Our June-September 2021 exhibition focused on works that reflect the vitality of our street life, the diversity of our residents, the natural beauty of our parks, and the visual interest of our streetscape and vernacular architecture. To purchase a piece, please contact the artist directly via the links provided.
I have lived in this neighborhood for 45 years, and my life and work have been greatly influenced by its amazing and wonderful parks. I paint landscapes en plein air, many of them in Central Park, Riverside Park, and Straus Park. I paint nature, color, and light and as an artist am so fortunate to have these parks as a constant yet ever-changing source of beauty and inspiration.
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The city often finds its way into my soul and my artwork, especially the architectural details, trees, river, and sky seen in all seasons from my window on West 101st Street. Born and raised in New York, I was 21 when I moved into my own apartment on West 101st Street, more than 40 years ago. The minute I saw the view, I knew I was home. Back then, friends swore they would never visit if I moved above 96th Street—too dangerous! But for me, it was paradise. Ten years later, those same friends asked, “Any vacant apartments in your building?” It's amazing how often people have commented about the scenes I depict: “I recognize that view,” “That's my block, West 92nd,” or “That’s the view from my mother’s apartment!” They are iconic Upper West Side views. Everyone sees their own view in them, and that is their beauty and their mystery.
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Oil on board
31 x 25" framed
Originally from Brooklyn, I currently live in Harlem. I was encouraged to develop my drawing skills in high school. I won a scholarship to the School of Visual Arts, where I was exposed to photorealism—my biggest stylistic influence, along with pop art. I studied with artists like Audrey Flack and Don Nice and chose to focus on oils. I went on to earn my MFA from Brooklyn College, where I studied with Philip Pearlstein. Among my works reflecting slices of life on the Upper West Side is this one of two children drawing on the sidewalk.
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Giclée on canvas
26 x 26" framed
Inspired by color and compositions found in nature as well as in urban landscapes, my work takes various forms and utilizes a wide range of styles and mediums. A series of my work I refer to as “repurposed art” is created on discarded items—Masonite panels, shipping pallets, pieces of raw canvas, and various scraps of wood. I find inspiration in abandoned materials I have collected from construction sites, public parks, parking lots, and the heaps of trash that line our city streets. Each item or surface is unique and presents its own challenge to envision as something else. In doing so, I attempt to create an object of beauty and interest from something someone else has thrown away. The piece selected for this show, Water Tank Sunset, NYC, was created on found canvas and incorporates used wood stretchers and a discarded picture frame. As an artist and urban naturalist, I call attention to our throw-away culture and try in some small way to reduce the massive amount of landfill trash we generate by channeling some of it into “repurposed art.”
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Oil on canvas
18½ x 22½" framed
When I made my “Broadway” photographs in June 1983, I had not lived in this neighborhood very long. I was intrigued by the small stores on Broadway, many of which seemed to have existed for decades. I began photographing storefronts to capture the neighborhood as I saw it at that time as a new resident. I tried to include the details that gave each store its unique character and in some instances managed to include the owners themselves. Perhaps I made these photos in anticipation of the changes that gradually transformed the neighborhood. With the arrival of many chain stores, small businesses have become increasingly rare. Looking back, I am happy that I made them the subject of some of my photos and am delighted to share them with other Upper West Siders who remember them or are simply interested in seeing what the neighborhood looked like in the early 1980s.
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23½ x 20" framed
I have been painting for many years, and during Covid-19 the view from my window was the inspiration for a series of New York City still lifes. My paintings are characterized by bold colors, simplified shapes, and a shallow depth of field. I paint in acrylic on linen, board, and paper in a variety of genres, sometimes incorporating fabric, stenciling, charcoal, and pastels. The essence of the work is gleaned from keen observation, the imagination, and the mystery of creating light on canvas. My hope is that those viewing my paintings will embrace my fantasy and be moved, observing work that is true and believable, beautiful and intelligent.
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Acrylic on linen
30 x 30"
I am a freelance photographer who has lived in this neighborhood for more than fifty years. My goal has always been to portray the diversity of our citizens in the most positive way. I have taken many photographs over the years in local schools, businesses, religious institutions, and political organizations, as well as on the street. I enjoy photographing people engaged in their daily lives. This photograph is from a series I made when I taught in the mid-1970s at the Booker T. Washington Junior High School on Columbus Avenue and West 107th Street. Teaching provided an excellent opportunity to get to know the students and get a sense of their lives before photographing them.
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16 x 20" framed
Price on request
Though I am mostly self-taught, a brief time in art school stimulated an appreciation for the abstract techniques I often use today. As an artist and a writer, I’ve discovered the beauty of the fact that art sometimes offers a meaningful interpretation of thoughts and emotions that words cannot express. I like turning simple things into something playful or intriguing; beauty through simplicity is my main message. My artwork revolves around the appreciation of our surroundings and the hope of tomorrow.
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Acrylic and paper collage on canvas
18 x 24"
Born in Manhattan, I have been photographing since the 1970s and am inspired by nature, even here in New York. Since Covid-19 hit, I have been focusing more on my Upper West Side neighborhood. This photograph was taken on the Broadway Mall at 95th Street, with pigeons aflutter and local people hanging out with stories to tell. You can see more of my work, including a book entitled Moments in Manhattan, on my website.
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18 x 24" framed
English is my fourth language. Although it has become my primary tongue, it remains a product of my peripatetic life and fractured education. I have separate languages to feel each stage of my life and loves—whether in childhood or adulthood—including languages I have mostly forgotten. My lack of an umbilical connection to English has led me to explore avenues of expression that are more immediate and visceral, including skateboarding and my visual language. A former professional skateboarder—women’s world champion in 2000—I now skate through our neighborhood’s streets and parks. Being keenly aware of the psychology of moving through such spaces, I use it to develop unconventional compositions, to reveal the instability of recognizable landscapes, and to suggest the mind’s capacity to see reality in multiple ways.
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Etching and drawing
14 x 35½" framed
Price on request
I have lived on the Upper West Side since 1979. Whenever I set out to take photos in my own neighborhood, I have sought to convey the sense of a diverse and inclusive community that welcomes any and all visitors. This image, taken in Central Park in 2002, is part of a larger body of work I did on New York City’s salsa-dancing community. It was featured in a solo exhibition at the Furman Gallery at Lincoln Center in 2004, concurrent with the annual Dance on Camera Film Festival at the Walter Reade Theater. Throughout the process of shooting this photo project, I felt that dancing, especially dancing
together outdoors, is a joyful activity that can provide us with a shared sense of community and help us to surmount the many obstacles we face.
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Silver gelatin archival photographic print
24 x 20" framed
I’ve lived in Manhattan for more than 40 years, the last 16 of them on the Upper West Side. Our neighborhood is rich in diversity: the bodegas, local restaurants with international cuisines, and the mix of families, the elderly, and the young, all ethnically diverse. It’s inspiring. I like to tell stories through my paintings, to elicit curiosity about what’s happening in them. This is especially true of scenes in the subway: commuting to school, missing your ride, taking the last train home in an empty car. Who are these people? Where are they going? What is their story? Because everyone has a story. These are universal themes but also local ones, specific to New York City and the Upper West Side.
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38 x 30" framed