Graffiti and hip hop set up the art scene in the Bronx during the 1980s. However, Bronx art expanded outside of graffiti through time. In the past 10 years, more and more art spaces and galleries popped up through out the borough. These spaces created environments for Bronx communities and artist to connect, unite, and raise awareness about their work. Gentrification was also brought up in this conversation as well. The big question Bronx natives involved in the art world face is how can they make BX art and culture thrive without attracting real estate investors. Either way, Bronx artists continue to represent their borough through their work and make the BX art scene rise.
Video edited and shot by me, Kiara Ventura
Last month, I worked on a major project with my close friend and upcoming artist, Nicole Bello. I had the pleasure of curating her first art show which took place at her apartment on April 29th 2016 in the Bronx. Since this event was her opening debut as a painter, I wanted to emphasize the tool of the paintbrush so I hung about 50 paintbrushes from the ceiling using clear string and tape. I utilized her living room TV by displaying the exhibition opening text and a slideshow of Bello working on her pieces. On the other side of the room, I set a Photo Booth area where the visitors can have fun posing for the camera with a poster saying "BELLO AME" that served as their background.
The works that were exhibited revolved around the conversations the artist, Nicole Bello, had with friends. The show also featured open mic performances and ended off with bids on the pieces. Overall, the show was successful considering that out of 16 works, 14 were sold.
In addition, this event simultaneously prepared Bello for her next art show at the end of June called, "Confessions." With the help of Bello and her manager, Nelson Medina, we set a huge whiteboard in the bathroom and small boxes with pieces of paper beside them to invite the visitors to anonomously write down their deepest secrets. Bello is now in the process of painting these secrets and attempting to communicate these secrets in a visual form. Just like her first show, Bello is attracted to making her works participatory.
As an aspiring curator, I noticed that while I was putting together this event, I was simply excited and content. That`s how I knew that I would like to work on more events like this in the future. It was a pleasure to collaborate with Nicole Bello and we are currently planning more shows for Summer 2016.
As for now, please enjoy a video recap of the Bello Ame art show below. Thanks for reading!