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The Skowhegan Tarot Launch Party

  • Skowhegan 136 West 22nd Street New York, NY, 10011 United States (map)

The Skowhegan Tarot Launch Party

February 18, 2017, 6–PM
136 W. 22nd Street, New York, NY 10011

Performative Tarot readings by Melissa Brown, Deborah Fisher and Elisa Harkins, magic by Ross Ta Da, occult support from Christopher Carroll, with master of ceremonies Jesus Benavente

On Saturday, February 18, the last day of the New York CAA conference, Skowhegan will host a reunion party to celebrate the launch of The Skowhegan Tarot. 

We hope this event will be an occasion for Skowhegan alumni to find some spiritual solace in these particularly difficult times. Space, as well as occult energy, is limited, so arrive early to get get a reading. Bringing your own Tarot deck (or other arcane paraphernalia) is encouraged.

The Skowhegan Tarot features artwork by the 27 following artists:
Pasqualina Azzarello (A '04),   Keren Benbenisty (A '09),   Melissa Brown (A '00),   Elijah Burgher (A '11),   Christopher Carroll (A '08),   Vladimir Cybil-Charlier (A '93),   Susan Paul Firestone (A '72),   Helen Glazer (A '75),   Becky Kinder (A '04),   Jonah King (A '16),   Ellen Lesperance (A '99),   Bryan Martello (A '16),   Miriam Martincic (A '00),   Marlene McCarty (F '11),   Lavar Munroe (A '13),   David Politzer (A '04),   Christina Quarles (A '16),   Alison Saar (F '93),   Alexandria Smith (A '15),   Rachel Stern (A '14),   Ceaphas Stubbs (A '12),   Walter Sutin (A '13),   Clare Torina (A '12),   Van 't Hullenaar & Vis (A '09),   John Walter (A '12),   Erica Wessmann (A '15),   and   Claire Zitzow (A '11)

Decks will be available for sale at the event at a discounted price. If you cannot attend, you can still purchase the deck or find out more information here.

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Melissa Brown (A '00) was born in New Jersey and now works in Brooklyn. During the 2009 Nuit Blanche, she hosted ‘How To Win The Lottery’ in the Toronto nancial district. The goal of the performance was to win the lottery with thousands of other people by playing identical sets of numbers, attempting to make collective fantasy a reality. She designed a deck of cards called The Tabloid Deck, which assigns language from Tabloid Magazines to 52 cards that randomly form absurdist (but plausible) Supermarket Tabloid headlines as you play cards. Her paintings and animations take in uence from fantasy-related paper ephemera: money, lottery tickets, playing cards. She has had solo exhibitions at Magenta Plains, Bellwether, CANADA, Kansas, Essex Flowers in New York City and internation- ally at Kenny Schacter, Rove in London and Roberto Paradise in San Juan. She was awarded the Joan Mitchell grant for painting in 2012.


Deborah Fisher:

Deborah Fisher and Paul Ramirez Jonas, Dayjob Espresso and Culture, 2017, Grand Central Arts Center, Fullerton CA

Deborah Fisher and Paul Ramirez Jonas, Dayjob Espresso and Culture, 2017, Grand Central Arts Center, Fullerton CA

I believe that we are all interconnected, and am always looking for evidence of this connection. This makes me a student of exchange and power, and of the boundary between the known and unknown worlds.

This perspective drives everything I do.

In my art practice, I make businesses, collaborative group actions, intimate rituals, performances, photography, and pedagogy. My goal in this work is to infuse everyday life with moments of creativity and mystery.

As a creative leader, I am also working as an artist. As the founding Executive Director of A Blade of Grass and board member of the Center for Artistic Activism, I am working to create the cultural, social, and economic conditions that allow creativity to thrive.


Elisa Harkins (A '15) is a Native American artist and composer currently living in Miami, Oklahoma. Harkins has performed at The Broad Museum, The Hammer Museum, Honor Fraser, and Shulamit Nazarian.  Harkins graduated from CALARTS in 2015 with an MFA in Fine Art.  She also attended The Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2015.  A reader of tarot since 2012, she finds comfort, compassion, and therapy in readings.  For her performance she will be tracking the movement of the tarot cards, the reader (herself), and the querent (the person consulting the cards) with a camera to generate a live musical score.

Tarot Compositions is a live musical performance that creates sound based on the physical movements that occur during the tarot reading.  


Ross Ta Da (Ross Moreno)  (A '03)  has performed and exhibited in cities worldwide including Hong Kong, Berlin, Vancouver, New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Moreno has been interviewed as part of the Art Forum 500 words series, and lectured about the intersection of magic and art at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Moreno attended the summer residency at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2003 receiving an artist fellowship, and in 2009 attended the Vermont Studio Center with a full fellowship. Moreno has taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Carthage College, Kenosha, WI. Moreno is a current member of the Society of American Magicians.

In this provocative performance, Moreno will explore perceptions of reality through the presentation of 3 thought experiments. 

Earlier Event: December 8
SVA X Skowhegan
Later Event: April 25
Awards Dinner 2017