The Bronx Culture Trolley rolls again on October 3rdt, kicking off ¡Viva Bronx! – 12 days of cultural activities along the South Bronx Cultural Corridor. Trolley night activities include six art exhibitions, a book signing event at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, a Hip Hop Theater performance, unique creations of art and jewelry at the Artisans Boutique, and a trip to the Alexander Avenue Art & Antiques District. As always, the night will wind down at Sweetwaters Bar & Grill with music by the Ethereal Jazz Quartet. The Bronx Culture Trolley is a program of the Bronx Council on the Arts (BCA).
¡Viva Bronx! Activities taking place from October 1st through the 12th include the Bronx Latin American Biennial Exhibition and the Bronx Hispanic Festival featuring art exhibitions, films, tournaments, crafts, music, food, and theater; Hip Hop Theatre Festival featuring Danny Hoch’s one-man show on gentrification (October 1 to 4 at Hostos Community College); and the October 5 ¡Viva Bronx! Festival at 500 Grand Concourse featuring multi-cultural performances, vendors, stick walkers, clowns, and children’s rides. Information on these activities can be found on BCA’s website at www.bronxarts.org.
October 3rd’s trolley begins at the Longwood Art Gallery at Hostos Community College, 450 Grand Concourse at 149th Street, at 5 p.m. with a “Meet & Greet” reception for Aires de Loiza, Culture & Nature: A Retrospective of the Work of Samuel Lind with Masks by Raul Ayala. Organized by the Hostos’ Center for the Arts & Culture, this exhibition focuses on the town of Loiza, Puerto Rico, and its music, folklore and traditions, through painting, traditional crafts and bomba music. Loiza, (known also as Loiza Aldea) was founded in 1692 and is populated by the largest community of African descendents on the island of Puerto Rico. Featured artists for the Aires de Loizeños Exhibition are prominent Puerto Rican painter Samuel Lind and craftsman Raul Ayala, both native of Loiza. Mr. Lind has produced a great number of works celebrating dance, carnival and other aspects of Puerto Rican experience.
Ayala’ vegigante mask maker, has been making these pieces for more than 40 years. This exhibition is on view through November 8th. For more information on the Longwood Art Gallery and its upcoming exhibitions call (718) 518-6728.
While you’re at Hostos, don’t forget to visit the Artisans Boutique which offers imaginative bronxArtworks creations in all price ranges that are yours for the browsing and for the buying. Items included are Korean knot tying novelties by Karen Ahn, Orisha art & crafts by Luis Pagan, art cards and prints by Diane Davis and Stephanie Chisholm, original ceramics by Toby Liederman, and silver jewelry by Liz Ortiz, and much more. View the work of our talented team of Bronx Artisans in a quaint, charming atmosphere. Call (718) 401-9558 for more information.
Also at the Hostos Repertory Theater is a special 8:30 p.m. performance of Taking Over, presented by the Hip-Hop Theater Festival and the Public Theater in association with Hostos Community College. Taking Over features Hip-Hop theater pioneer and New York native Danny Hoch who storms the stage to chronicle the current state of gentrification in New York City. Blazing through a fierce spectrum of New Yorkers, Danny gives voice to everyone from the developers evicting locals to make way for lofts, to the bar-hopping career hipsters who buy them, and those left in the wake of both. This show was written and performed by Danny Hoch and directed by Tony Taccone. Admission is free. Note: There will be no late seating for this performance.
The trolley bell’s ring (at 5:30, 6:30 and 7:30 p.m.) is your free ticket to a cultural tour along the south Bronx Cultural Corridor of the lower Grand Concourse. Admission to all participating venue attractions is free. The Bronx Culture Trolley runs on the first Wednesday of each month (except January and September) providing Bronxites and tourists alike a fun way to travel via a replica of an early 20th-century trolley car.
FIRST STOP: Bronx Museum of the Arts, 1040 Grand Concourse at 165th Street, where you can view their newest exhibition: Street Art, Street Life: From the 1950s to Now. Organized by guest curator Lydia Yee, Street Art, Street Life examines the street as subject matter, venue, and source of inspiration for artists and photographers from the late 1950s to the present. This exhibition includes street photography, documentation of performance, events, and artworks presented in the street; works using material from the street; and examples of street culture by more than 30 artists. This show will be on view thru January 25.
NEXT STOP: Haven Arts Gallery, 50 Bruckner Boulevard, Building A, for a viewing of Men on Maps – What do you think of when you see the New York City subway map? Is it a guide, a diagram, a riddle? Is it a canvas? “Men on Maps” explores the unique aesthetic responses of over 50 male artists when presented with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s map of the New York City subway system as a base upon which to create. Various mediums including audio, collage, drawing, painting, photography, video, and other forms fill both Gallery I and II. This show, on view thru October 10th, was curated by Barry Kostrinsky. For further information and viewing hours, call (718) 585-5753.
NEXT STOP: Bronx Blue Bedroom Project, 309 Alexander Avenue #3A, where you can view an exhibition of work by painter, sculptor, and mixed-media artist Jorge Rojas (on view through October 27). For information call (347) 776-7504.
NEXT STOP: Bronx Museum Project Space, 11 Bruckner Boulevard at the corner of Lincoln Avenue, for a viewing of Reference of Time. Artists take over the space like temporary squatters whose clutter of possessions challenges boundaries and sparks dialogue between the space itself and its contents. For information and viewing hours, call the Bronx Museum of the Arts at (718) 681-6000.
NEXT STOP: Alexander Avenue Antiques District where we will visit Thrift World Antiques at 122 Alexander Avenue, Custom Design Studio, 49 Bruckner Boulevard, Alexander’s Café at 129 Alexander Avenue, and Books, Notes & News at 137 Alexander Avenue. For information about the Alexander Avenue Antiques District, contact Laura at (718) 401-7866.
NEXT STOP: Bruckner Gallery at the Bruckner Bar & Grill, 1 Bruckner Boulevard, for a viewing of work by Italian Artist Fausto Holban. For information call (718) 665-2001.
FINAL STOP of the evening: Sweetwaters Bar & Grill, 2576 Third Avenue at 139th Street.