October 11th, 2010 by Harlem Condo Life

By HarlemGal
Saturday and Sunday (October 9th and 10th) were absolutely gorgeous days to be out and about in Harlem. I took advantage of the wonderful weather with an art walk around Harlem…for free! The Harlem Art Walk was a delightful experience filled with a gold mine of art, artists and interesting galleries. (See slide show)

Some of you may or may not know this, most of the galleries for the Harlem Art Walk are in Harlem brownstones where it is turned into make shift galleries-or some are permanent-in the basement of the brownstone or the artist’s workspace on the first floor. Some artists had big spaces to work with and others had small space to work with. The gallery at 64 West 119th showcased wonderful black and white photos from the Drinking Ink Exhibit. At 181 Lenox Avenue right on the corner of 119th Street there was this awesome drawing of faces made with dollar signs, along with other creative art work.  I also adored the Alex Adam Gallery at 78 West 120th Street. At this gallery, I was blown away by how the art was presented not to mention the actual brownstone itself. Inside it was gorgeous! I stopped by Casa Frela Gallery, the sponsor of Harlem Art Walk, where it showcased a variety of artists. I could have stayed in Casa Frela for days seeing all the various art.

I started at Billie’s Black where I met and viewed the art work of Harlem Girl, the artist (and no relation to HarlemGal) and I ended my art walk at the H&M Gallery, where they had this interesting painting of President Obama. Overall, I had the best time. I hope you were able to experience the Harlem Art Walk as well.  If you were not able to, I recommend you put it on your calendar next year so that you can see and learn what I  did, which is there is an abundance of talented and seasoned artists right here in Harlem. No need to go far for art and culture. Harlemites can appreciate art right here in their own community!

Posted in Art and Culture, Free!, Harlem, Photography Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

October 8th, 2010 by Harlem Condo Life

By HarlemGal
As we approach the annual Harlem Art Walk, which is taking place this weekend (October 9th and 10th), we wanted to introduce one of the artists who will be participating in that event as part of our second installment of the HCL Artist Profile. Our first HCL Artist Profile featured Harlem watercolorist Lynn Lieberman. In a Q&A conversation with HarlemCondoLife.com, meet Maria Amor Franco, a Harlem resident and founder of “Harlem Street Painters.”

What is your occupation? And where do you reside in Harlem?
I am an oil painter. I live near Marcus Garvey Park.

As an oil painter, is your work linked to the community of Harlem? If so, tell us how?

Painting by Maria Amor Franco

Yes, my work is linked to the community in two ways. I founded a group of painters called the “Harlem Street Painters.” We are a group of painters who travel with portable easels and paints. We set up and paint around the streets of Harlem.  So far, we have settled into the area of 123rd and Lenox.  We paint on Sunday mornings, depending on the weather.

There is a second way my work is linked to the community.  Since I moved to Harlem, I became aware of the custom of wearing hats on Sunday!  I greeted women on the street and commented on their hats.  Then I began to take photographs of them wearing their hats.  The image is so precious and beautiful, I responded by painting them.  So now I have begun a series titled “The Ladies of Harlem in their Hats.”

What is it like painting on the streets while people pass by?
An unexpected pleasure of this meetup with other painters is our audience. I can’t tell you how enjoyable it is to interact with the people as they pass by.  There is so much interest, curiosity and respect for art.  So many people comment that they also paint!

Where did the name “Harlem Street Painters” come from?

Painting by Maria Amor Franco

A tradition of painting outside began with the Impressionists in Europe.  It began soon after they discovered how to put paint into tubes-this made the paint portable.   These painters called themselves “plein air painters.” It is french and it means “fresh air painters.” I tried to think of a name that would be more representative of our mission.  Our mission is to capture and paint in whatever medium we choose as long as we capture the beauty of Harlem. It is a big undertaking. But it is a start. I hope that the “Harlem Street Painters” can produce enough art to create an exhibit at the Harlem museum one day.

How many artists participate in “Harlem Street Painters?”
Thirty two painters are signed up.  On any given day, four to eight artists paint.

We always ask our artists featured in the HCL Profile what they like most about Harlem. Tell us what are your favorite things?
The strength of spirit and hope of the people, openness and acceptance to all races and religions, and curiosity about art.

If you are interested in learning more about Maria Amor or “Harlem Street Painters,” click here or better yet, check out the Harlem Art Walk. Maria will be exhibiting several paintings at this event.

Posted in Art and Culture, Community, Harlem Tagged with: , , , , , ,

September 14th, 2010 by Harlem Condo Life

By HarlemGal
Don’t miss the Harlem Art Walk 2010 on October 9th (Saturday) and 10th (Sunday) from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Harlem Art Walk will feature the work of more than 60 artists living and working in Harlem. Casa Frela Gallery, located at 47 West 119th Street, is the starting point where maps will be distributed (or see map below) to all tour participants highlighting the various stops on the walking tour, including open artist studios, museums, and cultural and historic venues. All forms of art will be featured, including sculptures, ceramics, painting, photographs, etchings and prints, and textiles. And if you like what you see during the walk, participants will have the opportunity to buy original artwork from emerging to established artists.

For further information about the tour, visit the Casa Frela Gallery website at www.casafrela.com or call the information hotline at 212-722-8577.

Posted in Community, Harlem Tagged with: , , , , , , ,