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.
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 is related to the Coronavirus.
Below, a bit of recent history on this group, known as Black Hebrew Israelites.
The viral video taken on January 18, 2019, on the day of the Pro-Life March in Washington D.C., brought attention to a little-known group ~ The Black Hebrew Israelites, who were involved in the initial confrontation that day. From the language used in the video, it appeared that the five Black Hebrew Israelites in the video were part of a division of that group called Israelite School of Universal Practical Knowledge (ISUPK), known to demonstrate at the corner of Seventh and H Streets in Washington D.C. This group, headquartered in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, occasionally makes an appearance in Harlem, staging themselves in front of CVS Pharmacy on the corner of Lenox Avenue and 125th Street, megaphone in hand, spewing their hateful rhetoric, and most recently on the opposite side of Lenox Avenue, between 124th-125th Streets.
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.
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.
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.
Mapping Resistance: The Young Lords in El Barrio is a new public art project featuring photographs by renowned photographer, Hiram Maristany ~ a founding member of the Young Lords and their official photographer. Follow along as we take the walking tour, map in hand to view 10 large-scale images across five locations in El Barrio.
NYC Parks’ Art in the Parks ~ Creative Courts initiative, Facebook Artist-in-Residence Program (FB AIR Program), along with artist Saya Woolfalk, the non-profit Publicolor, and the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance/Public Art Initiative have arrived at the basketball court on Madison Avenue near 122nd Street in Marcus Garvey Park. Watch as this work-in-progress takes shape over this next week.
The much anticipated opening of the gourmet bistro, Amuse Bouche in La Marqueta is finally here! The expansion of the popular caterer will be open from Thursday through Sunday, with a wide selection of tempting treats, fresh baked goods, sumptuous prepared meals, and finely brewed coffees and teas.
El Museo del Barrio will celebrate its 50th Anniversary with a major permanent collection exhibition and timeline, contextualizing the history of the institution, in a two-part exhibition. The exhibition will reflect on the institution’s activist origins and pioneering role as a cultural and educational organization dedicated to Latinx and Latin American art and culture.
The New York State Board for Historic Preservation recommended adding 17 properties, resources and districts to the State and National Registers of Historic Places. One target area that is recognized as having contributed to New York’s diverse history is in East Harlem.
The above-ground Metro North Station on East 125th Street boasts the MTA commissioned sculpture entitled Harlem Encore. The work, created by sculptor artist Terry Adkins, celebrates Harlem’s past achievements and bright future.
The Marcus Garvey Park Alliance Public Art Initiative is pleased to announce the unveiling of the next Art in the Parks: Active Open Space site-specific installation Present Histories: An East Harlem Photo Album by the artist Kathleen Granados.
We joined Carey King of Uptown Grand Central and Ayana Hosted of 100 Gates Project in East Harlem for an Old School Jam~ Street Art Edition, along with a Tour of some of the Gates in the !00 Gates Project, including a live paint! Below, a few pictures of the day.
June 16th will bring inHarlem back to Marcus Garvey Park, with the eight site-specific installations Maren Hassinger: Monuments. Take a walk with us, beginning on 124th Street at the Fifth Avenue entrance.
The exhibition, Through a Different Lens: Stanley Kubrick Photographs, opened at The Museum of the City of New York, featuring more than 120 photographs by Stanley Kubrick from the Museum’s LookMagazine archive.
Harlemites and preservationists were delighted to receive the recent news that the historic Harlem Fire Watchtower, removed from the Acropolis overlooking Marcus Garvey Park in 2015 for restoration, would have its unveiling and ribbon-cutting on October 26, 2019. In addition, we learned from Connie Lee, President of the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance and Director of Public Art Initiative, that the Urban Park Rangers will open the gate and escort the public up to the top of the Watchtower on the third Sunday of the month, from Noon to 3:00pm, weather permitting. Urban Park Ranger Tours to the Top are currently on hold. Stay tuned for future dates.
Below, a few images and history of the Watchtower as it was dissembled in 2015, and reassembled in 2019.
Who wouldn’t want to live on ~ Dream Street. Well, in this case, we’re on 124th Street between Second and Third Avenues ~ and the dreamy mural is a depiction of a multi-cultural city painted by local children, most of them homeless.
Moving into Women’s History Month, Taller Boricua Gallery invited 25 women artists to create art about present conditions of ‘Disillusionment.’ “Addressing issues of deception, falseness, unfaithfulness, betrayal and treachery ~ with reference to wearing, inhabiting, being veiled, clothed, draped, revealed, exposed or wrapped in disillusion” and they created the exhibit, Disillusionment: Perspectives Beyond.
125th Street in East Harlem has seen a constant stream of renovations and building over this past several years. We thought this might be a good time to review what we know about projects coming to East Harlem this year, and continue to update as the year unfolds.
In addition, the Second Avenue Subway extension, which will run to a new station between Park and Lexington Avenues, will affect new building along East 125th Street (Durst and Extell) ~ an Update Here.
Harlem & The Bronx have something to say, and will share “their unique and diverse cultural voices” in their art, generating “a robust discourse” in the second edition of ‘Selections,’ an exhibition series curated by Larry Ossei-Mensah, presented by Elizabeth Dee Gallery.