SAW came, they saw, they wandered.
Stores running along Bay Ridge’s Fifth Avenue are once again decorated with the multi-dimensional works of several Brooklyn artists, through the seventh annual neighborhood Storefront Art Walk. The event, supported by the Bay Ridge Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District and the Brooklyn Arts Council, among others, drew throngs of visitors to selected art display locations along the Fifth Avenue strip.
The annual event was launched in 2010, spearheaded by two local business owners, John Avelluto, artist and owner of The Owl’s Head, 479 74th Street, and Heather Hamilton, owner of Long’s Wine and Liquors, 7917 Fifth Avenue. According to Avelluto, who spoke with The Home Reporter prior to the event, the idea for the exhibition came along after both founders said they recognized a lack of art in the area.
“It’s great to see local artists come out and show their work,” said Avelluto. “Most of the attention goes to north Brooklyn. It’s great to see the community form together.”
The event has grown in popularity since 2010, making it easier for the founders to promote it. According to Avelluto, a larger number of artists have applied each year, auditioning for a position in the art walk, and 15 are then selected by an independent five-person panel.
Some of the locations chosen for displays this year include Alpine Real Estate, 8401 Fifth Avenue; Galaxy Comics, 6823 Fifth Avenue; and neighborhood salons such as Hair Culture, 7910 Fifth Avenue. Traditional storefronts were not the only locations spruced up by the local content creators. Other participants included the Arab American Association of New York and one location of Bubbles and Suds at 7418 Fifth Avenue.
“I think it’s done great things for the neighborhood,” said Rocco’s Pizzeria owner Danny Loccisano, one of the stores selected for a display, provided by artist Adam Douglas Thompson. “It brings people who normally won’t come to the area out. And the guy did the great job.”
According to Avelluto, each work has a theme directly related to the business. The stores also displayed artist commentary and brief biographies. Displays ranged from one dimensional wall paintings and window vinyls to three dimensional creations, such as those seen in Alex Hair Salon, 7923 Fifth Avenue.
“A lot of people came in to look — there was a line for it on Saturday,” said salon owner Alex Saad. “Even some of the other artists stopped by. It’s an amazing piece of art. People were asking how it was suspended in the air.”
The storefront exhibitions will remain in place until June 28. For more information on exhibits and artists, visit bayridgesaw.org.
Additional reporting contributed by Jaime DeJesus