Volume 2 of the Art School Without Walls – Organic New York
Los Galeristas Adolescentes will work with Sofia Maldonado and H Veng Smith, two visual artists of diverse backgrounds and artistic styles, to create a public art piece in an abandoned space in Manhattan.
Coming to 5th St. & Avenue D on May 20, 21, and 22!
The overpopulated urban landscape urges us to paint a mural that celebrates the native floral and fauna species of the area while simulating a sense of nature in a community that lacks it. Many Manhattan neighborhoods such as Harlem and Lower East Side have empty corner lots. We simply want to revive one of them with a public art piece. The mural’s images will be painted on the building’s walls, facing the street, and will provide engaging artwork for both pedestrians and motorists to enjoy.
The mural will incorporate latex and aerosol paints that enhance the development and appearance of the site and will not have an adverse effect on the safe and efficient movement of vehicular or pedestrian traffic. Vibrant eye-popping mural colors will be considered, but will be complimentary and harmonious with the exterior colors of the building structure, and consistent with the chosen theme.
The mural hopes to engage the local community as well as all passers-by. “Organic New York” will use art as a tool for social change by beautifying a neighborhood through the transformation of an abandoned lot. It will engage the community and bear new interpretations to a forgotten space, as well as by showing that idle spaces can be used to create new worlds.
The Art School Without Walls revives the spirit of apprenticeship in the arts bypassing traditional arts education by pairing urban teens with working artists in the production of significant works of public art.
Props to the artist Retna for supporting the Art School Without Walls, Volume 2 – Organic New York.
Click here to see a clip of the day’s activities!
I’ll always remember how proud I felt bounding up the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art during the summer of ’82, where, as a recent Yale art-history graduate, I’d landed a coveted summer internship. In addition to helping in the education department, I sat at the front desk and also gave tours of the collection, discoursing on everything from Dogon sculpture to Jackson Pollock. Though I return to the Met often, to cover interesting shows and trends, or simply to enjoy the art, it was a special moment for me when I entered through a modest doorway on the lower level last Thursday and made my way to the group visits department, where my lecturer’s badge was waiting.
Soon enough our ARTnews interns and Galeristas Adolescentes, helmed by Mista Oh!, made their way there too, and we talked for a bit about what an encyclopedic museum is and how to use the Met (and its website) for inspiration, information, and more. And then we were off for our day of looking and sketching, winding our way through the Egyptian Wing, into the Engelhard Court, along a multicultural array of arms and armor, and past Europe’s decorative arts before emerging in Central Park for frisbee and lunch, which was delivered to the museum’s steps (great idea Mista Oh!–and thanks Retna!).
We spent the afternoon wandering through the arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas, where we made some more great drawings. Along the way we talked about things like primitivism, Orientalism, the language of color (and, in the case of our early-bird interns, institutional critique, courtesy Andrea Fraser, upstairs). Everyone had a great time and learned a lot–and I learned that I need to be more modest in my ambitions as a tour guide. Next time we’ll tackle the second floor.