Parsons School of Design


Since 1923, The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards have identified, celebrated and fostered the talents and visions of our nation’s teens in grades 7-12. Works by this year’s winners remain on exhibit through this week at the Parsons School of Design at The New School and at Pratt Institute’s Manhattan Gallery. Pictured above is Subway Story, a cardboard sculpture, fashioned by 16-year old Shaun Rogers. Here are several more artworks reflecting not only extraordinary talent, but a strong social consciousness, as well.

Vanessa Anthony, Collateral Damage, age 16


Sophia Cai, Faces of Baltimore, age 16

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Alexis Peabody, Black Lives Matter, age 18


Eli Lederberg, The Presidentials, age 17


Ryan Sundada WongInsatiable Appetite, age 15


Presented by the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers, Art.Write.Now.2016 remains on view through this week. Parsons School of Design at The New School is located at 66 Fifth Avenue at 13th Street in the Village, and Pratt Institute’s Pratt Manhattan Gallery is just up the block at 144 West 14th Street.

Photo credits:  1, 2, 5 & 6 Tara Murray; 4 Lois Stavsky



While visiting the Bushwick Collective on Thursday as it was readying for its 5th Annual Block Party, we had the opportunity to spend some time in its wondrous pop-up museum at 198 Randolph Street. The brainchild of Bushwick Collective founder Joe Ficalora, it showcases an extraordinary array of works by Bushwick Collective artists, along with art by community members, local youth, Parsons School of Design at the New School students and more.  We also had the chance to speak to the Bushwick Collective Museum‘s director, Asja Gleeson.


This is all so amazing! There are works here by artists who’ve exhibited in museums, along with art by children who live in the neighborhood. Just about every art genre and style is represented here. How did you connect to so many diverse artists?

Joe Ficalora simply gave me a list of the folks he’d already reached out to. In the five years since he’s founded the Bushwick Collective, he’s made so many wonderful connections.


How did you connect to Joe? 

Dan Witz introduced me to Joe two years ago, and I worked with Joe and Dan on the exhibit for the Collective’s 3rd Annual Block Party.  The experience was so fantastic that I was thrilled to have an opportunity to be involved once again with the Bushwick Collective.


As director, what are some of your responsibilities in managing an exhibit of this scope?

I had to contact all the artists and make sure that their work arrived in a timely fashion. I assisted Stan Sudol  the director of the Mana Urban Arts Project, in installing the works. And, basically, I was in charge of organizing the exhibit and assuring that it runs smoothly.

What — would you say — was your greatest challenge?

Getting it all together in the span of a week.


That’s quite an accomplishment! Have you an academic or professional background in art? 

Both my parents are artists, and I studied Art History and related fields at Bard College at Simon’s Rock. I’ve also worked in several Chelsea galleries.

How does working here differ from working in Chelsea?

It’s more of a labor of love here! The pace is faster, and there’s far more community involvement here in Bushwick than in Chelsea.


What is your impression of the art on exhibit here? Have you any favorites?

I’m so impressed by the quality of it all. There are so many wonderful pieces. Among my favorites is the one by Enx. It speaks to me!


How can folks see this exhibit? It’s an amazing opportunity to not only view such an eclectic selection of quality artworks, but to purchase art at remarkably reasonable prices — with all proceeds going directly to the artists.

It remains open to the public from 10am-5pm through the weekend. 


1.  Giz and Ghost, RIS

2. Dan Witz, with director Asja Gleeson

3. Tim Okamura

4. Enx

5. Anna Orcutt-Jahns

6. Nicer, Tats Cru

7.  See One

Photo credits:  1, 2, 4 – 7 Tara Murray, City-as-School intern Sol Raxlen; interview conducted and edited by Lois Stavsky

Note: Hailed in a range of media from the Huffington Post to the New York Times, our Street Art NYC App is now available for Android devices here.

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We recently had the opportunity to speak to Bushwick Collective‘s founder and curator, the indefatigable Joe Ficalora, as he readies for this year’s 5th Annual Block Party, June 3-5.

As you prepare for this year’s 5th Annual Block Party, can you share with us some of this past year’s highlights?

