The Bronx’s Next Affordable Housing Complex Will Have a Hip Hop Museum, and Other News

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Bronx Point, which will house the Universal Hip Hop Museum

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The Bronx will soon receive an affordable housing project with its own hip hop museum.

In early 2021, construction will begin on Bronx Point, a giant mixed-use complex that will bring 542 units of permanently affordable housing, a public park, community and retail spaces, and the Universal Hip Hop Museum, which will chronicle the music genre’s local creation and global spread. Led by the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) with private developers and city agencies, the project helps tackle the city’s ongoing affordable housing crisis with an approach that responds to the community’s specific needs. “One thing that sets this project apart is just the scale of it,” Douglas Land, real estate transaction senior associate at the EDC, says of the project, which features design work from L+M Development Partners, TypeAProjects, S9 Architecture, Marvel Architects, and Abel Bainnson Butz. “We’re able to achieve so many of these benefits because the project is so large.” Though the project’s opening date is three years out, it was recently named a winner of the Annual Awards for Excellence in Design from the city’s Public Design Commission.

German and French museums are facing more lockdowns as coronavirus cases surge.

As a second wave of coronavirus cases continues to batter Europe, cultural institutions in Germany and France face the possibility of extended closures. French president Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced a new round of restrictions on public spaces last week, leading to closures of major institutions such as the Louvre and Musée d’Orsay, which announced they would remain closed until further notice. “We have to act in order to avoid an acute national health emergency,” Merkel said of a four-week partial shutdown that includes restaurants, bars, and cinemas.

A “Bob Ross experience,” which includes studio tours and painting tutorials, opens in Indiana.

Bob Ross never cared to brag about his creative prowess; rather, he painted to show how good of an artist you, the viewer, could be. Throughout the run of The Joy of Painting, which aired on PBS for 31 seasons and comprised more than 400 episodes, the late art instructor completed approximately 1,000 oil paintings of serene landscape scenes. This past weekend, a bona fide “Bob Ross Experience” opened in Muncie, Indiana—the same city where he filmed The Joy of Painting for 11 years. Comprising an exhibition, studio tour, and painting workshop series at the Minnetrista museum, the experience granted a lucky group of masked visitors access to Ross’s studio, where they could pose with his easel, palette, and the set of brushes he used to create “happy little trees.” Some visitors were reportedly reduced to tears.

David Zwirner will publish a book that highlights Yayoi Kusama’s poetic use of language.

Marking the launch of a new group show, “20/20,” at David Zwirner Gallery in New York, Yayoi Kusama has issued a message that laments the worldwide tumult caused by the coronavirus. “I find it so lamentable, The alarming, unwonted ordeal that has come upon us. O demons of unwonted fate. We will stand and face you,” says Kusama, accompanying four paintings from her ongoing My Eternal Soul series that stars in the show. Next month, the gallery will also publish a book that focuses on “the essential role language plays in her paintings, sculptures, and daily life.” Described as “the artist’s most personal book to date,” Yayoi Kusama: Every Day I Pray for Love: Art and Collected Poetry will comprise her paintings, sculptures, Infinity Rooms, and an overview of her poetry that highlights the captivating titles of her works. 

Light of Freedom by Abigail DeVille at Madison Square Park. Photography by Andy Romer

In Madison Square Park, a giant torch by Abigail DeVille illuminates Black histories.

When Abigail DeVille was approached by the nonprofit Madison Square Park Conservancy to create a large-scale sculpture at the park, the Bronx-based artist turned to Lady Liberty. Open to the public through January 2021, Light of Freedom reimagines the giant monument’s torch to critique the promise of freedom it offered to immigrants and enslaved people in America over the centuries. In DeVille’s signature style, the artwork features an assemblage of found objects—in this case, discarded mannequin limbs replicating a blue flame—that echoes a worksite, symbolizing the notion that progress toward freedom is collective and ongoing. “Art in civic space can often react to pressing issues literally and metaphorically,” Brooke Kamin Rapaport, deputy director and chief curator of the Madison Square Park Conservancy, said in a statement. “DeVille’s work is uplifting and contemplative in its recognition of the pandemic, protests, and the election season.”

Puppy by Jeff Koons at Guggenheim Bilbao

Today’s attractive distractions:

Peek at the Forbes Pigment Collection’s meticulously preserved samples.

Jeff Koons’ Puppy sculpture is wearing a mask of blue-and-white flowers.

Jay-Z officially launches his first cannabis line with the weed brand Caliva.

York Wallcoverings curates a series of prints that reflect the 2020 mood.


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