Sweet Sugar Hill, is the epicenter of the Harlem Renaissance and was immortalized in songs by greats such as Duke Ellington and later by The Sugar Hill Gang. This cultural hotbed has not stopped inspiring artists since the 1920s, but how many times have you gone to visit? No Longer Empty’s 12th take over of an iconic space shows specially commissioned work by 25 artists responding to Sugar Hill’s past, present, and future. Located within the soon-to-be-opened Sugar Hill apartment complex, designed by David Adjaye, “If You Build It” brings in the energy of the community to a building in progress.
Culling from the historical past of the neighborhood, works shown focus on themes of ancestry, home, placement, and identity. The instrumental impact of the neighborhood is visually expressed by Radcliffe Bailey’s Windward Coast (2007-2014) consisting of a plaster bust bobbing in a torrent of piano keys, referencing the impact of Jazz and the oppressive middle passage of millions across the Atlantic Ocean.
The promising future of the community is captured by Nari Ward in Sugar Hill Smiles (2014). Wandering through the neighborhood with his canning station, Ward captured the smiles of passersby in 2,000 mirrored tins that are sealed and sold in the shop for educational programming by Broadway Housing Community. Another interactive work that is drawing in the crowds is Brendan Jamison and Mark Reels Sugar Metropolis(2014), which invites guests to build structures out of sugar cubes as a cathartic exercise.
Keeping with NLE’s mission for collaborative community engagement, 12 local organizations have been invited to set up shop on the 3rd floor. Each having their own apartment to display their work, exhibits, and inviting guests to participate in collaborative projects. NLE has also organized a dense program that reaches out into the neighborhood. Don’t miss the Exploratory Tours, MacBeth in a New York Minute, Wanted by Dread Scott, and the other events slated to continue through August 10. With so much to do, you will become a Sugar Hill aficionados.
If You Build It
155 Street & St. Nicholas Avenue (Look up for the gray building on the Southeast corner)
June 26-August 10, 2014.
Exhibition hours: New times! Thursday–Friday 3–7pm & Saturday–Sunday 1–6pm; Wednesday by appointment.
Related Events and Programs:
- July 12, 2014 –No Longer Bored Family Day: Art in Harlem!
- July 17, 2014 –Modern Batik Workshop [Multiple Dates]
- July 23, 2014 –Curator-Artist Speed Consultations
- July 26, 2014 –Wendell’s World: A Fashion/Art Workshop [Multiple Dates]
- July 26, 2014 –New York, Naturally: An Interactive Art Workshop
- July 26, 2014 –HERE + THERE Workshop [Multiple Dates]
- August 02, 2014 –Suite HAA: A Gallery Talk
- August 02, 2014 –Rhetoric vs Reality Discussion
- August 03, 2014 –Young, fresh and new: A Kultural Kollective Debut Event
- August 09, 2014 –Your Pick: Exploratory Tours in Sugar Hill
- August 09, 2014 –Macbeth in a New York Minute
- August 10, 2014 –Wanted by Dread Scott