Arts initiative brings color-filled galleries to NYC storefronts

A creative project has opened in Manhattan, where closed stores now stand, with the hope of getting New Yorkers to engage with the art world once again.

Video Transcript

--artists. You know, this has been a very tough time. Few people, after all, buy art during a recession. But as things try to open up during the season of renewal, a creative project opening up, as well, in Greenwich Village, where closed stores now stand. A different kind of renewal going on. The hope is to get New Yorkers to engage, once again, with the art world, and the artists, turning closed doors into galleries. Here's Jim Dolan.

JIM DOLAN: It can take a toll all, the empty spaces, the vacant papered over scars, one after the other, left behind by a year of a deadly pandemic. So many businesses that couldn't survive its paralyzing grip. Some see darkness here. Schoolteacher Barbara Anderson saw hope.

BARBARA ANDERSON: Yeah, we want it to liven up, and energize the community, and bring art down to the street, where everybody could enjoy it.

- So Mrs. Anderson created Art on the Avenue, where drab, empty Greenwich Village storefronts are transformed into a sun splashed galleries filled with color and art, featuring local artists, like Xian Eley.

XIAN ELEY: I think this is a wonderful way for us to utilize one of those more maybe negative or less sightly aspects of the city, and sort of embody them with this new appreciation of art, and just revitalize these windows with some color and some new imagery.

- The space is provided for free by landlords. Many of them, local residents, like Pauline Oudin, who care about the neighborhood looking its best.

PAULINE OUDIN: We are both owners and property landlord, but we're also residents of this neighborhood. So being able to participate in something that brings life back to a neighborhood, at least, gives you the feeling of what it can be again.

- What you are experiencing is how art transforms a community. People come together. And their mission is to amplify, and give voice to the voiceless, and to, of course, give opportunities to underrepresented and emerging artists.

- In the Village, there are 14 businesses hosting the art. You can get a list of them and a map to see them all by scanning the QR code on the window, and even hear from the artists who are featured.

- I hope that it brings a little bit of life into the neighborhoods and just that energy that's created from something different.

- In the Village, Jim Dolan.