Marcus Garvey Park has a plethora of art over this past few months, with the installation of Susan Stair: Ascending the Mountainand Thomas J. Price: Witness, added to the park’s weekly music and dance. Now, we look forward to the unveiling of Alice Mizrachi: Renaissance Women, an abstract, figurative sculpture that honors women of the Harlem Renaissance ~ paving the way for many of the artists today, including Mizrachi.
How many of us take the time to think about our legacy ~ our legacy as a family member, friend, person in our community, or as an artist, and what we might leave behind after we’re gone. The BARDO ∞ PROJECT shines a light on terminally ill artists and creatives nationwide, exploring creativity as a form of spiritual care. It is a project that helps to create their legacy, and in so doing, illuminates the positive effects of art ~ while educating the public about end of life care options. Here, a life’s work is celebrated at that transitional time between death and rebirth. helping to define and create a legacy.
On Saturday, October 9 and Sunday, October 10 the Apollo will hold in-person auditions at its legendary theater for the 2022-23 season of its signature program, Amateur Night at the Apollo, the original talent show and one of the longest-running events in New York City. Auditions will be held at the Apollo on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 9 a.m. ET through 6 p.m. ET. Each day, Amateur Night producers will audition the first 200vocalists, rappers, dancers, instrumentalists, comedians, spoken-word artists, and other performers vying for a coveted spot on the Apollo’s stage, where they will compete for a chance to win the $20,000 Grand Prize. Performers between the ages of 12 and 17 will compete for a spot in the “Child Star of Tomorrow” category and a $5,000 prize. Amateur Night at the Apollo returns live and in-person for its 32-night competition on Wednesday, February 22, 2022.
The Apollo today announced details of its fall 2021 season, taking place in-person at the Apollo and online on theApollo’s Digital Stage. The season features a broad range of free and ticketed events and programs, paying tribute to the Apollo’s legendary community of artists and highlighting new works and commissions. Highlights include in-person auditions for Amateur Night at the Apollo in October ahead of the long-anticipated February 16, 2022 return of the original, legendary talent show; a preview of upcoming projects from an array of Apollo New Works artists; an Apollo Film Presents: ImageNation Cocktails & Sol Cinema virtual screening of the rarely seen documentary Devil’s Pie: D’Angelo about the singer’s rise to stardom, sudden disappearance, and return to music; the beloved Kwanzaa Celebration: Regeneration Night featuring Abdel Salaam’s Forces of Nature Dance Theater returns to the Digital Stage, and more.
Jazz prodigy Matthew Whitaker will be celebrating the release of his new album, Connection, with a live concert at Harlem Stage on Saturday, September 25th at 7:30pm!
Whitaker’s new album not only communicates his growth as a player, composer, and bandleader but also the importance of community and the connections it fosters. Having been musically trained in Harlem, it’s fitting for Whitaker to debut his new album at the Harlem Stage Gatehouse, celebrating his ties to the city that has shaped him as one of the leading artists of his generation.
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.
Claire Oliver Gallery is pleased to announce the gallery’s debut solo exhibition by photographer Jeffrey Henson Scales, In A Time of Panthers: The Lost Negatives. The exhibition features 20 photographs from the 1960s including Scales’ earliest forays as a photographer during the electrifying summer of 1967 when at age 13 with his paternal grandmother he toured the Midwest to see relatives. As a Black teenager, he saw the poverty and oppression of Northern Black communities and when he returned to Oakland, CA became immersed in photographing the milieu of the Black Panther movement in Northern California. The images chart the emergence of his awakening as a documentary photographer as well as a Black man in a pivotal moment in the 20th century that echoes today’s Black Lives Matter movement. In a Time of Panthers: The Lost Negatives is on view September 16 – October 29, 2021 at Claire Oliver Gallery in Harlem.
Dust off your walking shoes! The Harlem Arts Stroll, produced by Calabar Gallery, is back with two strolls during the month of September. The strolls will take you from 110th Street to 155th Street ~ do part of it; do all of it.
