FABLES Public Art

FABnyc’s ArtUp initiative serves to activate public spaces in our neighborhood. FABLES, an ArtUp series, explores the Lower East Side’s living heritage, rich legacies, and current issues in public storytelling through visual art.


We're All In This Together by Chris Stain & Josh MacPhee

Chris Stain & Josh MacPhee’s We’re All In This Together is a celebration of working-class history and liberation struggles in the LES. Chris Stain’s social realist portraits of workers are enveloped by Josh MacPhee’s multitude of arms, which flow in, out, over, and around the figures.

Location: First Street Green Art Park, 33 East 1st Street.

FABLES 2014: Five Public Art Commissions

Hellcat Mary - Heroines of the Lower East Side

On June 9th, FABnyc celebrated the successful installation and opening of five visual art projects through their FABLES public art program with the artists, partners, and public. After an open call for work, FABLES presented five artists/teams who created public art works that explore the Lower East Side’s living cultural heritage, rich historical legacies, and current issues in public storytelling through visual art.

Lexi Bella’s Heroines of the Lower East Side focuses on notable, yet under recognized women of the LES from The Russ Sisters to Rosario Dawson. “It is my heart, my home, and the birthplace of my daughter. I am so excited to express, educate, and pay homage through my art to the great women who are the past and the future of my favorite part of NYC.”
Location: Centre-Fuge, East 1st Street near First Avenue

Theresa Loong and Laura Nova’s Feed Me a Story consists of food stories gathered in part from their work at the LaGuardia Senior Center, shared with the public through visual installations that link to audio and video of the participants. “We are thrilled to be a part of the FABLES Exhibition. This project enables us to shine a spotlight on senior citizens and reflect diverse tastes and traditions in the neighborhood.”
Location: First Park, Houston between First & Second Avenues

Tamara Gayer’s Who Needs Honey When Sugar is Sweet draws inspiration from Yiddish theater to create works in stained glass style that span the storefront windows of City Lore and L’Apicio. The artist explains, “First Street between First and Second Avenue is a beautiful block, exemplary of the diversity and history that are still evident on the Lower East Side.”
Location: City Lore, 56 East 1st Street / L’Apicio, 13 East 1st Street

Miguel Trelles and Juan Fernando Morales-Nazario’s Posters on the Wall: Our Nuyorican Story, is built from the Center for Puerto Rican Studies extensive image archive from the 1960s through the 1990s. According to the artists and curators, the exhibit “lavishly illustrates the cosmopolitan sophistication of Puerto Rican artists in New York amalgamating traditional Puerto Rican culture with life and activism in the City.”
Location: First Park, Houston between First & Second Avenues

Levan Mindiashvili’s Ghost investigates gentrification and its effects on architecture and sense of place. “With the mural ‘Ghost’ I want to contribute to a raising awareness in the importance of historical heritage and outline the overwhelming expansion of gentrification and generalization in the contemporary world.”
Location: Ideal Glass, 22 East 2nd Street

This project was supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts/ Art Works and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in participation with The City Council. FABLES was presented in celebration of LES History month, the inaugural celebration of the rich and diverse history of the LES, which took place during May.
may is color  dca color    nea art works
Photo above: Tamara Gayer’s “Happiness is Easy” at Mixed Greens, New York 2009.

FABLES Artist Bios

LEXI BELLA lives in New York City’s Lower East Side. She has been painting and creating art for over 25 years and completed her MFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia in 2006. She has participated in Art Battles since 2009, the Premier International Live Art Competition for Street Artists Fine Artists. In 2010 she won her first Art Battle at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, and this past September Bella won the 2012 Art Battle International Championships in Paris, France. In 2012 Bella completed a series of spray murals all over New York, most notably at Legendary Graffiti Museum 5 Pointz, as well as the Centre-Fuge Public Art Project in the Lower East Side. She most recently painted pieces in Wynwood Lil Havana during Miami Art Basel 2013. The year 2014 will find Lexi Bella doing a series of large spray pieces in NYC, Brooklyn, San Francisco, LA, Miami and anywhere else she can find wall.

