The Art of TATS CRU Opening This Week at BronxArtSpace

Internationally renowned graffiti artists, TATS CRU, will be the subject of a new exhibit at  BronxArtSpace. It’ll kick off with a block party this Saturday, June 3rd and an artist talk and documentary screening on June 22nd.

From BXNYCreative:

The Art of TATS CRU will show a representation of past projects through photographs and videos produced by Miguel Teck Arteaga. There will be works on canvas by NICER, BIO, and BG183, and a new mural collaboration reproduced as a poster to commemorate the exhibition. “We are looking at a unique rise to art world success. It’s inspirational in that it illustrates that every artist doesn’t need to follow the standard, art school, gallery system, connection-based path,” says co-curator Eileen Walsh.

The Block Party will feature homegrown, Bronx entertainment. DJ Pusha will keep the party going, with additional dance performances by BBoy & Emcee Chief69, and Hip-Hop legend Rokafella’s Full Circle Souljah‘s dance troupe.

Live music performances by up and coming Bronx MINDIE artists Statik Vision, and alternative music group, The Nobodies, and a presentation by spoken word artist and rapper, Safiel Vonay.

The exhibition for this event is sponsored by JCAL Development Group. Neighborhood businesses participating in the block party include ID Studio TheatreZaro’s Bakery, La Grata Italian RestaurantFiltered Coffee, and Bronx Native. We are also happy to have the support of Port Morris Distillery and The Bronx BreweryThe Bronx Children Museum will host creative activities for children and families, and will have their museum on the Go Bus parked on the street outside the gallery. The event is free of charge and all are welcome.

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Photo Courtesy of BXNYCreative

The Bronx is Beautiful Art Exhibition at Gun Hill Brewery Sept. 10

Check out the flier below for information about an upcoming art exhibition at Gun Hill Brewery including art from one of my super talented friends from elementary school AND the master behind my Super Mario star tattoo, Shak. The exhibit will feature work inspired by the Bronx and of course the always amazing Gun Hill Brewery will be serving up refreshments.

TheBronxisBeautiful

Q & A with Bronx Book Fair Participant Edward Currelley

Next in the Bronx Book Fair Q&A series is Edward D. Currelley, an author and artist. He was awarded honorable status by Writer’s Digest for Stage Playwriting in 2008. His children’s book “I’m not lost, I’m with you” and young adult novel “That Krasbaum Kid” will be published this year. He is the president of Pen To Mind Books & Child Development Concepts, Inc.

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What brought you to the Bronx?

Originally I’m from Manhattan, Harlem.Thirty or so years ago my sister Lorraine Currelley planted roots in the Wakefield section of the Bronx. There was so much development in the literary arts that she encouraged me to move there, I did, with her.

Does the Bronx play a role in your writing? If so, please explain.

Yes, the Bronx is one of the few remaining untapped sources of raw talent. I’ve witnessed and participated in programs sponsored by various Bronx organizations and facilitated by Lorraine, writers that had no voice, now publishing, poeting, doing open mic performances. I find it very inspiring. The Bronx is so large with so many voices you don’t have to go far to be heard in a significant way.

What are you most looking forward to at the Bronx Book Fair?

I’m looking forward to connecting with other artists, to expand my scope, to understand what the community needs and want to read, what kinds of literature will make a difference. Positive impact, that’s what I hope to have and find.

What would you like attendees to take away from your reading?

Joy, fun, a little excitement to get involved with reading more and/or writing. Sharing their inner voice.

Please tell us about any current or upcoming projects you are working on that we can look forward to.

Besides being a co-feature at The Bronx Book Fair on May 7th, 2016 at 4:50pm I’ll also be co-featuring at Poets Network & Exchange, Inc. at the Countee Cullen NYPL, 104 West 136th Street NYC on April 23rd, 2016. My short story “Fractured Soul”will be published in Writing For Peace’s 2016 anthology edition of Dove Tales, Metaphor Magazine’s 5th issue due April 2016 will feature three of my poems from an up coming collection.

Edward Currelley will be participating in A Weaving of Voices: An Intergenerational Poetry Reading on May 7th at 4:50 pm.

***Full disclosure: I am a part of the planning committee for this year’s Bronx Book Fair. ***

 

Bronx Artist Lady K Fever to Installs New Art Project in Harlem

Bronx artist Lady K Fever’s latest project, entitled All Along the Watchtower, will be installed in Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem this summer. Inspired by the song written by Bob Dylan and recorded by Jimi Hendrix, the installation piece will be made of reflective materials that will lead park visitors to the top of the acropolis.

