A New Artistic ‘Paradise’ in the Bronx

No Longer Empty, the nomadic contemporary art organization, repurposes a Bronx landmarked mansion with a site-specific exhibition, new art works and cultural events.

1125 Grand Concourse, The Bronx NY

167th St on the B, D and 4 subway trains

Hours: Thurs-Sun 1pm-7pm, April 4 – June 5, 2012.

Opens: April 4th 6pm- 9pm

On April 4, 2012, No Longer Empty (NLE) will open “This Side of Paradise” in an Italian Renaissance-style palazzo on the Grand Concourse. The Mid-Bronx Senior Citizens Council (MBSCC) who owns the Andrew Freedman Home, has invited NLE to launch a dramatic and transformative initiative for the site. NLE will temporarily repurpose the Home through artistic endeavor and community engagement, turning the former grand ballrooms, library, and bedrooms of the mansion into an immersive exhibition. For two months, the venue will also host cultural events that reference the quixotic history of the Home and the current realities of the neighborhood.

The Andrew Freedman Home was a retirement home for formerly wealthy seniors so they could continue to live in style. The operation of the Home ceased to exist when the endowment ran out in the 1980s.  The title of the exhibition, “This Side of Paradise” is intentionally ironic, asking the viewer and the artists to rethink “where is paradise?”-a term not immediately associated with the Bronx.  However, it was indeed considered such for the previous generations of immigrants, whether escaping Eastern Europe for New York, or the Lower East Side’s tenements to the Grand Concourse’s clean air.  The Bronx still continues to be a haven for newcomers coming from other parts of the world today.

Using a variety of media, 32 local and international artists will address such issues as immigration, historical and cultural memory, and even issues of transportation in this fractured Borough. Several artists are also working directly with the community creating choirs, theater performances, and even collecting messages for President Obama. Extensive cultural and educational programming will accompany the exhibition. Complete program list is on our website. Schedule is subject to change.

“The house epitomized an era and a sensibility which so echoes the divides that exist in society today. Some of the artistic responses to the space including where artists have repurposed furniture and found objects for their installation, compel us to confront the inequalities of our time but also the strength of the human spirit to overcome adversity” says Manon Slome curator of This Side of Paradise.

“At MBSCC, our mission is to support the community, specifically through cultural and economic revitalization. The MBSCC’s AFC Initiatives are rooted in changing the psychological, urban, and digital environments that impact us everyday. We seek to transform the Bronx stigma of poverty into opportunities of employability and cultural esteem. It is with this entrepreneurial energy we endeavor to inspire socio-economic change using the tools of awareness, perception, dialogue, and action” says Walter Puryear, Real Estate Manager at Mid-Bronx Senior Citizens Council

ARTIST LIST

• Abigail Lazkoz

• Alejandra Prieto

• Alina and Jeff Bliumis

• Art Jones

• Bruce Richards

• Cheryl Pope

• Daze and Crash

• Esperanza Mayobre

• Federico Uribe

• Guido Albi-Marini

• Gian Maria Tosatti

• Hatuey Ramos-Fermin and Elizabeth Hamby

• How and Nosm

• John Ahearn

• Justen Ladda

• Laura Napier and Carmen Julia Hernandez

• Linda Cunningham

• Lisa Kahane

• Mario Chamorro and Daniel Paluska

• Martine Fougeron

• Mel Chin

• Melanie Crean

• Nicky Enright

• Sofia Maldonado

• Sylvia Plachy

• Tim Rollins and KOS

 

FEATURED EVENTS

  • Speakeasy Opening with Grammy award winning live jazz, Bronx historian and live performances and screenings by Mel Chin, Laura Napier, Art Jones, Cheryl Pope: April 4, 2012.
  • What’s Cooking in the Bronx artist Sofia Maldonado cooking workshop, panel discussion on food, movie screening and recipe exchange: April 21 and 22, 2012.
  • Sing On This Side from beat boxing to choir performance, this weekend will also discuss the legacy of Latin Jazz that was born in the Bronx and the impact of Fashion Moda on the street art scene:  May 5- May 6, 2012
  • Dance Here is an opportunity to experience some of the talents from HipHop to Afrikaan inspired dance:  May 12- 13, 2012
  • The Sound of Paradise: Let it be heard- Closing party will be a DJ spinoff with the theme “Hard Time, No Money”: June 2, 2012

No Longer Empty is partnering with Bronx Art Alliance to create a variety of installations, events and programs for This Side of Paradise. Partnering organizations are: Bronx Documentary Center |  Casita Maria |  Hebrew Home at Riverdale |  Lehman College Art Gallery |  Longwood Art Gallery at Hostos College |  The Bronx Children’s Museum |  The Bronx Council of the Arts |  The Bronx Museum of the Arts |  The Bronx River Art Center |  The POINT |  Wave Hill

This Side of Paradise is in collaboration with the Mid Bronx Senior Citizens Council, one of the largest nonprofits located in the South Bronx and has been serving different services for the community. Contract wpuryear@midbronx.org for information about the Andrew Freedman Home and mjenkins@midbronx.org for information about MBSCC.

This Side of Paradise is made possible by a generous grant from A Blade of Grass Foundation with further support from The Robert Lehman Foundation and Mary Duke Biddle Foundation for the youth docent program.

 

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