The Essex Street Market is a cultural staple of the Lower East Side. The diversity of the vendors allows visitors to experience the market and community’s evolution—a balance between old and new, past and present, converging in one place. Since its founding in 2001, Cuchifritos Gallery & Project Space has brought contemporary art into this environment in order to facilitate a dialogue between artists, the Market and the greater LES community. Over the last twelve years, we have investigated the market’s history, blurred the line between market and gallery space, and even invited vendors to curate.
Our original goal in establishing an art gallery in the Market was to provoke interaction and debate between the multi-cultural community of the LES and the artists living and working there. While our mission has remained intact, we also feel it is necessary to bring artists and community members together in dialogue about the area’s redevelopment. With the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area (SPURA) redevelopment taking place, and significant changes to both the neighborhood and Market ahead, we are taking this opportunity to look back at our beginnings in order to look forward and envision a new Lower East Side.
For this exhibition, we revisit our very first show at Cuchifritos, Photo-Mart, and once again hand the role of artist over to the Essex Street Market vendors to see the market/neighborhood through their eyes. Concurrently, we will exhibit ideas for the ground floor of the SPURA sites contributed by community members during New Museum’s IDEAS CITY Festival. Visitors to the gallery will also be invited to contribute their own vision for a new LES and add them to the exhibition.
ALL PRINTS FOR SALE! Proceeds go towards supporting future artists and curators exhibiting at Cuchifritos Gallery.
We thank the following vendors for their participation and support:
Porto Rico Importing Co
Nordic Preserves Fish & Wildlife
Rainbo’s Fish/Tra La La Juice Bar
Heritage Meat Shop
Ni Japanese Delicacies
The Lower East Side Girls Club
Above image courtesy of Brooklyn Taco
Cuchifritos is FREE to the public and handicap accessible. Located inside Essex Street Market at the south end nearest Delancey.
Cuchifritos Gallery & Project Space is a program of Artists Alliance Inc, a 501c3 not for profit organization located on the Lower East Side of New York City within the Clemente Soto Velez Cultural and Educational Center. Cuchifritos is supported in part by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. This program is made possible by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. We thank the following for their generous support: Foundation for Contemporary Arts, New York City Economic Development Corporation and individual supporters of Artists Alliance Inc. Special thanks go to our team of dedicated volunteers, without whom this program would not be possible.