Claire Oliver Gallery will open its doors to Unearthing Unicorns, the debut solo exhibition by artist Simone Elizabeth Saunders. Unearthing Unicorns showcases large-scale textile artworks that explore the iconography of the famed high Renaissance era Unicorn Tapestries and Art Nouveau advertising through a contemporary Black feminist lens. The artist’s sweeping art historical reframing is rendered in vibrant polychrome hand-tufted textiles that both reference the prized woven tapestries of the Renaissance as well as the more contemporary feminist craft movement of the later 20th century. Unearthing Unicorns will be on view in Harlem March 17 – May 13, 2023.
Mart 125 opened in 1986 as an indoor market providing local street vendors with an opportunity to be part of a brick-and-mortar, working rain or shine. Located at 252 West 125th Street, across the street from the legendary Apollo Theater and Victoria Theatre, it was an incubator for Black Owned Businesses selling unique items and food.
Over the years, Harlemites watched the streetscapes on either side of Lenox Avenue between 119th and 120th Streets, with the hope that the owners had a view toward lovingly restoring these treasured buildings.
Built in the early 1900s, the buildings on the west side of the street attracted businesses, owners of townhomes and renters ~ all contributing to the renovation and preservation of the buildings.
However many of the buildings along that same strip, on the east side of the street, were not maintained, eventually vacated and boarded up. This month, neighbors watched as 186 Lenox Avenue was demolished.
Claire Oliver Gallery is pleased to announce MAKE/BELIEVE a new exhibition by artist Judith Schaechter. MAKE/BELIEVE features six new stained glass artworks presented in lightboxes, installed as a debut exhibition in the gallery’s second floor space. Schaechter employs a centuries-old process of staining and enameling glass and contemporary innovations she has pioneered with engraving and layering panes to produce her epically narrative and brilliantly polychrome artworks. The works in MAKE/BELIEVE reflect myriad current events over the past few years from the pandemic to the BLM movement in Schaechter’s characteristically elliptical imagery that is deeply narrative while indirect in its references. For MAKE/BELIEVE, Schaechter has also designed a custom wallpaper that will be installed throughout the exhibition. MAKE/BELIEVE marks the artist’s eighth solo presentation at the gallery and will be on view October 21 – December 17, 2022.
Jonelle Procope, President and CEO of the Apollo, announced today that after two decades of leading the iconic cultural and civic non-profit dedicated to providing a platform for Black creativity, she will step down on June 30, 2023. Ms. Procope’s leadership, first as a member of the board and then as president and CEO, has transformed a venue that was in disrepair into an internationally recognized cultural institution, expanding it into the largest African American performing arts presenting organization with one of the most diverse boards and audiences in the country. Throughout her tenure, the Apollo has also served as an anchor for the revitalization of legendary 125th Street in Harlem and as a center for community and national discourse.
Boundless: 10 Years of Seeding Black Comic Futures, an ongoing exhibition, celebrates the tenth anniversary of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture’s Black Comic Book Festival, through photographs, memorabilia, creator highlights, comic book reading stations, and clips from past festival programs.
In addition, join The Schomburg on Wednesday, September 28th from 5:00 to 9:00pm for an after-hours preview and a movie screening of ‘Milestone Generations‘ ~ a film chronicling one of the largest Black comic book publishers in the country (partially filmed within the Schomburg Center). This is a free event ~ Register Here.
On Saturday, September 24, 2022, 1:00pm – 7:00 pm at Marcus Garvey Park | Richard Rodgers Amphitheatre, in Harlem, iconic saxophone players Bill Saxton, Alvin Flythe, Todd Herbert, Sweet Lee Odom, Patience Higgins, TK Blue and John S. Mannan join three rhythm sections to play the music of John Coltrane from the Miles Davis/Monk Era thru the Impulse Record years of Trane’s performances. Doors Open at 1:00 pm performances begin with The Reggie Workman Group at 1:30pm. Enter at 5th Ave @ W. 124th Street.
