As part of Bronx Week, this Saturday, May 15, there will be an arts walk through Westchester Square. But those who wish to sit and take a relaxing ride, rather than walk, can hop abord the Bronx Cultural Trolley instead.
The Art Walk is part of the 2nd annual Fair @ the Square, an arts extravaganza run by the Bronx Council on the Arts. The ‘First Wednesdays Bronx Culture Trolley’ program has been a BCA offering for quite some time. On the first Wednesday evening of every month, a big red bus runs free rides through the South Bronx and makes stops at art galleries and museums. This weekend, as part of the fair, that trolley will run on a Saturday and hit each of the arts walk stops, though staying a bit closer to traffic lights.
The stops are local spaces or businesses at which artists will exhibit their work and also try to sell it, in some cases. Eight different spaces in Westchester Square will be on the route, each with artwork by a Bronxite. The artists include: Luis Stephenberg, who will be presenting two urban installations at Washington Mutual and the space formerly occupied by Quizno’s; Darnell Edwards, who will be at T-Mobile displaying paintings; Kay Reese, showing mixed media art at Capital One; Melanie Diaz displaying photography at Montefiore Medical Center; Marisol Diaz, also a photographer, at Estrellita Poblano Restaurant; Ruth Marshall showing off mixed media creations at Cestra’s Pizzeria; and Daniel DelValle, a painter, showing his work at JP Morgan Chase.
“With so many artists, this is going to be a fabulous time, with so many different things to see,” says Laura Napier, a creative industries associate at BCA. The art walks will be guided by curator Josi Gonzalez, and those who participate will also get to meet every artist.
Those doing the arts walk will gather at Huntington Free Library, and BCA is hoping to get a high turnout, perhaps up to 1,000 people, for the two walks, which leave at 1:30 and 3 p.m. The trolley, meanwhile, will start from the Bronx River Arts Center and go around Westchester Square stopping at the artist exhibits.
Although the trolley will be running, and will have fun things to do on board, like trivia, BCA is hoping that many choose the walk the route for their own health. “It’s good to be enjoying art,” says Ellen Pollan, director of Art-Related Economic Development, “but also great to be fit and walking around the square while you’re doing it.”
There will also be two music concerts by Bronx Underground at Owen Dolen Park, at 1 and 3 p.m. Even after months of tough planning with local merchants in order to set up the art exhibits, BCA is equally excited about this concert segment of the day. “The music is really drawing in the younger generation, the 14-28 year olds, and that’s what we really want,” says Pollan. “We’re eager to get those people interested in the arts.”
While the older teenagers may not jump into activities like face-painting or Trolley Trivia, it’s likely that they, like everyone who comes out, will love checking out local artwork and indie music. And it’s all for free.
Reach Daniel Roberts at (718) 742-3383 or droberts@c
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