Equinox Art Exhibition Featuring Maria Estrela and Christine Keeley with Live Music by Marilyn Castillo and Nedelka Sotelo (Sunday, March 13, 2022) — Jersey Indie
By Gregory Burrus | Posted Friday, March 11, 2022
Equinox, the Exhibit
Through an exciting collaboration between photographer/artist Christine Keeley and collage/mixed media artist Maria Estrela, the idea of Equinox: The Birth and Rebirth of a Woman, a celebration of Women’s International History Month, was born. The exhibition will be on view at The Jewish Museum of New Jersey in Newark, New Jersey from March 6th to April 3rd.
We caught up with Maria Estrella and Christine Keeley to understand the exhibition and more importantly the connection between the artist and their work. Take a listen.
The work focuses on the connection between women and nature; how women’s spiritual, emotional, and psychological being changes through the seasons. Equinox comes from a response to those changes. It’s the yin/yang, the dark/light, black/white, sun/moon, past/future. We need to feel deeply the importance of our ancestors and what we are creating for the future generations. As we make those connections we understand that Equinox can bring moments of happiness, warmth, and love. Even in the midst of the long, dark days, we can still find happiness.
“Christine has a natural gift for capturing the human form and spirit.”
Christine Keeley is a studio owner an independent photographer based in NY and Summit NJ, best known for her bold and emotive imagery. Christine’s lifelong passion for the visual and performing arts is reflected in her unique photographic style, capturing the natural movement and expressions of her subjects. Inspired by feminine strength, she uses the camera as a tool to elevate and inspire her subjects.
Christine developed her keen eye for visual storytelling at a young age, influenced by her father and maternal grandfather- both physicians and avid photography enthusiasts. Her large extended Irish-American family became her own visual time capsule of the complex moments in time of human love, innocence, joy, sorrow, hope and contradiction.
With a lengthy corporate career and the rise of digital art, Christine was able to envision a path to a successful business as an entrepreneur. After raising her two young children, she made the bold career move to the visual arts, where she naturally felt the transition to photography. She invested heavily in fine-tuning her craft, shooting in the studios of some of the world’s top fashion and beauty photographers. A year later, Christine’s instagram @christinek_nyc led to her first commercial shoot — and she never looked back. In 2018, Christine was invited to join a boutique art gallery in New York as Associate Art Director which led to a position on the board of Summit Public Arts. From there, Christine embarked on her own exhibition projects in NYC and NJ. You can learn more here:
Christine Keeley Photography
I make art to heal and inspire myself and to transform the resilience and strength women carry in themselves into a visual form that encourages and empowers all women, from young to old. My collages reunite women with nature by placing them in landscapes, decorating them with found objects, and re-contextualizing their power. I want to emphasize the beauty of nature and the natural beauty of all women. By paying attention to the changing seasons, I understand more deeply the seasons in my own life and connect the world around me to the phases in a woman’s life.
Maria Estrela was born in Cascais, Portugal and raised in a large extended family from Cape Verde, West Africa. Settling in Newark, NJ in 2002, she attended The Newark School of the Arts in 2008, where she was able to further develop, explore, and broaden her interest in digital photography. Estrela’s photographs of nature and scenes from independent travels serve as a means of self expression, escape, and self-healing. Photography is where she finds stillness, freedom, and a doorway to connect to her inner self. Maria’s interest in collages started when she met Artist Mansa Mussa in 2018 in one of his collage workshops. Since that first experience, collages and mixed media have become part of her artistic development. You can learn more here: IG @estrela37_ and www.mariaestrela.com
Live Music Performance
This wonderful event will contain a performance by up and coming singers Marilyn Castillo and Nedelka Sotello.
Singer Marilyn Castillo
“Marilyn is a rising Latin Diva with a soulful voice” — Ilana Martin, Vocal Workout
Marilyn Castillo is an independent Chicana singer-songwriter who comes from a long lineage of musicians and troubadours who passed on the passion for fine, bold and moving music that make both her singing and songwriting exotic and glamorous.
She is currently co-producing her first solo album “Chicana en Nueva York” with themes of her authorship, her first single “Todavia” granting her the Latin Artist Revelation of Premios Latinos Fama in 2019. In 2020 she released her second single “Noche de Marzo”.
Born and raised in El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juarez, México her love for these borderlands and in order to take her music career to another level Marilyn moved to New York in 2014 and has lived there ever since. She has shared the stage with Bobby Cruz, Richie Ray, Arturo Ortíz, and Latin Grammy winners Samuel Torres Flor de Toloache among others. In 2018 she became the female lead singer of Calpulli Mexican Dance Company. She is also the lead singer of Mexican Latin Alternative band Adderesound.
Nedelka Sotelo is a performer/teaching artist born and raised in Mexico City. Currently living in New York acting with different theater companies (Teatro SEA, Mexico Beyond Mariachi, etc) and singing with her Mexican Reggae Band “Nedelka & Latin Roots”.
Gregory Burrus is a local live music ambassador, producer, promoter, event planner, and community partner. Gregory Burrus combines his extensive corporate business and technology expertise with his love of live music and being a strong community advocate.
I love writing about it all. My mission is to help community groups, live music bands, and local nonprofits, reach their goals and accomplish their missions while enjoying the day-to-day process of life.