Pop-Up Exhibition

Organized by Ayana Ayo and coordinated by Kathleena Howie aka Lady K-Fever, Uptown Counts: Art as Activism is an exhibition of artworks by over 20 artists who lent their works to a range of uptown spaces to draw attention to the importance of the 2020 Census, particularly in East Harlem.

The number of East Harlem residents who respond to the 2020 Census will determine how much of the $675 billion in federal dollars the community will receive over the next 10 years — funding essential to schools, housing, healthcare, infrastructure and food assistance.  Yet, only 40 percent of East Harlem residents are predicted to respond to the 2020 Census.

Among the artists featured in the exhibit are several who also use the streets as their canvas.  The image above, “Mother and Child,” painted by East Harlem-resident Marthalicia Matarrita, has found a temporary home at the legendary Sylvia’s Restaurant. A small sampling of  images —  featured in Uptown Counts: Art as Activism —  by artists whose works also surface in public spaces follows:

 Danielle Mastrion, Offering — at Harlem Yoga Studio 

 Lady K-Fever, Justice at Last — at Sisters Caribbean Cuisine 

Royal KingBee, BEE Cautious

MED, Resist

Al Diaz, Flowers Will No Longer Grow…

Because of the pandemic, the spaces hosting the artwork are largely inaccessible for the next several weeks. But you can check out the entire exhibit — sponsored by the nonprofit organization Uptown Grand Central — online here.

And — now — be sure to take the 2020 Census!  It is a political and social justice issue. You can do it online, by phone (844-330-2020) or by mail.

Images and info for this post courtesy exhibition coordinator, Kathleena Howie aka Lady K-Fever


Imagination in Space – a group of talented artists repurposing the use of city space as an alternative to traditional galleries – brought their vision to the East Village this past Tuesday.  In partnership with London-based We Are Pop Up and NYC-based watchmaker Martenero, The Allies have launched their model of “borderless creativity” at 37 East First Street. Among the works featured are quite a few of interest to us street art aficionados. A small sampling follows:

UK graffiti pioneer Inkie


London-based Elmo Hood


Brooklyn-based Misha T


From the launch with noted culture critic Carlo McCormick in attendance (bottom, right)



And a close-up of the backyard — — transformed by Columbia’s Graduate School of Architecture students — the setting of its daily morning yoga classes

The Allies-backyard-east-village

Also on view and for sale are works by NYC-based photographer Joey L, illustrator Sam Spratt and multi-media artist Yazmany Arboleda, along with Martenero‘s customized automatic watches and selections from Heidi Gardner’s esoteric jewelry designs.  Perceiving its space as an alternative to traditional galleries, The Allies aims to transform city spaces into pop-up galleries — more vibrant and accessible than traditional art-sales venues.  You can visit the space through Tuesday at 37 East First Street.

Photos of Elmo and backyard by Dani Reyes Mozeson; all other courtesy of The Allies

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