El Museo del Barrio will open its doors to two new exhibitions this fall: Popular Painters and Other Visionaries and En Foco: The New York Puerto Rican Experience, 1973–74. Expanding on last year’s virtual presentation, Popular Painters and Other Visionaries examines the practices of 42 artists working on the margins of modernism and the mainstream art world in different parts of the Americas around the mid-20th century. Concurrently, El Museo will present En Foco: The New York Puerto Rican Experience, 1973–74, which centers on a single portfolio of 79 photographs by the Bronx-based photographic collective, En Foco. Opening simultaneously, both shows are organized by El Museo’s curatorial department and reflect core values of the institution from its formative Nuyorican formative roots to its continued commitment to expand the art historical canon in the Americas. Each will be accompanied by fully illustrated catalogues, forthcoming in Winter 2021.
We first came upon the work of Jaynie Gillman Crimmins last year in the group exhibition ‘Form, Paper, Scissors, at Living With Art Salon. In that exhibition, Crimmins displayed creations from two of her major series ~ ‘In Search of Beauty’ and ‘A Field Guide to Getting Lost.’ Beautiful and thoughtful pieces. So when we heard that she had an exhibition opening this month ~ we were all ears.
The name of the current exhibition is Matter and Spirit. These two entities have a long history of being deeply intertwined, and for good reason. As we engage with the world around us, we also sense something more than what our eyes can see. What that other dimension is has been the subject of many explorations in verbal language – poetry, philosophy, metaphysics – as well as in the visual language of art.
The Studio Museum in Harlem announced its fall programming, kicking-off the season with Thomas J. Price: Witness, the artist’s first solo museum presentation in the United States. As part of the Studio Museum’s ongoing inHarlem initiative, the nine-foot-tall bronze sculpture entitled The Distance Within (2021) will depict a young Black man looking down at his cell phone. The large-scale artwork celebrates a familiar form rarely monumentalized within a public setting and continues the artist’s exploration of blackness and Black masculinity as it relates to presence, movement, and freedom.
We knew there had to be a story behind an installation named ‘Flowers of Turtle Island‘, and so it is that artist, Naomi Lawrence, created her large-scale floral installation based on the folkloric tales told by the Lenape and other tribes of indigenous Americans, passed down verbally from generation to generation.
Flowers of Turtle Island becomes the 4th temporary public art installation that appeared in the neighborhoods of Harlem this Summer. Installed at Eugene McCabe Field, the Fiber Art mural completes the public art gallery curated by Connie Lee that begins in Harlem Art Park with Capucine Bourcart’s Plastic Fantastic!, winds through Marcus Garvey park with Susan Stair’s Ascending the Mountain, and ends at Collyer Brothers Park with Julio Valdez’s I Can’t Breathe. An additional art installation will be added this fall.
Beginning with the first of three panels along 121st Street, the image above (corner of Park Avenue) begins with the Black-Eyed Susan; Aster Blue Violets; Echinacea Coneflowers; and Cow Parsley.
Concrete Safaris in East Harlem is hitting the streets this month with three dates for kids to save. Friday, August 6th and Friday, August 13th, get ready for Youth Host Jungle Gym 2021; On Friday, August 13th explore the Youth Host Photo Expo and Streetscape Garden Tour.
The largest stenciled mural in the world was completed this week by (who else would you expect to do it?) artist, Logan Hicks, located within the East River Plaza complex on 117th Street in East Harlem. How cool is that!
“This started with a vision of going beyond making just a mural. I wanted to make an environment where people could forget they were in the middle of the city – even if only for a minute.” ~ Logan Hicks
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Civic Practice Partnership Artist-in-Residence, Miguel Luciano, is having a party and we’re all invited! The block party is a celebration of his new exhibition, on view at Hope Community Inc.’s Galeria del Barrio, and it is also a celebration of the culmination of Luciano’s there-year residency at The Met.
Harlem Art Park unveiled its latest temporary public art installation, Plastic Fantastic! With a kaleidoscope of color, artist Capucine Bourcart encourages the viewer to evaluate their own environmental footprint. The large-scale installation measures over 66-feet wide and 7-feet high, demonstrating the abundance of single use plastics and its impact on our public spaces and our environment. Plastic Fantastic! interacts with Jorge Luis Rodriguez’s permanent sculpture, Growth, installed in 1985, along with the unique architectural elements that make this park a hidden gem in East Harlem.
Join artist Capucine Bourcart for Opening Reception and Preview, Thursday, July 8, 2021 from 5-7pm at Harlem Art Park ~ CANCELLED due to weather.
