THE EXHIBITIONISTS (women's art salon)
manifesto | who's an exhibitionist? | in the flesh | exposure
who's an exhibitionist?

The Exhibitionists are New York City-based women artists, performers, writers and art enthusiasts. You don't have to be a practicing artist to join our group; you just need to possess some interest in the arts.

The name is intended to play on both definitions of the term "exhibitionist" by drawing attention to the literal fact that we are artists who "exhibit" our work as well as the symbolic connotation that we are women who will bare our artistic selves to the scrutinizing eyes of the Arts world. Admittedly, we also wanted an edgy name that would attract attention and make us feel more like indie female rock stars of the underground NYC art scene.

For more information about our affiliates and sponsors, or how you can support The Exhibitionists and get email about our upcoming events, check out Friends of the Exhibitionists.

Co-Founders: JEN LASKEY & FAY KU

In early 2000, 2 Bennington alums, Jen Laskey [writer] & Fay Ku [painter], were both living in Brooklyn, frying their brains at new media day jobs and trying to pursue their artistic callings. Since writing & painting are such solitary arts, they started The Exhibitionists to engage and collaborate with other creative people.

Emily Bicht
 Ironing Blues
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Emily was born in England while her parents were there racing cars. She grew up in Pennsylvania and Maryland, and received a BFA from Moore College of Art and Design. After graduation she stayed in Philadelphia for several years showing her work and teaching. During her residence in Philadelphia, she served as a member of the Board of Trustees of Moore College, a member of the Almuni Board of Moore College, and participated in several volunteer and non-profit arts organizations. Since moving to New York in 2002, she exhibits her work on a regular basis in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens, and currently serves on the board of a Queens-based arts organization, QVille. Her current work uses text from and imagery inspired by antique etiquette books, housekeeping guides and cookbooks to explore feminist and personal identity.

Dianne Bowen
Dianne Bowen  Evidence of a previous journey
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Originally from Brooklyn New York, Dianne Bowen is a painter by nature. Her pieces’ are conversations with the surface rooted in Abstract Expressionism. The tactile surfaces speak their own language, which reflect the Human condition.  Bowen received her BFA from The School of Visual Arts where she studied with May Stevens, Michael Goldberg, Anne McCoy, Lucio Pozzi, and Paul Waldman.


SallyAnn Carstensen lives and works in New York, and spends time in California and the Southwest. She received an MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art, a BA in art and a BS in fiber science from the University of California at Davis. SallyAnn grew up in a rural town in the San Francisco Bay Area where she performed in local theater throughout most of her childhood. For four years post-high-school she belonged to a Bay Area photography group while styling for San Francisco fashion shows and working as an independent hairstylist and makeup artist. Observing the fashion world provided her with an interest in issues of identity and their personal and social implications, which she explored in painted photographic abstractions. She traveled extensively to Europe, Canada and Mexico to observe image and subculture. She traveled in South America to study the value of art in cultures contrasting in levels of economic development. Carsenís current paintings incorporate this experience.


Jen Deaderick spent nine years in New York as a performer and writer, with five of those years devoted to stand-up comedy. She now lives in Brookline, Massachusetts with her husband and their daughter. A short film has been shot on digital video, about being a single woman living in New York, and will be edited any minute now. Currently, she spends a lot of time cleaning up spit up. For money, Jen teaches people how to use their Macs. She has been with The Exhibitionists since their founding, and is damn proud to be a member.


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Robyn Desposito has been working on a series of paintings based on the uncontrollability of rage, and the cycle of provocation and reaction that perpetuates throughout women's outward expression of anger. The paintings in her Anger Management series capture women in the midst of their emotional turmoil. Robyn photographs her subjects to record the spontaneity of their anger, then she uses Xerography, a process of painting over Xeroxed photographs, to complete the pieces. Robyn's motivation stems from her own frustration with societal standards for women's conduct. She feels that, throughout history, anger in women has been stifled and baulked at, leading many women to internalize their pain. Recently, she has begun incorporating images and text from 1950s and '60s self-help books to mold Anger Management into a more three dimensional documentary of what women still face today.


