Participating artists (last name in alphabetical order): Elysa Batista, Olufunmilayo Aderiyike Bright, Shuyi Cao, Marina Claire, Ánima Correa, Margaret Friedman, Katie Fuller, Jake Goelman, Ken Goshen, Alex Heine, Sareh Imani Luma Jasim, Juliet Johnstone, Cali Kurlan, Gabby Madden, Kitty Shenlin Mai, Lisa McCleary, Mariel Rolwing Montes, Haleigh Nickerson, Rebecca Ou, Tianyu Qiu, Athena Rigas, Jessica Saldana, Andrew Sapala, Sarah Schulman, Natasha Le Sourd, Yue Sun, Miriam Weeks, and Shunran Xue.

SLEEPCENTER is an art space mainly founded and operated by Parsons alumni, with the generous support from Don Porcaro since the beginning. We are honored to present this group exhibition of Don Porcaro’s students, young artists whose works and/or practices are influenced by Don’s teaching and help.

We’d also like to present you with a collection of quotes from Mr. Porcaro’s students, which we’ve received during the process of organizing this open call. We trust these voices can express no further but our greatest gratitude towards Don, for his commitment to us as students and beyond.

“Don was so important to my education!”

“I am one of the lucky students who had a chance to work with Don.”

“I am grateful that I had the opportunity to learn from him”

“My work was only made possible through Don’s guidance and advice.”

“Don had a great influence on me, especially in the technical aspect of sculpture.”

“He was such a positive impact in my Parsons experience, definitely a highlight.”

“I loved him as a teacher back in fine arts and we still keep in touch now. He’s been really helpful in post grad art life.”

“He has many different challenges in his class, which helps both to build our concept and skills of making.”

“For us, Don was the rock that we needed, he was wise, calm and humble counterweight to our wild and dramatic 21 year old minds.”

“Don was responsible for the entirety of our program which included 36 students, 34 girls and two boys. Don being one of the few men in the program, quickly took the place of the father of 34 young women.”

“I was heavily influenced by Don even in the short time he taught me. He encouraged me greatly in my small works on paper that depict sculptural forms.”

“His approach to materials has pushed me to explore mixed media further. As a professor Don always tried to get me to branch out of the confines of simply oil paint on canvas.”

“Don was pivotal in every step of my thesis execution, and with every work before that. He taught me technique, and constantly encouraged me to experiment. I could go on and on about the many wisdoms he has taught me.”

“During my thesis show, Don encouraged and guided me through the process of making a wood sculpture, from which I saw how great a sculptor he was.”

“Recall the memory of being in Don’s studio and seeing his works, I was surprise by how he always keeps his curiosity of his most  familiar surroundings.”

“Don Porcaro’s playfulness within the juxtaposition of materials and color as well as his support as a professor has inspired my works.”

“Don was always ready to answer my questions regarding my artwork; I know that I wouldn’t achieve what I was working on without his advice, problem-solving ideas, and the knowledge of the use of different materials.”

“Don was there from 10 in the morning until 10 o’clock at night, he was always here, whether the time or the problem. He was so dearly loved by all of us and I’m sure you can tell he remains revered by the students he taught.”

“We had conversations like peers. Don did teach us how to become better artists but more importantly he showed us how to be better people. I aspire to one day be a teacher and Don is someone that I will always remember and draw inspiration from.”

“He is not just someone whose practice I respect, but whose knowledge in machinery, material and the act of art making is so vast. I’m still a maker thanks to Don, paving new paths in materials and techniques that were not offered at Parsons, and I certainly attribute that bravery to seek how to get things done without fear of failure to Don.”

“Working closely with Don in independent study and sculpture class during my two years in graduate school  had the greatest impact on my work, my overall practice and the ways in which I approach the act of making. Working with Don definitely sharpened my making skills and  broadened the ways in which I conceptualize 3D objects and art works.”

“Don was a dear mentor of mine during my time studying in the BFA program at Parsons. During our formal studio visits and his casual drop ins to my studio, Don talked me through my transition as abstract painter to sculptor and helped me understand the bridge between the two. He encouraged me to work in 3D and his small sculpture works were a strong influence on my process.”

“Don has influenced me mainly through his unwavering encouragement and dedication to his students. If I was ever doubting myself or my practice, he was always there to offer advice and suggestions, all of which provided amazing insight and support. Art school can be very challenging in many different ways, but mostly for me it was difficult to stay confident with myself and my work with so many other artists around and the intensity of the courses. Don would always provide a caring role and uplifting spirit to me, while validating my art through professional references, resources, and examples of how I fit in with the art world. His words still have great meaning and affect to me today, and I know will carry on beyond Parsons.”

“It is Don who introduced and instructed me with all sorts of different materials – plaster, wood, metal, silicon rubber, etc. It is under Don’s instruction and encouragement I became a sculptor. It was such a privilege for me to be able to study with Don at his last year in Parsons, and I can never say ‘thank you’ enough to such a great educator who has inspired and helped me in pursuing my art career.”


“Don 让我变成了翻模界小咖一只。用纸用蜡用石膏,翻天翻地翻世界。”