Check out this great New York Times article about our artists and the art show:
Opening Doors by Day, Painting on Canvases by Night
In the basement of a co-op in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, the superintendent’s workshop includes all the usual accessories, like screwdrivers and saws, a bare floor and a vise grip, as well as a whole lot of paint — but it’s not that kind of paint.
This super, Hiram Rodríguez, is a painter. Most evenings he can be found sitting in that narrow room with a brush in his hand and a canvas propped up on his workbench, just next to a circular saw. And for the next few weeks, two of his finished works will hang in another office space where the delicate urgency of artistic endeavor is not generally the first thing that springs to mind: the headquarters of 32BJ, the country’s largest building service workers union.
For the last eight years, 32BJ has invited its members, who spend their days working as doormen, porters, janitors and window washers, to submit their artwork for a monthlong art show. Each year it has quietly grown, bringing more paintings, photographs, poems and sculptures to hallways sheathed in sharp fluorescent light. And behind each agitated portrait and every glowing photograph that hangs in this giant union, there is the shared reality of nearly every artist’s experience.
“It doesn’t pay medical,” said Robert Santorelli, a carpenter, a photographer and a doorman at 301 East 78th Street on the Upper East Side.
Nonetheless, the artwork piles up.