Quick….Quick ~ write this down ~ EatUp! New York, a new one-hour special with hosts Chef Marcus Samuelsson and Bevy Smith will take you on a special culinary tour this Saturday night, August 28th at 7:00pm on ABC Channel 7.
As part of Shake Shack’s collab series Now Serving, Shake Shack’s culinary team has joined forces with restaurateur Pinky Cole and her Slutty Vegan team to create a one-of-a-kind, limited-time menu item for a good cause: the SluttyShack. The vegan burger will be available in limited quantities on Wednesday, August 11 at the Shake Shack in Harlem, NY – the neighborhood where Pinky opened her first restaurant, Pinky’s, in 2014 – during Harlem Week, a ten-day live and virtual experience celebrating the people, arts, culture, entertainment and history that Harlem is known for throughout the world. Proceeds from the vegan burger will be donated directly to ROAR, a community of hospitality leaders advocating for New York City’s independent restaurant industry and creating a path to a sustainable future.
One Day Only ~ August 11th
To celebrate the collab at Harlem Shack Harlem, guests will enjoy live entertainment from New York’s own DJ Menyu, an appearance from Pinky Cole and custom SluttyShack swag, available while supplies last. All proceeds from the sale of Slutty Vegan that day will be donated to a charity helping the restaurant industry.
On the heals of the exhibition ‘At Home’, Living with Art Salon opens its doors to The Summer Salon, creating a unique and colorful conversation between Ceramics and Fiber Art. This new exhibition features the works of two artists ~ Reuben Sinha and Tomo Mori.
Today, the Apollo, in collaboration with 125th Street Business Improvement District (BID) and the Harlem Commonwealth Council (HCC), announced the recipients of the Harlem Entrepreneurial Micro-Grant Initiative, a $20,000 program created to provide support to small and independent Harlem businesses affected by COVID-19. Following last year’s successful launch of the program, this year it was expanded in scope, providing funding to local community-based arts organizations and arts collectives and local businesses in financial need. The 20 $1,000 micro-grants were distributed to local merchants and organizations that define the culture and the vitality of Harlem.
A dialogue began last year, serious and thoughtful discussion ensued, and artists have continued the conversation. Here, alongside a small pocket-park on 128th Street in Harlem, artist Julio Valdez unveiled his installation this week entitled ‘I Can’t Breathe.‘ The installation is just a few blocked away from last year’s colorful ‘Black Lives Matter‘ mural on Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. extending from 125-127th Streets.
Here’s a piece of old New York for you ~ The Collyer brothers – Homer, born in 1881 and his brother Langley, born in 1885. They were the children of an eccentric gynecologist and a former opera singer. The family moved to a four-story brownstone, located at 2078 Fifth Avenue in 1909, where it is said that Dr. Collyer would occasionally paddle his canoe to work at the City Hospital on Blackwell’s Island. The canoe, his preferred method of transportation, he would carry to and from his home in Harlem at 128th Street.
The Apollo today announced the non-profit’s annual spring fundraiser will take place virtually on the Apollo Theater’s Digital Stageon Monday, June 7 at 7:30pm ET. This year’s benefit, APOLLO RESOUNDING, will honor Felicia and Ben Horowitz with the inaugural Impact Award, given to individuals whose philanthropic leadership has made an extraordinary impact on the arts and artists and who share the Apollo’s values of innovation, diversity, and inclusion. Multihyphenated producer and DJ Derrick ‘D-Nice’ Jones will receive the Percy E. Sutton Award, recognizing indiviuals who uphold the value of the arts and philanthropy as a crucial part of the fabric of our community. The benefit is chaired by the Apollo Board Chair Charles Phillips and Karen Phillips, Cheryl and DerekJones, and Carolyn and Mark Mason.
