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Image courtesy of David Adjaye Associates.


Unlikely Tenants Filling a Neighborhood Vacancy JULY 10, 2014


In 2009, when a bad economy left commercial spaces vacant across New York City, an itinerant nonprofit art group called No Longer Empty started filling some of them — a storefront on West 23rd Street, the closed-up Tower Records on lower Broadway — with art. This summer, the organization adds a twist to its mission by working on premises that have yet to be occupied, an in-progress 13-story affordable-housing complex called the Sugar Hill Building located on West 155th Street in Washington Heights. Sponsored by Broadway Housing Communities and designed by David Adjaye, the development won’t open until the fall. But for the next month, it has exhibitions installed on two floors, and in a ground-level space that will eventually be the Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art and Storytelling. In the early 20th century, Sugar Hill was deluxe turf: Duke Ellington, Thurgood Marshall and W. E. B. Du Bois lived here, and a bronze figure of Du Bois, depicted as a slender, stoop-sitting version of Rodin’s “Thinker”

by Radcliffe Bailey, opens an exhibition of 22 artists on the ninth floor. Organized by Manon Slome, No Longer Empty’s president and curator, the show has celebratory images: neighborhood portraits by Bayeté Ross Smith; a gleaming steel riff on cursive graffiti by Carlos Mare (who used the tag Mare 139) and a red velvet runway hung with crowns by Shani Peters. But there’s also acknowledgment of intractable problems: racial profiling in Dread Scott’s 2012 video piece called “Stop” and homelessness in an installation by Kameelah Janan Rasheed, to which visitors are invited to contribute. In a nervously flashing neon sign by Hank Willis Thomas, lines from corporate advertising — “It’s Everywhere You Want To Be” and “The Life You Were Meant to Live” — look more threatening than reassuring, as does the Sugar Hill Building itself, with its dark stone cladding, small windows and fortresslike bulk. However forbidding the exterior, the views from the apartments are great. Looking east you can see all the way to Yankee Stadium, a perspective acknowledged in Freddy Rodríguez’s painted homages to Dominican baseball players. And with 25 of the 124 new apartments designated to go to homeless families, the building is sure to make hearts glad, as does much of the art that’s here now. One piece, Raúl Ayala’s handsome mural of African-American female writers — Gwendolyn Bennett, Ethel Caution-Davis, Mary Church Terrell — will stay on permanent view. (It’s painted on a terrace wall on the third floor where various local art organizations — Harlem Arts Alliance, Dominican York Proyecto Gtafica — also have shows.) And at least a few No Longer Empty pieces will leave an afterglow. For a project called “Sugar Hill Smiles,” Nari Ward set up shop on surrounding streets and asked random passers-by to smile into mirrorbottomed tin cans. When people complied — hundreds did — he sealed the cans on the spot while the smiles were still fresh. In a win-win deal, the smiles are on sale for $10 each, with proceeds going to a Broadway Housing Communities educational program.

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No Longer Empty's 'If You Build It' Opens at Harlem's Sugar Hill Group Holds Exhibits In Places That Rarely See Contemporary Art

By JESSIC A D AWSON June 25, 2014 1:11 p.m. ET

Manon Slome, right, the president of No Longer Empty, oversees the installation of 'If You Build It' at Sugar Hill Apartments. Andrew Lamberson for The Wall Street Journal

Over the past week, Harlem's David Adjaye-designed Sugar Hill Apartments teemed with workers readying the building for August occupancy, as well as artists carting in piano keys, sheets of stainless steel and golden inner tubes. "And they're all competing for the same elevator," said Ellen Baxter, executive director of Broadway Housing Communities, the nonprofit behind the Sugar Hill Project, a complex that will include more than 100 residences for low-income and homeless families.

