My work examines and reflects on my relationship to the urban landscape from the dense architectural images to the trash piled along the sidewalks. The Bridge and Door essay by Georg Simmel, a German sociologist, philosopher, and critic, has been an influence on my work for many years. In this essay and others Simmel examines urban relationships, for instance how a door functions as a divider from the outside and a bridge is a connection between two places. Both a door and bridge rely completely on our perception of their function, a door is as much a connection to the outside as it is a barrier and a bridge brings you out of a place as much as it brings you in. This is most interesting in a city because of the density so these types of experiences happen around us all the time. Through out my projects has been the compulsion to soften the gritty environment. Recently, I’ve been interested in the space where the natural and the built environment collide and how the city provides a cacophony on all our senses as urban dwellers. My on-going City Trash series portrays our relationship to an unavoidable reality of waste management and the challenges of urban density. A recent participatory project, Ground Floor highlighted the unexpected occurrences of nature growing and beautifying a blighted urban renewal site along the chain link fencing. Through these projects my work portrays the vast ways we connect as city inhabitants to our environment.
Artist Bio / CV
Dina Weiss is a New York City based artist and educator, she received her BS in Studio Art from NYU and her MFA in Sculpture from Parsons The New School for Design. Dina has held many positions in the non-profit arts education and museum education worlds, as well as teaching and lecturing. Currently she is the Acting Assistant Chair of the Fine Arts Department, BFA & MFA Programs at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. Recently, she was the Executive Director at Artists Alliance, Inc. a small not for profit arts organization located on the Lower East Side of New York City, which provides exhibition and studio opportunities to emerging and underrepresented artists. Weiss has taught courses as an adjunct faculty member at Parsons The New School for Design, where she also has developed curriculum and partnered Parsons with the Museum of Art and Design's education department to develop a portfolio preparation program for NYC high school students. Additional related art education experience, Weiss was an education consultant at the New Museum where she co-authored a chapter of curriculum in an art education book published by Routledge and the New Museum, entitled Rethinking Contemporary Art and Multicultural Education and worked with the G:class program writing curriculum and teaching NYC high school students. In prior positions, she coordinated the arts education programs for The Drawing Center and the Dia Art Foundation both in New York City, working directly with NYC public schools. Exhibition venues include the James Gallery at CUNY Graduate Center, NY; San Diego Contemporary Museum of Art, CA; Mixed Greens Gallery, NY; City Without Walls, Newark, NJ; Hudson Valley Contemporary Center for Art, Peekskill, NY; The LAB, San Francisco, CA; Untitled Space, New Haven, CT; Art in General, New York City. Artworks included in selected public collections at The Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NY; The New York Public Library, New York City; and The West Collection at SEI, Philadelphia, PA.