Jordan Moss may have grown up as a child of two artists, but the thought of pursuing art himself was a no-go until a life-changing event seven years ago.
Moss, a Kingsbridge Heights resident who was editor of the Norwood News for 17 years, had brain cancer surgery in 2012, and subsequently decided it was time to follow an artistic path in life.
Although he was interested in photography for years, Moss’ surgery pushed him to take action, starting with classes at the Art Students League in Manhattan.
“It was my cancer that gave me the time to focus on photography more,” he said, “and also open up this new interest of mine that I didn’t know was there.”
Moss’ parents, sculptor Jay Moss and the late abstract artist Sabina Moss, also ultimately inspired his current endeavors despite Jordan never thinking about becoming an artist growing up.
“Abstract art was in my eyes my whole childhood,” he said. “But I didn’t do a thing about it.”
His interest in this type of art didn’t really peak until Moss started frequent visits to his mother at the Hebrew Home at Riverdale. At the time, he was encouraging her to get back into making art, creating his own alongside her.
All of these experiences tie into Moss’ latest exhibition, “Everywhere We Look,” on display at the Kingsbridge Riverdale Van Cortlandt Development Corp.’s new Gallery 505 space at 505 W. 236th St., through May 17.
Moss’ photographs primarily focus on scenes in everyday life that are captured in places like Kingsbridge, Riverdale, Bedford Park and Van Cortlandt Park. He never has a set plan of what to photograph when he’s walking around and simply goes with the flow.
“It’s not an assignment,” he said. “It’s not, ‘Take these shots of people and stuff.’ It’s sort of just what happens to be what I come across.”
With Moss’ newly established interest in photography and art, it’s fitting he’s the first local artist to be featured in KRVC’s Gallery 505. The gallery space is part of the development corporation’s rebranding of its offices to become a community space known as 505BX.
Tracy McCabe Shelton, KRVC’s executive director, said when the development corporation opened its West 236th Street offices three years ago, they used their wall space to put up pictures from their events and never really thought about expanding the space.
“As time went on, we realized that it would be great to not just have our pictures, but to actually have some kind of pop-up art gallery space,” Shelton said.
Having Moss’ work on display has inspired Shelton and other members of the KRVC team.
“Sometimes when I’m stuck or I’m in the middle of doing something, I’ll just kind of sit there and look at it,” she said.
“Everywhere We Look” had its opening reception April 4, and Shelton recalls getting a lot of positive feedback from visitors about Moss’ work and Gallery 505.
“A lot of it was, ‘We really need this in the community,’” she said.
Shelton believes having 505 Gallery in a central location just off Riverdale Avenue is a great opportunity for people to pop in and see some art during the day.
“I think that any kind of space of any size — especially when it’s along a commercial corridor — is valuable in a place like this,” she said, “because there aren’t that many.”
Looking back at how much he has grown his photography and art collection, Moss says his dedication to the media can apply to any person that wants to learn a new skill.
“It can be within us all,” he said. “Anyone who’s remotely interested and stays at it will get real joy out of it.”
And while he’s pursued art over the last seven years, there’s still a ways to go for him.
“I still feel that I have a lot to learn,” Moss said, “but I feel like it’s a thing that’s in me, and it’s a thing I’m going to do the rest of my life.”