BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — A Bed-Stuy art gallery is using a new exhibit about old-school street and board games to give neighborhood families a little extra holiday cheer.
The House of Art Gallery, at 408 Marcus Garvey Boulevard, is asking people to "gift a game" for underserved children at the Bedford-Stuyvesant Early Head Start Program this Christmas to help "encourage fun, education and positive social interactions among young children," according to gallery owner Richard Beavers.
The board game donations are part of "House of Art Cares," a program run by Beavers to give back to the community he works in, the gallery owner said said.
"We've been in the neighborhood for six years now, and we consider ourselves a fixture in the community," Beavers said. "So we thought of it as a responsibility to give back."
The fundraising is in conjunction with the gallery's latest exhibit, "The Games We Played," which asked artists to come up with work inspired by classic kids games from their youth, including tabletop games like dominos and Monopoly alongside street games like double-dutch and skelly.
Beavers was inspired to create the exhibit after seeing the work of Guy Stanley Philoche, who created a series of paintings inspired by the game Monopoly.
"It took me back to a place I had not been in years," Beavers said.
The gallery owner reached out to Philoche and other artists he's worked with — including Jamel Shabazz, Frank Morrison and Leroy Campbell — the create the exhibit, which features paintings of stickball players and men playing dominos.
And on Dec. 14 at noon, Morrison will be at the gallery helping kids create new artwork based on the games they play.
Inspired by the memories of his childhood, Beavers wanted to give the kids from Head Start the opportunity to create their own memories.
"How many families sit down and have game night?" Beavers said. "It's a tradition we've gotten away from in society."
To donate a game contact Kai Lawson at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the gallery at (347)663-8195.