Monday, February 13, 2012

Harlem Fine Arts Fair

A snowy scene by Lenore Brown at the Harlem Fine Arts Fair.
Harlem Fine Arts Fair
Friday, February 10, 2011

by Delia von Neuschatz

The opening preview for the Harlem Fine Arts Show was held on Friday night at the historic Riverside Church at 120th Street and Riverside Drive. Founded by Dion Clark the Harlem Fine Arts Show, now in its third year, is a leading showcase for modern and contemporary African Diasporic art.

Over 100 artists of African and Hispanic descent, from a myriad of countries, including Ghana, England, Germany, France, Jamaica, Puerto Rico and Brazil, were represented at the Show. A portion of the proceeds of the opening reception, hosted by author and restaurateur B. Smith, and her husband Dan Gasby, will benefit local charities, which include the Double Discovery Program at Columbia University and National Cares Mentoring Movement (NCMM).
The Neo-Gothic, cathedral-like Riverside Church is the tallest church in the United States. Inspired by the 13th century Gothic Chartres Cathedral in France, the interdisciplinary church was built in the 1920s with the financial backing of John D. Rockefeller, Jr. 
Over the decades, Riverside Church has functioned as an important religious and political center.  Past speakers at the pulpit have included Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mandela, Fidel Castro and Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan. The church is also a venue for a popular series of concerts.
Stairway at Riverside Church.
HFAS exhibition salon.
Exhibition hall at Riverside Church.
Ornate ceiling and art in exhibition hall at Riverside Church.
Prominent artists at the show include 36-year-old Haitian, Hérold Alvares, who was born without arms and who has painted since the age of 12 using his mouth and toes.
Herold Alvares at work. Photo: Jasmin Ortiz.
There is also George Nock, a former running back with the New York Jets and the Washington Redskins. This self-taught artist is multi-faceted, talented at painting, drawing and sculpting. His bronze sculptures are highly acclaimed.

Another versatile artist is New York native Arnold Sobers. His bold, graphic canvases catch the eye but it is his hyper-realistic graphite and ink drawings for which he is known. His work has been exhibited in Senegal, Mali, Indonesia, New York City, Belgium, and The Netherlands.
Man from Ghana by Arnold Sobers. Woman from Ghana by Arnold Sobers.
James Van Der Zee (1886 – 1983) represented at the Show by his widow, Donna, was a photographer best known for documenting the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s, 30s and 40s. He photographed his subjects with one of those large 8 x 10 box cameras.

Today, former attorney Lenore Brown also captures evocative scenes of Harlem with her camera. Her black and white prints, which she develops herself, reveal the timelessness of Harlem.

The Harlem Fine Arts Show had something for every taste and every budget. The sheer diversity of media and subject matter was almost overwhelming. I couldn't walk away without buying something and the accessories-lover in me zeroed in on a beautiful lapis lazuli necklace with matching hoop earrings from jewelry designer, Corinthia Peoples.
Founder of HFAS Dion Clark, B. Smith, Ingrid Montecino, and Dan Gasby.
Dana Todd Pope and Exavier B. Pope, Esq. in front of a painting by Sidney Carter.
Pam Harrison and B. Smith.
Mira Gandy and Natalie Clarke.
Mira Gandy. Ms. Blue and B. Smith.
Khephra Burns (left), Editor-in-Chief of Harlem Fine Arts Show magazine. (Photo: Jasmin Ortiz)
Anita Farrington and Stephen Johnson.
Dion Clark and Odis von Blasingame.
Stuart McClean and Deborah Chatman.
Ayanna Najuma.
B. Smith and Dan Gasby. Gary Alexander.
Donna Van Der Zee.
Bronze sculpture and painting by George Nock. Bronze sculpture by George Nock.
Sculptures, drawings, and paintings by George Nock.
Ceramics from the Nkosi gallery.
Ceramic bust by Woodrow Nash. Bust by Woodrow Nash.
Jamaican-born Michael Escoffery paints with oil on canvas and paper.
Jewelry designer Corinthia Peoples. I bought the lapis lazuli necklace bottom center. Her collection can be seen at
Joseph Randle, Antonio Randle, and Freddie Hart.
Mixed media collage by Najee Dorsey.
Najee Dorsey, artist and founder of Black Art in America, an online social networking site for artists and art collectors.
O. T. Wells in an elegant chapeau adorned with feathers.
Photographer Lenore Brown with some of her timeless photographs of Harlem.
Lenore Brown springtime scene.
Shirley of Harlem and Natalie Clarke.
Verna Hart. Gayle King is a patron of her colorful paintings.
Cut glass sculptures and panels by Loring Cornish.
Cut glass figure by Loring Cornish.
Ted Ellis. His aggressive use of acrylic paints makes his works look like oil paintings.
Stephen Ellis.
African-inspired mask and paintings by Herold Alvares.
Arnold Sobers.
Dr. Brian L. Harper and Penny Malloy.
Dan Gasby and Eric Wright.
Karen and Eric Wright.
Cheryl Jones and Kevin Morin.
Sir Shadow draws figures without lifting the pen from the paper.
Courtney Keene and Damel Dieng.
Metal sculptures by Liberian and born artist, Eugene Perry.
Soft form figures by award-winning quilt maker Phyllis Stephens.
Sir Shadow demonstrating his art.
Sir Shadow during an on-camera interview.
Deborah Shedrick at the Stuart McLean Gallery.
Carl M. Crawford and Molesey Knox.
This work is made entirely out of strips of magazine paper by Carl M. Crawford.
Back of work made by Carl M. Crawford showing its construction out of magazine paper.
Abstract musical instruments by Sidney Carter.
Oil painting by Ed Winlester.