Jennifer May Flores Estaris was raised culturally classical and now finds it amusing to toy with structured sounds. Sometimes, she throws avant festivals together. Otherwise, she's exploring the vast realm of opera (like Elsa in Lohengrin). Analogous to a firm belief in separation of church and state. But, the real question is, which is the church?


Dixie (Sarah is her “slave name”) was born in a log cabin jungle, raised in a trunk, opened at the Palace, and has risen from rags-to-riches by pulling herself up by her bra straps—all the while maintaining a relentlessly sunny disposition. An inspiration to millions, Dixie loves flea markets, old movies, rhinestones and carbs. When not battling hypocrisy, political correctness and the urge to wear too much make-up, Dixie can be found at her lavishly appointed studio with her dog and many parrots. Otherwise you’ll find her at MTV Networks where she is Editorial Director for Nickelodeon Digital Networks. Dixie’s written for a variety of print, TV and online folks, including American Movie Classics, the New York Post, BUST Magazine, ATOMIC Magazine, RetroRadar, to name a few. She would write more if she weren’t so lazy, busy and inundated with cleaning up parrot droppings. She pledges to write more. No, really this time. No, really .


Fonta is a classically trained actress, singer and pianist. She studied at the British American Dramatic Academy in London, at the Sorbonne in Paris, and finished her degree at Bennington College. A founding member of The Exhibitionists, Fonta recently relocated to Los Angeles from New York, and struggles to incorporate her artistic pursuits into daily life. Employed as an events planner in Hollywood, Fonta has the super glam (and time consuming) job of setting up red carpet premieres around the world. She teaches piano, gardens and has recently begun composing music. Future aspirations include relocating to San Francisco, where she hopes to continue her studies and reconnect with her classical music and theatric endeavors.


Hillary Harvey is an artist and writer currently on sabbatical from living in New York City. After years of being a straight photographer, she recently began to use both digital tools and the feminine arts of knitting, dressmaking and quilting in her work, miraculously turning her into a photo artist. Her self-portraits are done in a film noir aesthetic and reference fashion and feminism. She lives with her husband, painter, Owen Harvey, in a gingerbread house by a brook in the wooded mountains of the Catskills with their one-year-old daughter, Zoë Frances, who, surprisingly, is not only gorgeous, but also extremely bright and talented!


Since Sept. 2000, photographer Alexandra Jacoby has been capturing a glimpse of women's most private selves. She's been photographing vaginas. The project was born out of a conversation with a friend about what their vaginas looked like, and how they compared to other vaginas. It soon became clear that for unpaid, unscripted vaginas like theirs, there was no reference available. Jacoby set about documenting the endless diversity of our vaginas - a tribute to individuality among women.

Alexandra Jacoby  The Painter > Alexandra Jacoby
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A Mississippi native living in the Lower East Side, Nikki Johnson divides a large part of her photographic work between what she terms "passive-aggressive° portraiture and self-portraiture, as well as an ongoing series of documentary images from around the world.


Jane Kratochvil pursues her photographic ambitions in her annual travels around the world. Jane's photography portrays the chaotic streets of Cuba, the jungles and plains of Africa, the landscapes and architecture of Italy, Spain and Peru, and stolen moments from annual celebrations that take place in New York City.


Jen Laskey is a writer, who also enjoys making visual art. She graduated from Columbia University in 2004 with an MFA in Fiction Writing, and is at work on her first novel. She holds a BA in Literature, Creative Writing, Visual Arts and Carnival from Bennington College. Her creative work tends to be collage-like, and often culminates in a literal collage of mixed media and writing. Jen maintains a lifelong obsession with the Carnival tradition, and too many other interests to mention casually. She is co-founder of The Exhibitionists.

  Fay Ku

Fay Ku was born in Taipei, Taiwan and moved to the States at age three.  She is a product of American suburbs and strict Chinese upbringing; her youth was defined by rebellion against both.  After graduating from Bennington College in December 1995 with a dual degree BA in Literature and Visual Arts, she moved to New York City. Fay is currently in her second year at Pratt Institute as a graduate student pursuing a MFA in Studio Art and a MS in Art History.  With one more year left of school, she has begun to seriously exhibit her work and to receive some attention. She is co-founder of The Exhibitionists.