 

 

 

Lady K Fever says:

“We are going to make the park SPARKLE! Light strips will be installed in multiple designs throughout the park on wroth iron fences and near small gardens reflecting sound waves, musical rhythms and the bell tower ringing.

Lady K Fever will also be leading a our during Armory Week. Click here to learn more. 

The Spotlight: Meloncholy Hendrix

I’m really excited to share this Spotlight feature with you because as you know I love the arts and even more specifically I love people of color in the arts. Read below to check out my interview with Bronx artist Meloncholy Hendrix:

Meloncholy

                                                                     Picture courtesy of Meloncholy Hendrix

On your gallery site, you mention that you are heavily influenced by form and many of your drawings feature the female form specifically. Could you elaborate a bit on why that is and why it is important for a variety female forms to be represented in art?

Form really…is ever changing so, you can’t ever own the concept of it because it will have changed already. I guess what I’m saying is, simply, I love the beauty of change. Woman’s form is especially important because of how society views it. Magazines and other forms of media can make it difficult for different female body types to be accepted. So I believe in art it’s important for all shapes and sizes of woman to represented equally. I try to do that as much as possible.

How would you say living in the Bronx has influenced your artwork?

Well, living in the birthplace of Hip-Hop has many perks. The best is the creativity. The Bronx thrives off of creativity. I’m constantly surrounded by different kinds of music, dance, especially street art. The colors and sounds soak in deep in my mind. I always see pieces of it when I create. It’s like leaving bread crumbs in my work leading onlookers to where I come from.

What insight do you hope viewers gain for viewing your work?

That’s actually a tough one. Well more than anything I want them to freely ingest a new kind of style. Take a different insight into pen and ink art. See pen and ink art as seriously as painting or sculpting. Also, a new outlook on women. Not only as artist but, in art. For us to be taken more seriously. Especially black women in art.

What are your thoughts on the growing art scene in the Bronx?

I swoon at the fact that there is art growing out of my beautiful borough. I’ve been starving for it for so long and finally being feed is amazing! I think it’s long overdue for the Bronx to rise from the ashes of New York City’s past. Other sections of NYC are bring back the creativity like Brooklyn and The L.E.S. I hope the momentum doesn’t stop.

What do you think is missing or could be improved in the Bronx’s art scene?

What’s missing the most really is coverage. I’m always online and such checking the pulse of the art world and I don’t see the mass documentation of Bronx’s art scene as they do Brooklyn’s and Manhattan’s. It’s disappointing. I want more media outlets here to show our great and beautiful talent.

What are your top 3 favorite places in the Bronx?

EASY! Bay Plaza because of course, it’s a shopping center. I have amazing memories of going there. Van Cortlandt Park. It’s vastness and beauty Is breath taking. Oh! I love hiking there as well with my Fiancé. Last but not least, City Island because, well, seafood.

Any upcoming project or events we should look out for?

Yes, I’m being featured in a RawArtist showcase called RAW:NYC Presents:Glimpse. It’s July 23 from 7:30pm -11:30pm. It’s being held at the HighLine Ballroom. To buy tickets to come see my work they can go to www.rawartists.org/mellybells. I encourage all to come out!

Jane’s Walk Bronx Art Spaces was a Success!

As tired as I was after the Jane’s Walk of Bronx Art Spaces last weekend, I was really pleased with how everything turned out. People from all over New York City and even from overseas, visited the No Longer Empty exhibit at the Old Bronx Courthouse, Bronx Museum of the Arts, Bronx Art Space, and House of Visual. Even local restaurants Mott Haven Bar and Don Pancho’s Steakhouse offered specials to participants of the walk. The Saturday walk serendipitously coincided with Ceetay’s third anniversary celebration and an opening at Wall Works gallery, so some participants decided to stick around for that, which was amazing. Below are some of the pictures from the weekend. 🙂

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Call for Artist Submissions!

Montefiore is looking to purchase (yes, with $$$) artwork to display in their multitude of medical centers. It is open to artists who live or work in the Bronx.

Is that you? Read below for more information from Montefiore (via BX200):

The Art Acquisition program strives to:
• Collect original artwork of high quality in design and concept;

• Showcase the wide range of excellent artwork created by Bronx artists with diversity in theme, medium, and execution

• Appeal to a wide audience: children to adults, who come from a wide range of socio-economic backgrounds

• Reflect and support the Medical Center’s mission as a world-class patient centered integrated academic medical center.