Last June’s Annual Block Party was certainly a highlight!  The entire community came together as a family. It was a beautiful sight! A special highpoint of this past year was the Bushwick Collective‘s collaboration with Mana Urban Arts. We had the chance to go down to Miami in December during Art Basel. NYC artists, along with local Miami ones and artists from across the globe, painted together, transforming the inside and outside of the RC Cola Factory. It was a particular thrill to have seven-year-old Lola join us and watch her paint with Chor Boogie. We’ve also facilitated murals in Miami and Jersey City in coordination with Mana Urban Arts. And – more recently — during Frieze Art Week, we participated in Art New York on Pier 54 with Sipros in support of the Perry J. Cohen Foundation.


What would you say was your greatest challenge this past year?

My greatest challenge was dealing with all the marketers trying to hunt down walls. Now that this neighborhood is “cool,” they feel that they can take advantage of the public space without giving back.


What can we expect at this year’s Block Party?

There will be live painting, food trucks, local vendors, special activities for families with kids and surprise performers.  A pop-up exhibition at 198 Randolph Street will feature artists from the The Parsons School of Design at the New School, the official sponsor of the weekend, along with local artists. The Museum of the City of New York will be projecting images of Bushwick from over 100 years ago and sharing a huge blown-up photo of Bushwick in 1909. All money from the artwork sold at the exhibit — that opens to the public at 7pm on Friday, June 3, and can be viewed on Saturday and Sunday from 10am-5pm — will go directly to the artists. Local artists will also be exhibiting their work independently. Performers opening the weekend include: The BBoy Rebels (NYC Original Subway Dancers), DJ Mister Cee, Loaf Muzik, Monsters of Brooklyn, Thorough, Thirsting Howl lll, Styles P and Jim Jones. And on Saturday — in addition to JADAKISS — DJ Statik Selektah and friends, Lil Waah, Joell Ortiz, Dave EastChris Rivers, son of the legendary Big Pun, and The BBoy Rebels will perform. Keep posted to our website for updates.


Who are some artists we can look forward to meeting?

Artists from everywhere will be painting. Among them are: D*Face, Case Maclaim, Sipros, Atomik, Don Rimx and Trans1. Local artists include: Giz, Tats Cru, CrashMeres, Topaz, Plasma Slug, Lola the Illustrator and Hops 1.


That sounds great! What’s ahead for the Bushwick Collective?

We will continue to grow as an organization and evolve with time. We look forward to further collaborations with Mana Urban Arts.  We also look forward to establishing new partnerships.


1. Giz, Ghost, Such, RIS Crew

2. Sipros

3. Case Maclaim

4. Oji

5. Starfighter

Photo credits: 1 & 3 City-as-School intern Sol Raxlen; 2, 4 & 5 Lois Stavsky; interview conducted and edited by Lois Stavsky with Sol Raxlen

Note: Hailed in a range of media from the Huffington Post to the New York Times, our Street Art NYC App is now available for Android devices here.

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The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, presented by the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers, celebrates the talents and visions of teens in grades 7-12 from across the country. The Art.Write.Now.2015 National Exhibition — on view through Sunday at the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center at the Parsons School of Design and at the Pratt Manhattan Gallery — features an extraordinary array of works in a range of media by the 2015 Scholastic Art & Writing Award winners.  Among these works are many with a distinct urban sensibility. Here is a small sampling of these:

Jose Valejo, Age 17, Sign 3


Tanner Rhines, Age 19, Black and White Condention Part 2, segment of larger piece

Tanner-Rhines-Black-and-white-Condention- Part2

Elijah Maura, Age 17, Initiation


Amanda Amador, Age 16, Creepy, Beany Babies

Amanda-Amador-creepy-beanie-babies, 16

Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Alumni Council member and award-winning photographer Antonio Pulgarin speaks at this past Friday’s opening reception at Parsons


This coming Friday — from 10 am to 1:30 pm — both exhibition locations will host a Student Showcase featuring a range of activities from Art Portfolio Talks to an Art-Making Workshop. The Sheila C. Johnson Design Center at the Parsons School of Design is located at 66 5th Avenue in the Village, and the Pratt Manhattan Gallery is nearby at 44 West 14th Street. Exhibits and events are free and open to the public.

NoteL First image: Jesus Hilario, Age 17, No

Photos: 1, 3 & 6 Lois Stavsky; 2 Dani Reyes Mozeson and 4 & 5 Tara Murray