Thursday, November 05, 2009

Art Crawl Through East Harlem

Artist Manny Vega in front of his mosaic of poet Julia de Burgos on on the northeast corner of Lexington Avenue and East 106th Street.

While New York can be a hard city to live in, there are small pleasures that that make it all worth while. Take for instance the lovely winter afternoon I spent yesterday in the presence of artist Manny Vega. Meeting for the first time at the East Harlem Cafe (153 East 104th Street), where his framed mosaics adorn the walls, Vega is one of coolest dudes I've met in a long time. Vega took me and my good friend Maggie on a mini-tour of the Spanish Harlem neighborhood where his stunning murals and mosaics can be seen in the 110 Street subway station, against the wall of a bodega and in various other public spaces throughout the community. "In the last few years the neighborhood has been rapidly changing," says the Bronx native. "I see my images as an anchor for the community."

Vega, whose work has been praised by noted Yale professor Robert F. Thompson, is just one of the artists who will be featured in this Saturday's exciting Art Crawl of East Harlem produced by Averlyn Archer, President & CEO, Canvas Paper and Stone Gallery and Jacqueline Orange, owner of Taste Harlem Food & Cultural Tours. In addition to visiting galleries, the tour will also feature public space art that can be seen throughout El Barrio. "You'd be surprised how many people live in the city and never see these beautiful works throughout their community," Orange says. "When people think of art in New York, the first thought is always SoHo or Chelsea. Hopefully with Art Crawl, we can change that perception."

The tour begins at 12:30 pm and ends at 4pm. The day concludes with a dinner reception at 6pm. Bus stops include:

El Museo Del Barrio, 1230 5th Avenue at East 104th Street

Deborah Cullen, Director of Curatorial Programs

The re-opening exhibition, Nexus New York: Latin/American Artists in the Modern Metropolis, examines pioneering Caribbean and Latin American artists who lived in New York City before World War II and shaped the American avant-garde.

My Art LLC, 251 E. 110th Street

Cecilia Moreno-Yaghoubi, Owner/Director

Colombia-born artist Cecilia Moreno-Yaghoubi’s three-dimensional assemblages evoke

individual dialogues/associations, experiences and memories from each person who views her work. She paints not only what she has seen, but also what she has felt and sensed, transforming visual landscapes into emotional ones.

Poet’s Den Gallery, 309 E 108th Street

Raphael Benavides, Director

Michael Lindwasser’s photographs use a combination of extreme angles and long exposures to create a unique genre. The exposures imbue his photographs with the vibrant colors of the daytime even though they were shot in the middle of the night. Emphasizing geometry, his work brings the ordinary into the abstract.

PRdream/MediaNoche, 1355 Park Avenue

Judith Escalona, Director

Devoted to new media, MediaNoche presents BIBIANA’s CZECH REPUBLIC 1998 – 2008, perspectives from an immigrant child. Visitors to the gallery enter a Czech immigrant’s tenement apartment, complete with kitchen, dining room, studio, bathroom, and living room. Ten years of photographic work are displayed on the walls, on ropes hung by clothes pins, and in digital frames.

Taller Boricua / Puerto Rican Workshop, 1680 Lexington Avenue

Curators: Marcos Dimas and Christine Licata.

The exhibition Crossing Bridges/Cruzando Puentes is an exploration of Latin “transculturation” by the artist collective Generation Four (G4): Vicente Fabré, Luis Leonor, Moses Ros and Reynaldo Garcia Pantaleón. Together they delve into the process, challenges and social phenomena involved in immigration and the transition from one culture to another. Individually, each artist has a visual language all his own, exploring these influences through an eclectic range of mediums, including oil and acrylic painting, sculpture, installations and performance art. The name Generation Four (G4) represents the artists themselves who immigrated to the United States from the Dominican Republic at different stages of their lives - as adults, adolescents or born here as first-generation New Yorkers.

For further information, go to:

Manny Vega website:

Manny Vega in the New York Times:

photos by: Maggie Wrigley

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Blogger Unknown said...

cool as shit

10:08 PM  
Blogger Harlem SchooloftheArts said...

He's an amazing artist.


6:06 PM  

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