'New York  Sugar  Metropolis'  by  Irish  sculptors  Brendan  Jamison  and  Mark  Revel  Andrew  Lamberson for  The  Wall  Street  Journal

The artists  were  there  for  "If  You  Build  It,"  an  ambitious  group  exhibition  opening  Thursday.  Ahead of  the  complex's  opening,  Broadway  Housing  Communities  invited  No  Longer  Empty,  an  arts organization  that  specializes  in  staging  exhibitions  in  places  that  rarely  see  contemporary  art,  to install  a  show  linked  to  the  neighborhood.  At  Sugar  Hill,  it  has  taken  over  several  floors  with  site-­ specific  installations  and  other  works. Late  last  week,  its  president  and  chief  curator, Manon  Slome,  took  a  reporter  on  a  tour  through  the How  Sweet  it  is  at  Harlem's  'Sugar Metropolis' gray-­walled  rooms  of  the  building's  ninth  floor,  where No  Longer  Empty  has  full  access  to  soon-­to-­be offices,  apartments,  public  areas  and  a  balcony. WSJ  Photos

She gestured  to  a  plywood-­covered  radiator. "It's  a  Judd,"  she  joked.  Though  the  box  did  resemble  a  minimalist  sculpture  by  Donald  Judd,  it would  be  painted  over  in  time  for  the  show's  opening.

Scherezade Garcia's  pile  of  gold  inner  tubes.  Andrew  Lamberson  for  The  Wall  Street  Journal

"Usually we  come  into  older  buildings  that  we  have  to  finish,"  Ms.  Slome  said.  "When  you're working  in  a  pre-­existing  structure,  you  know  exactly  what  you're  dealing  with.  In  this  case,  there have  been  delays  in  construction,  which  is  challenging." In  its  five-­year  history,  the  organization  has  produced  group  shows  at  fallow  or  soon-­to-­be renovated  buildings  around  the  city,  including  a  former  bank  in  Queens  and  a  former  home  for  the indigent  in  the  Bronx.  At  Sugar  Hill,  Ms.  Slome  selected  and  commissioned  work  relevant  to  the neighborhood  and,  on  the  building's  third  floor,  invited  community  groups  to  exhibit.

Malik Davis  and  artist  Nari  Ward  Andrew  Lamberson  for  The  Wall  Street  Journal

Because of  Sugar  Hill's  significance  to  the  Harlem  Renaissance,  some  of  the  show's  biggest names  are  contemporary  African-­American  artists,  including  Radcliffe  Bailey  and  Hank  Willis Thomas.  Mr.  Bailey's  almost-­life-­size  bronze  statue  of  W.E.B.  Du  Bois  depicts  the  author  and  civil-­ rights  activist  posed,  chin  in  hand,  like  Rodin's  "The  Thinker."  The  statue  presides  spookily  over  a hallway  of  glass-­walled  offices. The  show  includes  politically  driven  conceptual  work,  including  Dread  Scott's  "Wanted,"  a  project critiquing  stop-­and-­frisk  policing.  Working  with  young  black  male  volunteers,  Mr.  Scott commissioned  a  forensic  sketch  artist  to  create  wanted  posters  like  the  ones  police  issue. "They're  not  helpful  in  tracking  down  that  person,"  Mr.  Scott,  49,  said,  referring  to  police-­speak  like "UNK,"  for  "unknown,"  a  common  descriptor.  "All  they  say  is,  there's  this  danger  in  the  community. Be  afraid.  Watch  out  for  some  black  man."

No Longer  Empty  Curator  Manon  Slome,  left,  and  artist  Bayete  Ross  Smith,  look  at  Smith's  installation at  Sugar  Hill  Apartments.  Andrew  Lamberson  for  The  Wall  Street  Journal

In addition  to  the  Sugar  Hill  exhibit,  the  "Wanted"  posters  will  hang  in  neighborhood  barbershops and  delis. Though  Harlem  is  historically  African-­American,  "If  You  Build  It"  also  nods  to  its  changing demographics,  particularly  the  influx  of  Puerto  Rican  and  Dominican  communities  in  recent decades. Scherezade  Garcia,  46,  who  came  to  New  York  from  the  Dominican  Republic  as  an  18-­year-­old, attached  oversize  versions  of  baggage  locator  tags—complete  with  faux  bar  codes  and  the destination-­airport  initials  "JFK"—to  a  pile  of  gold-­painted  inner  tubes  that  she  arranged  inside  an office  and  on  the  building's  balcony.  The  sculptures  mimicked  sleek  contemporary  art,  yet  their materials  spoke  to  the  desperate  measures  some  immigrants  take  to  get  to  the  U.S.

