National Day of Rememberance Walk

On Sunday, September 25th you are invited to walk with us for the National Day of Remembrance. 

In Harlem/East Harlem we will begin our walk at 112th and 1st Avenue ending at City Hall.  We walk in honor of our friends, family, and community members that were lost to senseless violence and we walk together to send a message that violence is unacceptable. 

We walk together in UNITY!

New Exhibit at Claire Oliver Gallery

Make sure to check out the new exhibit at Claire Oliver Gallery (ACP between 134/135)

Drumming In Marcus Garvey Park, Saturday

New Group Exhibit At Claire Oliver Gallery

Be sure to check out the new group exhibit at the Claire Oliver Gallery on ACP, just below 135th Street.

It’s a strong selection of artists represented by the gallery and scheduled to have a solo show in the next year: Barbara Earl Thomas, Adebunmi Gbadebo, Robert Peterson, Stan Squirewell, Gio Swaby, and introducing the work of Simone Elizabeth Saunders.

https://www.claireoliver.com/

Ebony’s Test Kitchen

The exhibit of African/American foodways will close soon at the Africa Center (5th Avenue at 110th Street).

Run, don’t walk, to see the Ebony Magazine’s test kitchen in all its funky, psychedelic splendor.

Words can’t describe the experience of walking through it. You’ve just got to go.

You’ve only got until the end of the month!

See Stan Squirewell at Claire Oliver Gallery

Make sure to head over to the Claire Oliver Gallery (2288 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard at 134th – www.claireoliver.com) to check out Stan Squirewell’s premiere solo exhibition.

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?

“As a child of the hip hop era, born in the 70s, growing up in the 80s and 90s, I look at my work as almost remixing, crate-digging, but my crates are museums, private collections, and historical narratives,” states Squirewell. “I remix my pieces according to my own way of writing history and who we are as people. My work exists as a veil between the spiritual and real world, it’s a bridge that offers a connection between the two.”

The works on display are founded on the concept of rebuilding identity using painting, photography and sculpture.

Squirewell uses found historic photographs of Black people, whose complex human identities have been erased either through time or through design, as a starting point. He then layers collage, painting and photography with each new element undergoing a ritualized burning.

Squirewell’s own family history has been a driving influence for the artist in his exploration of how we are taught simplified and singular narratives that disregard the complexities of contemporary identity.

Gym Equipment

There has been a lot of media coverage of the removal of gym equipment near the basketball courts in Marcus Garvey Park this past week. Even the New York Times has weighed in on the issue:

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/22/nyregion/marcus-garvey-park-harlem.html

Back in January, the Harlem Neighborhood Block Association was invited to meet with the NYC Parks Commissioner about Marcus Garvey Park, and our request/vision for improving this amazing space. Our block association specifically asked (in writing) for:

…more support for the gym users near the basketball courts (a conversation about equipment or facilities, etc.)

and reiterated this in the Zoom call.

(if you cannot get behind the NYT paywall, you can read the text, here: https://www.thebharatexpressnews.com/its-gym-has-made-a-harlem-park-special-city-officials-tore-it-down/ )

Hue Arts: The Brown Paper

Hue Arts has released a Brown Paper on the experiences and realities of Black, Latinx, Indigenous, Asian, Pacific Islander, Middle Eastern, and all People of Color arts entities. The project seeks to reveal the value they bring to their communities and to the cultural ecosystem of New York City as a whole. Ensuring that arts leaders, artists, and organizations of color reap the same benefits for their work as their predominantly white counterparts is essential for racial and cultural equity and for the continued vitality of the NYC arts field.

Hue Arts is demanding that the deep systemic inequity that has spread to the art community, including institutions, funders, and policy makers, as well as the artists and communities served, be addressed by New York City, including public and private philanthropy. Until financial resources from both private and government entities are distributed more equitably, there will never be more equitable access to staffing, working conditions, professional training, or space, and there will never be a genuinely equal chance to realize artistic visions and dreams. This is far from the first time this issue has been raised—the tireless efforts of the Cultural Equity Group for over the past 15 years is one notable example. Numerous initiatives over the years have raised many of the issues captured in this report. The gulf in support between the entities studied here and predominantly white-led organizations is both immense and long-standing.

It is important to make the data, stories, and experiences in this report widely visible, but it is equally important that these data, stories, and experiences are heeded. The inequity and imbalance in the distribution of resources cannot be accepted as a given. We must take action as a collective community.

To read the full paper: https://www.hueartsnyc.org/brown-paper/

In addition, Hue Arts has produced a map of POC arts organizations that you can explore:

To see the interactive map, and to add your organization to this repository, please see:

https://experience.arcgis.com/experience/867189184f3247daaec186b7dcd33c41/?data_id=dataSource_1-17c760b66fd-layer-5%3A10

Claire Oliver Gallery

Some images from a wonderful recent show at Claire Oliver Gallery:

ACP

Today is Adam Clayton Powell Jr.’s birthday and I wanted to share two of my favorite photos of him:

This first one is from the 1930’s at Colby where he studied. The contrast between the sharp image on the right, and the ‘brushed’ image on the left is fascinating.

This second image comes from 1968 as his political star began to wane:

Adam Clayton Powell Jr. represented Harlem as our congress member from 1945 until 1971. He was the first African-American to be elected to Congress from New York, as well as the first from any state in the north.

Powell supported emerging nations in Africa and Asia as they gained independence after colonialism and in 1961 became chairman of the Education and Labor Committee, the most powerful position held by an African American in Congress. Powell supported the passage of important social and civil rights legislation under Kennedy and Johnson.

Following allegations of corruption, in 1967 Powell was excluded from his seat but he was re-elected and regained the seat in 1969 but promptly lost his seat in 1970 to Charles Rangel and retired from electoral politics.

And On Adam Clayton Powell Blvd…

This December make some time to visit the Claire Oliver Gallery’s new show: ACROSS SEVEN RUINS AND REDEMPTIONS SOMO KAMARIOKA

The work (sculpture and painting from Leonardo Benzant) is described by the artist in this way

“The paintings are a type of mirror as they are created from tracing parts of the sculptures. On a material level, it references the metamorphosis of the beads, string, and fabric. On a spiritual level, it reflects the adaptive survival strategies and transformations that occur- both personally and collectively,-as we navigate various systems of oppression. In spite of the trauma and the violence, Across Seven Ruins and Redemptions_Somo Kamarioka materializes a journey of hope, healing, and self-determination.”

-Leonardo Benzant

Fantastic Exhibition at Claire Oliver Gallery

Make sure to head over to the Claire Oliver Gallery: https://www.claireoliver.com/ to see the amazing exhibit of Gio Swaby.

Her work has been collected by major art institutions, and she is considered a rising art-world star.

The Claire Oliver Gallery is located on Adam Clayton Powell, on the west side between 134/135.

1939 Madison Ave. Used As Gambling House

100 years ago the New York Times reported breathlessly on an illegal gambling house at 1939 Madison Avenue (between 124/125).

The charges leveled in court and in the newspaper allege that not only was gambling occurring, but debts were not paid, and the local police were on the take.

For the full article, see:

Claire Oliver Gallery

If you have a chance, head up Adam Clayton Powell Blvd. to 134/135 and stop in the Claire Oliver Gallery. The current exhibit of photography – a Love Letter for Harlem – is wonderful, powerful, and worth a visit.