What is Here is Open: Selections from the Treasures in the Trash Collection (of Nelson Molina) at Hunter East Harlem Gallery




For over 30 years, Nelson Molina worked for the New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) as a sanitation worker. His regular pick up routes were in Manhattan 11, a district bordered by 96th Street to 106th Street between First and Fifth Avenues. While he worked, he found many objects; some that needed repair and others that were fully intact. As hundreds and hundreds of objects amassed, Molina created the Treasures in the Trash Collection inside DSNY’s garage.  Much has been written about the eclectic treasurers collected by Molina. There have been too many articles on  the Molina treasurers to mention, and there was even a #TreasuresInTheTrash Tour in 2018!

Now, Hunter East Harlem Gallery will open its doors to an exhibition exploring the man and his treasurers.

What is Here is Open: Selections from the Treasures in the Trash Collection is an exhibition that places works by seven New York City-based contemporary artists alongside a selection of Molina’s found objects. Molina, along with curator Alicia Grullón, will choose objects from the Treasures in the Trash Collection to accompany the contemporary artists’ works, creating unique, site-specific installations inside Hunter East Harlem Gallery.

Most of the discarded items in Molina’s museum were collected in and around his local neighborhood of East Harlem, and What is Here is Open seeks to engage in a dialogue on the past, present, and future identity of this community.

Participating Artists: Tomie Arai, Dominique Duroseau, Maria Hupfield, Coronado Print Collective (with Pepe Coronado, Leslie Jiménez and Carlos Jesús Martínez Domíngez), Shellyne Rodríguez

What is Here is Open: Selections from the Treasures in the Trash Collection is curated by Alicia Grullón and Nelson Molina. The exhibition will be on view from June 26 to September 14, 2019, with Opening Reception on Wednesday, June 26 from 6-9pm. Hunter East Harlem Gallery is located at 2180 Third Avenue, enter on 119th Street, East Harlem.

Join Hunter East Harlem Gallery for a Curator Tour with Alicia Grullón and Nelson Molina on Saturday, August 24th from 2-3pm. No RSVP necessary ~ just show up!

Save the date for a Closing Party & Artists Tour on Saturday, September 14th from 2-6pm, with a lot on tap ~ 2pm, exhibiting artists Carlos Jesus Martinez Dominguez and Shellyne Rodríguez will give an insightful tour of the exhibition in conversation with guest moderator Christine Licata, Executive Director, No Longer Empty. From 3-6pm, Uptown Vinyl Supreme will play the vintage records inspired by the Treasurers in the Trash Collection during a reception with drinks and snacks.

This exhibition is made possible in part thanks to support from Hi-ARTS, the Foundation for New York’s Strongest, and Hunter East Harlem Gallery.

Check out comedian Tomas Delgado’s YouTube visit to Molina’s New York Trash Museum.

Word of the Year “Toxic & Justice”

Also opening on June 26th, Word of the Year  exhibition project, curated by Simon Benjamin.

While you’re in East Harlem, check out a fabulous salvage shop, Demolition Depot, at its new East Harlem location.