Sonia Louise  Davis  with  'new  renaissance  sessions,'  the  installation  she  created  for  the  show.  Andrew Lamberson  for  The  Wall  Street  Journal

Although most  of  the  artists  ignored  the  domestic  setting  of  the  project,  Kameelah  Janan  Rasheed, 28,  assigned  a  two-­bedroom  apartment,  used  it  to  recreate  the  place  she  lived  until  her  family became  homeless  when  she  was  12.  Her  thrift-­store  furniture  and  curtains,  alongside  countless photographs  (some  hers,  some  found)  were  a  marked  contrast  with  the  building's  sleek  new kitchens  and  still-­wrapped  Friedrich  air  conditioners. "It  was  amazing  to  hear  that  people  who  were  formerly  homeless  could  move  into  the  space,"  Ms. Rasheed  said.  "A  lot  of  times,  with  low-­income  housing,  you  have  to  have  a  history  of  having  lived somewhere  else,  so  people  who  are  homeless  never  get  a  chance." Copyright  2014  Dow  Jones  &  Company,  Inc.  All  Rights  Reserved This  copy  is  for  your  personal,  non-­commercial  use  only.  Distribution  and  use  of  this  material  are  governed  by  our  Subscriber  Agreement  and by  copyright  law.  For  non-­personal  use  or  to  order  multiple  copies,  please  contact  Dow  Jones  Reprints  at  1-­800-­843-­0008  or  visit

Nari Ward Is Harvesting Smiles in Harlem Sarah Cascone Jun 09,2014

Nari Ward, Sugar Hill Smiles (2014 ) Photo: Sarah Cascone.

If you find yourself on the streets of Harlem’s Sugar Hill (a historic neighborhood spanning roughly 145th St to 155th St, from Edgecombe Avenue west to Amsterdam) this afternoon, you may run into artist Nari W ard, who’ll be out canvassing local residents, urging them to share a friendly grin as part of his project Sug a r H ill Smile s. Today is Ward’s third day on the job, setting up shop outside grocery stores and subway entrances with a customized cart, inspired by the higgler carts favored by Jamaican street vendors. Ward’s inventory is a crate full of empty cans, each emblazoned with a Sugar Hill Smiles label, into which he asks passersby to smile.

At the bottom of each can, Ward has inserted a mirror. As people peer in, they catch a glimpse of their tentative smiles, and, almost invariably, break into an unrestrained toothy grin (at least, that was artnet News’s experience while contributing). It’s an extremely short, often bemused interaction. Afterward, Ward uses a hand-turned crank, mounted on the front of the cart, to mechanically seal each can, saving the smile for posterity. Though the project seems playful, it is imbued with deeper meaning. Ward was inspired by Sugar Hill Golden Ale, a beer brewed by the Harle m Bre win g C ompany that has appropriated the neighborhood’s name to sell a product that has no connection

Nari Ward, Sugar Hill Smiles (2014 ). Photo: courtesy No Longer Empty.

to the community. To Ward’s mind, the brewery clearly hopes to capitalize on associations with the Harlem Renaissance and the area’s glamorous, well-heeled past, without contributing to its future. In contrast, Ward is enlisting Sugar Hill residents to personally participate in a project designed to give back to the neighborhood. Each can will be sold for $10, with the proceeds benefiting local early education initiatives. The piece also allows the community to reclaim the African American stereotype of the smiling minstrel character. For the most part, the public is responding positively. Though some are indifferent, or even skeptical, those who take the time to listen are happy to participate. The project is part of “If Yo u B uild It,” an exhibition curated by No L onger E mpty, which is celebrating its fifth year curating site-specific, socially engaged exhibitions in New York City. For this show, the group has partnered with Broadway Housin g Communities to inaugurate their newest site, Sugar Hil l Development, designed by architect

