Inside “The Treasures in the Trash Museum” in a Harlem sanitation garage
For over thirty years, an East Harlem sanitation garage has hosted a gallery filled with over 50,000 pieces of found objects from the city’s trash – but the collection is some danger. On a recent visit, a most coveted reservation during Open House New York Weekend since the gallery is not normally open to the public, we met with the “curator” of the initiative, Nelson Molina, and Robin Nagle, anthropologist-in-residence for New York City’s Department of Sanitation.
Rome was not built in a day, they say. And neither was New York City or its 24/7 subway system. All good things take time, and more so, when it cuts through some of the densest neighborhoods in America. On our fifth annual pilgrimage through the monumental construction site of the Second Avenue Subway, Dr. Michael Horodniceanu, president of the Capital Construction at MTA, led us through three new stations and 23 blocks of tunnels–from 63rd street to 86th street some 115 feet below Second Avenue.
12 hours, 32 miles, 1,235 people and an unforgettable experience of hiking the entire perimeter of Manhattan. It’s called The Great Saunter–an annual urban walk that meanders through some twenty waterfront parks and promenades, several historic communities and innumerable moments of surprise and wonder. 2015 marks the thirtieth year of this extreme city walking adventure and Untapped Cities jumped right in, to explore the shores of Manhattan with several other enthusiasts amidst the blossom of Spring earlier this month.
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the pioneering Landmarks Law in New York City, the Museum of the City of New York opened its newest exhibition,”Saving Place: 50 years of New York City Landmarks,” depicting events in the history of the city that follow the remarkable story of the birth and impact of the landmarks movement. Untapped Cities got a sneak preview of this exciting exhibition, which opened April 21st, with curator Donald Albrecht, co-curator Andrew Dolkart, consulting curator Seri Worden and the Director of the Museum of the City of New York, Susan Henshaw Jones.
For the past three weeks, through our interview with Sandra Bloodworth, we have presented a treasure of untapped information about the incredible public art that has transformed New York’s subway system. The Director of MTA Arts & Design is also an accomplished artist herself and today we talk about her work as a painter. She began her career in her home state of Mississippi, working as a painter and instructor in the college and university environment. Early in her career, she became a figurative painter, with an emphasis on the portrait, to tangibly capture the people in her life. Still lifes, flowers, and people are all subjects she chooses in her practice as a painter. She focuses on portraits while intensely observing the natural world around her.
Her paintings are currently on exhibit at the SOMA NewArt Gallery in Cape May, NJ. Titled, “Six in the City,” it presents six new portraits of people she admires – one choreographer, one novelist, one poet, and three visual artists. This is the final of our four part interview with Sandra Bloodworth. The interview was conducted by Catherine McKeon Mondkar and Bhushan Mondkar.
‘Whirls and twirls’ by Sol LeWitt at the 59th Street – Columbus Circle station. Photo: Rob Wilson; (Top) Installation views, Images: MTA
In celebration of their upcoming 30th Anniversary, MTA Arts & Design recently launched their latest book New York’s Underground Art Museum: MTA Arts & Design, an updated companion to Along the Way which was published in 2006. The new edition features nearly 100 new works of art that have been commissioned and installed over the past eight years. Untapped Cities took this opportunity to kick start a four part series featuring our interview with Sandra Bloodworth, Director of MTA Arts & Design as well as the co-author of this fabulous book. We started with the origin and evolution followed by the various programs within Arts & Design. In this third part we discuss the process involved in installing these refreshing art pieces within the NYC transit system. The interview was conducted by Catherine McKeon Mondkar and Bhushan Mondkar.