Wallach Art Gallery at Columbia University Presents Uptown

May 26, 2017

The Wallach Art Gallery at Columbia University is pleased to present Uptown, a new triennial surveying the work of artists who live or practice north of 99th Street in New York City.  Uptown showcases the work of established and midcareer artists alongside emerging talent from Harlem, El Barrio, Washington Heights and all of northern Manhattan. With this initiative, the Wallach Art Gallery joins as a partner and presenter of northern Manhattan’s vibrant art scene. 

The Wallach Art Gallery’s exhibition opens on June 2, 2017 and runs through August 20, 2017, at the Wallach’s new home in the Lenfest Center for the Arts on the University’s new Manhattanville campus. Uptown is organized by Wallach director and chief curator, Deborah Cullen. “With this exhibition and the larger triennial initiative, we look forward to collaborating with our neighboring museums, galleries and spaces, highlighting our local artists and welcoming new visitors,” said Cullen. “Thanks to our move to the Lenfest Center for the Arts and the summer of Uptown, we’re excited about joining the neighborhood arts landscape.”

Uptown includes works by artists Ghada Amer, Sanford Biggers, Vladimir Cybil Charlier, Marta Chilindron, Elizabeth Colomba, Renee Cox, Reza Farkhondeh, Alicia Grullón, Maren Hassinger, Michael Kelly Williams, Miguel Luciano, Julie Mehretu, Leeza Meksin, José Morales, Ademola Olugebefola, Shani Peters, John Pinderhughes, Jessica Rankin, Elaine Reichek, Bayeté Ross Smith, Duhirwe Rushemeza, David Shrobe, Virginia Inés Vergara, Tomas Vu and Nari Ward. These 25 accomplished artists work in a wide range of media including painting, printmaking, photography, video, sculpture, installation  and performance. While some are venerable practitioners with longstanding careers rich in exhibitions and awards, some are newer names that Uptown seeks to project.

Images of some of the art in the exhibition can be found here: http://www.columbia.edu/cu/wallach/exhibitions/Uptown.html

Although Lower Manhattan is known as a center of the New York arts scene, Uptown now celebrates northern Manhattan neighborhoods that have long been at the vanguard in nurturing vital, internationally recognized art. Among the artists selected for inclusion are recipients of major awards from such institutions as the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the MacArthur Foundation. Similarly, the work of Uptown artists is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Studio Museum in Harlem and other major cultural centers.

“It’s great to have the opportunity to present my work alongside other respected artist friends in a beautiful new space in my neighborhood”  said Sanford Biggers, a recent Rome Prize winner and professor at Columbia’s School of the Arts, who maintains his studio uptown.

In addition to the exhibition that will be on view at the Wallach, the gallery is collaborating with neighboring institutions to present special programs and related exhibitions that engage additional uptown artists. Featured are:

  • Arts Horizon LeRoy Neiman Art Center, featuring Ginny Huo
  • Elizabeth Dee Gallery, featuring Betty Blayton
  • El Museo del Barrio, with the group exhibition uptown; nasty women/bad hombres
  • Harlem School of the Arts at The Herb Alpert Center, featuring Dario Calmese and Felicia Megan Gordon
  • Hunter East Harlem Gallery of Hunter College (with a special event in collaboration with the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance), featuring Jason Lazarus
  • The Langston Hughes House, featuring Beau McCall
  • Russ Berrie Medical Science Pavilion (in collaboration with NoMAA, the Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance and the Uptown Arts Stroll), featuring Kathleen Granados
  • The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, a division of The New York Public Library, featuring Dianne Smith
  • The Studio Museum in Harlem, with a special edition of Harlem Postcards Summer 2017
  • Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling, featuring Derek Fordjour
  • Windows on Amsterdam Community Art Gallery, City College Center for the Arts, featuring Carlos Jesús Martínez Domínguez /FEEGZ and Pepe Coronado

El Museo del Barrio’s Senior Curator, Rocío Aranda-Alvarado, said, “We’re thrilled about the initiative that the Wallach has taken to organize Uptown, and we’re looking forward to longstanding partnerships with our existing and new neighbors.”

The Wallach Art Gallery, located at 615 West 129th Street is free and open to the public. All are welcomed to attend the opening reception on Thursday, June 1, 6-8 pm.  For more detailed information, please visit the Walach Gallery website.

A version of this story was originally published by the Walach Art Gallery on 05/17/17