It’s back! The Giglio Society of East Harlem announced this week that the annual celebration will take place this from August 5-8, with a free Freestyle music concert on Friday night, and a Children’s Giglio lift on Saturday, followed by a Sausage & Peppers Eating Contest sponsored by Premio Sausage ~ and Sunday, August 8th,The Giglio Lift! Donations will be collected for the American Cancer Society for Breast Cancer and for the Alzheimer’s Association.
In 2019, Mohammed and Ibrahima Diallo ~ also known as the Ginjan Brothers opened the popular Ginjan Cafe’ in the historic Corn Exchange Building in East Harlem. Opening early every day, they were the place to go for your morning coffee/cappuccino, pastries and Crepes. You may also know them from their popular cold-pressed West African juices (that, by the way, can now be found in all 145 Whole Food Stores in the North East).
CALLING ALL ARTISTS: The Grandscale Mural Project is BACK. And this year, we’re going bigger than ever before — with murals on East 125 stretching all the way from Fifth to Madison, Park, Lexington and Third avenues.
When the National Black Theatre announced its intention to develop its current site, concerns about the interior (and exterior) artistic treasurers were of great concern. The property, which was purchased by the Theatre’s founder, Dr. Barbara Ann Teer in 1969, houses the largest collection of Nigerian New Sacred Art in the Western Hemisphere. Hand carved wood totems and copper, aluminum and brass relief were created for the Theatre by traditional Nigerian artisans from the Sun-Oshogbo Sacred Grove. They carved these works using tools and methods which spanned seven generations. With its founder, Dr. Barbara Ann Teer, dedicated to the preservation of this unique spiritual tradition, it is no wonder that the upcoming project, demolishing the current structure, and creating a new, would present questions about the preservation of the artwork.
NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, yesterday joined elected officials and community members to officially cut the ribbon on improvements to playgrounds at Morningside Park and Thomas Jefferson Park in Harlem. The projects are two of more than 800 completed under Commissioner Silver’s leadership, advancing the City’s mission to build a more equitable 21st century park system.
Taller Boricua kicked-off 2021 with the online exhibition, Women on the Edge of Time, featuring a collection of art by members from the prestigious and long-standing New York arts organization, New York Society of Women Artists(NYSWA). The exhibit went live, online, during Women’s History Month in March, with 36 member artists expressing their thoughts on such issues as social justice and the struggle for equality through their work.
Real Estate Week reported that MADD Equities is moving forward with a new Harlem development, after closing on a $15 million loan for the acquisition of the final site ~ with the entire lot encompassing 124 – 132 East 125th Street, which includes the old Apple Bank building. Demolition expected in 2022, with anticipated completion in 2024.
According to Urbanize, the new 100,000 square-foot structure will include office, retail and a community center. Here’s a first look. The complex will be designed by Aufgang Architects, who redeveloped the historic Victoria Theatre, on the other end of 125th Street in Harlem.
Today, YIMBY posted that the Africa Center has commissioned Caples Jefferson Architects to complete new spaces within the property to support a lush calendar of exhibitions, performances, and educational events. Located at 1280 Fifth Avenue at 110th Street in East Harlem, The Africa Center occupies 70,000 square feet of the building and is spread across three floors.
On March 13, 2021, El Museo del Barrio will open its doors to Estamos Bien ~ La Triennial 20/21, the museum’s first national large-scale survey of Latinx contemporary art. The exhibition will feature more than 40 artists from across the United States and Puerto Rico.
The much anticipated Carmen Herrera designed mural, Uno Dos Tres, was unveiled today (November 5, 2020) in East Harlem’s JHS99, which houses semi-autonomous ‘mini-schools.’ Through the spring and summer of 2020, the artist worked with the nonprofit Publicolor to install the 54-foot wide by 17-foot tall artwork, which was meant to be installed last May in celebration of Herrera’s birthday.
In anticipation of Phase 2 of the Second Avenue Subway, an MTA community information center with rotating exhibits is open to the public on East 125th Street, steps from the MTA Metro North Station, and halfway between the #2/3 and #4/5/6.
As we all navigate through the trials and tribulations of COVID-19 and social distancing, a very cool activity has emerged ~ Open Streets. Each weekend, some of our favorite restaurants open from Friday through Sunday, outdoor seating and eating, sidewalk chalking, board games and much more is happening on the car-free streets of East Harlem.
New York City delights in its myriad of neighborhoods, each with its local restaurants and shops of all kinds. As we hold our collective breath on the survival of our favorite local haunts, we breath a grateful sigh of relief when lights go on, and doors open ~ even if only for take-out.
And so it was with great relief when we learned that the historic East Harlem Market, La Marqueta, would be opening its doors again, with one of the best-kept-bakery secrets in town, Sprinkle Splash Bake Shoppe.
