The second coming of Art on the Ave will be returning to empty storefronts on the Upper West Side this April. This year’s theme is “Creating Tomorrow.”
“The need to come together to imagine a better tomorrow is especially urgent today,” reads the Art on the Ave website. “It is up to the interpretation of the artist to decide how their work speaks to the theme.” The site details four core pillars to responsible/sustainable living in “Creating Tomorrow:” the human experience, the economy, society and the environment.
“This topic opens up a myriad of possibilities, as well as materials, for the artist to explore,” notes the organizers in the event description. “We welcome the inclusion of recycled materials and found objects, in addition to paintings, photography, multimedia, and collage.”
Art on the Ave began in 2020 as a way to revitalize the Upper West Side. One of its creators, Barbara Anderson, told us she came up with the idea to showcase artwork in vacant storefronts while returning from a run in Central Park. Vacant storefronts have been a lingering blight on the community, and Anderson found a way to turn this into a positive.
Anderson, a middle school English and history teacher, is joined by Jackie Graham, who teaches high school social studies. Norma Krieger and Susan Davis-Eley are on the Curatorial Team for the event, which will run from early April until the end of the June. Krieger and Davis-Eley have professional experience across art, branding, and cross-promotion that spans over 30 years, according to their team page.
Artists can submit up to three pieces for consideration until March 6. Selections will be announced on March 10. Chosen artists will be asked to submit audio recordings describing how their work speaks to the theme.
In Art on the Ave’s maiden voyage, Soprano’s star Michael Imperioli was recruited to narrate the gallery walk.
To get a breath of the artists and work selected in the original Art on the Ave, here are some photos and descriptions taken by Lee Uehara.
Artist applications can be found here.