SOURCE: The West Harlem Art Fund, Inc.

October 08, 2008 23:42 ET

Public Art Is Taking Center Stage This Fall With the Hallelujah - Public Art Fest

Making Life Artful... on Broadway

WEST HARLEM, NY--(Marketwire - October 8, 2008) - Beginning October 18th through November 12th, several window installations, digital projections, local tours and events will take center stage uptown. The West Harlem Art Fund will again offer its successful Hallelujah - Harlem Public Art Fest.

In 2006, the West Harlem Art Fund placed sculptural works in park settings and digital projections that were site specific in Central and West Harlem. This year the organization will offer installations in West Harlem and Washington Heights that do not freeze time like a painting or sculpture, but offer an experience that surrounds the viewer.

West Harlem and Washington Heights are experiencing a transformation -- new restaurants, waterfront developments, housing. Art will lead the way for a vision for Broadway that will offer more trees, retail, plazas, culture and tourism.

Installations will include a "pop-up-shop" for emerging designers. The space will house up to three emerging designers per weekend selling their wares on both Saturday and Sunday. The space is being organized by Enyinne Owunwanne, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Heat Indx. She is an active advocate for promoting arts in the West Harlem community. Enyinne Owunwanne most recently organized a shopping event this past May, the Uptown Emerging Designers Market, which drew in a crowd of over 1,000 consumers from Harlem and beyond. The event was such a success that the NY Times soon after deemed the Uptown Emerging Designers Market as Harlem's newest fashion retail destination! Enyinne will be launching the The Heat Indx Mrkt in December, in an effort to bolster community support of local emerging designers.

Floral installations will be designed by Tara Simone Powell, Principal owner of Barbara's Flowers that create special events floral arrangements and installations for many midtown corporate and fashion artists. Digital works will spotlight British artist Sandor Camille and East Harlem's Julio Valdez on 12th Avenue along Harlem's new restaurant row. Sandor Camille, whose formidable work includes large-scale portraits of Heavyweight Champions, owes as much to the influence of post 1950 American abstract painters as to British figurative masters like Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud. Sandor Camille has focused his efforts on bridging the gap between modern contemporary art and the common man. Art can be intimidating and imposing -- Camille has endeavored to create a point of entry for all who are interested.

Julio Valdez's water images references his childhood memories of the Caribbean, as well as contemporary issues of displacement and cultural identity. Both projections are supported by the NYC Department of Transportation and the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation.

Vantage Properties, the main sponsor of this event has donated five street level commercial spaces for this festival. Neil Rubler, President and CEO of Vantage Properties, LLC said: "As a major investor and believer in the future of Harlem and Washington Heights, Vantage is particularly thrilled to participate in this exciting celebration of Uptown arts and culture. We have always believed that neighborhoods are most vibrant when there is dynamic activity at street level, and for this reason, we are particularly pleased that our storefronts will be put to great use displaying wonderful works of art to be enjoyed by local residents and visitors alike."

The West Harlem Art Fund has been in the forefront of transforming Northern Manhattan using art and culture. On the heels of a community planning process, the West Harlem Art Fund received a $475,000 Environmental Protection Fund award to recommend streetscape improvements on upper Broadway and develop a cultural corridor plan in partnership with the Office of the Manhattan Borough President and the NY Department of State as well as a NY Main Street grant and Preservation League of NY award totaling $127,000 combined to nominate Upper Broadway to the National Registry and enhance storefront facades.

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