Oh, how New Yorkers enjoyed the gourmet bistro, Amuse Bouche, when they opened their doors in the historic East Harlem La Marqueta Market last year. It quickly became a go-to place for a wide selection of tempting treats, fresh baked goods, sumptuous prepared meals, finely brewed coffees and teas ~ and a great place to meet for Sunday Brunch.
The Museum’s physical reopening will be celebrated with Taller Boricua: A Political Print Shop in New York, the first monograph exhibition in three decades about the East Harlem-based Nuyorican collective workshop and alternative space. Curated by Rodrigo Moura, Chief Curator of El Museo del Barrio, the exhibition had been postponed due to the temporary closure, and is now on view as of September 12, 2020 through January 17, 2021.
NYCEDC issued this request for proposals on behalf of the City of New York. They are seeking qualified proposals from community organizations, consultants, agencies or companies with experience in event planning and execution, marketing, branding, public relations, food and beverage sales and marketing, and/or community outreach to serve as a Community Partner for La Marqueta Public Market (“La Marqueta”).
*A 2021 Update ~ Art Park will be celebrating the 36th Anniversary on Saturday, June 26th from Noon to 5:00pm with art, music and more.
On June 26th, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs will celebrate the 35th Anniversary of the Percent for Art Program, and its first art installation, Growth, by sculpture artist, Jorge Luis Rodriguez. Here are some wonderful images of the artist and Growth as it was being created, and a few thoughts on this historic occasion by the artist when we visited his studio in May, 2020.
Due to bad weather, the celebration has been rescheduled for Sunday, July 5th from Noon to 2:00pm. Stop by and meet the artist, Jorge Luis Rodriguez at Art Park. Please remember to wear a mask. Social distancing will be in place.
Update September 17, 2020 ~ Lights on….Doors open ~ Reopened!
Closed due to COVID-19. Waiting for an update.
This well-established, family-owned bakery, Zaro’s, first opened its doors in 1927, shortly after arriving from Eastern Europe, through Ellis Island. In the 1950s, the next generation expanded the business, and in 1977, opened the first of its four Grand Central Station shops ~ then Penn Station, and the Port Authority Bus Terminal, with a total of 11 ~ until last week when they opened their doors along 125th Street in East Harlem.
El Museo Del Barrio Presents The 43rd Annual Three Kings Day Parade which will be held on Monday, January 6, 2020. The Parade, entitled Nuestros Barrios Unidos: Celebrating our Collective Strength, will celebrate immigrant and migrant communities of past and present that continue to keep history alive by celebrating the cultural traditions of El Barrio and beyond. Grand Marshall will be Marco Saavedra, Immigrant Rights Activist and Member of “The Dream 9”.
Jermaine Grant, leader of the East Harlem-based Israelite Church of God in Jesus Christ, and the organization’s treasurer, Lincoln Warrington, were sentenced to prison on tax fraud scheme on Tuesday, January 28, 2020. Grant received an 18-month sentence, and Warrington was sentenced to a year. However, Jermaine Grant passed away on April 1, 2020 at the age of 44, just weeks before beginning his prison sentence. It is suspected that his death was related to the Coronavirus.
Below, a bit of recent history on this group, known as Black Hebrew Israelites.
Zilia Sánchez: Soy Isla (I Am an Island) is the first museum retrospective of the prolific, innovative, and yet largely unknown artist Zilia Sánchez (b. 1926, Havana – lives and works in San Juan). The exhibition features over 40 works from the early 1950s to the present, including paintings, works on paper, shaped canvases, sculptural pieces, graphic illustrations, and ephemera.
The long-awaited ribbon-cutting for the restoration and unveiling of the historic Harlem Fire Watchtower took place on Saturday, October 26, 2019, to the delight of the entire community. Come along with us as we walk up to the Acropolis and celebrate the watchtower’s return.
It’s Party Time! The Annual Party on Park, organized by Uptown Grand Central, took place on Sunday, September 22nd from Noon to 4:00pm. The Event went from 116th Street to 125th Street, along Park Avenue. If you didn’t make it this year, check out a few photos below.
Uptown Grand Central has stepped out from under the 125th Street viaduct along Park Avenue to transform fifteen hundred feet of construction fencing into a canvas for fifty artists.
We followed Carey King, Director of Uptown Grand Central and Project Organizer, Ayana Hosten, a veteran from the #100GatesProject in East Harlem, when the project began on August 3, 2019 with the artist Gera Lozano (@geraluz) and fellow-artists, WERC, Crow, Jill Folino and Kristy McCarthy, painting the entire south-west corner at Park Avenue and 125th Street.
Beginning Saturday, September 7th, the GrandScale Mural Project will kick-off the first of three weekends, transforming construction fencing on both sides of the 125th Street viaduct, to conclude in time for the annual East Harlem Event ~ Party on Park.