Few photographers had the insider access Oakland native Jeffrey Henson Scales did around the Black Panther Party in the late 1960s. Capturing intimate portraits and protest images of the organization and its leaders in a time of societal upheaval, Scales’s archive lay dormant and forgotten for 40 some years. Then in 2018, when his mother died and the contents of the family home were sorted, the negatives were discovered.
Join Jeffrey Henson Scales for a celebration of his book and book signing of “In A Time of Panthers”, early photographs by Jeffrey Henson Scales, to be held on September 28th at Claire Oliver Gallery.
Claire Oliver Gallery is pleased to announce When You See Them, You See Me, the debut solo exhibition by artist Robert Peterson. Featuring 13 life-scale oil on canvas figurative paintings, Peterson aims to capture time through his art, highlighting Black family life as joyous, loving, and balanced. So often Black men and women are unfairly stereotyped, and fractured family dynamics are what the media and popular culture choose to highlight. Peterson looks at his work as an opportunity to flip the narrative and shed light on the strength, resilience, and gentleness of the Black community that is hardly ever showcased.
Today, the legendary Apollo announced its upcoming fall/winter 2022 season, featuring a variety of offerings from conversations with prominent figures and acclaimed dance works to Grammy-winning vocalists, emerging comedians, and more.
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the commitment of $8 million for improvements to the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem. The funding, which is being administered through the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York, will enable the refurbishment of the building façade, replacement of windows and roof, and will allow for safety enhancements and energy-saving improvements. DASNY will also provide design services and construction management for the project. This announcement comes during Harlem Week, an annual celebration of Harlem’s wide ranging culture and history.
A larger-than-life outdoor public art exhibit is opening on August 12 on St. Nicholas Avenue between 120thand 121st Streets as part of the continuing Harlem is . . . Healing campaign by Community Works and New Heritage Theatre Group and in partnership with the NYC Department of Transportation’s Art Program. The installation has been extended to May 1, 2023.
The wait is over……the much anticipated Pastitalia Harlemopened to the public on Tuesday, July 5th. Located at 264 Lenox Avenue between 123rd/124th Streets, Pastitalia will serve a variety of coffees, pastry, salad and homemade pastas to go, with limited seating under an umbrella on the front patio.
Living with Art Salon unveiled its summer exhibition with the installation ‘It’s Only Natural: The Summer Salon at Living with Art,’ True to its title, the exhibition explores how nature informs the artists practice.
The summer-long program offers free film screenings and music in outdoor venues including a new series held in partnership with the Frederick Douglass Blvd Alliance (FDBA) themed “The Soul of Harlem” primarily featuring films about Harlem or by local directors such as the Aretha Franklin biopic Respect directed by Harlem-resident Tommy Leisl (July 9); Forty Year-Old Version by Harlem’s own Radha Blank(August 27); a talkback and special advance screening of Stanley Nelson‘s Becoming Frederick Douglass (September 10).
In celebration of the Apollo’s Spring Benefit on Monday, June 13, the non-profit announced today it will release a limited edition non-fungible token (NFT) commemorating the annual event. Approximately 400 NFTs will be issued through Ticketmaster. The special NFTs will be given to each person who donated to Apollo’s Spring Benefit. The commemorative NFT will be a digital keepsake celebrating the world-renowned organization’s largest annual fundraising event.
As the 25th season of NYC Parks’ Citywide Monuments Conservation Program (CMCP) commences, a team of skilled conservators and trainees have started making the rounds to clean, recoat and treat several major monuments throughout the five boroughs. On Friday, this year’s three new seasonal apprentices worked with staff using ladders and a boom lift to preserve Richard Hunt’s Harlem Hybrid along with other sculptures in Harlem.
MASC Hospitality Group, producers of the Uptown Night Market and the Bronx Night Market are proud to announce their most ambitious project yet, Harlem Bazaar. The brand new monthly series aims to bring creativity, originality, and pizazz to the neighborhood; by showcasing NYC’s visionaries, creators, inventors, and artists all in one inclusive space. Patrons can expect the most banging flavors, the hottest merchandise, incredibly crafted items, exquisite art, fresh designs, and much more. Harlem Bazaar will take place at the State Building located on W 125th Street from 3-9pm.
