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.