The prolific New York City photographer, Meryl Meisler, has teamed up with The Storefront Project to present, “LES YES,” photographs of the Lower East Side during the 1970s and 1980s. The exhibition, part of LES History Month, opens Thursday evening, May 3.
In 1976, Meisler was on her way to an art show at Henry Street Settlement when she met Morris Katz, an eccentric elderly gentleman who called himself the “Mayor of Grand Street.” He was handing out lollipops to people on the street, and offered Meisler one. She then visited him in his apartment, which was like a museum, and began to accompany him on his rounds throughout the neighborhood. The two became close friends.
Meisler was documenting Jewish New York in these years for the American Jewish Congress. The images in the new exhibition represent both the great diversity of the neighborhood, as well as the danger and despair that defined downtown throughout the era.
This Thursday’s opening reception takes place from 6-9 p.m. at The Storefront Project, 70 Orchard St. The show will be open through June 3. Here’s the Facebook invite. There will be artist talk on May 12.