“Don’t Say Other” by Diana Schmertz | May 6-May 28, 2023

  • “Don’t Say Other” by Diana Schmertz | May 6-May 28, 2023
  • “Don’t Say Other” by Diana Schmertz | May 6-May 28, 2023

“Don’t Say Other” by Diana Schmertz | May 6-May 28, 2023

The Art House Gallery presents “Don’t Say Other” by Diana Schmertz from May 6 through May 28, 2023

Art House Productions (Executive Artistic Director Meredith Burns, Gallery Director Andrea McKenna) presents “Don’t Say Other” - an exhibition of new work by Diana Schmertz. The work will be exhibited in the Art House Gallery at 345 Marin Boulevard in Jersey City, May 6 through May 28, 2023. 

The work in “Don’t Say Other” directly responds to recent events in The United States, like the numerous state laws passed restricting access to books in schools. As a protest to these restrictions, the artist has painted the covers of banned books, and laser cut the text from different state education laws into the paintings. The full text from the laws are available to read on Diana Schmertz’s website - Diana Schmertz website

The new work also explores the Florida Parental Rights in Education Bill which outlaws discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in schools until 4th grade. Images created by Schmertz depict real families affected by this law as well as Disney LGBTQ+ character and other imagery censored by the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. The text of the law is laser cut throughout each image. The remnants of the burnt out negative space is piled at the bottom of the frame, symbolic of the destruction this law causes.

Also included in “Don’t Say Other” is a painting of a photo of Stacey Bailey, a teacher, with her fiancé, (now wife) that she showed her 4th grade students. Stacey Bailey was penalized, put on administrative leave, and almost fired for “pushing her gay agenda” by showing this photograph. The text of her court case is cut throughout this image.

“Diana’s expert painting skills allow her to depict her vision delicately and precisely. Her passion for social justice permeates her work and puts forth an intention that is strong, while attaining the beauty of all that she is creating,” says Art House Gallery Director, Andrea McKenna.

The exhibition runs from May 6 through May 28, 2023. The opening reception is on Saturday, May 6 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm. The Art House Gallery will also be open the evening of May 11 from 5pm to 9pm for Art Crawl Downtown. 

Regular gallery hours are Saturdays and Sundays from 1:00pm to 4:00pm.

All works will be for sale in the Art House Gallery at The Hendrix at 345 Marin Boulevard, Jersey City, NJ 07302, as well as on the Art House Online Gallery. 

Large print for all literature regarding our exhibitions and tactile and descriptive tours are available upon request. Email Andrea McKenna for more information at gallery@arthouseproductions.org.


Directly after completing her BFA from Purchase College at the age of 19, Diana Schmertz moved to Amsterdam, Holland to start her art career as a recipient of De Ateliers 63’ grant and residency program.  Exhibiting internationally, her work has been shown at Smack Mellon, Center for Book Arts, Muriel Guépin Gallery and Columbia University in New York City, the International Museum of Women, San Francisco and Galería Nacional, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. She completed two Masters of Science and received grants and awards from organizations such as Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Northern Manhattan Arts, Aljira Emerge, and the Drawing Center. In addition to showing her work at traditional galleries and museum spaces, Schmertz has made public art supported by grants. Most recently she presented public work through CHaShaMa & New York City Department of Transportation at Fordham Plaza, Bronx, NY and is currently working on commission by the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs Percent for Art program.