The Artists at Bleecker Street
June 15, 2009 § 25 Comments
The long winding Bleecker Street manages quite an impressive split squat through the heart of Greenwich Village. And if you walk through it’s length, you can be sure you will experience quite a cross-section of the Village life, without much ado.
My trip last Sunday, was an exception of sorts. An inviting street fair adorned most of Bleecker St., with myriad artists showcasing their creative work. I enjoy street fairs, and when I chanced upon this one, I certainly could not turn away.
When I reached Bleecker street, it was late morning, the clouds hung low, and the mood seemed a bit somber. And then, just after noon, the overcast sky began to give way, and the sun streamed in bringing with it the much awaited and bustling New Yorkers.
Take a seat, and watch this lively kaleidoscope of grassroots artists unfold right here, straight from the Village.
Crafts, jewelry, ceramics, paintings, photographs and myriad wares lined the street in white tents. Groups of friends, families, loners and dog-owners occupied the rest.
I jumped right in. And I invite you to do so too!
(Pssst…click on the artists’ names to check out their websites/ work)
Two artists worked together to create these beautiful pieces. Scott’s antique milk bottles with Dolhathai’s art.
A painter who expresses illusions by superimposing abstract emotions over architectural realism.
A much loved Street Photographer who photographed this city in the 1960s and 70s. He passed away in 1986, and his son, Ned Otter, continues to share his father’s beloved legacy with us.
A hands on, mind boggling craftsman. His machinations of watches, clocks, kaleidoscopes and pictures of an era bygone, intrigued me to no end. (There is no website link available. I do have contact info if you are interested.)
Here is a photographer that takes her impressions of the city and moulds them into jewelry and mosaic mirrors!
A sculptor who uses her talents to design jewelry. Her work is exquisite, and evident of her desire for perfection.
Dudley etches and paints glass with amazing beauty. These vases seemed to hold on to worlds of their own. I was gazing for a long time (Really, almost forgot to shoot). Website link not available, I do have contact info to share.
A ceramic artist with a penchant for all things porcelain. Fabulous detail, textures and abstract art.
This duo was loving the sun amidst crunchy apples and piles of fun Tees to go! Check out the super cool garb, while I take a peek at their sidewalk stash!
Those were the artists that caught my eye and I am glad they stayed on in my images. (What caught your fancy?)
Most artists I met, lived in Brooklyn (Ah, that place again! A sign that I will be heading there soon!), some came from upstate New York, and a few came all the way from…wherever that is :)
Wait…what about the people and the festivities? Or some candid reflections? Here is a photo series of the different moods of Bleecker Street on this fair Sunday afternoon:
The Moods at Bleecker Street
And so after dusk, the Artists at Bleecker Street had packed up and left. I promised to stay in touch, and I knew then, that you would enjoy reaching out to them too. Go on then, explore their world.
Yeah, I had a great weekend too. Alright now, let’s hear from you!
*A Note for Artists and supporters of Art on NYC Streets*
Although this was an organized street fair, and not your typical Street Art scene, a conversation with Ned Otter reminded me of the many battles artists have fought to retain their freedom of expression on the streets of NYC. Thanks to the combined efforts of A.R.T.I.S.T. (Artists’ Response to Illegal State Tactics) and many aware New Yorkers, it was in 1996 that artists won their right for freedom of expression: to display and sell their work on NYC streets, without having to acquire a vending license. Or being afraid of getting arrested on behest of shop owners and organized business groups, who were (and still are) intent on proclaiming their proprietary right on this city’s public sidewalks! This battle is really far from over. The BIDs (Business Development Districts) are constantly coming up with ways to limit vending in public areas, threatening to hurt this fragile community that we should cherish and nurture instead.
A current legislative proposal in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, will push all street vendors (including artists), off of most of the commercial 5th Avenue stretch, and on to specific side streets and fixed locations. If you are interested in reading more, check this informative discussion in the comments section of The Sunset Park Sidewalk Clash, a news post at Indypendent.org. The comments I am referring to, follow the main article. Robert Lederman’s responses, and the discourse that follows with the readers, etches the details of this issue quite vividly.
If you would like to help shape a positive future for Art on the streets of NYC, you can join the A.R.T.I.S.T group by sending a blank email to NYCStreetArtists-subscribe@YahooGroups.com. You will contribute just by lending your support and spreading awareness for the cause. Once you join the group, you will have access to a detailed history and the current goings-on on this issue. If you are interested in sharing or exchanging more information with me on this ongoing fight for the NYC Artists’ First Amendment rights, pls do leave me a note. Thanks.
– The Juicer at work