Vacant Storefronts on Columbus Avenue Will Display Local Art in October: Artist Applications Due Sept 30th

Wouldn’t this make a great gallery window?

By Carol Tannenhauser

There are a lot of empty storefronts between 67th and 77th Streets on Columbus Avenue. While most of us bemoan their demise, one Upper West Sider saw in them an opportunity to bring to a hurting community a time-tested source of healing and hope: art.

Starting around October 26th, the windows of the vacant stores from 67th through 77th Streets will transform that stretch of Columbus Avenue into an outdoor, socially distanced art gallery, displaying the carefully curated works of local artists.

Upper West Sider Barbara Anderson spearheaded the project, which is called “Art on the Ave”. Other members of the team include her daughter, Jackie Graham, and colleague Leigh Majer. All three are teachers. They have also enlisted the aid of Lisa Dubois, an artist, photojournalist, director and curator of X Gallery in Harlem.

“We thought about art and its ability to provoke dialogue,” they explain on their website. “Putting art in public spaces – the streets and sidewalks that took on a whole new significance through the lockdown, the protests, and the economic downturn – could be our way forward.”

The deadline for applications is September 30th. Here is what Art on the Ave is seeking:

…we wish for artists to be guided by the notions of perspective, healing, and telling a new story. Submissions should reflect in a literal or symbolic way Art on the Ave’s values. Inclusivity, empathy, equity, growth, action, and activism are some of the key values that can be integrated.

We are looking for artists with a story to tell. This three-month long exhibit will be a platform for new voices.

For more information about Art on the Ave, as well as details about submissions, go to their website.

ART, NEWS, OUTDOORS | 15 comments | permalink
    1. Martha says:

      What a great idea! I’m excited.

    2. Bob Lamm says:

      Wonderful. Thanks in advance to everyone who’s making this happen and everyone who is contributing their artwork.

    3. UWSHebrew says:

      This is something out of the documentary “Roger & Me”. I find this very sad, but I understand the motivation behind it.

    4. Paul says:

      Like when Koch put stencils of window shades and potted plants on the boarded up windows of hundreds of abandoned buildings in the Bronx?

      I’m tempted to say no thonx.

      But arguably Koch’s move actually helped a little, and the sad fact is that this is no different.

      • UWSHebrew says:

        I haven’t heard “The Bronx? No thonx” in many years, as my Bronx-raised father has been gone since 2011. Thanks Paul!

    5. My reflection on this:  almost every call to artists recently has asked for art with a narrative related to current events.  Joyous art is also healing, with or without a narrative.  Many artists are excluded, or don’t bother applying, because their work  doesn’t speak to the news.  I hope that this call, by including “healing” as a description, will welcome artists whose work fits time-honored notions of healing: joy, motion, emotion, meditation, reflection, scenes of home life or travel.

    6. anmol osm says:

      Great deal, really excited. 😀

    7. Chris says:

      Agree Francine — you might get submissions which only seem to advance some prepackaged themes. the exhibit should be enjoyable to everyone — from those who like to wonder at some amazing technique to those who want a story too.

    8. Ellen Gilman says:

      Hi, I’m a west side artist interested in exhibiting my collages. Please send me a phone # where I can reach the organizers or send me
      the exact e-mail address.
      Thank you.
      Ellen Gilman

      • Dana Reimer says:

        Ellen: At the very end of the article there are links to both the group’s website and to Art on the Avenue. Just click on one.

    9. RH says:

      Brilliant! Thank you Barbara Anderson and team! This is a perfect real life example of making lemonade out of lemons!

    10. Cjberk says:

      Good idea but why all the stipulations? Cant you just show wonderful art? Whose values…? Please just stop preaching …a gorgeous sky is just that. A falcon on my window is just that. Remember Sunflowers? Just that.

    11. Lynn Padwe says:

      How do we submit work and when?

    12. I think this is a great idea and I’d like to participate.