An innovative art program in New York takes an especially interesting path in introducing artists in underserved communities. The Laundromat Project, a nonprofit founded by Risë Wilson in 1999, uses laundromat spaces to showcase art and builds community ties. This week, the program announced it will be introducing three artists-in-residence in Bed-Stuy, Harlem, and Hunts Point.
DNAInfo profiled the exhibits of Aisha Cousins, Art Jones and Shani Peter. The artists all look to use the six-month residencies, which begin next month, to both connect their works with the community and inspire people to take part in the creative upswing.
Cousins’ work, featured at Marmy’s Laundromat on Malcolm X Boulevard and Putnam Avenue in Bed-Stuy, is called “Mapping Soulville.” The project will focus on the practice of renaming streets in black neighborhoods to reflect the community’s history.
In Hunts Point, Jones’ exhibition “Portrait of the Community as a Block” is a series of stories by Hunts Point residents, with audio and video recordings. The stories focus on local stores like corner bodegas, hair salons and take-out restaurants.
And in Harlem, Peter’s project “The People’s Laundromat Theater” is turning a laundromat into an independent theater, giving neighborhood residents a chance to act as film festival judges as they offer a feedback on works from more than 30 artists and media producers.
For more information, visit The Laundromat Project’s website. The residencies will last from May until October.
Check out some photos of the Project in action, including an exhibit in Mott Haven last summer, on the following pages.
Photo: DNAinfo/Patrick Wall