Monday, May 23, 2011

Loosely Coupled: Group Exhibition

The West Harlem Art Fund has been selected to present a summer long exhibition on Governor’s Island. Our group exhibition “Loosely Coupled” will be housed in the historic district of Nolan Park. Featured artists include Dianne Smith, Scherezade Garcia, Wayne Liu, Allen Anthony Hansen, Luke Schumacher, Colin Chase, Kristy Schopper, Iliana Emilia Garcia and Peter Goldwater.

Throughout the summer there will be special programming for children, artist talks and performances.

For more information visit
Dates and Times
Open House: Saturday, June 11, 2011 12-5PM
Opening Reception: Saturday, June 25, 2011 12-5 PM
Public Hours: Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays 12-5 PM thru September 25, 2011
Location: 17 Nolan Park

Ferry service: hourly

Free to the public

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Friday, May 13, 2011

Dangereuses: Dangereuses

Dangereuses: Dangereuses: "Dangereuses By: Elias Rafael Decena May 12 th What is danger? The defines it as an exposu..."

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Where are They?: Where are They?

Where are They?: Where are They?: "Where are They? By: Elias Rafael Decena April 29 th From one place to another: After a week or two of my roa..."

By: Elias Rafael Decena

April 29th

From one place to another: After a week or two of my roaming around DUMBO, I went to check out LIC. Ms. Savonna Bailey-McClain together with the whole West Harlem Art Fund Team is on the near-end process of having the Art Tours around New York and one of the destinations is on Long Island City, the reason why I came.

Just a few steps away from The Holiday Inn hotel, where we’re supposed to meet, stands the Fisher Landau Gallery. The gallery was named after Emily Fisher and one not so typical-looking when one view it outside. It’s like an ordinary business building or something. With lots of time to spare I went to check it out only to find out that it was closed for the day *sad*. Why do I always go at the wrong time? *think* Posted on the door of the gallery was a notice saying “2011 MFA Thesis Exhibition. Columbia University School of the Arts” “May 1-22” Dang it! Just a few days away! I should’ve come here on Monday. I felt this deep regret while I was looking at my Metrocard, thinking that it only has $2 on it, just enough to get me home from there *grrrrr*. So I have to refill my card to be able to come back here and that means $20 I love you goodbye! J

May 2nd

“We sometimes encounter people, even perfect strangers, who begin to interest us at first sight, somehow suddenly, all at once, before a word has been spoken”

-Fydor Dostoevsky, Russian Writer

I think it’s going to be a pretty crowded place if I had gotten back here at LIC on the 1st of May for the exhibition’s first day, so I chose this day, a day after, to check out what these students of the university has for the audience. And of course, this will be an opportunity for me to interview some of them for my story-blog. *entering the gallery*

Receptionist: Hi how are you?

Me: I’m good how are you? Hey, can I get some of these (pointing at the pamphlets)

Receptionist: Sure and we have another there

Me: Thank you J *why did I even ask if I could get some, it’s on the table for the people, duhhhh*

Wow! Is this a pamphlet, it’s like a manual or something, I was accustomed to pamphlets just being sheets of papers with description on them, but not like this, it’s like back to school. I opened the pages and saw the list of the names of the students who are supposed to exhibit their work on respective dates. This is a lot! So much for reading, I entered the gallery hall where the art-works are displayed. I was alone, completely alone that I could almost hear the sound of my breathing. Where are they? Still, I proceeded and wandered.

Compared to the galleries of DUMBO, the Fisher Landau gallery, in my perspective, has a select work of art displayed. Given that this is a thesis exhibition for master of fine arts students, one can distinguish that only a number of art is given space inside. Maybe because of the number of students exhibiting their work and the gallery has no space enough for them or the gallery just picks its choice that I don’t know.

It was all very new to me; I had this feeling even before I had seen the work inside this gallery. It’s as if the place had spoken to me of what kind of gallery the fisher Landau is going to be, even before I get a first-hand look at it. I guess this is what staying in DUMBO for two weeks does to someone who always spend time at a crepe café beside galleries *laughs, I miss the crepe*

A variety of forms of art can be seen inside the gallery, photographs, sculptures, digitals, paintings and many more. Back at DUMBO, though I connected with the art, I never felt closer to anything like in here before. Maybe because of my age, being only 19 and writing for the promulgation of art, somehow I feel isolated with what I’m used to do. But here I felt some connection. Of course, they were CONTEMPORARY. New art which speaks to people of present age. Fresh and hot, these arts are mixtures of the influence of the past, dictates of the present and the promise of the future. Though some can be really abstract, one would know how ingenious the artists of these are. The only question I had at the time was: where are they?

