Category Archives: Visual Art

Announcing our Five Final Projects for FABLES 2014

After a competitive jury process, we have selected five finalists for the inaugural FABLES Public Art project! FABLES is a public art series produced by FABnyc to explore the Lower East Side’s living cultural heritage, rich historical legacies, and current issues in public storytelling through visual art. The five finalist artist/teams are: Lexi Bella, Tamara Gayer, Theresa Loong & Laura Nova, Levan Mindiashvili, Miguel Trelles & Juan Fernando Morales-Nazario. Semi-finalists also included Paul Brainard, Scott Simon, Greg Spielberg & Rich Tu, and Margaret Inga Wiatrowski.

FABLES artist Tamara Gayer's installation "Happiness is Easy" at Mixed Greens, NY in 2009

FABLES artist Tamara Gayer’s installation “Happiness is Easy” at Mixed Greens, NY in 2009

The first installation will open in April, with subsequent installations through August 2014, and will be a featured program of the inaugural Lower East Side History Month in May 2014. Each exhibition will be on view between one and three months at multiple locations in the neighborhood, including: Ideal Glass (East 2nd St, btw Bowery & 2nd Ave), First Street Green Park (corner of 2nd Ave & Houston St), Centre-Fuge (East 1st St, near 1st Avenue), and City Lore (56 East 1st Street).

Artists of the final projects have lived, worked, or have deep roots to the Lower East Side (LES), and have proposed pieces that draw on the stories and history of the LES and its residents. “The Lower East Side has one of the most diverse and rich cultural histories in New York City,” says Lexi Bella, an artist who will be focusing on notable, yet under recognized women of the LES. “It is my heart, my home, and the birthplace of my daughter. I am so excited to express, educate, and pay homage through my art to the great women who are the past and the future of my favorite part of NYC.”

Theresa Loong and Laura Nova met at the counter of Shopsin’s in the Essex Street Market. A restaurant known for its one of a kind chef and provocative philosophy on food, Theresa and Laura quickly connected on topics of digital media, food, and art. Feed Me a Story is the resulting collaboration, consisting of food stories gathered in part from their work at the LaGuardia Senior Center, shared with the public through visual and audio installations. “We are thrilled to be a part of the FABLES Exhibition. This project will enable us to shine a spotlight on senior citizens and reflect diverse tastes and traditions in the neighborhood.”

By applying sign vinyl directly to glass, artist Tamara Gayer is designing a new stained glass inspired storefront space on the windows of City Lore. The artist explains, “First Street between First and Second Avenue is a beautiful block, exemplary of the diversity and history that are still evident on the Lower East Side. It would be hard to find a more perfect ‘canvas’ than the windows of City Lore.”

Artistic team Miguel Trelles and Juan Fernando Morales-Nazario will bring a lively, Loisaida-centric variant of their exhibit Posters on the Wall, Our Nuyorican Story to actual walls in the neighborhood. According to the artists, the exhibit will revisit the striking and historical Nuyorican poster, “which lavishly illustrates the cosmopolitan sophistication of Puerto Rican artists in New York amalgamating traditional Puerto Rican culture with life and activism in the City.”

Levan Mindiashvili, whose project will investigate gentrification and its effects on architecture and sense of place, describes, “With the mural ‘Ghost’ I want to contribute to a raising awareness in the importance of historical heritage and outline the overwhelming expansion of gentrification and generalization in the contemporary world.”

Updates, progress and further information can be found by contacting or by visiting

This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts/ Art Works and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in participation with The City Council. FABLES is presented in celebration of LES History month, the inaugural celebration of the rich and diverse history of the LES, taking place during May.