As New Yorkers begin to step out, it’s worth reflecting on the year behind us, and what we latched on to, and kept us sane, while we were ‘at home.’ It was during the pandemic that we first learned of artist Elan Cadiz and the Scaffold Project ~ exploring equality and tolerance in our homes, communities and in the world at large. This month, Kente Royal Gallery opened its doors to Elan Cadiz and her thoughtful project documenting memories, lessons learned, relationships, and the most important part of her project ~ people, during this very difficult time.
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.
As we approach the 100th anniversary of the Harlem Renaissance, the proposed Dorrance Brooks Square Historic District would recognize this neighborhood’s significant association with notable African Americans in the fields of politics, literature, healthcare, and education during the Harlem Renaissance from the early 1920s to the 1940s. The proposed district consists of intact streetscapes of a striking variety of 19th and early- 20th century row houses, multi-family dwellings, and institutions, designed by prominent New York City architects within two sections on either side of Frederick Douglass Boulevard between West 136th Street and West 140th Street.
Claire Oliver Gallery is proud to announce the Gallery’s debut solo exhibition of Bahamian artist Gio Swaby. Both Sides of the Sun is comprised of more than 20 new works that range from life-scale line works, created entirely from thread without the aid of pre-drawn sketches, to small-scale intimate mixed-media textile portraits. Swaby’s work seeks to underscore joy and resilience while showcasing the beauty in imperfection and individuality as a counterpoint to the often-politicized Black body.
Where were you in 1969? If you were in Harlem, chances are you were either in Mount Morris Park (now Marcus Garvey Park) or heard about the Harlem Cultural Festival ~ a summer of free outdoor concerts held on Sunday.
Sculpture artist Zaq Landsberg created and presented the illustrations for this piece during the last administration, prior to COVID-19 and our citywide shutdown. It was inspired by Buddhist imagery, and meant to depict our iconic American landmark, weary, reclining, and asking the question ~ “what stage of America are we in.” COVID-19 closed our city, and Reclining Lady lay waiting, like all of us, for better days.
Claire Oliver Gallery is pleased to present Love Letters for Harlem, an exhibition of photographs by John Pinderhughes, Ruben Natal SanMiguel, Jeffrey Henson Scales and Shawn Walker. Love Letters for Harlem showcases the talents of these four Harlem-based photographers and their work that celebrates the lives and culture of Harlem. A portion of the proceeds from this exhibition will benefit Harlem Community Relief Fund, an initiative of the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce (GHCC), who in concert with Harlem Week, ReThink Food NY, NY State Assemblywoman Inez Dickens, CCNY, NAACP are working together to combat food insecurity in Harlem.
Living with Art Salon opened its doors to three diverse women in the arts, Elan Cadiz, Giannina Gutierrez and Leah Poller. The exhibition, At Home, explores how we live at home, as a family ~ as neighbors, as friends, as lovers ~ looking back on your dad’s favorite chair growing up, waking up in your own bed, working from home in this moment in time, and the emotions connected to the people and places that home ‘is’. Come along on our preview of this thoughtful and timely exhibition.
The Apollo Theater announced details of its spring 2021 season, which will take place exclusively online! The season features a broad range of free and ticketed virtual events, including the Apollo Film series celebration of House Party and House Party 2, cult classics created more than 30 years ago. The virtual program includes performances by Kid ‘N Play, Full force and more. The season expands the nonprofit theater’s road as a partner, commissioner, and co-producer of programming that centers Black artists and voices from the African Diaspora, while tackling important social issues for Harlem, New York and the nation.
On January 26, 1934, the Apollo Theater opened with the show “Jazz a la Carte” headlined by Benny Carter and his Orchestra, Ralph Cooper and Aida Ward. Soon after, The Apollo became the premiere place for the performing arts and entertainment in Harlem.
