a store front at night

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BY TEQUILA MINSKY Windows at 9 West 8th St. in Greenwich Village have taken on the role of gallery walls to exhibit all sorts of interpretations of New York City — augmented images, abstracts, documentary photography, personal, urbanscapes, black and white and in color. This whole exhibition supports The Hero Art Project, a way of commemorating health care workers—more than 1,000, in all — lost to COVID-19.  A myriad of ways to visually express this great city are hung in 16 frames, projecting five to ten digital images in an on-going loop through the large  storefront windows. This unique New York centric show opened late October and, because it was received so well, continues until Dec. 20. Hours are on Fridays from 5 to 7 p.m.; Saturdays from 4 to 6 p.m.; and Sundays from 3 to 5 p.m. “Twilight is a great time to view the photographs,” says curator and project organizer Susannah Perlman.  Accompanying the images of New York is a scavenger hunt — a chance to search for clues, win prizes and get unique gifts.  The scavenger hunt asks people to look for elements in the imagery and pay attention to the artist.Photo by John Mazlish The scavenger hunt asks people to look for elements in the imagery and pay attention to the artist.Photo by John Mazlish Perlman, director of ARTHOUSE.NYC gallery, is concerned about grief and remembrance. “There are front-line health care workers who gave the ultimate sacrifice of their lives while working to save the lives of others,” Perlman said. “And, frequently, in these isolating and challenging times there hasn’t been a place for memorials and proper recognition of those we’ve lost.”  The Hero Art Project pairs members of ARTHOUSE.NYC’s artistic community with family members of doctors, nurses and other healthcare providers who died from COVID-19.  Families select the artist and art style that represents the spirit of their loved one. The artists create multi-media portraits of these medical heroes to celebrate their lives, sacrifices and legacies. Children received prints of some of the works after successful efforts in the hunt.Photo by Susannah Perlman From very local to conceptual.Photo by Tequila Minsky Thirty portraits were created in the first round of commemorations. Ten families came to an October outdoor event, the works projected on a wall at The Big Screen Plaza, West 29th Street and 6th Avenue in Chelsea, behind the Kimpton Hotel. Nikki Friedman, whose father Dr. Arthur Friedman died from COVID in April, recognizes the important of this sort of recognition and was so moved that her farther had been included in this portrait commemoration.  “It was more powerful than anticipated,” says Perlman. “Families were very emotional, touched by the fact that we remembered and honored their loved ones.”  The Hero’s Project is reaching out to more families and matching them with artists from the ARTHOUSE.NYC community.  Its next exhibition will be at The Big Screen Plaza in April 2021 during World Healthcare Workers Week.   Donations during the 8th Street exhibition help support this project.  ARTHOUSE.NYC creates a home for emerging artists and professionals, giving them a vehicle to exhibit their work digitally.  Originally, the gallery occupied space on Sullivan Street, then Washington Street, and, prior to the pandemic shutdown, White Street. Now it’s based on West 8th Street.

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