Blumenfeld Development Group, Ltd. (BDG) and Brookfield, on behalf of East River Plaza, in partnership with the Save the Gates of Harlem will come together with the Harlem community to celebrate icon Franco “Franco the Great” Gaskin’s gate murals.
Franco “Franco the Great” Gaskin’s gate murals of which several are permanently displayed at the East River Plaza Atrium. The celebration will take place on Wednesday, July 24, 2019, at 11:00 a.m. at the East River Plaza (520 East 117th St. East Harlem).
“Franco the Great” also commonly known as the “Picasso of Harlem,” is a famous artist internationally known for his New Art form, created over 25 years ago. Over the past two decades, he has painted murals on metal storefront gates along 125th Street in Harlem, transforming the street into his outdoor gallery.
When Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968, the riots in Harlem left the area in dismal condition, with a sea of gray security gates protecting the storefronts. Seeing this as an opportunity to create a better environment in his neighborhood, the Harlem Gates was born. When the stores were closed Franco would paint murals of what he hoped for Harlem’s future – more than 200 over the past 40+ years.
In recent years, some of Gaskin’s gates have been replaced as new city requirements have been adopted as the 125th street corridor continues to evolve. East River Plaza, along with Save the Gates of Harlem, worked together to preserve several of Gaskin’s gates, and to ensure the community can still enjoy the artwork by displaying the gates at the East River Plaza.
Local performers and mentees of Gaskin will perform tributes in honor of the famed artist.
Wednesday, July 24, 2019, 11:00 a.m.
RSVP: Gina Torres-Dukes, (646) 789-6270, firstname.lastname@example.org
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East River Plaza, Garage 520 E 117th St. East Harlem, Garage entrance off of 117th St.