9 Semi-Finalists for FABLES

FABnyc announces 9 Semi-Finalists for FABLES Public Art Program

 FABnyc is pleased to announce these nine projects semi-finalist projects as selected by our jury:

Lexi Bella
Paul Brainard
Tamara Gayer
Theresa Loong & Laura Nova
Levan Mindiashvili
Simon Scott
Greg Spielberg & Rich Tu
Miguel Trelles, with Juan Fernando Morales-Nazario
Margaret Inga Wiatrowski

Finalists will be announced Monday, February 24th after consideration of additional information from the semi-finalist artists. FABnyc would like to thank all the applicants and our FABLES jurors: John Bowman, Molly Garfinkel, Legacy Russell, and Ethan Vogt.

photo © Jaime Rojo

“Adios Amigos” by Raul Ayala in the Extra Place Alley; Photo © Jaime Rojo, courtesy of

FABLES is a public art opportunity for artists to explore the Lower East Side’s living cultural heritage, rich historical legacies, and current issues in public storytelling through visual art. The first exhibition will launch in April 2014, with subsequent exhibitions opening monthly through August 2014. Each exhibition will be on view between one and three months.

 This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts/ Art Works and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in participation with The City Council.

Announcing “FABLES” – 2014 Public Art Project OPEN CALL / RFP

Fourth Arts Block (FABnyc) is pleased to announce “FABLES,” a public art opportunity for artists to explore the Lower East Side’s living cultural heritage, rich historical legacies, and current issues in public storytelling through visual art.

  • Four to five artists (or artist teams) will be selected through an open call process,by a panel of jurors, to produce murals located in outdoor sites throughout the Lower East Side neighborhood.
  • Project and artist selection will be based upon artistic quality, merit and appeal of content, connection to the community, feasibility of implementation, and contribution to public discourse.
  • Each selected artist will receive between $1,500 to $2,500 as a combined artist fee and production budget.
  • The first FABLES exhibition will launch in April 2014.
  • Each artwork will be exhibited for between 1 and 3 months, and will open within several weeks of each other, creating a 3-month period of sequential public exhibition launches.
Image Detail: Udom Surangsophon "Saints of the Lower East Side" with works by Tom Sanford; Curated by Keith Schweitzer & Presented by FABnyc

Image Detail: Udom Surangsophon
“Saints of the Lower East Side” with works by Tom Sanford; Curated by Keith Schweitzer & Presented by FABnyc

Applicant artists should live, work and/or have deep roots in the LES. Ideal applicants should be invested in a story collecting or investigative process that will delve deeply into the neighborhood’s legacy and/or current culture. Exhibits should contribute to community identity and sense of place, drawing on the stories of the LES and its residents. This may include memorable cultural experiences, local traditions and collaborations, vanished cultural traditions, new beginnings, or underground movements.

Artwork proposals can include: murals, collages, wheat pastes or other flat medium. In some cases, we would consider interactive new media or projections.

Applications are to be submitted by filling out the form provided at the following website.

Note: Feasibility (budgetary, logistical, and otherwise) and permitting requirements will be additional criteria by which proposals will be evaluated. Please be realistic with your proposals. Locations and details subject to change. Artists must be available to produce the exhibition on site during Spring/Summer 2014.

Submission Deadline: 12/13/2013 Extended to 1/2/14!
Finalists Announced:1/31/2014
Project Development: 2/2014-4/2014
Exhibition Period: 4/2014-07/2014

FABnyc Director:Tamara Greenfield
Public Art Director: Keith Schweitzer
Jurors: Legacy Russell, Ethan Vogt, John Bowman, Molly Garfinkel

Potential Locations:
Extra Place (East 1st St, btw Bowery & 2nd Ave)
Ideal Glass (East 2nd St, btw Bowery & 2nd Ave)
La MaMa Arcade (East 3rd St, btw Bowery & 2nd Ave)
First Street Green Park (corner of 2nd Ave & Houston St)
Centre-Fuge (East 1st St, near 1st Avenue)

This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts/ Art Works. This program is also supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in participation with The City Council.

More information and full Request for Proposals available here:

Load OUT! Lesson #2 from Fantasy Grandma

Halloween is tonight, and the holiday season is just around the corner. It’s a time for creativity (costumes, presents, parties!), but it’s also a time of massive consumption in our culture.

