SOHO BROADWAY ART MOVEMENT
PAINTED PLYWOOD AND SRF
SOHO, NEW YORK CITY
JUNE 2020 - JUNE 2021
In June 2020, WESTWOOD GALLERY NYC assisted as community volunteers to support artists who painted boarded up SoHo Broadway storefronts with permission of businesses.
In addition to the gallery's 25+ year history in SoHo, WESTWOOD GALLERY NYC founder, James Cavello, also serves on the executive board of SoHo Broadway Initiative, as Chairman for Outreach and Communication. He has achieved many local projects for artists over the decades. This includes assisting the DOT with selecting artists from open calls and facilitating the engineering and installation for temporary public sculpture and artwork on view in SoHo.
The artists' painting on storefront boards occurred during the business shut-down due to coronavirus pandemic and subsequent demonstrations in the wake of the death of George Floyd. Working with ad hoc local artists’ groups Westwood Gallery helped to preserve a database of information for Broadway artists boards including digital documentation, outreach to businesses, and intermediary storage space for those boards painted and removed from storefronts.
Transformation and Resilience, June 2020
paint on storefront plywood at 506 Broadway
Photo by Jake Price
Numerous news outlets covered the events including the New Yorker, ABC News, Hyperallergic, Associated Press, Insider, WCBS 880 News Radio, The Verge and more.
WESTWOOD GALLERY NYC came to know a collective of artists brought together by the grassroots artist movement and who established SoHo Renaissance Factory (SRF), which includes, Konstance Patton, Amir Diop, Brendan McNally, Manuel Alejandro Pulla, Keiji Drysdale, Sule, and Trevor Croop. These artists continued to paint boards in SoHo to beautify and add positive artistic messages in the community.
Portrait of Nina Simone, June 2020
paint on storefront plywood at Prince and Broadway
Photo by Westwood Gallery NYC
Untitled (Dirty Money), June 2020
paint on storefront plywood at 455 Broadway
Photo by Westwood Gallery NYC
From September 2020, SRF is participating in an artist residency at the NoMo SoHo Hotel, where they are creating public art projects and incubating new concepts. In October 2020 two artists of the collective, Konstance Patton and Trevor Croop returned to their previous home city, Detroit, and initiated a public mural project, inviting the community to participate.
In November the group completed outdoor murals at the New York Public Library at the request of NYPL. They also continue to paint newly boarded up storefronts in SoHo which resulted from business concerns due to the Presidential election. SRF paintings have received tremendous public support, as an ‘outdoor gallery’, where viewers photograph, video, post, comment and thank SRF for their artistic contribution.
Untitled (Three Goddesses), November 2020
paint on plywood at NYPL, Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library, 455 Fifth Avenue, NYC
Photo by NYPL
In January 2021, SoHo Broadway Initiative, the not-for-profit, community improvement organization for the SoHo Broadway corridor from Houston to Canal Street, highlighted artwork from five of the artists through a streetlight banner campaign. A documentary film is currently in development to highlight the project.