Mott Haven Historical District displays unique gallery

One of Zaccaro’s abstract works on display.
Courtesy of Pepper Negron

One Mott Haven art gallery has gone above and beyond this week with its newest exhibit.

The El Fogon gallery and the Mott Haven Historical District debuted the dimensional works of Co-op City’s Ersilia Zaccaro Crawford on Saturday, September 21 and will remain on display until Saturday, September 28.

Her works, which often incorporate everyday objects like hub caps and string into paintings have been inspired by the borough along with the many places that Zaccaro has travelled to.

Before becoming a longtime Bronx resident, she was born in Bari, Italy and later moved to Naples during the 1930’s, where she started painting at the age of 11 before coming to America in 1949.

After bouncing back and forth from the United States and Libera, where she had married a diplomat, Zaccaro made a more permanent stay in the Bronx.

Here, she continued to paint while teaching art in city schools, staying influenced by equatorial light and colorful clothing, though keeping her primarily abstract.

After she retired in the mid-1980’s, Zaccaro began exploring botanical illustration surely enough at the New York Botanical Garden while printmaking at the Art Students League of New York.

She also produced many works inspired by the landscapes seen from her window overlooking Pelham Bay Park and the Hutchinson River.

Zaccaro also returns to her native Italia each year, specifically to see the birthplace of famed artist Alberto Burri at Cita di Castello in Umbria, Italy.

Learn more about Zaccaro and the Mott Haven Historical district at

Zaccaro and her daughter Kolu Zigbi at the gallery.
Courtesy of Sam Brooks.

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