The block is hot

Here are a couple of things happening on blocks around New York.

On Fifth Avenue

Detail of "The Block" (1971) by Romare Bearden. Cut and pasted printed, colored and metallic papers, photostats, graphite, ink marker, gouache, watercolor, and ink on Masonite. (48" x 216") on view through January 2, 2012 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

On Fifth Avenue, take a rare look at Romare Bearden’s epic collage, ‘The Block,” a series of six panels depicting buildings and storefronts on Lenox Avenue between 132nd and 133rd Streets. The 18-foot-long collage is on view in the gallery between the Michael C. Rockefeller and the Linda Acheson Wallace wings (Gallery #399) , on the museum’s 1st floor, to celebrate the centennial of the artist’s birth. Since the work is composed largely of paper, which is sensitive to fading, it is only displayed briefly and then must be stored.

The museum has prepared an excellent resource for teachers and others who want to learn more about Bearden and “The Block.” It includes a “looking” feature which allows you to zoom in very closely to details and a slideshow narrated by Lisa Messinger, a Met curator.

According to the Wall Street Journal, “The Block” can only be displayed a “few months at a time, every five or so years. It is worth a special trip just to see it.”

In Williamsburg

Magda Sayeg's team creating a knitted installation under the Williamsburg Bridge Tuesday

On a different block, Kent Avenue between South 5th and 6th Streets, Williamsburg, Magda Sayeg’s knitted installation “Plan Ahead” is on view. You may have seen Sayeg’s work in the New York Times earlier this summer. You should see it for yourself, under the Williamsburg Bridge, according to the NYC Department of Transportation Urban Art Program website, the installation could be on view for 11 months.  (The “Sidewalk Catwalk” mannequins you may have noticed in the warehouse were partly sponsored by the NYC DOT Urban Art Program). In addition to the Urban Art Program, MFTA recipients North Brooklyn Public Art Coalition and Open Space Alliance for North Brooklyn helped organize Sayeg’s installation.

At Materials for the Arts

A teacher's weaving that incorporates free materials from the warehouse and uses a cardboard box for a loom

We’re helping tons of NYC public teachers get ready for the upcoming school year by providing free supplies to their schools. Our dedicated volunteers have filled the warehouse with displays featuring project ideas for many of the commonly-found items in the warehouse. The Education Center at Materials for the Arts has offered a Reuse Art Booth during shopping, teaching our recipients how to make books out of envelopes. The pictures above and below are from MFTA’s P credit classes, which show teachers how to use readily-available materials and items from the warehouse to teach the Common Core Standards.

A collage takes shape during an MFTA workshop

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One Response to The block is hot

  1. Pingback: Creative Reuse: From the Studio Museum to our classrooms | Materials for the Arts

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