Overlooking Marcus Garvey Park, at 15 West 124th Street, stands an 18,000+ square-foot, brick building that had been the home to the Franciscan Handmaids of the Most Pure Heart of Mary ~ the nation’s oldest order of black nuns. In 2016, the Order celebrated its 100th Anniversary and year of service with a Gala featuring His Eminence Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan (Archbishop of New York), with performances by Melba Moore and other celebrity guests, held at the New York Academy of Medicine.
NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, joined Assembly member Al Taylor, Manhattan Deputy Borough President Matthew Washington, Community Board 10 Chair Cicely Harris, President & CEO of Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement Malcolm Punter, and community members this week to cut the ribbon on the reconstruction of Bill “Bojangles” Robinson Playground in Central Harlem. The $1.59 million renovation is the 51st project completed through the Community Parks Initiative (CPI), the City’s first-ever parks equity initiative, funded by Mayor Bill de Blasio.
For twenty years, Community Works/New Heritage Theatre Group has celebrated 100 years of Harlem’s cultural history through the harlem is…. public art exhibitions, programming, and school and community partnerships. This month, they announced the launching of the harlem is…website, the new digital home for the harlem is… exhibitions, virtual events, and educational activities devoted to honoring the living legacy of local heroes in the iconic Harlem neighborhood.
Claire OliverGallery is pleased to announce a group exhibition Four Now: New Works by Bisa Butler, Adebunmi Gbadebo, Leonardo Benzant and Gio Swaby. The exhibition and a dynamic virtual program of talks and events is designed to telegraph the excitement and energy of Miami Art Week to the gallery’s Harlem headquarters. The program includes a range of conversations between the artists and guest speakers including actor, artist and collector Hill Harper, James Beard Award-winning chef Bryant Terry, Nora Atkinson, the Fleur and Charles Bresler Curator-in-Charge for the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and Dr. Tricia Laughlin Bloom, Newark Museum Curator of American Art. The exhibition will be on view by appointment December 1, 2020 – January 9, 2021 and virtual programming can be joined online at the gallery’s website.
Claire Oliver Gallery announced a reopening of the gallery with a solo exhibition by Adebunmi Gbadebo entitled A Dilemma of Inheritance.
The exhibition will showcase the artist’s True Blue series, which is comprised of more than 45 works that grapple with concepts surrounding heredity and the evolution of memory and forgetting focused on two former slave plantations in South Carolina, both named True Blue.
On a brisk day in March, 2016, we noticed a realtor’s Open House in a brownstone belonging to poet and civil rights activist, Maya Angelou, who passed away two years before. Balloons were on the sign and the front door was open on the beautifully maintained home, and so we went on in.
Today The Apollo Theater announced details of its fall 2020 season, which will take place exclusively online on the Apollo’s Digital Stage. The season features a broad range of free virtual events, including Wyclef Jean performing his Double Platinum album The Carnival; a special Live Wire conversation focused on the artistry of the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin; and monthly Apollo music nights with independent musical artists through the Apollo Music Café, featuring artists Stout, J. Hoard, and Madison McFerrin.
NYC DOT Art Community Commission and The Marcus Garvey Park Alliance partnered to install a timely and pertinent new art installation in Harlem. Kenseth Armstead: Boulevard of African Monarchs arrived on 116th Street and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard on August 13, 2020.
Have you been dreaming more frequently over this past few months? Intense, life like, scary dreams? Whimsical or wonderful dreams? According to several studies, COVID-19, and its affect on our life in general, has increased the trend.
This past June, I visited the Living with Art Salon, who had a most unusual piece in a small side-room, entitled ‘Big Dream‘ by artist Capucine Bourcart. This large-format artwork, hung from the ceiling, gracing the floor. It held a dream in a code known only to the artist, and it was printed ~ line by line ~ with sand collected from all over the world. Oh yes, we wanted to see more. Below is a visit to the artists’ studio to see her entire collection of the Dream Series.
