Collage NYC

By Kemett Timms

An eclectic group of New Yorkers convenes to create unique art on Tuesday nights in the Lower Eastside. With some holding a cocktail in hand and others a paintbrush, artists from the Bronx, Brooklyn, Harlem and Queens come to participate in Collage NYC’s Special Live Art Tribute event.

Hosted by art curator Kevin Michael and New York dance artist and filmmaker Savior Elmundo, Collage NYC at the Delancey Bar is a networking event for graffiti artists, painters and connoisseurs of freestyle art. But, unlike typical networking events that offer you conversations and drinks, Collage NYC offers you the unique experience of watching some of New York’s premiere artists paint in front of an attentive audience.

“We have been here since 2010. There are no other live art networking events in New York,” said Kevin Michael. “We are proud that we can contribute to the creativity of the New York art scene by connecting graffiti artists and painters from their perspective boroughs. Collage NYC has created a creative space for artists to come together to socialize, exchange ideas, and paint.”

Each week, starting at 7 pm, Collage NYC hosts a different Special Live Art Tribute show. Previous tributes included Michael Jackson, Prince, Walt Disney, and Andy Warhol. On September 12, Collage NYC had a Special Live Art Birthday Tribute to hip hop artist Nas.

Entering the red-lit space, there was an intimate vibe. The six artists who were painting their tributes to Nas were focused and approachable. It wasn’t hard for an art fan to converse with the painter while painting. In fact, the painters welcomed the chance to discuss the inspiration for their paintings.

Art fan Myra Colon with Bronx native celebrity graffiti artist Hektad.

Another unique experience is the freestyle dancers that performed to the Hip Hop sounds of Nas while the artists painted. The spontaneity of the freestyle dancers and the mystery of what each artist was painting added an unexpected creativity that had me day dreaming of my artistic abilities. While I am not a painter, I was inspired to rearrange my living room after attending.

There isn’t a cover charge and crowd attendance can vary depending on the tribute. According to Kevin Michael, the event doesn’t always call for a huge audience. “All creativity needs are the creators, a DJ spinning a mix of Hip Hop, R&B, reggae, and salsa music, and happy hour drinks, at least that is what keeps me coming back to Collage NYC. And of course you never know what celebrity graffiti artist you will meet”, said art fan Myra Colon.

The networking ends at 2 am, and the paintings created during the event are available for purchase.

More info about Collage NYC can be accessed via their Facebook page

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