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South Street Seaport
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An immersive art walk is now open in the South Street Seaport

A pop-up gallery district located throughout the neighborhood explores the impact of COVID-19 on NYC.

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Written by
Will Gleason
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It’s fairly common to encounter a pop-up exhibition or art installation in the city, but it’s not very common for an entire gallery district to pop up.

That’s just what’s happening now through September 30 in the South Street Seaport with “The Magic HOUR,” a series of specially curated exhibitions throughout the area produced by artist Kamau Ware of Kamau Studios and presented by The Howard Hughes Corporation.

The immersive, multi-sensory exhibitions explore the impact of COVID-19 in NYC and beyond through the works of 30 artists located in various locations. “The Magic HOUR is a special moment for New York City to listen to each other, nature, and themselves—guided by the creative practice of incredible artists who lived through the 2020 shutdown,” says Kamau Ware. ”I’m excited to work with The Howard Hughes Corporation to produce a pop up gallery district based on such a necessary conversation.”  

Alexandre Keto
Photograph: Courtesy Alexandre Keto

The exhibitions on view in the series are below, and their various locations can be found here.

Inside/Out, curated by Bri Laboss, which will feature fireside chats and community conversations on Thursday evenings, led by featured artists and curators. 

WE STILL AROUND: HERE, curated by Danny Baez and Andrea Delph, which highlights eight artists who stayed in NYC for the duration of the pandemic.

The Sanctuary, curated by Anne-Laure Lemaitre, which is a sonic-based experience that transforms a vacant retail space into a musical sanctuary through a kinetic sculpture. 

Big Apple Gifts and Souvenirs, also curated by Anne-Laure Lemaitre, which turns generic tokens of tourism into objects that reflect the relationships residents have to the city.

LIGHT Work, curated by Kamau Akabueze, which is a plant-based experience in a sun-drenched gallery space. 

Sirens Over Gotham, created by artists Kamau Ware and Kate Quarfordt, which features a Black siren overlooking a city in transition.

Walking Through Nature, created by artists Alexander Keto and Kamau Akabueze, which features a mural contrasting the environment with the works on canvas built within the installation. 

In addition to the Gallery Walk, Kamau Studios is also partnering with the South Street Seaport Museum on an oral history project called “the Magic HOUR portal” which will allow New Yorkers to reflect on what they learned from 2020. That portion of the series will take place at 14 Fulton St. 

Gallery Walk: the Magic HOUR will be open Friday through Sunday from 12-7pm, and beginning August 19, Thursday programs will be open 7-9pm in select galleries. For more information, please visit www.gallerywalk.nyc.

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