Located across 125th Street from the famed Apollo Theater, Harlem Mart 125 was once a vibrant market for over two-hundred local vendors, with the feel of an indoor, open-air market. Owned by the City of New York, it was developed by government agencies in the mid-1980s to give street vendors an opportunity to have an indoor stall. For many reasons, the Mart closed its doors in 2002 and has remained vacant.
Harlem’s historicNational Black Theatre (NBT) is hosting an annual salute to its founder and CEO emerita, the late Dr. Barbara Ann Teer, with NBT’s Founder’s Month, a month-long celebration of Teer, Black theater and community. Running through July 18, the celebration will feature the launch of NBT@Home: A Letter to the Future, a new series of online conversations on theater, current events and Black history with guests including Toshi Reagon, Ebony Noelle Golden, adrienne maree brown, Jonathan McCrory, Sade Lythcott, members of the theater’s original company of “Liberators,” and more, and the launch of NBT’s VISION Forward Fund Campaign, a fundraising drive to support and advance the theater well into the future.
Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, and Cel-Libertation Day, celebrates the Emancipation Proclamation of 1865. It is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the end to slavery in the United States. While much of our City is still under COVID-19 restrictions, our community celebrates in thoughtful walks, marches, and online, virtually. Here are a few ways to celebrate Juneteenth 2020 in New York, beginning with the One Million March.
Black Public Media (BPM) is celebrating 40 years of showing the world that #blacklivesmatter by bringing Black content creators and their stories to the forefront for audiences across all screens.
As the organization takes stock of its four decades-long history, it is releasing the BPM 40 for 40 Media Game Changers, a list recognizing 40 individuals and organizations that, like BPM, have helped keep Black voices and Black stories present in the media and shaped the modern-day landscape of independent, Black film and television.
Kerstin Braetsch’s most recent works, titled Fossil Psychics for Christa, are brightly-colored, three dimensional stuccos, hovering between the realms of painting and sculpture. Stucco is a form of plaster, historically used to imitate marble and other rare stones. “It’s about extending painting,” Braetsch has explained of what drives her work, “following the logic of my brushstroke but in a different language.” With this material, Braetsch creates “paintings” that appear ancient, like the result of geologic phenomena. Created with the assistance of master artisan Valter Cipriani, they resemble brushstrokes and monsters, regular motifs in Braetsch’s oeuvre. These impossible objects are physically immediate, almost demanding to be touched, as well as deeply mysterious, like fossils transported here from another, less corporeal realm. Step into the Online Viewing Room at Gavin Brown’s enterprise for the exhibition, Kerstin Brätsch: Fossil Psychics for Christa.
The historic Harlem-based theater is resuming its 51st season with the launch of a new initiative called NBT@Home: Uplifting Communal Resilience on Wednesday, April 22, at 5:30 p.m. ET on its Facebook page and Facebook Live. NBT@Home is a new, free five-part weekly digital series that will present curated, hour-long artist discussions on subjects including the arts and health in the Black community and beyond.
Look for NBT@Home on Wednesday, April 29th, May 6th, May 13th, May 20th.
Ki Smith Gallery will not be physically opening its doors to the exhibition, Base 12: Don’t Call It a Comeback due to coronavirus. However the artists in this group exhibition announced that they will participating in the Fight Coronavirus & Artist Aid online auction, organized by Christie’s Corporate Social Responsibility program.
How do you engage with a painting hung on the wall of a subway station? On the sidewalks or in our Parks? What happens when an exhibition is staged at one of the most celebrated museums in New York City without the museum’s consent?
Update ~ In response to the Coronavirus, the Claire Oliver Gallery will show the exhibit by private appointment only until further notice.
Claire Oliver Gallery opens its doors to the debut solo exhibition by artist Bisa Butler: The Storm, the Whirlwind and the Earthquake on view February 29 – April 25, 2020. Butler’s textile portraits of people of color are created from layers of brightly colored fabrics with a multiplicity of meanings. Butler’s composite characters are inspired by historical photography; the resulting images are rendered life-sized with viewers often engaging the subjects eye to eye.