On Saturday, September 7th, painting will begin at 10am and continue to 7pm, with DJ Tedsmooth arriving at 3pm to begin celebrating the end of the day.
The dates include Saturday, September 7; Saturday, September 14th and Sunday, September 22nd during Party on Park.
Once a year, the who’s who in street art gather for two-days in August to paint and play. The music is loud, spirits are high, and incredible murals are created. The Graffiti Hall of Fame stretches between 106th and 107th Streets, alongside the elevated Metro North train on Park Avenue in El Barrio. Known to Street Artists since 1980, and now a tourist destination, it is rarely open (except by private tour) to the public. But once a year, James Top, Executive Director of this iconic Wall, invites us to watch the magic.
Take a walk with us down the steps into the 2019, 39th Edition of The Graffiti Hall of Fame in East Harlem, August 24-25th.
A restoration of the historic, two-sided mural ‘Crack is Wack‘ by Keith Haring was underway on the East Harlem handball court located on Harlem River Drive at 128th Street (Second Avenue). It was inspired by the crack epidemic and its effect on the community.
NYC Parks and the Keith Haring Foundation are pleased to announce today that the restoration of Keith Haring’s “Crack is Wack” has been completed. The mural was refurbished and repainted by artists Louise Hunnicutt and William Tibbals, and the project was sponsored by the Keith Haring Foundation.
Uptown Grand Central has stepped out from under the viaduct to coordinate a colorful three-sided mural near Metro-North along 125th Street this summer. The project, which will begin on August 3rd, will transform 1,500 feet of green construction fencing on 125th Street/Park Avenue/124th Street, into a canvas.
HART: The Harlem Art Collective is the creative force behind The Guerrilla Gallery, located on 116th Street in El Barrio. In a community with a history of welcoming immigrants, local artists use the wall, located between second and Third Avenues, to address pressing issues of our times ~ local, national and international. This month, they had a lot to say.
Join us as we visit the Harlem Art Collective’s Summer Wall Exhibition.
In a city filled with fast-food options on every corner, bags of chips and cans of soda filling the shelves in local deli’s and bodega’s, and large, glossy ads of sugared drinks on billboards and in shop windows, it’s not easy promoting healthy eating to our kids. Or is it. In the installation EAT ME! the artist, Capucine Bourcart takes a deep-dive into the ease of turning this around in her community, Harlem.
The 12 foot x 24 foot Crochet mural, La Flor De Mi Madre by artist Naomi Lawrence, is being installed on the fence at Eugene McCabe Field in East Harlem. It represents the diverse community in which it is placed, in a colorful representation of national flowers.
Spending time with artist Susan Stair brings a whole new meaning to the trees that fill our green spaces. As we watched her work to create the clay molds for her current installation, Roots on Fire, Stair took us on a virtual journey underground, exploring how trees constantly send electrical messages through their roots and the mushroom (or mychorrizal network) that compose the Wood Wide Web. Come along on our three-part journey (from the Trees to the Studio to the Installation) as we document the creation of the installation Roots on Fire, on view through August 17, 2020.
One of the many historic sites in East Harlem is the Harlem Courthouse. It is located between Lexington and Third Avenues on 121st Street, adjacent to the Harlem Art Park and the tiny street known as Sylvan Place.
Update ~ They are open by appointment as of September, 2020
If you have been following GothamToGo East 125th Street, a work in progress, you will already know that East Harlem suffered a major loss when several old-time shops were forced to close, including Demolition Depot, a gorgeous shop that had been at its East 125th Street location since 1996.
We have great news ~ Demolition Depot has opened its doors at a new location, right around the corner on East 126th Street. Come along as we step inside.
On a sunny Saturday ~ during Memorial Day Weekend ~ we spied a small army of weeders, rackers, mulchers, and general cleaner-upers, hard at work along the Madison Avenue side of Marcus Garvey Park in East Harlem. They were New York Road Runner volunteers who regularly give of their time and energy. Follow along as we walk (not run) along the Park to take a closer look at what they’re doing.
The total transformation/renovation of the historic Corn Exchange Bank Building is one we would hope for all of our historic sites. It was a work of love topped with true dedication to the project by a man who saw the building in its deteriorating state every day as he passed by on Metro North that runs alongside Park Avenue on his way to work. But let’s start from the beginning, because this historically Landmarked building has quite a history.
MonumentArt2015 was the second installment of the International Mural Festival in East Harlem and the Bronx, sponsored by City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, José Morales of La Marqueta Retoña and La Respuesta in Santurce, Puerto Rico, partnered with muralist Celso González to produce and curate the festival. Eleven internationally known artists created nine murals throughout El Barrio from 99th Street to 138th Street. Many of the murals focused on El Barrio’s rich culture and heritage. Let’s take a walk, as we watched the artists create in October, 2015.