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Vacant Store Windows Transformed into October Art Galleries

By Carla Zanoni | October 14, 2010 8:59am

By Carla Zanoni

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

UPPER MANHATTAN — Most stories that involve artists and real estate investors rarely have a happy ending.

But in the case of Northern Manhattan’s newest set of storefronts-turned-galleries, artists and real estate investors are happily cohabitating, sharing space and artwork throughout Harlem and Washington Heights.

Call it the recession’s silver lining.

The project is the collaboration of real estate investor Vantage and the Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance (NoMAA), who cosponsor the new exhibition featuring the work of ten Latino local artists titled “El Escaparate: A Storefront Art Show by Latinos Uptown.”

"This concept will make some truly impressive art seen every day by local residents,” Raquel Batista, vice president of corporate responsibility and compliance for Vantage, said in a statement.

Artists will show their work in the windows of three storefronts throughout Upper Manhattan until Oct. 29 at 3495 Broadway at W. 143rd St., 4101 Broadway at W. 173rd St. and 3855 Broadway at W. 161st St.

Featured artists include Carlos Almonte, Rene De los Santos, Pepe Coronado, Iliana Emilia Garcia, Scherezade Garcia, Florencio Gelabert, Dionis Ortiz, M. Tony Peralta, Favianna Rodriguez and Moses Ros-Suarez.

It’s not the first time artists have bandied about the idea of turning vacant storefronts into art spaces. This summer the UP Theater Group taped posters in vacant store windows asking to turn the spaces into theaters for area residents.