TAMARA GAYER is an artist transfixed by the city. Suspended between the impulses of an image-maker and those of a builder she creates work that mutates from drawing to installation to video. Born in NYC, Tamara grew up in Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv. She holds a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and an MFA from Hunter College. In New York her work has been show at Foxy Production, Exit Art, Smackmellon and most recently at tomer labzda. She is represented in several prominent collections including that of the Museum of Modern Art where she has lectured on her work.

THERESA LOONG is an award-winning multimedia artist, filmmaker, interactive media professional and educator whose work has been exhibited at the SVA, Sala de Exposiciones, Teriennale di Milano and Circulo de Bellas Artes. Theresa has also consulted for American Movie Classics, the New York Times, Milestone Films, New York Magazine, Intellitoys, Architecture for Humanity, and Time Warner. She has worked with the New York City Department of Education to create a web site to promote parental involvement in the school system. Theresa is an honors graduate of Harvard University. She has taught multimedia at NYU’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies.

LEVAN MINDIASHVILI has been making work about urban landscapes that inform our sense of identity, and the intimate connections we make with the spaces we inhabit since 2012. In 2003 he graduated from Tbilisi State Academy of Arts (Republic of Georgia) and the same year started intensively exhibiting his works in Europe. From 2008 – 2012 he lived and worked in Buenos Aires, Argentina where he received his MFA from the National University of Art of Buenos Aires. Mindiashvili’s new series, entitled Borderlines, is a study of his reflections on cities as both public and private meeting points.

JUAN FERNANDO MORALES-NAZARIO is a multidisciplinary artist, born in Puerto Rico, whose work combines print-making, drawing, painting, installation, performance and scenic, construction, lighting design. Juan Fernando has worked with several printing studios, theater companies, museums and galleries as a printer, installer and designer. His work has been shown in different art venues in Puerto Rico, Santo Domingo, Nicaragua, El Salvador, New York and San Francisco. He currently lives and works in New York.

LAURA NOVA is a multi-disciplinary artist working in sculpture, video, sound, performance and installation. Her work was included in the Independent Curators International exhibition Situation Comedy: Humor in Recent Art and Limited Run at Real Art Ways in Hartford, CT. She is a recent recipient of the Fund for Creative Communities and the Manhattan Community Arts Fund Grant to produce the public work The Crescendo Project. She has participated in several artist residencies including the Artist in the Marketplace (AIM) at the Bronx Museum of Art, the Henry Street Settlement, LMCC Workspace and Vermont Studio Center. She received her B.F.A. and B.A. in art and history from Cornell University and M.F.A. from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago as a Jacob Javits Fellow. Nova is an Assistant Professor in the Creative Art and Technology program at Bloomfield College in Bloomfield, New Jersey. She currently lives and works on the Lower East Side of New York City.

Known for his on-going Chino-Latino painting series, MIGUEL TRELLES fuses Chinese dynastic paintings with a Latin American sensibility. As a printmaker, Trelles works predominantly with silkscreens, dwelling with dark humor on pre-Columbian icons, colonial archetypes, and contemporary Latino sensibilities. Miguel’s work has been exhibited in New Jersey, Connecticut, Miami, San Juan, Santo Domingo, Havana, Tegucigalpa, Lima, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires and Paris, and is part of permanent collections at El Museo del Barrio, Deutsche Bank (New York), the Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña (San Juan), El Museo de Arte de Ponce (Ponce), and the Fundación Gabarrón (Valladolid). Miguel has taught art as an adjunct professor at Brown University and is currently an adjunct professor at Hunter College and Baruch College. After obtaining a B.A. in Art History and Studio Art at Brown University, Miguel attended graduate courses in Chinese Art History at Yale University, and also holds a M.F.A. (1995) from Hunter College. Miguel is a resident visual artist/programmer at the Clemente Soto Velez Cultural and Educational Center in the Lower East Side.