West Harlem Arts Fund
The West Harlem Arts Fund is organizing a "3rd Saturday" event on June 17th! They'll have C. Honey Smith hosting a Blues singing workshop inside building 10B at 1pm, to honor the outdoor installation Haint Blue Waves Triptych by artist Jaleeca R. Yancy. See below for details!
Carolyn “Honey” Smith: Think of Aretha Franklin, the sound of Sassy Sarah Vaughan, or the distinctive sound of Billie Holiday. Combine all of those sounds along with many other influences, and you will come up with the unforgettable sound of Carolyn “Honey” Smith. Born in Birmingham, Alabama, Carolyn began her singing, dancing and acting career at a very early age. Surrounded by music played on radio and recordings, Carolyn’s parents and grandparents encouraged her to be a musically well “rounded” person. From Gospel to Jazz and Rhythm and Blues, Carolyn’s music appreciation at home, school and church covered all areas. Some of the following have played a key role in her life: Mahalia Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Nancy Wilson, Dinah Washington, Charles Brown and Bessie Smith. Carolyn has appeared in the following musical productions; For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf, Willie Leroy is Back in Town, Deadwood Dick (Musical Spoof of the Wild West), Ghost Story Salute to Japan Something Special in Harlem.
Jaleeca R. Yancy, (b.1990) is a contemporary artist working with mixed media, paper, and textiles from Memphis, TN living in New York. Her abstract compositions are rooted in experimentation, radical imagination, and sustainability. She creates contemplative work prompted by self-identity, black culture, and mythology informed by history, literature, music, and spirituality. In the spring of 2022, Yancy presented her series Mother Nature's Daughter in her first gallery solo exhibition in her hometown, Memphis, TN, at Urèvbu Contemporary. Her works have been exhibited at Knowhere Art Gallery, The National Art Club, Bronx Art Space, Calabar Gallery, and Superchief Gallery. She has created public art murals for The Harlem Community Fridge supporting mutual aid for food insecurity, Paint Memphis, and Uptown Grand Central: Grand Scale Mural Project in Harlem. In the fall of 2022, she completed her first art residency Art Crawl Harlem Studio Residency on Governors Island. Jaleeca Yancy draws inspiration and encouragement from the uninhibited and consistent voice of Faith Ringgold, the exuberant exploration of color theory and vivaciousness of Alma Thomas, and the experimental forms of Sam Gilliam.
Ben “Moody” Harney is the founder of Mother Shuckers, the Only Oyster Cart in Brooklyn. Fascinated by the story of Thomas Downing, “the Oyster King of New York,” the son of freed slaves who peddled oysters on Wall Street in the late 1800s, and went on to open one of the most successful oyster restaurants of his time, Harney envisioned operating his own oyster cart. Ben believes the oyster could regain its place as an everyman’s food. Mother Shuckers along with more than 75 purveyors in New York City, donate all the shells to the Billion Oyster Project, an initiative to restore a billion oysters to the New York Harbor by 2035. Recycling the shells rebuilds the reefs so that new oyster populations can grow—as well as improving the water quality and stimulating a return of sea life.
About the West Harlem Art Fund
The West Harlem Art Fund (WHAF) is a twenty-five year old, public art and new media organization. Like explorers from the past, who searched for new lands and people, WHAF seek opportunities for artists and creative professionals throughout NYC and beyond wishing to showcase and share their talent. The West Harlem Art Fund presents art and culture in open and public spaces to add aesthetic interest; promote historical and cultural heritage; and support community involvement in local development. Our heritage symbol Afuntummireku-denkyemmtreku: is the double crocodile from West Africa Ghana which means unity in diversity.