David A d jaye. Ward is just one of 20 artists who will show their work, which addresses social and political issues germane to Sugar Hill, in empty apartment units that will soon be the neighborhood’s newest affordable housing. Now that this morning’s rain has cleared up, artnet News expects Ward and his team will be back in action as they attempt to collect some 2,000 smiles. By the end of the exhibition, he hopes his display will be empty, with all of the canned smiles sold to happy visitors. “If You Build It” will be on view at Sugar Hill Development at 155th St and St. Nicholas Avenue, June 26–August 10.

Arts Collaborative Brings Sweetness and Light to Sugar Hill Julia Vitullo – Martin Jun 26, 2014

The principals of the Sugar Hill Culture Club: Imani Razat, Wendell Headley, and founder Felicia Gordon.

This is New York City’s summer of sugar—first Kara Walker’s Subtlety, or the Marvelous Sugar Baby at Brooklyn’s Domino Sugar Refinery, and now the entirely different, appealing “If You Build It” exhibit honoring Harlem’s Sugar Hill neighborhood in all its complexity. Once the storied home of African-American giants—Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Joe Louis, Thurgood Marshall and many more—as well as George Gershwin and Babe Ruth (the neighborhood is directly across the Harlem River from Yankee Stadium), Sugar Hill declined precipitately after World War II. Many of its handsome buildings were demolished, and others stripped naked of their limestone embellishments as they were cut up into tiny living quarters.

Vacant lots marred even good blocks. The corner of St. Nicholas Avenue and 155th Street was one of the emptiest of all—high up on Coogan’s Bluff but forlorn, with a toxic history. Thus, when nonprofit developer Broadway Housing Communities decided to celebrate the construction of their David-Adjaye-designed apartment building for low-income families, they couldn’t have found a more appropriate arts organization than No Longer Empty, which specializes in site-specific art. With a mission of building resilience in communities through art while widening its audience, No Longer Empty has brought together the work of established artists like Radcliffe Bailey and Hank Willis Thomas along with brilliant unknowns and young-

Renowned global architect David Adjaye designed the Sugar Hill apartments for Broadway Housing Communities.

Radcliffe Bailey’s “Windward Coast” is made of piano keys, a plaster bust, and glitter.

Radcliffe Bailey’s statue of W.E.B. DuBois helps remind visitors of Sugar Hill’s past.

Scherezade Garcia’s “Cathedral/Catedral” stands on the southern boundary of Washington Heights.

Artist Wendell Headley standing in front of a photo of himself by Felicia Gordon.

sters. The result is disconcertingly exuberant but well-worth seeing.It would be hard to exaggerate the power of Radcliffe Bailey’s sculptures. Often recycling old materials, such as the piano keys above, he grapples with the traumatic vividness of the African- American imagination, calling on the extraordinary musical heritage of jazz and the blues, recognizing that the legacy of slavery is never far from the surface. His bronze statue of W.E.B. DuBois, called Pensive, sits alone in a corridor, perhaps appropriately for the man who articulated “double consciousness,” reflecting on the duality of African-American identity by which many only see themselves through the eyes of others. A one-time resident of Sugar Hill, DuBois was a restless traveller, moving to Ghana in 1961 to write an Encyclopedia Africana. He died two years later and is buried in Accra. But “If You Build It” also has plenty of room for fun. There’s Scherezade Garcia’s hilariously stacked inner tubes and life savers that have been dipped in gold paint to mimic an altar to immigrants and their hopes. Calling the piece “Cathedral/Catedral” she has attached prayer cards (milagros) in multiple languages to reflect not only the diversity of American immigration but the supplications before the altar. Cleverly sited on a wraparound terrace facing the now strongly Latin neighborhood of Washington Heights, Cathedral/Catedral encourages New Yorkers to laugh, but also to ponder the nature of their ever-changing city. It’s possible, though, that few artists have as much fun as the collaborators of the Sugar Hill Culture Club. Wendell Headley, who calls himself a fashion outsider, has found an extraordinary partner in photographer Felicia M. Gordon. In a series of artworks and photographs entitled “New York, Naturally,” they sweetly examine the city’s natural habitat and its inhabitants. Probably no inhabitant, however, is likely to be more enchanting than Headley himself. Calling on the Latin tradition of murals drawn “In Loving Memory,” Raúl Ayala has drawn great black female writers of the early 20th century, including Gwendolyn Bennet and Ethel Caution Davis. New Yorkers who admire