The Season Finale, and final installment of Harlem Bazaar will take place on Friday, October 21, 2022.
We call him Mr. Lee, but his name is Alvin Lee Smalls, and he is a true Harlem institution, known for decades as The King of Rugelach. This April 29th, National Rugelach Day, Mr. Lee turns 80 years young!
This month marks the launch of New Black Fest at the Apollo, a festival celebrating contemporary Black playwrights from across the nation. On April 22, 23, and 25 at 7pm, audiences will have the opportunity to see original works by 18 playwrights, each commissioned by the Apollo and New Black Fest co-founder Keith Josef Adkins. These commissions focus on how the artists of the Harlem Renaissance responded to their historical landscape, as well as how contemporary creatives are dealing with today’s issues in their own work. The festival also marks the first public presentation from the non-profit theater’s Apollo New Works initiative, a groundbreaking series of commissions dedicated to the creation of a diverse, 21st-century American performing arts canon. Tickets for each evening are $25.
A Conversation Between Women is an unexpected dialogue that takes place across mediums of twenty contemporary female artists. The artists are multigenerational and culturally diverse ~ what they have in common besides their gender is that they are part of a community of artists that works collaboratively with the curator, and nonprofit organization, Art Lives Here.
To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the legendary Hip-Hop showcase the Lyricist Lounge, the Apollowill bring together iconic producers, DJs, and rappers of the 90s to today, live and in-person on Saturday, April 16 at 8:00pm EST. For one night only, the concert will feature a slew of iconic artists, including KRS-One, Kid Capri, Talib Kweli, Grand Puba, Rah Digga, Buckshot, Mr. Cheeks, CL Smooth, and Bahamadia-among others to be announced. Lyricist Lounge began in 1991 as a regular gathering of some of New York’s best underground MCs and has grown into one of Hip-Hop’s most recognized platforms, showcasing newcomers and veterans on national concert tours, albums, documentaries, and the popular 2000 MTV sketch comedy series, The Lyricist Lounge Show. Tickets are on sale now at www.ApolloTheater.org.
Claire Oliver Gallery announces inaugural exhibition Who That Is? by artist Stan Squirewell, marking the artists’ debut at the gallery, on view March 25 – June 11, 2022. Through a ritualized process, Squirewell’s work examines who curates and controls the narratives that become accepted as history; from what perspective is history written, whose stories are told, and whose are neglected? Featuring more than 15 new works by the Louisville based artist, Who That Is? showcases works from Squirewell’s series While Shepherds Kept Their Watching, the creation of which is a summation of the multimedia artists’ practices of painting, photography, sculpture, and performance.
Harlem’s vibrant history and influence stretches far beyond the five boroughs. The music, art, culture, social life, food, fashion, politics and businesses that have originated in Harlem have had a profound impact on the world stage for generations. This is the magic of Harlem –it’s Fire & Soul. Even when the world is dim, bleak and uncertain, the hearts, souls and resilience of Harlemites burns bright. Our Fire & Soul 2022 exhibition exemplifies this very statement. The exhibit features 10 multi-generational artists whose work embodies the notions of beauty, joy, and connection. Let this exhibit provide you strength, optimism, connection, and hope during these remarkably challenging times wherever you find yourself.
Hailed as “our most vital public intellectual” (Vanity Fair), MacArthur “Genius” Fellow Ta-Nehisi Coates is no stranger to the Apollo stage, as he serves as the Theater’s inaugural Master Artist-in-Residence, an initiative that deepens the Apollo’s relationship with an influential artist whose work aligns with the Apollo’s mission. His work with the Apollo includes the theatrical premiere of the staged adaptation of his seminal work Between the World and Me, as well as conversations with Oprah Winfrey about his debut novel The Water Dancer;and Lupita Nyong’o and the late Chadwick Boseman about Black Panther. As part of his multi-year residency, Coates will be joined by multi-talented rapper, singer, and actor Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter of the Grammy Award-winning band The Roots on the Apollo stage on Wednesday, March 30 at 7:00 p.m. EDT to discuss their work, what inspires them, and the ways in which they are reimagining their artforms for the future.
