I have often posted about the Bronx Council on the Arts Bronx Culture Trolley on the Bronx Happenings calendar, however it was not until this week that I had the opportunity to participate in it. For those of you who are not familiar with this magnificent opportunity to explore the artistic side of The Bronx; the Bronx Culture Trolley offers a free ride on the Bronx Trolley to participating cultural Bronx venues that offer free admission. You can hop on the trolley on the first Wednesday evening of each month (except January & September) at the Longwood Art Gallery on the campus of Hostos Community College at 450 Grand Concourse.
The trolley started off at the Longwood Art Gallery for the opening reception of Esther Pagan: My Colors of Cancer. This exhibit is described as a multimedia installation of photographs, hand crafted hats, sculptural elements, and poetry. This exhibit was particularly special for me because of my childhood neighbor and babysitter who lost her battle against breast cancer. It was encouraging to see a survivors’ celebration of life through her artistry. In addition I had the particular pleasure of meeting Lucy of L&L Variety, a Bronx entrepreneur and survivor, featuring her uniquely hand crafted jewelry. She participates in events and all her pieces are hand crafted by herself and family members, as their family enjoys making art together. The Esther Pagan exhibit runs until December 20. For more information on this exhibit visit Exhibits at Bronxarts.org, Hostos Gallery Exhibits or visit her blog at www.mycolorsofcancer.com. From the Longwood Art Gallery I caught the trolley to the Bronx Museum for some Unusual L.e.m.o.n.a.d.e., a reading and discussion with Dr. Vijay Giles about her books Unusual L.e.m.o.n.a.d.e. and Unusual L.e.m.o.n.a.d.e. Too! Dr. Vijay Giles uses her experiences to inspire, educate and empower.
From the Bronx Museum I simply went across the Grand Concourse to the Andrew Freedman Home for Passages: A Collective Exhibition, for a celebration of Hispanic Heritage. This powerful exhibit features 20 Hispanic artist sure to capture your attention and emotions with their work. Be sure to make your way there soon because the exhibit only runs until October 10. If you attend the exhibit this Saturday you can take part in a community art workshop in the daytime and an evening concert.
After hopped back into the trolley to conclude my evening at Casita Maria Center for Arts & Education to the opening of On The Flip Side, an exhibition in two parts on the fifth element of Hip Hop: Knowledge. Side B, which opened this past wednesday and runs until November 6, is a group show of Pioneer photographers who preserved the history of Hip Hop, capturing the other side of the Bronx’s darkest times through the culture, strength and innovation of Bronxites. Featuring photographers: Charlie Ahearn, Henry Chalfant, Joe Conzo, Jr., Ricky Flores and Lisa Kahane as well as a special dedication to the Godfather of Hip Hop Afrika Bambaataa by Chief 69 and Statch of the Graffiti collective U.R.G.O.D. (For an extremely quick glance check out Bronx-PR Facebook video clip post). Side A will be opening on November 20, do not miss it!
As I was going from one venue to another I was asked what I was doing my immediate response was, “art hopping!” This art hopping experience part of Bronx lifestyle was quite enjoyable. Years ago I would go to SOHO when I wanted to experience art, now it feels like a skip and a hop away. If planned appropriately one could add couple of restaurant/bar visits along the way. Next time I will be sure to plan my Bronx Culture Trolley experience a bit better. For those of you with piqued curiosity the next chance to catch the trolley will be November 6. For more information visit The Bronx Council on the Arts.