The Bronx will soon be making an impact in Brooklyn!
The creators of BX200, an online directory for the Bronx art scene, are curating an exhibit of everything Bronx for a Bushwick art gallery.
BRONX NOW, the exhibit set to open in late April, will showcase 30 of the 200 artists on the BX200 site.
The exhibit aims to draw attention to a growing number of Bronx-based artists and let people know the work on display is just a small taste of what the borough has to offer in terms of arts and culture.
While the show shies away from making the artists adhere to a single theme, there is a commonality throughout – each artist has a strong message and story to tell.
Eileen Walsh, an artist and art therapist who resides in Port Morris, curated the show with Laura James, a painter and book illustrator who founded BX200.
Walsh says there is a strong sense of separation from one artist to the next, more so than in most galleries or shows.
“They have distinctive voices, each work is a very personal, passionate message…you don’t get the sense that they do art just to create something pretty, or to sell it…you can get into the psyche of every single artist,” expands Walsh.
All types of work will be displayed including paintings, performance pieces, photography, and social practice art.
The pieces, like the artists themselves, are unique and expressive.
Some pieces are in-your-face and political, with artists focusing on police brutality and highly contentious issues like the rezoning of the Jerome Avenue neighborhood by the de Blasio administration.
Others – like Rebecca Allan’s abstract paintings focusing on tributaries – are inspired by beauty and environmental awareness.
John Ahearn, a well known artist and sculptor, has made a name for himself by creating acrylic castings of Bronxites since the 1970s.
His dynamic, life-size pieces will be on display alongside the likes of Rhynna Santos, a Puerto-Rican born photographer, whose work focuses on the health care industry, and Latino immigration.
James, who resides in West Farms, says she was inspired to create BX200 because she wanted to identify and get to know artists in her borough.
“I knew there was so much art here.. but it wasn’t slapping me in the face, I was like ‘hey what’s going on?’” recalls Laura.
What began as a personal quest has become an epicenter for art and discussion. BX200 has held multiple events since its creation so artists can physically meet and exchange ideas.
Artists on the site hail from the south Bronx to Riverdale to Throggs Neck, and as such the exhibit will showcase a blend of neighborhoods, faces, and ideals.
As the name of the show implies, it is a snapshot of the Bronx – now.