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North River Arts!


East River

Hudson River

Our two rivers offer amazing views but also great human and maritime stories. Though the spaces along these two rivers have modernized, we cannot afford to neglect their physical care nor limit programming that will benefit its local residents. Therefore, the West Harlem Art Fund is proposing an arts conservancy inspired by the 2005 and 2008 Take Me to the River Study for West Harlem, that would begin from 125th Street to the tip of the island and public art programming on the East River in partnership with the Friends of the East River Esplanade. Such a bold initiative would improve safety, increase public engagement and volunteerism.

What will it take to realize this public art initiative?  Formal support from the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation and the NYC Department of Transportation’s temporary public art programs, special events office for public design, installations and collaborative performances.  Assisting artists with comprehensive general liability insurance for public works whether visual or performance  Assisting artists and groups with engineering services or infrastructure surveys  Marketing support and collaborative campaigns with NYC & Co.

We could be like Berlin right now!

We could have art like Brooklyn Bridge Park or Fund for Park Avenue

Attracting local, national & international talent

A proposed Hudson River Project

Sung Min Lee


Sculpted Fabric Mounds

URBAN ART INTERVENTION 더 미 is a site specific intervention in Riverside Park North that incorporates the neighboring land and its population. The artist is a newcomer to West Harlem and a Buddhist. Her belief system seeks out balance and connectivity – ying and yang – life and death – unlimited possibilities where there is no beginning or end. Eight sculpted fabric mounds will be made out of traditional Korean cotton fabric along with the traditional fabrics from Mexico, Africa, China and the Middle East – where many of her neighbors originated from. The materials represent how the artist is blending her life and cultural experiences with others in her new home. Using the rock formations located in Riverside Park North, on both sides of the walking/biking path from 145th Street to 148th Street, Lee will shape her circular mounds with braided fabric and Korean red thread. Rock art dates back 50,000 years and have spanned the continents of Africa, Europe and Australasia. This art form can be found across a wide geographical and various cultures to perhaps to mark territory, to record historical events or stories or to help enact rituals.

Let’s start History of Textile Fibers Traditionally, natural fibers have been used in all cultures for making utilitarian products. Different parts of the plant are used. Fibers can be extracted from the bark (banana, jute, hemp, ramie), stem (banana, palm, bamboo), leaf (palm, screw pine, sisal, agave), husk (coir), seeds (cotton), and grass (sikki, madhurkati, benakati, munj). Animal fibers are obtained from a variety of animal coats, and insect fibers from cocoons. Even before the arrival of man-made fibers, manufacturers could create hundreds of different kinds of fabrics, differing mainly by fiber content, weight, style of weave, or sheen.   About the Artist Lee was born in Seoul, Korea in 1976, but now currently lives and works in New York City. She received a BFA from the Chugye University for the Arts in 2001, a Post Baccalaureate from Maryland Institute College of Art and Design in Maryland in 2007 and her MFA from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 2010. According to Lee, “when I was a child, I always drew and made images on all of the walls in my house. It was an expression of what I felt at the moment; I was trying to fine myself through art. These memories and experiences made me continue doing my artwork, making a bridge to put my artistic practice of seeing, feeling, observing and thinking.” Lee has had a residency and a group show at NY Studio Gallery in Lower Manhattan in 2009, served as a curator at Gallery R, shown her work in South Korea and currently has a residency in Harlem.

A proposed East River Project BALANCING ACT created by Scherezade Garcia would be placed on the grassy areas along the East River Esplanade from 60th Street to approximately 70th Street. This is urban intervention would be made out of molds using vintage school furniture, books and other objects. By spraying found school furniture and objects into piles with silver paint, alluding to the concept of the "silver spoon", the artist intends to visually post a commentary about education in our city. The intervention asks the question, is education a right or privilege, and for whom? Parents and teachers are constantly juggling to make classroom experience meaningful and innovative. The same can be said for most community development efforts. How can a community bring balance to the social and economic needs of its members. About the Artist SCHEREZADE GARCIA has been involved in the Arts for as long as she can remember. Her drawings are her memories. These drawings are visual interpretations of her surroundings, for example, sounds and movements of daily life. As a very young child, she showed great promise as an artist, so her parents enrolled her in Art school. She was fortunate to study under two very special and talented painters, Don Elias Delgado and Nidia Serra. Scherezade, born in the Dominican Republic (Oct 1966) has lived in New York since arrived to study in 1986. Her work frequently evokes memories of faraway home and the hopes and dreams that accompany planting roots in a new land. Her solo exhibitions include “Paradise redefined� at Lehman College Art Gallery, Bronx, NY; Island of many Gods at the Salena Gallery, Long Island University, Brooklyn, NY; Souvenir at The Jersey City Museum, Jersey City, NJ; Stories of Fallen Angels, museo de Arte Moderno, Santo Domingo, DR; Mary Anthony Gallery and Leonora Vega Gallery, NYC.