Adonys Jimenez’s green-tinged, multi-media “Empty Benches.”

New York Sugar Metropolis by Irish sculptors Brendan Jamison and Mark Revel.

Creative Director Soleo in front of Raúl Ayala’s murals of great black writers.

the murals chalked but eventually destroyed on sidewalks will be grateful to see these on a protected wall. Then there’s the amazing work of the young artists, presented by ArtsConnection’s “Teens Curate Teens” program as “Rose from the Concrete.” A jaded visitor to curated shows might at this point sigh, but that would be a mistake. These pieces are impressive in any terms. (Nice touch by the way in the title, charmingly punning Sugar Hill’s alternative name as the Heritage Rose district). We said good-bye to “If You Build It” outside, pondering what is probably the exhibit’s most photographed artwork, “New York Sugar Metropolis” by Irish sculptors Brendan Jamison and Mark Revel. The two Irishmen have accomplished something many Harlemites have longed for and deserved: returning some glitter to this renowned African-American neighborhood. If You Build It opens June 26, 2014, and closes on August 10, 2014. Hours: Thursdays & Fridays, 3-7 PM; Saturdays & Sundays, 1-6 PM Where: 155th Street & St Nicholas Avenue Getting there: the C train to 155th Street

“Flag Wheel” by Ewa Nowogorski, a student at Fiorello LaGuardia High School.

Creators of the “Shoe Bridge,” Rehana Akthar and Tabitha Funes are students at the High School of Economics and Finance.

“If You Build It” celbrates Harlem Art and Community Jessica Lynne Jul. 03, 2014

No Instruction for Assembly, Activation IV, Kameelah Janan Rasheed, courtesy of No Longer Empty

There is no cool like Harlem cool and perhaps, no place cooler than the famed West Harlem neighborhood, Sugar Hill. On the heels of the opening of architect David Adjaye’s newly constructed Sugar Hill Building, the neighborhood is abuzz with an infectious energy. To celebrate the opening and the distinct creative legacy of Sugar Hill, Broadway Housing Communities has partnered with New York City art organization No Longer Empty to produce a site specific exhibition entitled If You Build It. An investigation of the ways in which notions of home and community are conceived, built and sustained, If You Build It is a two floor, multi- room experience inside Adjaye’s building. 22 artists - local, emerging, and international-i ncluding Hank Willis Thomas, Shani

Peters, William Villalongo and Bayete Ross Smith, present art that responds to the cultural, political, and historical legacy of Sugar Hill while also invoking wider reflections on space and place. Such is evident in the work of emerging artist Kameelah Janan Rasheed who, with her installation No Instruction for Assembly, Activation IV, uses an apartment to reimagine the place she lived with her family until becoming homeless at age 12. Flush with family photographs, books, and old records, Rasheed’s installation remarkably explores the relationship between memory, archives and physicality. Nari Ward’s performance installation Sugar Hill Smiles simultaneously confronts the problematic nature of entities that capitalize on the Harlem brand

