Flux Art Fair, Harlem

I noticed them right away – two giant heads at one of the east side entrances to Harlem’s Marcus Garvey Park. I stopped jogging to take a closer look. Neither figure resemblance Marcus Garvey, the Jamaican-born black nationalist after whom the park was renamed in 1973. Maybe, I thought, the likeness was of Pelham Fritz. Fritz, the former assistant commissioner of recreation at the Parks Department was a regular at the park. Following his death in 1988, the park’s recreation center was named for him. 

I checked but there were no plaque, no sign, nothing to indicate why they were there. I was intrigued. I took a few photos. As I did, another jogger stopped and asked if I knew who they were.

Flux Art in Harlem
(E)scape – New Faces, Bob Clyatt

I was jogging again the following week when I spotted this colorful totem-like piece just north of the basketball court.  I decided to finish my jog and go into the park to take a closer look. By now, there were several more pieces and all had plaques. In addition to the artists’ name and the title of the piece, each indicated this was a Flux Art Fair.

Flux Art Fair Harlem
Golem, 2013 Jordan Baker-Caldwell

According to their website, Flux Art Fair “embodies Harlem’s creative spirit and cultural significance” and is a collaboration with NYC Parks, NYC Department of Transportation’s Art Program and the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance.

Flux Public Art Project, Harlem
Urban Structure, Kurt Steger
Flux Art Project Harlem
Sprout, Sui Park
Flux Public Art Project, Harlem
Big Head (Harlem Rose), Montserrat Daubon
Flux Art Project Harlem
Surge, Lucy Hodgson
Flux Public Art Project, Harlem
Bed of Flowers, Leah Pollar

Located in the Mount Morris area of Central Harlem, Marcus Garvey Park is bounded on the north by 124th Street, on the south by 120th Street, on the east by Madison Avenue and by Mount Morris Park West (Fifth Avenue). The park was previously called Mount Morris Park.

Flux Public Art Project Harlem
The Odyssey, 2016, Stan Squirewell
Flux Art Fair Harlem
Trompe l’oeil, 2016, Capucine Bourcart

Flux Art Fair features work by over 40 artists. Most will be on display at Marcus Garvey Park until May 31st. According to their plaques, Big Head (Harlem Rose), Surge, Sculpture Love, Outdoor Indoor, The Odyssey and (E)scape – New Faces will remain until August 1, 2016. The exhibition is free, however there are several paid events around Harlem, including talks on May 21 and 22 and a family brunch.

What do you think is the value of public art?

Linking this week with Travel Photo Thursday which Nancie at Budget Travelers Sandbox, Jan at Budget Travel Talk, Ruth at Tanama Tales and Rachel at Rachel’s Ruminations host. Be sure to stop by to view other photos from locations around the world.

Budget Travelers Sandbox

9 comments on “Flux Art Fair, Harlem

  1. I like when pieces of art seem to pop up around you. I think it is more interesting when the pieces of art are explained. In that way you can understand what the artist was feeling when he / she was creating. Like the bed of flowers a lot. I have seen similar things done with chairs.

  2. First I thought — aah, Haarlem in the Netherlands! (which I know). Nope, not that one – the one on the other side of the Atlantic! Beautiful art – I love it! #TPThursday

  3. Public art is so important so that the general population gets access to quality art (in person, where it’s not the same as an image on a computer screen). Many people never visit art galleries or museums, but in a park like this, the art becomes something they can more naturally enjoy in passing. Museums are an artificial and uncomfortable environment. Thank you for posting about the Flux Art Fair in Harlem. I especially like the “sprouts” one; it looks like cacti are sprouting in NYC!

  4. These are such creative pieces of work bound attract anybody’s attention.
    You have photographed them well and presentation too is good.
    I too pause on such sights to frame them.

  5. What a great event–love that the art is free for everyone to see, to happen across by serendipity, and that it is of such high quality. Love the funky large heads but especially the ‘bed of flowers’. An atmospheric piece of upcycling!

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