BET, a subsidiary of Paramount Global, announced today that the Harlem Entrepreneurial Microgrant Initiative, a $100,000 program created to provide support to small Harlem businesses in partnership with the 125th Street Business Improvement District (BID) and the Apollo Theater, will be accepting applications as of March 1, 2022 until March 31, 2022. Established in 2020 in response to the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on Black communities, this third round of the microgrant initiative will continue to aid in small business recovery.
The Africa Center and Museum of Food and Drink (MOFAD) will kick-off Black History Month with the opening of African/American: Making the Nation’s Table. This exhibition will highlight the many ways African culture has influenced African American Cuisine, and how those traditions have blended to create the foundation for American food.
In perfect timing for Black History Month, Claire Oliver Gallery will open its doors to the New York debut exhibition A Contemporary Black Matriarchal Lineage in Printmaking features 21 works by nine contemporary Black women printmakers. Curated by two artists, founder of Texas-based nonprofit Black Women of Print, Tanekeya Word and member Delita Martin, the exhibition explores the depth and breadth of printmaking through the lens of Black women and their myriad narratives.
Founded in 1904, the New Amsterdam Musical Association (NAMA) is the oldest African-American musical organization in the country. It was founded at a time when the musicians union didn’t admit minority musicians, and the law stated that one had to be in the union in order to perform in New York City!
The Apollo announced details of its Winter/Spring 2022 season, with an array of free and ticketed programming in-person at the Apollo’s historic theater and online on the Apollo’s Digital Stage Highlights include the long-anticipated return of the Amateur Night at the Apollocompetition on Wednesday, February 16 at 7:30pm EST; Apollo Master Artist-in-Residence Ta-Nehisi Coates and The Roots’ Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter, in conversation; the Lyricist Lounge 30th Anniversary Concert featuring hip-hop trailblazers to be announced; the premiere of The Gathering: A Collective Ring Shout, co-presented by the American Composers Orchestra and the Apollo and co-curated by National Black Theatre; the return of Africa Now! featuring East African jazz vocalist and Grammy nominee Somi; and more. The non-profit Apollo’s season centers Black artists and voices from the African Diaspora with myriad opportunities for artists and audiences to come back together at the iconic theater.
Living with Art Salon will open its doors to the first annual ‘Members Only‘ exhibition showing over 75 works of art created by 15 visual artists ~ all members of Art Lives Here, a non-profit arts organization, creating opportunities for emerging artists. Opening on December 8th, we couldn’t wait, and got a sneak-peek today.
On Sunday, December 26 at 7:00 pm EST, the Apollo will celebrate its annual Kwanzaa celebration, Kwanzaa: A Regeneration Celebration, featuring a world premiere from renowned New York-based dance company Abdel Salaam’s Forces of Nature Dance Theatre and performances from Apollo New Work artists Soul Science Lab with Chen Lo and Asante Amin. For more than 15 years, the Apollo has presented an annual Kwanzaa festival performance during the seven-day celebration of African American culture. This year, Forces of Nature Dance Theatre will produce a unique digital event of dance and music honoring the seven principles of Kwanzaa, the Nguzo Saba. The event, hosted by award-winning radio host and annual Apollo Kwanzaa emcee Imhotep Gary Byrd, will be streamed on theApollo Digital Stage. The program is pay what you wish and will be on demand through January 3.
Claire Oliver Gallery will open its doors to the spectacular work of Leonardo Benzant in his first solo presentation with the gallery. Featuring six new multi-media works, including four large scale mixed media sculptures and two paintings on paper, Across Seven Ruins & Redemptions Somo Kamarioka is an extension of the artist’s multi-year exploration of his conception of the Urban Shaman, which Benzant deploys a wide variety of media and found objects to create dynamic hanging beaded structures inspired by the Yoruba and Kongo community and the beaded regalia of African material culture. The exhibition will be open to the public November 11 to January 22, 2022.
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 28, 2021 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.