Kevin Bourgeois, Melissa Murray, Nahid Hagigat + Robert Saywitz have been selected as part of the Curate NYC Top 150 exhibition, opening at Rush Arts Gallery in Chelsea this Thursday, October 24 as part of Curate NYC—a month-long citywide festival of art exhibitions, and a permanent online showcase of New York City artists. Curate NYC is non-thematic, highlighting work in all visual media, styles, and topics. Artists' selections were reviewed by dozens of top curators—including Lisa Kim of Two Trees Management, Mahnaz Fancy of ArteEast, David Harper, Independent Curator, BAMart (2006-2013), Kate Feirtag of the Museum of American Illustration at the Society of Illustrators, Paul Goodwin, Independent Curator, Tate Britain, (2008-2012), Sherry Dobbin of the Times Square Alliance, and Betti-Sue Hertz of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, among many others. The program builds exposure and opportunities for local artists and underscores New York City’s image as a cultural hub. All exhibitions are free and open to the public, with featured artists on the program website,


Curate NYC Top 150 Exhibition 
October 24 - November 02
Gallery Hours: Wednesday-Saturday, 12-6pm + by appointment

Rush Arts Gallery + Resource Center
526 W 26th Street, Suite #311
(between 10th and 11th Avenues)
New York, NY 10001


Kevin Bourgeois has been working as a self taught contemporary artist for over fifteen years, and since living in New York, has exhibited locally and internationally. Known for using the challenging medium of graphite, Bourgeois expands its boundaries in ways that invite inspection, contemplation and interrogation through an almost painterly application of pencil on paper. Intellectual without being overly academic, definitive without being dogmatic, his imagery displays a keen curiosity in what dwells beneath the surface. Bourgeois' combination of socio-political messages, formal technique and aesthetically appealing imagery, betray the stereotypical assumptions of socially explorative urban art. The writings of Jean Baudrillard, Hakim Bey, Allen Ginsberg and Arthur Rimbaud frequently appear interwoven in the drawings, and serve as an influence in the subject matter. Bourgeois is also currently collaborating with urban clothing line, Crooked Inception, for a new line of t-shirts featuring his imagery.
Image: Kevin Bourgeois, Perception Management #1, 2010, Dimensions vary, Pencil on paper, mixed medium, found object. Courtesy of Kevin Bourgeois/Causey Contemporary Gallery. Statement: Abby Hertz.


Melissa Murray is a Brooklyn-based artist, often working large-scale with mixed media on paper. Focusing on the idea of freezing an active moment of thought, Murray's work relies on a stream of conscious to present herself with an honest story, making each of her works a collection of coded memories quieted yet clarified by capturing the slightest moment in thought. The artist maintains a studio practice where her thoughts are bombarded with a successive rotation of images, the clusters begin to gather into a pattern through which a metaphor and visual narrative is born. Murray's focus on the presented theme, patterns, colors and shifts in space begin to narrate her compositions. Murray's work has previously appeared in group exhibitions at MOSI Museum in Tampa, Florida; ArtPrize 2011 in Grand Rapids, Michigan; the Target Gallery in Alexandria, Virginia; Chashama; Causey Contemporary; AdHoc Art; and 3rd Ward in New York.

Image: Melissa Murray, The roses were fake, but grew even though, 2013, 40 x 40 inches, Watercolor, ink, acrylic, colored pencil and graphite on paper. Courtesy of Melissa Murray/Causey Contemporary Gallery.


Nahid Hagigat is a visual artist who combines her paintings with her own life stories. Recently featured in The Art NewspaperHagigat's work is currently on view in the landmark exhibition Iran Modern at Asia Society [through January 5, 2014]—focusing on Iranian art created during the three decades leading up to the revolution of 1979. She has exhibited her art extensively in Tehran and was instrumental in introducing printmaking to Tehran art galleries. After graduating in Fine Arts from Tehran University, Hagigat continued her studies in the United States, receiving her Ph.D. from New York University in Art and Art Education, specializing in painting and printmaking. She recently received her second Ph.D. from Huntington Pacific University in Art & Behavioral Therapy. Hagigat has had multiple solo and group exhibitions in the United States. In addition, her work is in numerous private and public collections including the Tehran Museum of Modern Art; JP Morgan-Chase New York; New York University; and World Bank in Washington, D.C., among others. Hagigat lives and works in New York City. 

Image: Nahid HagigatTelling A Story, 2013, 40 x 30 inches, Mixed media on canvas. Courtesy of Nahid Hagigat.

Robert Saywitz is a multidisciplinary artist and visual storyteller who builds images infused with emotion that communicate a magnification and intensification of our every day life experiences. Saywitz’s painting series, The Notes Underneath, explores a modern form of the human journey—the underground commute through New York City, people’s dependency on music to escape from this often harsh reality, and the resultant isolation. Having studied bookbinding at the San Francisco Center for the Book, Saywitz published a series of unique editioned artist books based on this painting series and incorporates book-making techniques into bodies of work outside of the medium of the book. Living and working in Brooklyn as a fine artist, illustrator and graphic designer, Saywitz creates works including musician portraits, paintings, works on paper, graphic novels and artist books. Saywitz’s work has appeared in exhibitions at Gitana Rosa Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; CITYarts Auction at Sotheby’s, NYC; Brooklyn Artillery Presented by the Brooklyn Artillery & the Williamsburg Gallery Association, Brooklyn, NY; Space on White, NYC; Brooklyn Creative League Brooklyn, NY; The Sketchbook Project, NYC + USA; MoCCA Arts Fest/Society of Illustrators + Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art, NYC; New York Comic Convention, NYC; King Con Comic & Animation Convention Brooklyn, NY; and Comic-Con International San Diego, CA.
Image: Robert SaywitzCollapsed dreams cause black holes, 2012, 24 x 18 inches, Acrylic, collage and charcoal on canvas. Courtesy of Robert Saywitz.


Curate NYC is a citywide festival of art exhibitions + an online showcase of NYC visual artists developed + produced by Brian Tate + Danny Simmons. A project of Full Spectrum Experience, Inc. in partnership with the NYC Economic Development Corporation, with support from Con Edison + Official Media Sponsorship by The L Magazine, and WNYC and Promotional Partnership with MTA New York City Transit. Curate NYC was announced by Mayor Bloomberg in September 2009 as part of a suite of initiatives designed to strengthen the City’s cultural sector. Full Spectrum Experience, Inc., a nonprofit arts organization that creates career-building platforms for artists and new forums for arts audiences, was selected to develop and produce the program in response to a Request for Proposals issued by NYCEDC. For more information, visit or Curate NYC's Facebook page

Rush Arts Gallery + Resource Center is a core program of the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded in 1995 by brothers Russell, Danny and Joseph “Rev. Run” Simmons. The gallery provides exhibition opportunities to an emerging artistic community, and exposes disadvantaged urban youth to contemporary arts and culture. Rush Arts Gallery initially provided resources and support to early career, non-commercial artists of color who lacked representation in Chelsea’s art district. They now also support artists, curators and writers from around the globe, promoting experimental ventures in visual production, curatorial work, performance art and community involvement. Rush Arts Gallery invites guest curators and event producers to transform the gallery for projects, exhibitions, fashion shows or screenings.


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