This Weekend’s LES Art Scene

The art scene in the LES will be booming come May Day, and all the hype seems to have one thing in common: public interaction. It all starts at 10AM today at The New Museum (235 Bowery) with Lebanese artist Tarek Atoui‘s free sound and movement workshop. Atoui is an electro-acoustic musician who explores technology’s innovative role in art-making. His most famous project “Empty Cans” investigates the transformation of old video game controllers into a music-generating software program, which the artist used to work with French youth a few years ago.  You can check out some of his captivating work here.

Also, Cuchifritos Gallery (120 Essex Street),inside the Essex Street Market, is hosting another group show, “inside OUT,” which opens tonight from 6-8PM. This show is exciting for a few reasons. First, the “The LoDown: Art Gallery Hop,” a walking tour created in collaboration between The LoDown and Gotham Sidewalks will also visit this stop on their debut tour. A few other stops on their list include visiting events at Woodward Gallery, Leslie Heller Workspace! and White Box Gallery. Another reason to visit this great community based gallery is to view art that has been inspired by various elements from the Essex Street Market itself. Viewers get to experience the art and the inspiration in this show, interacting with one of our main market hubs. For instance,  Polish artist Pawel Wojtasik creates eye-opening and often documentary-style work, focusing on issues such as human waste and animal cruelty.

Another really great LES art event to check out tonight – “Power to the People” is happening at Feature INC Gallery (131 Allen) from 6-8PM. Basically, anyone who attends gets some form of free artwork that has been donated to the gallery. The story goes that the gallery was thinking of holding a benefit to stay alive during the recession, but chose not to. However, the generosity from the artist community has been so great that the gallery is now sending the love back out to the community. The vibe for May Day has been set by the gallery with the quote, “Unconditional love. Anyone may give. Anyone may have.”

Ashlie Cotton is a Lo-Down intern and Arts Contributor. She lives on the LES and will be graduating from the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at NYU in May, where she studies Interdisciplinary Creative Arts and Psychology.