I was turning my head side to side, glancing at corners, behind walls back and forth the gallery proper. I was looking for the artists, I was looking for people! So I asked the receptionist

Me: Uhhmm, excuse me, are the artists going to be here today

Receptionist: I’m not so sure, they came here yesterday, but I’m not so sure if they will come here today


So I went home, without any word of an artist featured at the gallery. But I brought home with me a feeling refreshment even though I didn’t see the artists.

Later: Osama bin Laden is dead!

People of America are all rejoicing for this momentous event. And I thought, isn’t it a little soon to celebrate even without SEEING any photo of the guy to confirm that he really is terminated?

But thinking of the time just this same day when I got to Fisher Landau.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Upcoming Friendraiser

The West Harlem Art Fund, Inc. is having a friendraiser at Covo's located at 701 W. 135th Street off 12th Avenue in West Harlem on Tuesday, May 17th. We are raising funds to support our art tours and new art installation. The West Harlem Art Fund has been approved for Governor's Island. Our installation will focus on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 and the importance of remembrance. Our selection is extremely timely given what has happened to Osama Bin Laden. Instead of war, we wish to spotlight peace. So, join us. We are accepting donations from $5 dollars to $25 dollars. Donors of $25 dollars and more will get a free art tour in LIC, DUMBO or Williamsburg.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Welcoming: Welcoming

Welcoming: Welcoming: "Welcoming By: Elias Rafael Decena April 21 st “ We must welcome the future, remembering that soon it will all be..." Here's another blog post regarding DUMBO!

By: Elias Rafael Decena

April 21st

“We must welcome the future, remembering that soon it will all be past; and we must respect the past, remembering that it was once all that was humanly possible”

-George Santayana

Days before, I was sent with an invitation to the Fellowship party of the A.I.R Gallery at Front Street, Brooklyn. It is said in the press release that 6 new women artists will be announced and introduced to the audience. Since its establishment in 1993, the A.I.R Fellowship program has helped launch the careers of over 40 women artists. Each year, the A.I.R Gallery offers six women grantees of the fellowship to exhibit their art on the gallery. I also learned that Ms. Sam Vernon was a fellowship grantee, enabling her to exhibit her “Think on it then lay it down for good” show which I had written about before (Shadows and Bridge). It’s an amazing feeling I have, knowing that I will have a first look at the artists who would, by a year later, put their art inside the A.I.R Gallery and let people be amazed and awed by their work.

I entered the gallery with much excitement for the induction of the grantees. I took a glass of red wine and sipped until the program starts. I took the sit four chairs far from the program stage and I waited until I see the faces of the artists. People started pouring in and I had no idea who the artists were from the variety of people inside the gallery; there were art enthusiasts, spectators, commoners, photographers and even business men. Seeing this scenario, I realized that art calls beyond artists and to the common people as well.

The program started with a serious ambience in the room, showing the interest of the people inside towards the grantees. The six women artists named: Aimee Burg, Bang Geul Han, Annie Ewaskio, Einat Ember, Katherine Tzu-lan Mann and Regine Romain. They were all presented to the audience and were given a chance to give a brief description of their respective works of art. It would take a year before their art is exhibited to the A.I.R Gallery but as early as this time, everyone is excited to view their work.

The fellowship party came to an end, but after I left the A.I.R Gallery, I took one last look at Sam Vernon’s exhibition. The exhibit would last only to the 23rd of April and I don’t know if I’m going to be here at DUMBO by that time, so I took one last glance at her work. “By two days time, this place where Sam Vernon’s art stands would be occupied by another” I said to myself. By the coming of next year, the art of the six new artists would be displayed inside the halls of this gallery; I asked myself “Where would this go?” looking at Vernon’s art. I looked at the faces of the people inside and saw flashes of amazement and excitement as they saw new artists welcomed by the gallery. I took another look at Vernon’s art panned my head to the people, to the artists, Vernon’s art, to and fro and I thought “It would last”. I knew then on that even when new things come, the past would never be forgotten. Maybe, as I imagined, people who welcomed Sam Vernon to this gallery had the same excitement as the people here have this night. As time goes by, her work is inculcated in their minds and in their hearts. And a year later, this day, it’s time to pass the space to new artists to spread new forms art to the people and pour lots of new inspirations with growing artists.

The fellowship program of A.I.R Gallery really has a mission: a mission for the growth of new artists, a mission for the glorification of their members and a lasting goal of perpetuating the art of which their fellows put their life on.

I went out of the gallery carrying with me old memories and foreshadows of new ones to come.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Vulnerability: Vulnerability

Vulnerability: Vulnerability: "Vulnerability By: Elias Rafael Decena April 19 th I’m here at a crepe café in DUMBO sipping a cup of coffee. It’s freezing..."