CRITERIA FOR ARTWORK
Seeking submissions from artists with a connection to the Bronx for a variety of artwork to be considered for future purchase or commission for Montefiore’s new Fine Art Program and Collection.

Seeking positive and contemporary artwork of all styles. Artwork for consideration includes sculpture, two-and three-dimensional artwork, oil, watercolor and acrylic paintings, photography, prints, mixed media, glass, mosaics, wall sculpture, fabric art including fiber/textile, new media, ceramics, recycled material, etc.

Art will be placed in main lobbies, waiting rooms, corridors, consultation rooms, patient rooms and a variety of other public areas. Artwork must be suitable and have a broad appeal for long-term use in a healthcare environment.

SUBMISSION PROCESS
Artists must submit the information as identified below via email:

• A maximum of ten (10) works/artist, images must be saved as JPEGS

• clearly identify the following:
Title of Artwork
Date of Work
Media with Dimensions
Brief description of work as necessary
Retail value of work

• Artist’s statement and resume. Please include your full contact information: name, address, phone, email and website address.

All questions and submissions should be submitted to: art@montefiore.org. Please indicate “Montefiore Fine Art Program and Collection – Call to Artists/Bronx” in the subject line.

Catch Bronx artist Lady K Fever at Fusion NY!

It’s Armory Week again! An excellent opportunity to learn about new, local artists and check out some innovative artwork around the city.

Read below to find out about Fusion NY and  what Bronx artist Lady K Fever is doing for Armory Week!

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From The West Harlem Arts Fund:

Soho, NY… FUƧION NY which will be held for one day at the Four Point Sheraton Hotel in  Soho, is an engaged, curator-driven platform for exhibitions through the lens of curators and artists of color. The show will explore what it takes to live and express oneself as a full human being. According to Fusion NY Producer Savona Bailey-McClain, “Technology has not only changed our lives forever but also the relevancy of human endeavor. All facets of our life have been affected and how we relate to one another. The show will look at ways where we can re- integrate our humanity creatively that includes are desires, individual tastes and environment.”

Participating in FUSION NY is Bronx-based artist Lady K-Fever. LADY K-FEVER is an Inter- disciplinary Artist, Curator, Social activist, Photographer/Journalist, who was born and raised in Canada. She now lives in The Bronx. She began her career in the 1990’s on the streets as a skateboarder in Vancouver, Canada. In 1993, she was invited to create an installation with Riot Grrlz for ‘Artropolis 93′ and was performing with House of Venus. She studied Theatre and Film with Director Mel Tuck- Austin at Gastown Actor’s Studio and graduated in 1999. In 2003, she became the first Canadian female invited to paint at the legendary Graffiti Hall of Fame in East Harlem, NY as part of the First female production and put down NYC graffiti crews KD & TDS. Her art, journalism and photography have been published in the New York times, New York Post, Daily News and in the magazines: Studio (Harlem), Mass Appeal (Brooklyn), Backspin (Germany), and Trace (international) among others, and her graffiti work is featured in the books Graffiti Women: Street Art from Five Continents, and Burning New York: Graffiti NYC, and We B Girlz (New York), all published in 2006. She curated HISTORY IN THE MAKING II&III (2005-06), curaturing over 60 graffiti writers/artists from around the world at Aurora Gallery, NY and Made From Love at The Bronx Museum of the Arts’ project space.

In 2010, she co-founded the SAME DIFFERENCE Artist Collective with Artist Carmen Julia Hernandez. In 2011, she collaborated with Nicolas Dumit Estevez for the exhibition Born Again: A Lebanese-Dominican Dominican York is born again as a Bronxite and Eight Artist Respond at Longwood Art Gallery and was in residence internationally at The Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art, creating community based public murals and a solo exhibition. In 2012, she contributed to The Point’s CDC’s installation room and to the social project Activity Committee during the exhibition This Side of Paradise, curated by No Longer Empty at the Andrew Freedman Home in the South Bronx. Her work is currently featured in the exhibition ‘ Bronx Lab-Style Wars’ at The Bronx Museum of the Arts and with “Courturemonials” a new collaborative living art/fashion project with artist Mary A Valverde, this project focused on creating a new diologue about Domestic Violence. ‘Courturemonials’ has been exhibited in ‘Model’ – Art in Odd places 2012 festival, NY. As an Education/Creation Facilitator, She is a multiple recipient of the Arts-in-Education Grant from The Bronx Council on the Arts (2007-2009). She currently works with The Bronx Museum of the Arts, Museum of Arts and Design, El Museo del Barrio, The Studio Museum in Harlem and The Laundromat Project as well as many other community based organizations/projects.

