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Art Break: Celebrate Harlem Artist and Activist Betty Blayton at Elizabeth Dee

By A. E. Colas, Contributing Writer, July 10, 2017

Art Break is always thrilled to learn about people who make a difference in the lives of others. This week we’re highlighting Betty Blayton, a co-founder of the Studio Museum of Harlem, as well as being an artist, activist, and educator. Her work, on display at Elizabeth Dee, shows abstract works on circular canvases — creating the effect of portholes to another, more beautiful world of light and color. So get yourself uptown and enjoy the creations of an artist who gave so much to our city. And don’t forget while you’re in Harlem to check out our bonus tip recommendation of the Triennial, a new art show promoting artists who live or work uptown. You can find details below. As always, all listings are free admission.

Art Break Downtown:

Where: Maccarone, 98 Morton Street

When: Now through July 28, Tue – Sat: 10-6

Who: John Divola: The Green of This Notebook

What: The interplay between Jean-Paul Sartre’s examinations of existence with modern photographs

Why: The simplicity of the images enhances the language of Sartre

Art Break Chelsea:

Where: Nancy Hoffman Gallery, 520 West 27th Street

When: Now through September 1, Tues-Sat: 10-6

Who: Summer Gardens: Representational and Abstract

What: Various artists interpret the beauty of the garden landscape

Why: A refreshing visit to the natural world, without leaving the city

Art Break Midtown (up to 59th Street, East or West):

Where: Laurence Miller Gallery, 20 West 57th Street

When: Now through July 21, Tues – Fri: 11-5:30

Who: Helen Levitt: Pairs and Apples

What: Photographs of New York City and other places from the 1930s to 1980s

Why: Great images that capture fleeting moments of emotion

Art Break Above 60th Street (East or West):

Where: Elizabeth Dee, 2037 Fifth Avenue at 126th Street (buzzer for entry located to the right of door, behind column, wait for signal light)

When: Now through August 12, Tues – Sat: 10-6

Who: Betty Blayton: Full Circle

What: Canvases of lyrical abstract beauty

Why: Groundbreaking artist and activist who influenced institutions and lives throughout her career

BONUS TIP: Check out UPTOWN, a new triennial art event (through August 20th) featuring artists who live or work above 99th Street in Manhattan. The Wallach Art Gallery at Columbia University organized the show which has several venues in the uptown area. For more information click here.


Cover: Betty Blayton-Taylor ‘Ancestor Bearing Light,’ (2007) Acrylic on canvas, 30 inches round, 76.2 cm round; courtesy of Estate of the Artist & Elizabeth Dee New York; photo: Greg Frederick.


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