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Fashion District Arts Fest to Feature Gallery Shows at Port Authority

By Mathew Katz | October 18, 2012 11:18am

MIDTOWN — Talk about shabby chic.

The Fashion District's annual Arts Festival will this year include art and photography gracing the walls of the Port Authority Bus Terminal.

The arts fest runs from Thursday to Saturday, and organizers are hoping the eighth-annual event will help show off the creative energy that fuels the fashion-focused neighborhood.

The goal, organizers said, is to draw back the curtain on the many artists who work in a neighborhood that's more known for its buses than its art scene.

"This isn't a big gallery or museum district, so a lot of it is behind the scenes," said Jerry Scupp, vice president of the Fashion Center Business Improvement District.

"It's the nature of the district — we don't have boutiques or fashion shows, but this is where the artists and designers work."

The city's bus terminal will have three separate gallery shows, including works by Tony Montanez and Monica Tavarez in the south wing.

Most strikingly, the Fashion Center BID will fill the windows of an empty storefront in the bus terminal's north wing with photos by the Camera Club of New York.

"It's such wonderful photography that you might not expect there, walking through the Port Authority," said Scupp. "And it's better than brown paper on windows."

Dozens of artists will also host open studios receptions, inviting the public to see the spaces where they work. Among the artists opening up shop are painters Rifka Milder, Arleen Joseph and Cecile Brunswick, along with photographer Julie Mardin.

A wide variety of artists will be showing off their works, along with a selection of off-Broadway plays and comedy shows, including an improv performance by Manhattan Comedy and a puppet performance of Leo Tolstoy's "Kholstomer: The Story of a Horse" at the Baryshnikov Arts Center.

Most of the events are free, though a handful will require ticket purchase in advance.

A full schedule of events is available on the Fashion Center's website.