Other artists participating in Fusion NY include: Ina Archer, Brian Convery, Kenly Dillard, Dan Ericson, Diane Dwyer, Scherezade Garcia, Chris Harris, Yasmin Hernandez, Ariel Jackson, Shani Peters, Adrienne Reynolds, Joshua Reynolds, Jamel Shabazz, Shiro, Diane Smith, Madeline Schwartzman, and Toccarra A. Holmes Thomas.

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Upcoming Event: Dianne Smith ‘Organic Abstracts’ at Bartow Pell Mansion

I received some great info about a new public art installation that will be on display at the Bartow Pell-Mansion beginning this upcoming Monday. Additionally, next Thursday, March 7, 2013 is Bronx Armory Day, a day to celebrate and appreciate Bronx artists and Bronx-related art. The artist behind the outdoor installation at BPM is Dianne Smith, a born and raised Bronxite who now lives in Harlem.

 

DiSmith_FlyingHigh

More about her installation, Organic Abstracts, from the West Harlem Art Fund:

‘Organic Abstracts’ is a new outdoor installation produced by the West Harlem Art Fund in partnership with Bartow-Pell Mansion and the City of New York Parks & Recreation Department for Armory
Week 2013. The featured artist is Dianne Smith, a native New Yorker that was born and raised in the Bronx but
now lives in Harlem.

The installation, comprised of two sculptures, showcases a minimalist approach to abstract art, scaled
large and reminiscent of works by Henry Moore who incorporated them into the local landscape and was
heavily influenced by non-Western art. The works will not be made from traditional wood or metal but from
repurposed materials offering a more direct and intimate experience for the artist. Viewers will be able to
discover the sculptures on the grounds of Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum, part of the Historic House Trust of
NYC. The Bronx Trolley will make three round trips from Pier 92/94 to the Mansion for press & fair guests.

The Couple will be two beautifully androgynous heads approximately twenty feet wide and ten feet tall at the highest point. The heads will rest on one another and be secured on to a rectangular base. They will be made from everyday discarded materials such as, packaging, paper, cans, fabric, magazines, etc. These items will be tightly bound together with string, rope, as well as a nontoxic polymer, and waterproof varnish. As such, the piece will be weather resistant. The materials and it connectors will create a colorful and textural work of art that will engage the viewer. The Couple represents the idea of environmental, community and family respect. The concept of heads resting on one another, plays on the old adages “two heads are better than one” and “it takes a village”. They symbolize the idea that we all need each other and the environment to live harmonious and balanced lives.

Working with these objects and connectors allows the viewer to interact with the materials. For instance, the objects will be visible through the rope and string. The installation then becomes more personal to the viewer as he or she can identify things from their everyday life. Sculpting with everyday objects is similar to life there is no sure thing–something useful one moment is discarded the next. These materials speak to the fragile balance that exists in day to day existence. Thus, it is important to respect, support, and love our communities, families and environment.

Flying High is a site specific installation constructed out of brown butcher paper The paper may be crunched, crumpled, rolled, twisted, interlocked, woven and manipulated hanging between two trees. Its formations and sunlight will create patterns of shadows, as well as contrast of light and dark. The paper will be treated with waterproof varnish.

Butcher paper [for me] is a metaphor for the treatment of people in developing countries, particularly those of African descent. It is used for many things and tossed away once we are done. Wrapping meat, craft, shipping and packing of materials are just some of its uses. When we pack things we often pushthem down, bunching the paper to fill corners, trying to get everything tightly secured, and contained. It symbolizes consumption in a global market.

Flying High is also meant to question our ancestral, historical, cultural and political past, as well as the possibilities for our future. I will encourage the viewer to look at the wrinkles in the paper, think about the wrinkles in the skin of the elders in your families: What stories do they tell? What memories do they hold? Look at the ways in which the paper intertwines: How are you connected to your ancestral legacy? Look at the shadows the paper casts: What are your hidden truths? What is the imprint of your personhood on humanity and the environment?

 

To check out my post on last year’s Bronx Armory Day, click here.