Tuesday, May 28, 2013




   "I can remember walking to every family's house and the first thing offered was food. Uncle B and Aunt Denie always had food ready to serve. I walked anywhere, anytime of the night without fear . . ." 

May 28 - July 29, 2013 daily 8am-9pm 
Artist in Attendance: 6/1, 2-5pm & 6/2, 4-6pm
 Public Reception/ Talk: Monday, 6/17, 6-9pm 

Bushwick Community Darkroom is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of Daryl-Ann Saunders, “Pioneers of Bushwick: Revealed”, at Loom Building (lobby gallery area), 1087 Flushing Ave between Knickerbocker Ave and Porter St. in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY, 11237. Hours are 8am-9 pm daily from Tuesday, May 28th and extended through Monday, July 29th. The gallery is easily reached by the Brooklyn-bound L train to Jefferson Street or Morgan Avenue. 

This work features compelling photographic portraits and text of long-time residents living, since the 1970s, in Bushwick, Brooklyn; a neighborhood that, throughout the 1970s and 80s, was devastated by arson, drug abuse, crime and gang activity. Severely neglected, residents moved out and Bushwick became a forgotten neighborhood of violence. However, in recent years, the neighborhood faces rapid growth and resurgence. 

Explaining what motivated her to create this body of work, Saunders states, “Several weeks after moving to Bushwick in 2006, a gunshot at 4am awakened me and I was terrified to see a dead body lying on the sidewalk, across the street from our building. As I called 911 and cowered behind my bedroom curtain, I could easily imagine Bushwick as an urban, lawless “Wild West”. It made me wonder, “Who “circled the wagons” back then? Who were the “pioneers” that remained during those difficult decades?” 

This project explores that question. It commemorates Bushwick residents and provides testimony of those that remained, persevered and contributed to a rich historical tapestry. Now, as Bushwick experiences resurgence and a growing influx of newcomers, this body of work will exist to keep visible that which is often rendered invisible by rapid neighborhood change and development. Their contributions will be evident in Bushwick history and made accessible to stimulate dialogue amongst Bushwick long-time residents, newcomers and future generations alike, not just about Bushwick history, but about cultural experience, perseverance, and self-worth.” 

In order to start the project, Saunders applied to a NYC art-residency program, SPARC, which pairs artists to city senior centers with work-space and requested to work with Diana Jones Center in Bushwick. There, she created a “pop-up” photo studio and began making portraits and collecting written text of long-time residents. Many community members are included in this effort and the project currently continues in her Bushwick-based studio. 

Saunders is a professional and fine art photographer whose work is exhibited regularly and held in public and private collections. In recent years she was a recipient of a 2010 NYC Space for Art residency, a 2011 Brooklyn Arts Council grant and a 2012 SPARC artist-residency. Pioneers of Bushwick has been exhibited locally at Diana Jones Sr. Center, Wyckoff Heights Medical Center, Sweet & Shiny Café, Brooklyn Fireproof and Silent Barn. Artist information: PioneersOfBushwick.com and DASfineart.com. Artist video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGvce3NBbYA

The artist will be present during Bushwick Open Studios: Sat., June 1 from 2-5pm & Sun, June 2 from 4-6pm. Reception, open to the public: Mon, June 17 from 6-9pm. Subway: L train to Morgan Avenue or Jefferson Street. Exhibit info and map: www.PioneersOfBushwick.com


Hi-res photos and additional information is available upon request. 

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Press Release: "Pioneers of Bushwick" Exhibits

Contacts: Wyckoff Hts Medical Center, D. Fairbairn 718-302-8490 / Artist, D. Saunders 646-808-6035



Wyckoff Heights Medical Center, 374 Stockholm Street at Wyckoff Ave, 06/01/2012 - 05/25/2013
LOOM Gallery, Lobby Gallery at 1087 Flushing Ave bt Porter & Knickerbocker, 05/28 - 07/29/2013

Pioneers of Bushwick project features photographic portraits and text of longtime Bushwick, Brooklyn residents by artist/ photographer Daryl-Ann Saunders.

The project, an ongoing series, started during the artist’s two-year participation in SPARC (Seniors Partnering with Artists Citywide), a NYC art residency program that connects artists through a proposal process to city senior centers with workspace.

Requesting to be paired with Diana Jones Senior Center in Bushwick for her residency, Ms. Saunders created a small “pop-up” photo studio where she began creating studio portraits and collecting written text by current Bushwick residents living in the area since the 1970s. Many center and community members are included in this effort.

