Archive for the ‘FIELD TRIP’ Category

By: M.Tony Peralta (@peraltaproject)

After a 5-year hiatus from the country, I returned back to the land where my parents are from, the Dominican Republic. Throughout 2010 I was toying with the idea of going back to DR. I felt the need to go back and reacquaint myself with the country. Like many first generation Dominicans, I’ve traveled to DR throughout my life numerous times. There was a point in my life that I would go every summer vacation. As a tween, I would have a ball going over and spending time with the family that I didn’t have back in the states. Playing marbles with my cousins, climbing mango trees, even working in the small colmado (bodega) that my uncle owned in the campo. Believe it or not, I was even sent there to live when I was 12 because I wasn’t behaving well in school and at home. Being sent back to the island is a threat that many parents from my mom’s generations would threaten us American born kids with when we misbehaved. My mom meant it.

As an adult, I didn’t really enjoy going much to DR. Like many, I would go to the resorts and spend sometime there but I would also go out to the towns and stay with my dad. The resorts are a great mask and represent a small percentage of how life in the island is for many. By nature, I am a very observant person and visiting the towns that my parents are from and seeing how many people lived troubled me, along with a few other things, which would make my trip not so enjoyable. After a couple of days, I was ready to come back to NYC. So this time around, I wanted to go with a whole new perspective. I wanted to try and go to different towns and try to meet other kinds of Dominicans, people more like myself, artist types. I’ve also had the idea that I would love to somehow exhibit my artwork there. So with camera in hand, I booked my trip for the beginning of 2011 and decided to start my year in the warm and beautiful island of “Quisqueya.”


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By: M.Tony Peralta

Last week I attended the opening reception for the menswear designer and Uptown resident Brian Wood’s Pop-Up shop in the West Village. The pop-up shop called “First Come, First Serve” was around for 3 days and had for sale a limited edition of Brian’s latest collection and some old favorites. Brian Wood is a New Jersey native who has called Washington Heights home for the past 7 years. His clothing collection is far from typical, Brian is an out-of-the-box thinker who incorporates art and pop culture into his clothing; from North Korean Dictator Kim Jong-IL, to the Simpsons to Count Von Count from Sesame Street.  His clothes are mainly made in New York and can be found Uptown at Probus and at selective boutiques across the country.

For more info: www.brianwoodonline.com/


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BY Led Black

This past Friday, the Uptown Collective crew dipped down to SoHo for an upscale culture, music and art experience at the loft of the world’s number one Champagne, Armand de Brignac (Ace of Spades). Armand De Brignac in conjunction with shot caller Datwon Thomas and Uptown’s own Sound of Art (SOA), hosted an intimate yet spectacular event entitled appropriately enough A Toast of Summer. Not only were we treated to copious amounts of Champagne but we also had the good fortune of listening to the über talented Bilal, doing his thing, without a mic and only a guitar for accompaniment. Bilal shared with the select group of attendees some songs from his forthcoming album, Airtight’s Revenge, which will be released September 14th as well as some of his old favorites. In addition, SOA artist, the incomparable Toofly, had her artwork tastefully and strategically placed throughout the swank space.

Thanks to concreteloop.com/ for the awesome video of the Bilal performance.


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BY Rainey “Skates” Cruz

SOA Artist, Washington Heights native, and Uptown Collective member, M. Tony Peralta gets around. Don’t believe me? Then check out what I stumbled upon during a recent visit to Just Chill Skateshop, a new venture located in the Yankee Stadium area of The South Bronx. A print of Peralta’s infamous “Freedom” piece adorns one corner of the humble shop. When asked about the piece, store owner Ben Montalvo describes how he bought it at an art show some time ago. “It’s supporting the community,” Ben says, something that he and his shop are very adamant about. While it’s no secret that the skate world and the art world often intersect, here’s yet another example. Shoutout to you Ben, and all the local shops out there that support local artists and the Uptown scene. Right on! 


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ART TREK in Harlem?? Yup, the Art Trek has went out of its Washington Heights and Inwood borders, to reach out to Harlem. Of course there had to be a good reason why the Art Trek had to stretch itself out to Harlem, Covo Lounge.

The Covo Lounge is the easy going , cozy and partying half of the Covo brand, while the other is Covo Trattoria Pizzeria. One look at this space and it shouts “ART TREK: UPTOWN”  With its untreated brick walls, its vintage-sophisticated decor, the missing piece was an artist that could match this atmosphere. That artist became Brooklyn’s own Craig Anthony Miller. It is Craig’s use of color, medium, and size that makes his creations the perfect fit for Covo Lounge.

Now it is time to introduce your eyes to BK in Harlem, via Uptown; in other words, let your eyes feast on Mr. Miller’s works, while enjoying the sounds and tastes that Covo has to provide. Oh and if you plan to buy any of Craig Miller’s work, I would suggest you bring a U-Haul!

RSVP at rsvp@soundofart.net

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By DeJesus:

Uptown-based art entity, Sound of Art has been on the path of injecting a strong dose of desire, excitement and stimulation into the gallery-deprived neighborhoods of Washington Heights and Inwood. It has and will continue to use its Art Trek: Uptown initiative to make Uptown the new and well-respected art scene of the Big Apple.

But every now and then the Sound of Art gets called up to leave Uptown and satisfy the artistic needs of a bigger audience. This time a detour had to be taken to SoHo, The Toast of Summer, an ultra-exclusive (only 15 people were invited) after work lounge affair catered to CEO’s, VP and others who share the tastemaker lifestyle.

Hosted by pop culture maven/socialite, Datwon Thomas and presented by the No.1 Champagne in the world, Armand de Brignac (wow – everyone should experience the this champagne, thanks EM!!). The Sound of Art matched this scenario of “good living” with the works of Joe Buck, (who made Sound of Art history at La Sala 78 Cafe on Dyckman, when he sold 6 out of 9 pieces). All guests were treated to the sound of this event’ s art, when Peter Hadar, put together an emotional and uplifting performance that moved the crowd as his lone voice carried the scent of love around Armand de Brignac’s loft.

A Toast of Summer was definitely worth stepping out of the lane for but the magnetic pull of home-base has back on our Art Trek: Uptown!


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BY Led Black (@Led_Black)

I was fortunate enough to be in attendance last week at the opening reception of Howard T. Cash’s truly extraordinary exhibit FELA: The Man – The Artist held at the Canvas Paper and Stone Gallery (2611 Frederick Douglass BLVD). Howard T. Cash actually lived in Nigeria in the 80’s and was able to shoot African musical icon, Fela, on stage and at home. FELA: The Man – The Artist is an intimate, in-depth and riveting visual exploration of the man, the myth and the phenomenon. As a devoted fan of Fela’s music and legacy, I was completely blown away by these vibrant pictures of the artist at the Shrine working or sitting back in his compound, deep in thought, smoking a spliff. The exhibit is also a perfect compliment to the Tony award-winning Broadway musical FELA as you can see actual pictures of the events, characters and places portrayed in the must-see show. The exhibit will run until June 26th and this Saturday, June 19th the gallery will host a special Studio Talk session from 4-6 PM entitled “Reflections of Fela”, a conversation with Ogugua Iwelu, Fela’s North American Promoter and the photographer Howard T. Cash.

For more info: www.canvaspaperandstone.com/

Studio Talk: Saturday, June 19, 4-6PM – “Reflections of Fela” A conversation with Ogugua Iwelu, Fela’s North American Promoter and the photographer Howard T. Cash.

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