A History of the Churches

A History of the Churches of All Denominations in the City of New York (1846) has some interesting information about the early history of faith-based organizations in Harlem.

The oldest church identified as being in Harlem is the Dutch Reformed Church, from 1686 with 126 members:

The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church is noted as starting in 1796, and then in 1843 established “Little Zion” a branch in Harlem – predating most estimations as to when a Black presence in Harlem had grown to a significant size:

And, to conclude:

Harlem Art For (Benefit) Sale

A benefit exhibit for City College Center for the Arts’ youth programs, this sophomore installment of “100 Years of Harlem” continues the centennial celebration of Harlem’s galvanizing, glorious past while emphasizing Harlem as a muse and teacher across space and time.

Press Release

“100 Years of Harlem: Resonating Around the World” was first introduced in an exhibition and silent auction to benefit City College Center for the Arts held at CHRISTIE’S New York from March 26 – April 4, 2022. Curated by irwin House Gallery Director, Omo Misha, on behalf of an esteemed curatorial team including Kim Wales and Gregory Shanck, the primary exhibit included thirty works of art celebrating Harlem as teacher and muse for diverse artists across time and featured twenty-four visual artists from Harlem and across the country. The CHRISTIE’S x CCCA collaboration was an outgrowth of the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program – a program that aims to preserve, protect and promote art in our communities while managing the cultural, economic and environmental impact of Christie’s activities. For CHRISTIE’S, the experience brought forth a lively discourse with local, living talent and a lasting partnership with one of Harlem’s leading cultural institutions. For the artists and audience, the auction house installation and gala proved grand and incomparable, netting support for CCCA’s Youth Empowerment Program through art sales and both private and corporate donations.
Brought to CCCA’s Aaron Davis Hall, this iteration of 100 Years extends the life and scope of the exhibition and continues the celebration of Harlem, its glorious past and culturally-rich present. The exhibition includes a portion of the work exhibited at CHRISTIE’S along with new selections and artists reflecting and sharing an affinity for Harlem.

Escaping the harsh realities of the Jim Crow South, Black Americans found their way to Harlem more than any other location during the early twentieth century, resulting in the largest concentration of African descendants outside of Africa, and creating a social climate for one of the most prolific eras in the history of the arts and letters – the Harlem Renaissance. Through visual, literary and performative expressions of lived experiences, beauty and pain, an aesthetic emerged that came to identify Black America. An unprecedented artistic freedom flourished and became a resonant elixir to the creative world.

This exhibition pays homage to the Harlem Renaissance with recognition that the enclave’s cultural grind has been a continuum – from the 1920s to present day. The banners of Harlem legends still fly, and the pioneering stanzas of Langston Hughes’ poems, Aaron Douglass’ palette, and Duke Ellington’s top hat and riffs will always be felt within the cracks of our sidewalks and Pre-War facades. But, as we celebrate this galvanizing, glorious past we also hope to communicate that The Renaissance was not a finite era that met a determinate end. While the landscape has ebbed, flowed and even lost its luster at times, the collective, creative spirit of Harlem has never waned. Each of us, represented in this exhibit, are links in a chain of prodigious creators, flowing through and bathed in the nurturing spirit of Harlem.
Featured Artists: ANTON, Carl Karni-Bain (aka BAI), Charly Palmer, Danny Simmons, D. H. Caranda Martin, Donovan Nelson, Faith Ringgold, Francks Deceus, James Denmark, Jody Rasch, Julio Leitão, Julio Mejia, Lisa Ingram, Lola Flash, Mira Gandy, Noreen Dean Dresser, Uday Dhar, Terrell Anglin, Tomo Mori, YUKAKO.

https://www.artsy.net/show/irwin-house-gallery-100-years-of-harlem-resonating-around-the-world?sort=partner_show_position

New BLM Mural for Lydia’s Magic Garden

Lydia’s Magic Garden (Park Avenue, east side, between 117/118th Streets has a new crocheted mural:

Project as described by one of the children (Sulaf):

“Our crochet class started in the middle of the nation’s grieving for George Floyd and other innocent victims of racially charged police murders. So when we were deciding what project we should do, the clear choice was to do an homage to the Black Lives Matter movement.

This crochet project consisted of us all crocheting several pieces on our own, with our teacher Carmen Paulino’s expert virtual help. Then we sent our pieces to Carmen, who combined them into a beautiful quilt spelling out “BLM.” The quilt was unveiled at Lydia’s Magic Garden, a local community garden Pono has partnered with for years. Our piece of art will now reside in a beautiful place, spreading awareness about this extremely important issue for years to come.”

Names and ages of children who created the project:

Sulaf Hatab (age 12)

Willa Sullivan (age 11)

Sophie Hurtado (age 12)

Hannah Rivner (age 12)

Info on artist: 

Carmen Paulino is a visual artist, who works on providing community art programming in hospitals, community centers, and senior centers in and around New York City. Carmen was raised in El Barrio neighborhood of New York City, where she developed her love for the arts with inspirational murals from around her neighborhood. Carmen has crafted and created many crochet pieces, artwork, and murals, which are displayed in New York City and are inspired by her upbringing in Spanish Harlem. 

Info on class:

This class is designed for students to learn, interact, and participate with each other to make fiber art. Children will learn simple knitting and crochet techniques and patterns to make a fiber art piece.  They will also have the opportunity to participate in a group project with members of the Pono community to make a crochet mural that will be publicly displayed at Lydia’s Magic Community Garden, Pono’s community garden partner, in Harlem, New York City.

Tiny Gallery Opening – Odetta Gallery

A fascinating gallery has an exhibit on view:

Seth Callander, The Waters We Swim, 2020, wood, paint, glue, overall dimensions 9 h x 16 w x 24

Of tiny sculptures in a miniature display – Odetta Petite:

ODETTA, in response to the current paradigm, is excited to introduce a new exhibition space, ODETTA Petite. Replicating the gallery’s original Bushwick venue, Ellen Hackl Fagan and Seth Callander have created a scaled-down space to enable its artists to return to gallery exhibitions. The new space is 9H X 16W x 24L inches. With a touch of humor, Fagan’s channeling a combination of International Style and Wes Anderson, ala Alice in Wonderland.

As we navigate the uncertainties of the pandemic, we can’t help wondering what, if anything, will be normal again. What will be returned and what has been permanently lost? How can we maintain what we love and what does that look like now? These are the questions central to this, our present. This is a moment when the whole world is “at sea.”

Seth Callander’s installation “The Waters We Swim” is a direct response to the feelings of chaos, exacerbated by the lack of clear information, that our entire global society is engulfed in. We’ve all experienced frustration, loss, and confusion, as the months continue to roll on.
 
Callander’s abstract sculpture fills the Lilliputian gallery floor with a series of three constructions that, at scale, would be about 7 feet tall, 24 feet wide by 30 feet deep.
 
A visitor to a room the size of the original ODETTA would be surrounded by waves of the blue stained massive work, constructed in aluminum. In its diminutive presentation, his piece is as much a stand-alone site-specific installation as it is a proposal for monumental landscape sculpture.

In the rear of the gallery is a wire maquette titled “After the Wreck”. It is part of series Callander calls “My Father’s Work.” which are reflections of the work of artists from all disciplines that have been his primary influences.

This piece combines the work of sculptor John Chamberlain with Adrienne Rich, who wrote the moving collection of poetry, “Diving into the Wreck”. The piece will be realized in wood, and about 7 feet tall.

You can learn more about this project at Untapped Cities.