Lower East Side Whole Foods Plans Pop-Up Gallery

The call for submissions for the pop-up gallery at the Bowery Whole Foods in New York city. Photo: Lower East Side Business Improvement District.
The call for submissions for the pop-up gallery at the Bowery Whole Foods in New York city. Photo: Lower East Side Business Improvement District.

Care for some local art to go with your organic produce and cave-aged cheese, New Yorkers? According to DNAinfo, the Bowery location of Whole Foods will play host to a pop-up gallery in September, confirming that literally every available space on the Lower East Side is being turned into an art gallery.

The exhibition is being organized with the Lower East Side Business Improvement District (BID). Artwork received through an open call for submissions of paintings, drawings, and photographs will be reviewed by a panel including representatives from the store and the BID, as well as local community organizations such as Fourth Arts Block. Five pieces will be selected to be displayed in the store’s second-floor level for one month.

“This is a great opportunity for visual artists who don’t necessarily have their work currently in a Lower East Side gallery to get on board and be part of the art in the neighborhood,” BID spokesperson Natalie Raben told DNAinfo.

Be forewarned, however, that the guidelines are fairly strict: in addition to being LES-themed (“artwork that speaks to either or both the past and present of this neighborhood”), submissions cannot exceed four by four feet. Abstract works “will be considered, but are not preferred,” and be sure to remember that “artwork will be displayed in that state in which it is submitted, so please plan to represent your work as such.” The contest is open through August 18, and winners will be notified by August 25.

Aspiring artists beware, however: this is the same Whole Foods that was the victim of an armed robbery this fall, when two gunmen made off with $60,000 (see Observer article). artnet News hopes the store has plans to increase security during the show, especially if the art has price mark-ups similar to those on the chain’s food products.


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