & music inspired by art. New paintings and drawings by Brooklyn-based artist Robert Saywitz will be exhibited with a live jazz performance by Grammy nominated Saxophonist, Flautist, Clarinetist, Film Composer, Producer and Arranger, Jay Rodriguez.
Musicians and artists alike are constantly repurposing, sampling, and being inspired by previous generations of artists—even earlier generations were doing the same, building off a long line of creative ideas. At the core of any painting or song is an idea and a story. If that story can carry over multiple generations, then it contains a narrative that resonates deeply as poetry. Just as contemporary musicians reinterpret older compositions in their own unique way as an homage to the original artist, Saywitz has created a new series of contemporary portraits of older jazz and blues musicians that are embedded with the heroic and tragic texture of each of the lives they lived. 
Jay Rodriguez has written a series of new music works for this exhibit in tribute to the greats—Tito Puente, Ornette Coleman, Coltrane, Brahms, Bach, Dizzy, Elliot Carter—in celebration of the human spirit within all arts. Featuring vocalist/percussionist Jose J.Garcia, percussionist Urbano Sanchez, Pablo Vergara–piano, legendary drummer Victor Jones, Richard Boulger–trumpet, Jay Rodriguez– saxophones, bass clarinet and flute, along with a host of other stellar artists still to be announced.


Web Links:

Artist Bio (Robert Saywitz):
Robert Saywitz is a visual storyteller. As a self-taught painter, his intention is to build images that carry a narrative—sublte or sometimes overt—and are infused with emotion that communicate a magnification and intensification of our daily life experiences. The images he creates represent glimpses of how he perceives the places, people and sounds within himself and the world around him. Finding inspiration in his environment and the world of music, each piece is rendered in a medium that best captures the personality  of the subject. He believes that the creative process of the visual artist closely mirrors that of the musician. Both adhere to laws of rhythm, harmony, tone and composition, while utilizing elements within a specific medium to create original and evocative stories. Just as the musician forms a composition through the arrangement of notes, melodies and silence, the visual artist composes a story using form, color and negative space. As the musician admires and learns from other musicians while creating a unique personal style, Saywitz finds himself continuously appreciating and learning from other artists across all disciplines. Saywitz is an artist and designer whose work ranges from fine art painting, to graphic novel and children’s book illustration, to music, film and theater design.

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