Do you know what that means? Lots, and lots, and lots of WASTE! Luckily, FABnyc had Myrtle J and Jane B of the band Fantasy Grandma explain some of the less commonly known recycling rules that will help us all cut down on the amount of waste we send to landfill….

Fantasy Grandma

Fantasy Grandma

In Load OUT! Lesson #1, we gave you some beginner recycling insights from Fantasy Grandma – but that was just the tip of the iceberg. Get the full scoop here:

If you’re curious and want to know more, come by our Load OUT! event on Nov. 2nd from 12-3PM and learn more recycling rules from our partner, GrowNYC! We’ll also be accepting donations of gently used materials at this event, so if you’d like to offload some of your “junk” for responsible reuse or recycling at Load OUT!, find out more HERE!

Load OUT! Lesson #1 from Fantasy Grandma

As you may know, FABnyc is a big supporter of sustainability and the arts. We’re always looking for ways to both increase sustainable best practices in our artistic community, and also to engage artists in developing new ways to facilitate sustainable behaviors.

So, in preparation for Load OUT! (11/2), our biannual recycling and reuse extravaganza, we had two super creative ladies from the band Fantasy Grandma explain some of NYC’s basic recycling rules.

Fantasy Grandma

If you think this is an easy task, think again. It’s certainly fitting that lesson #1 from the Fantasy Grandmas is DON’T automatically assume you know everything about what can and can’t be recycled…

The rules are more complicated than you might suspect, for a number of reasons that we won’t go into here; and if you’re someone who has moved to NYC from another state, like many of us at FABnyc, throw everything you think you know about recycling out the window.

For example, did you know that this is the first year in NYC that rigid plastics can be recycled? That’s right! You can now throw all your plastic cups, plastic toys, plastic anything… that’s rigid*. YAY!!!!

Fantasy Grandma elaborates…

If you’re curious and want to know more, come by our Load OUT! event on Nov. 2nd from 12-3PM and learn more recycling rules from our partner, GrowNYC.

*Previously, any plastic item without a “neck” had to be tossed into the trash. Gross, right?!

What can be Found at Load OUT! Fall 2013

In 2010, FABnyc noticed that local theaters were “loading out” sets and materials directly into dumpsters after productions ended their runs. Not only were the materials being disposed of inefficiently and unsustainably, but were often of great value to other artists.

Photo by Whitney Browne

Photo by Whitney Browne

As a creative response, FABnyc initiated “Load OUT!” inviting neighborhood arts and cultural groups, non-profits, and community members to donate sets, costumes, props and office equipment they no longer needed, to be made available to other artists. The program has grown, now including textile and e-waste collection for the entire community. Hundreds of artists and residents have benefited, either through collecting the lightly used materials or by donating items they no longer need or want, and thus far nearly 46 tons of materials have been diverted from the waste stream.

This Fall, Load OUT! will take place Saturday, November 2, 2013 from 12-3PM at 11 East 3rd Street, Between Bowery and 2nd Avenue. Admission to Load OUT! is FREE  for artists and art students, and $5 for the general public.

As of now, our list of donations for the taking includes: large fabric bolts, padded stools, plastic molded chairs, metal garden chairs, filing cabinets, floor board, children’s toys, paired shoes, belts, lamps, metal lunch box, gently used hand bags, and more. We hope you can make it!

Call for Donations: “Load OUT!” Unwanted Materials

Load OUT! Fall 2013

Help us divert valuable material from the waste stream.

You are invited to DONATE: Costumes, clothing, textiles, books, props, furniture, and electronics to Load OUT!, a creative recycling, re-use & repurposing event with FABnyc:

Saturday, November 2, 2013 from 12-3PM @ 11 E. 3rd St.

Donated items should be dropped off at 19 E. 3rd St. on Friday, November 1st between 10AM-6PM. Drop off is free, but you must schedule an appointment with FABnyc to do so.

If you would like to donate to this event or to learn more, please contact Hannah Gorback at or call 212.228.4670.

