3 NYC Creatives Presenting their Artistry at Harlem Bazaar
Aside from the delicious eats at MHG festivals, artists from all over the city share and sell their work to patrons. Harlem Bazaar opened earlier this June to offer Uptown artists another opportunity and platform to exhibit their handiwork, as one would in the many galleries of the city.
But Harlem Bazaar is different from any old gallery or art show. International delicacies, musical performances from local bands, and obviously artisans displaying their craft make this festival distinct from the rest! Here is a small preview of a few of the many artists and crafters featured at Harlem Bazaar, each with unique, visually appealing expositions!
Lauren Livingston Artwork
Lauren Livingston’s artwork is diverse both in the subjects and mediums portrayed, with pieces spanning over portraits, t-shirts, hats, and West African influenced art. A common theme in Lauren’s art is the African diaspora, but they also expand into floral, political, and gender-neutral subjects.
One of Lauren’s pieces that caught my eye was one of their latest paintings from over the spring, called “Entanglement”. This piece interested me because it reminded me of the traditional African masks that play an important role in West African rituals and ceremonies.
After digging a little deeper into the meaning of the piece, Lauren describes it as being the love quadrangle between Shango, Oba, Oyá, and Oshun, who are Orishas. Orishas are deities from the Yoruba religion in West Africa. As the tale goes, Oba, Oyá, and Oshun are the wives of Shango, the king of the Oyo Empire.
Lauren uses geometric shapes and a traditional West African style to portray the relationship between Shango and his wives. Lauren incorporates “Entanglement” as the title, oding to the word made popular by Jada Pinkett-Smith in her affair with R&B singer August Alsina, against her husband, actor Will Smith.
Continuing with the theme of the African diaspora, kdDolls, a doll maker based in Harlem, creates dolls that carry historically and culturally accurate depictions of mainly African and Afro-Latina women wearing clothing and hairstyles associated with the cultures included.
kdDolls uses natural skin-colored fibers to create dolls with a plethora of personalities and traits so that every little girl or boy feels included with a doll similar to themselves. The quality of the clothing, fibers, and hair also make kdDolls a popular place for adults to use these immaculate figurines to display in their homes.
The differing hairstyles, skin colors, and patterns of clothing give patrons a unique experience in customizing a doll to their liking. With the tagline “Brown, Tan, Beige… We are all unique,” kdDolls pride themselves when a child who may be underrepresented in their toy playmates exclaims “This doll looks just like me!” Alongside exclusive designs and so many looks to choose from, the quality of kdDolls are made to be loved for generations.
Casa Cherrywood Carvings
Sabrina Santiago, creator of Casa Cherrywood Carvings, has a passion for wood carving that runs deep into her past within the greater Westchester/NYC artistic community. Sabrina uses reclaimed wood from the plenty of exotic trees that grow across North America. With pieces ranging from home decor to Charcuterie plates, Casa Cherrywood Carvings has something for everyone looking to buy high quality functional artworks.
While browsing through the different collections that Casa Cherrywood Carvings features, one tray caught my eye that brought so many elements of design into one piece. The tray is the shape of a Fender guitar, with the classic swoops and curves featured alongside the perimeter of the piece. The mold, a white tray in the Fender shape, works as a canvas for the other elements of the piece that fit inside of the outline.
A piece of reclaimed wood, carved into the shape of the right part of the Fender, slopes into the clear enamel that makes up the smooth qualities of the tray. And within the clear enamel is my favorite part of the piece, what looks like gold leaf sparkles and three cannabis leaves spread within the left of the Fender shape. The cannabis leaves make me imagine this piece as one of the coolest rolling trays a 420-friendly household could have, as well as a beautiful art piece that could second as home decor. That’s the amazing part about Casa Cherrywood Carvings, it’s all functional in your abode for a perfusion of needs.
You can visit all of these artists at Harlem Bazaar this summer and fall season in Harlem, right outside of the State Building on 125th Street. To learn more about Lauren Livingston, kdDolls, and Casa Cherrywood Carvings, visit their websites and keep up to date with their creations through their social media!