Wendell Headley - New York Naturally, Felicia Gordon, image courtesy of Sugar Hill Culture Club

without making an actual investment Harlem while also offering a colorful, small scale solution to this phenomenon. For his piece, Ward collected smiles from Sugar Hill residents in cans that have now been labeled and sealed and will sell the smile cans throughout the neighborhood for $10 with all profits benefiting Broadway Housing Communities. The exhibition also features the work of several curatorial collaborators, such as Dominican York Proyecto GRAFICA, Art Connection and Art in Flux. Collaborators Felicia Gordon and Imani Razat of The Sugar Hill Culture Club use their exhibition New York, Naturally, to explore the relationship between the city’s natural habitat and its inhabitants. Razat’s digital mixed media images and Gordon’s photography, pay homage to iconic NYC inhabitants, the insects of the city and fashion designer Wendell Headley respectively. “Sugar Hill Culture Club is a loosely knit group of creatives, primarily but not exclusively based in Harlem. So obviously we

were ecstatic when No Longer Empty came to the neighborhood and expressed interest in our work. The building site is five blocks away from my home and contains some of the most relevant work I've seen in years in a context that's appealing to us for many reasons. The idea that our work is briefly inhabiting a space where future tenants of Sugar Hill will live is pretty powerful. A win all around, really a no-brainer,” culture club founder Felicia Gordon tells me via email. Indeed, this is a show that perfectly and explicitly embodies the spirit of Sugar Hill’s iconic nature. Responding via email, Razat has no doubts about the impact of the show. “As far as the exhibition at large, I overheard someone saying, ‘The tremendous amount of talent in this building is overwhelming.’ Well, that talent and creativity has always been here. I grew up in Harlem so I know. The exhibition is a celebration, really, of how much our community has to offer. It's a privilege to be a part of that.”

Installation Shot, New York Naturally, image courtesy of Sugar Hill Culture Club

If You Build It runs until August 10, 2014. It is open to the public Thursdays and Fridays from 3 pm - 7pm and Saturdays and Sundays 12 pm - 6 pm. if_you_build_it_celebrates_harlem_art_an d_community/

No Longer Empty's If You Build It: art with community built-in Audra Lambert Jun 25, 2014

Audra Lambert

A good crowd on opening night can make it hard to literally get your foot in the door, but also generally serves as a vote of confidence for a new exhibit.In the case of No Longer Empty's opening night of art exhibition If You Build It, make that overwhelming confidence. The outpouring of support was evident in the line out the door on opening night of If You Build It, a site-specific group art exhibit located at the Sugar Hill building in West Harlem. Celebrating their fifth year of programming, No Longer Empty partnered with community agencies to display the artworks on view across the third and ninth floors of the Sugar

Hill Building, a new affordable housing development located at 155th Street and Saint Nicholas Avenue in West Harlem, New York City. Artists and spectators alike flooded the building, peeking into future apartments-turned-gallery space for a glimpse of the multi-level exhibition's offerings. 22 artists are on view as part of the show including Radcliffe Bailey, Carlos Mare, Dread Scott and Hank Willis Thomas, representing a wide range of cultural backgrounds and artistic practices. Works were specifically created for the site and related to the idea of building both in a literal sense (architecture, design) and

figurative sense (society and the local community.) Themes relating to the Sugar Hill neighborhood, specifically, also played a part in shaping the artwork on view. The selection of participating artists and works on view were wide-ranging but managed to comfortably complement and intersect throughout the space. While electricity blackouts on the third floor dimmed the experience (while also encouraging an interactive element among spectators!), the ninth floor was a harmonious symphony of mostly large-scale art that communicated cultural history and encouraged spectators to question many widely held beliefs on architecture and communities. A frequent recurrence was the dissembling of a whole into its component parts, and how those parts then fit into the general structure. This concept revealed itself in works by Dread Scott, Radcliffe Bailey, Scherezade Garcia, and Aziz + Cucher. Works by all of these artists showed singular members either as part of or separated from the community as a whole, allowing the viewer to live a singular, fragmented experience often quite different from their own personal life experience. Dread's piece Stop consisted of videos depicting young black males speaking about their experiences being stopped for questioning by authorities, showed how members of disparate communities (one group from the US, one from the UK) found themselves experiencing similar situations. Aziz + Cucher's digital animations in Time of the Empress (Trio) confront the individual vs. whole concept from a solidly architectural standpoint, allowing a tripartite of buildings being constructed and deconstructed to mark the passage of time in a civilization as it rises and declines. Another architectural construction, Jamison, Brendan & Mark Revels' ground floor miniature scale city of sugar cubes, Sugar Metropolis, offers viewers the chance to explore ideas of future cities: how they are constructed and how they have evolved from our present- day edifices. Perhaps the most evocative work in the exhibition, Radcliffe Bailey's half-room installation work Windward Coast depicts a man's head rising from a sea of broken piano keys piled haphazardly together, perhaps in reference to slaves shipwrecked during the Middle Passage on

