BUSHWICK COMMUNITY DARKROOM PRESENTS
AT LOOM GALLERY
| "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 . . ." |
YVONNE BARNETT MALCOLM
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.