Imagine Her work has been included in numerous group exhibitions including “Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art”, Smithsonian American Art Museum , “This Side of Paradise-No Longer Empty“, Bronx, NY, This Skin I’m in; Contemporary Dominican Art from El Museo del Barrio’s permanent collection and Merengue! Visual Rhythms also at El Museo del Barrio, NY, NY; The Caribbean Abroad; Contemporary Arts and Latino Migration, Newark Museum of Art, Newark, NJ. Scherezade lives with her husband, NYC photographer William Vazquez, and her two budding artist daughters, Gabrielle and Montserrat in Brooklyn, NY, where she also has her studio. About the Lead Organization THE WEST HARLEM ART FUND is a sixteen year old public arts organization. WHAF has produced numerous exhibitions and special events with artists and creative professionals wishing to share their talent with residents around the city. Public art for the West Harlem Art Fund has included traditional exhibitions, digital installations, storefront windows and live performances. WHAF encourages audiences to not only think outside of the box – but to live outside the box. Our heritage symbol is the double crocodile from West Africa -- Funtunmmireku-Denkyemmirreku which means unity in diversity.   About the Lead Curator SAVONA BAILEY-MCCLAIN currently lives and works in New York City. She is an independent curator, producer and preservation advocate. The range of McClain’s practice has included sculpture, drawings, performance, sound, and mixed media. McClain is the Executive Director and Chief Curator for The West Harlem Art Fund, Inc. a fifteen year old public art organization and curatorial collective serving neighborhoods around the City. Her public art installations have been seen in the New York Times, NY Daily News, Art Daily, Artnet Magazine, Los Angeles Times, DNAinfo, Huffington Post among others. McClain strives for a soulful, meaningful connection with the public and the “arts”. It simply has to be approachable as far as she is concerned. McClain has installed at Times Square, DUMBO, Soho, NoLita, Williamsburg, Governors Island, Queens, Greater Harlem (East, Central and West), Chelsea, the Bronx and East Harlem. McClain has a liberal arts degree from the University of Pittsburgh.

Current East Side/West Side

Past works

Past works


Presented Artists & Neighborhoods

Bronx L.W. Antonius, Alta Berri, Linda Byrne, Thomas Callahan, Marco Castro, Robin Kang, Suprina Kenney, Jongil Ma, Tomo Mori, Anca Pedvisocar, Roberto Sandoval, Chris Smith, Dianne Smith, Nancy Steinson, Rex Kalehoff Chelsea Illiana Emilia Garcia DUMBO Patrick Singh Governor’s Island Dianne Smith, Scherezade Garcia, Wayne Liu, Allen Anthony Hansen, Luke Schumacher, Colin Chase, Kurt Goodrich, Iliana Emilia Garcia Ina Archer and Peter Goldwater Harlem (East, Central, West) Richard Gonzalez, Juan Manuel Mansilla, Jimena Leiva Roesch, Kyu Seok Oh, Scherezade Garcia, Marcie Revens, Barbara Siegel, Luisa Caldwell, Robert Hickman Florencio Gelabert, Dianne Smith, Kirsten Campbell, Sandor Camille Julio Valdez, Badder Israel, Iliana Emilia Garcia, Pearl Perkins, Raul Ayala, Tyson Hall

Jackson Heights Kenjiro Kitade

Lower Manhattan/TriBeCa Patrick Singh Scherezade Garcia

NoLita Nora Mae Carmichael

Times Square Kyu Seok Oh

Washington Heights Aimee Miller, Dianne Smith, Barry Charles Johnson, Gail Shaw Clemons, Karen Leon Aponte, Kenneth LeRitchie, Aleathia Brown, Stephen Beveridge, Mark Kang-O’Higgins, Hosea Johnson, Percy Cardona, Angel Chevrett, Jose Columna, George Crespo, Daniel Del Valle, Reuben King, Luanda Lozada, Joseph Whippler, Lady Bird Johnson, Vladimir Ginzburg, Carlton Murrell, Clymenza Hawkins, Soraya Marcano, Doug Quackenbush, Rudy Guiterrez, Laura James, James Best

Williamsburg Sai Morikawa

Artist statistics: 32% Latino descent; 30% African descent ; 30% Caucasian descent; 8% Asian. Half of the artists presented lived in Northern Manhattan.

North river2  

Public art strategy along the Hudson River from 125th Street to Inwood and from the Upper East Side to East Harlem along the East River

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