their way to the new world. Sugar Hill's presence as a center focal point during the Harlem Renaissance is touched on in many works, such as Bailey's Pensive sculpture of African-American leader W.E.B. du Bois, as well as the idea of immigration in general, such as in Scherezade Garcia's inflated rubber tire tubes spray painted in gold pays homage to lives of immigrants as they arrive at their new destination, symbolized by airport logos attached to the tubes themselves. If You Build It aspires to build on a stable of emerging and established artists' work as it coalesces ideas around community building and structure. It succeeds on every level (literally and figuratively) as an exhibit capturing the human condition while aptly representing the physical need to build and construct, both our own individual identities and those spaces in which our communities physically evolve and materialize. The show is on view through August 10, 2014, open to visitors Thursdays and Fridays from 3 pm-7pm and Saturdays and Sundays 1 pm- 6 pm. On view Wednesdays by appointment and closed July 4-6 for the holidays.

The New Renaissance Kate Haveles Jun 30, 2014

Dread Scott, Stop, 2012. Courtesy of the artist. Image by Whitney Browne Photography for No Longer Empty: If You Build It at Broadway Housing Communities’ Sugar Hill Building.

No Longer Empty celebrates its 5th anniversary with If You Build It, a site-specific installation by 22 artists in Broadway Housing Communities' newest building in culturally historic Sugar Hill. Designed by David Adjaye to provide affordable housing, education and art within the community, The Sugar Hill Project serves as a very fitting space for the exhibition, which features work influenced by the historical significance of Sugar Hill but also the contemporary issues faced in the neighborhood and in other large cities.Themes of urban life, community, race, immigration, displacement, economic disparity, and home are all touched upon by the installations spread throughout the building—still in the final stages of construc-

tion, the empty apartments, lobby, balcony, and gallery space provide a uniquely intimate setting for the diverse works. Some highlights include Nari Ward’s collection of canned smiles from Sugar Hill residents (the cans are available for purchase to benefit BHC’s educational programs), Scherezade Garcia’s Cathedral/Catedral, a gold-painted altar with multi-lingual prayer cards on the building’s balcony, Dread Scott’s 2-channel video install, Stop, scrutinizing the Stop and Frisk policy and the racial profiling that often influences its enforcement, Hank Willis Thomas’ neon signs flashing split phrases that hint at shattered American dreams, and Brendan Jamison & Mark Revels collaborative project Sugar Metropolis, a small-scale

Nari Ward, Sugar Hill Smiles, 2014. Courtesy of the artist and Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York and Hong Kong. Image by Whitney Browne Photography for No Longer Empty: If You Build It at Broadway Housing Communities’

city constructed from 250,000 sugar cubes. Sonia Louise Davis has also organized weekly music events with young local talent, dubbed fittingly “new renaissance sessions.” If You Build It is now open at 155th Street and Nicholas Avenue in Harlem, New York. Stop by Wednesday-Sunday through August 10, 2014.

If You Build It: Press Highlights  

A selection of press articles received for No Longer Empty's project "If You Build It" in Sugar Hill Harlem (June 25–August 10, 2014).

If You Build It: Press Highlights  

A selection of press articles received for No Longer Empty's project "If You Build It" in Sugar Hill Harlem (June 25–August 10, 2014).