e: jessefirestone@gmail.com
          ig: j_bandler_f


                                                e: jessefirestone@gmail.com
                                               ig: j_bandler_f


Jesse Bandler Firestone is a curator, producer, and lecturer of contemporary art. He is currently the Curator and Exhibition Coordinator at Montclair State University. Prevoiusly, he was Assistant Curator at Wave Hill, a garden and cultural center in The Bronx, and Curatorial and Production Assistant at The Shed, a nonprofit dedicated to art and ideas across all forms of creativity. Jesse has lectured at Pratt and Havard University and has organized exhibitions at institutions across the United States.


Nothing Under Heaven
Joseph Liatela alongside Andy Warhol and Carlo Dolci

George Segal Gallery @ Montclair State University
September 23 - December 9, 2023

The artist’s first solo museum exhibition brings together new commissions and recent works that explore the need for connection, pleasure, and agency within oppressive systems. Exhibited alongside photography by Andy Warhol (1928-1987) and religious art by Carlo Dolci (1616-1686) from the University Galleries’ collection, Liatela correlates spaces of communal experience – churches, medical institutions, and clubs – where promises of salvation and healing commingle in proximity to loss and grief. By uniting these different spaces through a range of mediums and interdisciplinary analysis, Liatela reveals how these disparate environments hold similar contradictions that impact the way we perceive ourselves and each other.

Case Studies 1: Damien Davis - OLD CURRENCIES

Kasser Theater @ Montclair State University
September 23 - December 9, 2023

Cowrie shells, tobacco leaves, and anatomical shapes appear throughout the exhibition to explore themes of currency, sex, and cultural traditions that connect a wide range of experiences within the African diaspora. In the Blackamoors print series, made exclusively using Adobe Illustrator’s “Ancient” preset color palette, Davis looks at how classifications and nomenclature within digital softwares relate to perceptions of identity and culture.

By repeating and collaging a matrix of forms that relate to various contexts within the African Diaspora, Davis invites us to rethink how Blackness is coded and transmitted across cultures. Intentionally avoiding figuration, these works defy the current trend of representation and instead rely on associations, comparisons, and cross cultural analysis to connect a diverse landscape of Black identities.

The Nature of Family Portraits
Featuring works by Destiny Belgrave, Sean-Kierre Lyons, Devin Osorio, Maia Cruz Palileo.

Wave Hill House @
Wave Hill
March 15  –  July 11, 2022

Destiny Belgrave Mommy Fries Chicken In The Kitchen, I Wonder If It Tastes Like Her Mom's?  Papercuts, Paint, Colored Pencil, Paint Stick 32 × 36 in Courtesy of Ronald Sosinski.

Displayed inside the former domestic setting of Wave Hill House, The Nature of Family Portraits looks to artists who expand on traditions of the family portrait. While each artist’s approach is distinct and personal, the exhibited works all reference and rely upon depictions of nature, flora and landscapes to complement and complicate our understanding of how family relationships and lineage can be represented.


Horizon Lies
Isaac Pool

Aquatic Garden @
Wave Hill
August 11, 2022

For Horizon Lies, interdisciplinary artist Isaac Pool explores notions of isolation, longing and the sustaining promise of fantasy. Featuring a noise band, a new clothing line, a plein air artist, and a “joy scientist”, Pool transformed the Aquatic Garden and surrounding areas to highlight themes of strangeness and beauty, performing and living. In this work, Pool asks the audience to consider larger questions that many might be contemplating during the pandemic: Is getting dressed in the morning a simple task or a chance to reposition one's place in society? How might our singular pursuits for joy create opportunities for collective freedom? How do our behaviors change between private and public spaces? Responding to the garden, including its landscaping, architecture and wayfinding, this new iteration sees performers grapple with the outside world where exposure to the elements and a live audience begins to break down the barriers between privacy and visibility.

More coming soon.

Public Programs

More coming soon.

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