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Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit Spring Show Opens This Weekend

ZEALnyc, May 24, 2017

The Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit commences its 2017 shows this Memorial Day Weekend and the following weekend.  The event showcases fine artists and craft artisans from around the New York metropolitan area, the nation and the world. Attendees come from all over and are a cosmopolitan mix, including art lovers, tourists, faculty and students from the area’s many schools and professionals such as interior designers.

Tracing its roots back to 1931 when then Greenwich Village resident Jackson Pollack in need of paying the rent on his studio (which also served as his home) took a few of his iconoclastic paintings down several flights of stairs and set them up on the sidewalk near Washington Square Park. His friend and fellow Village artist, Willem DeKooning, in equally desperate financial straits, soon joined him, and the rest, as they say, is history. It is not known how many works of art, whose values would soon skyrocket, they sold that day. However, their enterprise was noted by some public-spirited citizens, including such luminaries of the art world as Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, founder of the Whitney Museum of Art, and Alfred H. Barr, Jr., Director of the Museum of Modern Art.

They organized the art show that would evolve into the Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit, a twice-a-year happening, every Memorial Day Weekend and the weekend that follows, and every Labor Day Weekend and the weekend that follows.

Early exhibitors were Village artists Alice Neel, Saul Berman and Ilya Bolotowski. Beauford Delaney trekked down from Harlem. It is now a showcase for artists regionally, nationwide, and around the world, and is attended by art lovers from all over the world.

Among the milestones that mark its more than 80 years are the concept of the artists being selected as exhibitors by a jury of fellow artists, based on slides of their work being submitted; the abolishing of an early ban on nudes; the opening of the show to photography as an art form; and the recognition of crafts, provided each piece is one-of-a-kind and hand-made.

The show is a sidewalk show, not a street fair, and has its venue on the sidewalks of University Place from East 13th Street south to Waverly Place. The info is as follows:

In the Heart of Greenwich Village – Spring 2017

May 27, 28, and 29 – 12:00pm – 6:00pm each day.

June 3 and 4 – 12:00pm – 6:00pm each day.

For more information click here.

Cover: Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit; courtesy of the organization.


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