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(New York, NY) On Wednesday, December 11th, tea curator Jeni Dodd and art advisor Jessica Davidson will host a ticketed event from 7:00 - 8:30pm at T Studio in Astoria, where they will present a pairing of exquisite teas with animated paintings by contemporary Iranian-American artist Shiva Ahmadi.
The ART/TEA series was developed by Dodd and Davidson in 2018 as a new way for audiences to experience and delight in the nuanced yet powerful sensory commonalities of art and tea. ART/TEA: Focus Shiva Ahmadi marks the third ART/TEA pairing Davidson and Dodd have collaborated on. The first event took place at the Chelsea studio of acclaimed American painter Marylyn Dintenfass and the duo recently traveled to Seattle to debut a series of artworks inspired by photographs from Dodd’s various trips to Nepal and created in collaboration with a cutting-edge artificial intelligence technology called AICAN.
Attendees at the December 11th event will learn about Shiva Ahmadi, an artist who Davidson
represented while a Director at Leila Heller Gallery and whose work Dodd has collected over the
past 5 years, and the genre of new media art. Immersed in the sound and visuals of Ahmadi’s
powerful animations, a guided tea tasting led by Dodd will elevate the aesthetic and sensory
appreciation of both the art and the tea.
About Jeni Dodd:
Jeni Dodd has journeyed to remote tea-growing regions throughout the world in search of the
perfect cup of tea. The owner of Jeni Dodd Tea, a company dedicated to importing
hand-crafted, unique specialty teas and offering tea education for groups and events. Jeni has
traveled to several countries of origin, including Taiwan, Japan, Korea, China, India, Sri Lanka,
Argentina and Nepal, visiting hundreds of tea estates and tea gardens, observing and
participating in the various growing and processing methods unique to each country and region. Armed with this knowledge and experience, she endeavors to elevate the experience of tea appreciation and lead consumers to discover the exquisite joy of the leaf.
About Jessica Davidson:
Jessica Davidson is an art advisor, curator, and consultant who provides acquisition and
advisory services to collectors and institutional clientele. Focusing on post-war and
contemporary art, Jessica assists both connoisseurs and novices build special, highly personal
collections by helping them cultivate their tastes, explore the art market strategically, acquire
works they love, and effectively manage their collection.
About Shiva Ahmadi:
Shiva Ahmadi’s practice borrows from the artistic traditions of Iran and the Middle East to
critically examine global political tensions and social concerns. In her carefully illustrated worlds,
in mediums such as paintings, drawings, mixed media works and animations, formal beauty
complicates global legacies of violence and oppression.
Lotus (2014) features imagery from a major 2013 watercolor by the artist and two Buddha
sculptures from the Asia Society Museum, New York, which commissioned the animation. While
those two sculptures show the Buddha as serene and enlightened, Lotus transforms him into a
faceless oppressor who could allude to the Buddha and Islam's Prophet, among other sources.
In Ascend (2017), Ahmadi poetically reflects on the ongoing global refugee crises and reflects
layered movements and fluidity that speak both to the work's subject and to the artist's skill in
bridging the languages of watercolor and animation.
About T Studio:
Known as one of Astoria’s hidden gems, T Studio is located in the historic ASW building, which
dates back to the early 1800’s and was once the Astoria Silk Works factory. The building is now
home to Long Island City’s most creative artists, musicians, and photographers.
Image: Shiva Ahmadi, Lotus , 2014, Single- channel video animation with sound, Commissioned by: Asia Society Museum, NYC
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