Deena Marcum studied classical ballet for most of her life. She received a BFA in Dance from Marymount Manhattan College in 2001. She is now an aerialist (trapeze artist). Deena teaches Gyrotonic®, and aerial skills, and performs aerial dance regularly. She has performed on the ground and in the air in many U.S. cities and towns, and with organizations such as The Exhibitionists, The Humboldt Circus, Circus Smirkus, The Vangeline Theatre, The Colorado Ballet and many others.

Deena Marcum
  Rose Merola

Rose Merola is an Independent Curator, who is currently employed at Hirschl & Adler Galleries and working towards a Ph.D. in Art History at The Graduate Center of CUNY. After completing a M.A.T. in Philosophy for Children, Rose taught in private elementary schools for seven years, in which she reinvented the wheel by designing her own curricula. After attending a teacher’s workshop at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, she fell in love with the museum and art. This led her to take Art History classes, including one abroad in Rome. She was so inspired by her professors that she also earned a Master’s Degree in Art History, an equally non-lucrative field.


Ann Murphy was born and raised in the Midwest.† She received a BA in French from the University of Kansas, and then moved east to find excitement and sophistication. After 6 boring years in Washington DC, she relocated to New York City to study art at the School of Visual Arts. She pursued more undergraduate work at SVA, and eventually completed her MFA.† Ann's videos and drawings are deeply rooted in her Illinois childhood.† She is interested in the adult nature of children's games, and how grown ups use the models they learned from as kids to function in†the adult world.†

Ann Murphy
Soos Packard  Snake
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All Too Human—Soos Packard’s humanoid sculptures suggest an intersection where the idea of self and the notion of the other are likely to meet.  In this way, her vivid, elongated figures, struck in exaggerated poses, align with the fantasies projected by both celebrity and fashion photography.

Playful, menacing, bright, and slightly off, each piece possesses a private self, a psychological whole. Collectively the work creates a viable public, a community.  Finally, on top of creating individual personalities, there is also a distinct narrative element—cupcakes and cherries, powder puff and make up, and pistol and apple (a la William Burroughs and Joan Vollmer).  But these are intended only as a starting point. Which is to say, Packard introduces the familiar, the better to reveal the genuinely strange. 

Dana Rasso  

Dana Rasso is a writer and editor living in NYC.


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Christa Toole creates sculptural paintings using oil paint, metal, plastic, wax among other materials. She often incorporates organic or biological elements and common objects into her work. The juxtaposition and abstraction of these objects forces the viewer to reexamine and reevaluate their significance or meaning. She has exhibited her work in several galleries and art spaces in New York City and has participated in shows in Los Angeles, Italy and Germany. She received a BA from Vassar College as a fine art major with a concentration in painting and attended Rhode Island School of Design focusing in painting. She is a member of Open Ground, Nurture Art, The Exhibitionists and is the founder of


Brynna Tucker grew up in Vermont where her mother taught her to spin, knit and weave fibers. She received her BFA from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth where she majored in Sculpture and minored in Art History. Her undergraduate school had a strong fiber arts program that helped her incorporate traditional textile processes into her sculptural work. She holds two Masters Degrees from Pratt Institute, an MS in Art History (with a concentration on women and minority artists) and an MFA in New Forms: Non-Traditional Art Investigations (with a concentration in installation and process oriented work). Brynna has shown her work extensively throughout Brooklyn and Manhattan, as well as in Massachusetts and upstate New York. She has been a member of the Exhibitionists since 2000. She currently works at a nonprofit arts organization in lower Manhattan and has a live/work space in Brooklyn.

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Heather Weathers makes art that addresses sterotypes and taboos about women's bodies. Often cliches are used to neutralize meaning. She parallels human and animal physical instincts with Pavlovian behavior. She uses herself, menstruation blood and domestic materials to engage in a dialogue with other artists in the history of women's work.