Art in the East Village

When you move into the East Village apartments at EVGB, you will find yourself immersed in a neighborhood that is the stuff of legend. These are the streets where Jean-Michel Basquiat found inspiration for his next canvas and showed work alongside artists like Keith Haring at the Fun Gallery in the 80s when galleries were as much hangouts as they were exhibition spaces. That ethos of art as community is still going strong in the East Village of the 21st century, where the creative past has formed the bedrock for organizations at the cutting edge of what it means to make and share work at the epicenter of the art world.

The Fourth Arts Block provides a support system for more than 40 arts organizations in the neighborhood, as well as a Young Artists of Color Fellowship, public art commissions, and a community council. Among its members, you’ll find innovative arts programs like wild project, which is a theater and gallery that seeks to foster care for the environment as well as for the arts. It’s the first performance space in New York to have a green roof of carefully chosen plantings as part of its dedication to creativity in symbiosis with the environment. Here, you’ll find performances like Jill Solbule’s FUCK7THGRADE, about which the New York Times wrote, “This is a show for Sobule fans, and for a queer audience, but it’s also for the many nerds who grew up to be the cool people.” The adjoining gallery features a companion show of paintings by Solbule’s friend and collaborator Marykate O’Neil.

Another Fourth Arts Block organization that has been helping to shape the cultural landscape of the East Village since the 1970s is the Loisaida Center. The center, which was born as a way to support Puerto Rican and Latin American artists, now hosts a broad range of projects and programs, including an artists’ residency, a cultural archive, a learning lab, and a TV studio. Exhibitions often connect to the cultural heritage of both the neighborhood and the organization via shows like the recent Loisaida Courtyard Mural Project and exhibits and performances by recipients of the Artistic Residency.

Yet another legendary member of the FAB is Printed Matter, a bookshop dedicated to artists’ books and to programs that support this unique art form. Located on St. Mark’s Place inside the Swiss Institute, the shop is the Downtown NY book and art lovers’ dream space, where each book is literally a work of art. They are the organizers of the now legendary NY Art Book Fair, and their shelves feature books and objects from artists like Yoko Ono, Jeffery Cheung, and the Slingshot Collective. On a morning stroll of the neighborhood around the East Village rentals at EVGB, you might stop for a recreational browse and leave with an armful of art books that will help bring the creative spirit of the neighborhood into your home.

If you’re not yet an EVGB resident and you want to learn more about our available rentals, contact our team today.

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