The Columbus Avenue BID, a business improvement district that works to improve the quality of life and promote commercial activity in one of the world’s most vibrant, diverse communities, launched its “Creating Tomorrow” exhibit in partnership with Art on the Ave NYC, a New York City-based arts nonprofit. The program will feature local artists’ work that will transform Columbus storefronts into an interactive walking art gallery. Art will be on display from April 22 to June 30.
The Columbus Avenue BID and Art on the Ave are also proud to be collaborating with Chase, a longtime supporter of the Arts and a financial services firm that believes art is a catalyst for connection. Chase focuses its investment in the arts on emerging, developing and under-recognized artists which perfectly aligns with Art on the Ave’s mission.
Art on the Ave NYC, a nonprofit community initiative, are displaying works by 21 local artists that were chosen through a public application process for work channeling the “Creating Tomorrow” theme of the exhibition. Artists were asked to speak to the future with regards to the human experience, the economy, society, and/or the environment. Our selected artists have interpreted this theme in myriad ways which has resulted in a diverse exhibition showcasing multiple perspectives. The works span mediums from photography to oil and watercolor paintings that align with the theme weaved throughout the walking gallery. Many of our featured artists have created pieces using upcycled and recycled materials. Participating artists include Bryan Byczek, Cathleen Luo, Chao Wang, CLoD, Daisy Undercuffler, Elizabeth McAlpin, Gabriele Roos, Jean Rho, Katie Godowski, Kevin Byrd, King Yan “Fina” Yeung, Laziza Rakhimova, Leslie Jean-Bart, YEN MT, Noel Copeland, Riad Miah, Sage Gallon, Taeesha Muhammad, Terry Frishman, Tina Scepanovic, and Xian Eley.
“We are honored to work with Art on the Ave NYC and the incredible local talents that have provided their artwork to be showcased along Columbus Avenue,” said Nicole Paynter Director of the Columbus Avenue Business Improvement District. “Our area is home to a wide variety of businesses along with schools, museums, restaurants and residents. We are excited to provide the area with an exhibition that livens the streetscape while presenting ideas about sustainability and the future of our society.”
All pieces of art will be available for purchase with 100 percent of proceeds going directly to the artist. The program highlighting these local artists was made possible with the support of local property owners.
“Every time we put out a call for artists, we’re flooded with creativity — the proposals for this exhibition and their takes on the concept of “Creating Tomorrow” resulted in compelling work,” said Barbara Anderson, Co-founder and Executive Director of Art on the Ave NYC. “The Upper West Side is an area that combines a vibrant, urban culture with an active, outdoor lifestyle. An art exhibition that can be enjoyed from the sidewalk is a great addition.”
Art on the Ave NYC has launched installations across four districts since November 2020 – Upper West Side, West Village, Downtown, and East Midtown. Throughout those exhibitions, over 100 artists have been showcased and 50 percent of the vacant storefronts that participated were rented within six months of Art on the Ave NYC’s activations.
Art on the Ave NYC was conceived by Jackie Graham and Barbara Anderson in the midst of the pandemic. After discussing the current events and how they could participate in the healing of NYC they turned to art. Art speaks a universal language and has the ability to provoke dialogue. Putting art in public spaces and in storefronts seemed a good way to invigorate community and businesses while supporting local talent.