At Load OUT!, artists and community members are invited to take home items for their next artistic endeavor…

Unclaimed items will be collected for reuse and repurposing by our partners: Film Biz Recycling, GrowNYC, Wearable Collections, Lower East Side Ecology Center, and the NYC Department of Sanitation.

Learn more here!

Photos by Whitney Browne

Celebrating Ukrainian Heritage at the FAB! Festival

 khatka (village house) photo boothFABnyc is proud to celebrate the East Village’s local Ukrainian cultural and heritage at the 2013 FAB! Festival. The Ukrainian Museum will be on site with their khatka (village house) photo booth where attendees can get their snapshots taken in traditional Ukrainian garb.

Additionally, Ukrainian artist Yuliya Skurska will be on site presenting “Culture Sanctuary” a multi-media installation that asks us to consider our roots. Yuliya draws inspiration for “Culture Sanctuary” from Stepanci, a Ukrainian village where her grandparents live. According to Yuliya, every Ukrainian’s roots stem from small villages just like this one. These villages shrink in size as factories take over farmland and children move toward cities, but their culture spreads across vast geographic bounds.

Yuliya employs sound, writing and tactile material to create an ethereal and interactive piece. She asks visitors to contribute their own culture to the work by revisiting their roots and sharing their joyful memories.

See a teaser below, and be sure to join us for the festival on 9/28/13!

Culture Sanctuary (teaser) from Yuliya on Vimeo.

FAB Minute: Make it Happy

Mario Chamorro, Founder and Executive Director of Make it Happy dropped by FABnyc to chat about the activity his happiness team will be presenting at the FAB! Festival. Recently, Mario and the Make it Happy Team participated in a compelling week long site-specific exhibition as part of FABnyc’s SUSTAIN project. Drop by his booth on 9/28/13 at the FAB! Festival to learn a little more about his work!

“Good Morning!” A Kaleidoscopic Unveiling on East 4th Street

Good Morning On September 28th visitors to the 10th Annual FAB! Festival on East 4th Street will be in for a surprising treat on their jaunt down the block. The once grey façade of the 70 East 4th Street Cultural Center will be temporarily tucked behind yards and yards of colorful fabric, stretching from top to bottom. This yet-to-be rainbow textile sculpture, entitled “Good Morning,” is the brainchild of sculpture artist Amanda Browder.

Over the past few months, Browder recruited an arsenal of dedicated volunteers to help her sew the work to fruition during “Public Sewing Days.” Seamstresses included senior citizens and volunteers from the JASA Center, near the exhibition location on East 5th and Bowery. According to Browder, “Good Morning!” is a metaphor for the people who wish to work together to make a large-scale gesture in the neighborhood. With generous support from the Rockefeller Cultural Innovation Fund, FABnyc, a community-based arts service organization, has commissioned Amanda Browder to make this installation as part of their SUSTAIN project.

Over the course of 2012-2014 FABnyc and their partner, Cooper Union Institute for Sustainable Design, have been looking at the interconnected needs of residents, small businesses, nonprofits, and artists, in order to develop creative solutions to the complex challenges of urban sustainability. As a part of this, the organization seeks to engage a cross-section of community members in creative reuse and activities that illuminate the benefits of reuse and shine a critical light on consumption and waste. Browder, with her charismatic and fearless approach to sculpture and community engagement, is emblematic of ways that FABnyc seeks to activate individuals through this project.-2

Browder’s work could not, however, be installed without the generous partnership of Downtown Art and Alpha Omega Theatrical Dance Company—owners of 70 East 4th Street Cultural Center, who are integral members of the unique cultural fabric of East 4th Street and have show remarkable support for the project.

Browder’s work will be unveiled at the 10th Annual FAB! Festival alongside numerous other projects and activities offered by partners in the SUSTAIN project. Come see this epitome of neighborhood collaboration on September 28th from 1-5PM on East 4th Street between 2nd Avenue and Bowery.

Images courtesy of Amanda Browder & taken in the gymnasium of the 14th St. Y