“In Bushwick," the artist explains, "the 1970’s and 80’s were difficult decades marked by drug abuse, arson, crime, and gang activity. The Pioneers of Bushwick project commemorates residents that persevered, raised families and contributed to a rich cultural tapestry during those times and up to its current resurgence.

Their contributions will now be in evidence within Bushwick history and can be considered by both new and long-time residents. And as this artwork is viewed, it is hoped it will stimulate dialogue, not just about Bushwick and its history, but also about topics of aging, human value, perseverance,self-worth and cultural experience.”

A culminating two-part exhibit was displayed at Diana Jones Center during Feb. 2012 and June/ July 2012. Following that exhibit, the series was installed at Wyckoff Heights Medical Center in Bushwick with an intended close date of August 30th, 2012 but was held over through May 25th, 2013.

The series will soon be on display at another neighborhood venue, LOOM Gallery. Sponsored by Bushwick Community Darkroom, the exhibit is from May 28 through July 29th, 2013 and is part of the local Bushwick Open Studios 2013 art festival the first weekend of June (May 31 - June 2, 2013). The artist will be present at LOOM Gallery during Bushwick Open Studios on Sat from 2-5pm and Sunday from 4-6pm. In addition, the public is invited to a reception/ talk 6-9pm on June 17th. 

Ms. Saunders is a professional and fine art photographer. Her images have been published worldwide, are exhibited regularly and held in collections, public and private. Details, links and maps for the two exhibits indicated above may be found on the Pioneers of Bushwick blog. Additional news, artist and artwork information may be viewed at DASfineart.com.


Hi-res photos and additional information available upon request.

Project/ exhibit space, senior participation and staff support was generously donated by Diana H. Jones Senior Center (Director: Narcisa Ruiz-Secchiano) and their sponsor, RBSCC. Framing was donated by the Wyckoff Heights Medical Center.

The Space for Art program, now SPARC (Seniors Partnering with Artists Citywide), was initiated by the Brooklyn Arts Council in partnership with the New York City Department for the Aging and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. The program is now supported, in part, by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Exhibit held over till May 25th at Wyckoff Hts Medical Center

"Pioneers of Bushwick" on display with adjacent text

by each long-time Bushwick resident about their experiences in the neighborhood.

"Pioneers of Bushwick: Portraits of Dignity" artwork 

at Wyckoff Heights Medical Center waiting for installation

The "Pioneers of Bushwick" exhibit at Wyckoff Heights Medical Center has been extended through May 25, 2013. The hospital never closes -  - anyone can stop by, 24/7, to view the exhibit which is in the main hallway across from the entrance. I hope you'll visit and leave a comment here.

Located at 374 Stockholm Street (at the intersection of Wyckoff Avenue and Stockholm Street), the Medical Center is just off the L train/ DeKalb station in the Bushwick area of Brooklyn. Here's a map - from there it's a quick 5-minute, 2-block walk.

Portraits will also be displayed at another local venue. Bushwick Community Darkroom will sponsor an exhibit at LOOM Gallery, 1087 Flushing Avenue, Brooklyn, NY from May 28th through July 01, 2013. It will be part of the Bushwick Open Studios 2013 art festival during the first weekend of June. The artist will be present at LOOM gallery during the art festival weekend on June 1st from 2-5pm and June 2nd from 4-6pm. Also, the public is invited to a reception/ talk from 6-9pm on June 17th.

Stop by! :-)

Friday, February 15, 2013

On YouTube, "Arts Insight Profile: Daryl-Ann Saunders"

Photographer and artist Daryl-Ann Saunders celebrates longtime pioneering residents of Brooklyn's Bushwick through a series of portraits that honor those who have lived in the neighborhood since 1975 or earlier.

For more information, visit:

Sincere thanks go to videographer/ producer, Andrew Guidone, and his edit intern, Jessica Noe, for showcasing  Pioneers of Bushwick. They created this video interview about the series and its inspiration, showing it on display at several exhibit locations.

Andrew Guidone is the producer and host of the long-running (since 1993!) Arts Insight Cable Show. Filmed bi-weekly at Film Biz Recycling in Gowanus, Brooklyn, his energizing show showcases artists from throughout the five boroughs of NYC. It appears on the Arts Insight YouTube page and on Brooklyn Community Access TV.