The Director's Blog

Goings on at the Casa Frela Gallery

HAWT Update 2013

lawrence Saturday, May 17, 2014
HAWT2013 Blue Foot Transparent

Featuring Harlem artist Michael Letzig at the Urban Art Farm located at 103 West 119th Street.

10 years and we're still walking!

lawrence Friday, February 07, 2014
10 Years
Wow - 10 years and we’re still walking!

In this banner year, the tour continues to increase its footprint to include artists and venues that have been instrumental in HAWT’s growth. We appreciate our community partners and enjoy growing with them!

In 2013, our environmental element evolved, as Casa Frela Gallery HAWT’s parent organization, was granted space to build a garden – which we did with the help of artists and community, and also partnered with MillionTrees.org to give tree workshops and foster environmental awareness.

HAWT’s community partners include Emblem Health, who so generously donated hundreds of cloth bags, which several HAWT™ artists put their ‘magic touches’ on, so that each guest walked away from Casa Frela Gallery with a true work of art. HAWT™ also partnered with new Harlemites, Artist and Craftsmen Art Store, who hosted the Artist Meet-and-Greet reception on the eve of the tour.

We are very proud to say that all purchases for HAWT’s needs were and are purchased right here in Harlem.

It's our ongoing goal to give our visitors a deeper insight to what we know and love about Harlem and offer a distinct taste of what Harlem has to offer. We invite you in to meet our artists, visit our restaurants and shops, kick back and relax with the community and take away a piece of Harlem with you. Come on by and get to know us.

We’re proud to be part of the OHNY (Open House New York) weekend as a key stop on the OHNY tour.

So I’m walkin’! But catch me if you can – I’d love to meet you!
HAWT™ to trot,
Lawrence Rodriguez

Harlem Roots: New Seed-Laced artwork is a Living, Growing Tapestry

System Administrator Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Harlem Roots: New Seed-Laced artwork is a Living, Growing Tapestry
By Kevin Lee, 11/18/13

Art has taken root in Harlem – literally. For the next month, Harlem gallery Casa Frela will be exhibiting Michelle Brody's Harlem Roots, a mixed-media showcase of recyclable paper laced with seeds that will actually grow. Brody’s latest work is an environmental installation that blends together handmade sheets of paper with classic watermarking techniques for a display that will change as the embedded plants sprout and bloom!

Brody created the paper craftwork for Harlem Roots by forming her own sheets of recycled paper. It’s a technique that’s helpful the to environment, but also allows Brody to employ old watermarking techniques to imprint the pages with designs. The method paints art inside of paper in the same way dollar bills or resume are watermarked. The intricate technique allows the art to create a sense of depth even on something as two-dimensional as paper.

The paper art was also planted with wheatgrass and beans sprout seeds. On most of the Harlem Roots pieces, you’re actually seeing the roots of the plant. While Brody arranged the seeds in a particular fashion, she allowed the roots to fan out naturally, letting life take on its own shape. Alternatively, other pieces also use the roots to form a natural binding element to connect multiple sheets of paper.

For this particular group of pieces, Brody created a set of ghostly pamphlet-sized books. Each page resembles the surrounding brownstone houses around Casa Frela with roots to represent the current rebirth of Harlem and how the community and arts are taking root in the neighborhood.

The Harlem Roots gallery will be open daily at Casa Frela from now to December 9, 12pm to 4pm. The exhibit welcomes everyone to see the art and if they like it enough, the works are for sale as well. For the next two Tuesdays and Saturdays, members of the community are also invited to create their own miniature gardens out of handmade sheets of recycled paper. Towards the end of the exhibition, Brody will hold classes with the Union Square Grassman to teach children more about the importance of plants and their nutritional value.

The Pied Piper of Harlem

lawrence Friday, September 06, 2013
Piper The 2013 Harlem Art Walk Tour (HAWT™) kicks off with an Artist Reception on Friday, October 11th at 7:30PM – 9:30PM at Artist & Craftsman Supply, 2108 Adam Clayton Powell Blvd., and continues with the tour on Saturday, October 12th and Sunday, October 13th from noon to 6pm at over twenty-five venues throughout Central Harlem (free).

Artist & Craftsman Supply - Art Store in Harlem

lawrence Sunday, July 14, 2013
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We are excited to welcome the Artist & Craftsman Supply Art Store located at 2108 ACP Jr. Blvd to the HAWT 2013 art tour. Artist & Craftsman Supply will be hosting the 2013 HAWt reception on Friday, Oct 11th, 2013 for 7pm to 9pm. For more information about Artist & Craftsman Supply please visit www.artistcraftsman.com.

Rain Harvesting System Workshop

lawrence Saturday, May 18, 2013
Rain Harvesting System

Rain Harvesting System Workshop sponsor by Citizen Committee

This hands-on workshop will take you through the steps involved in building a basic rain harvesting system. Learn about the importance of water conservation, good surface areas from which to catch rain, and how to put together and maintain your system.


lawrence Wednesday, May 15, 2013
The Bench with Flowers

Garden Update

Look at the bench we made. The rocks, stones and slate were once buried in the lot. We added the flowers donated by The Butterfly Project.

Now, it's a piece of art with an attitude.


About The Butterfly Project

The Butterfly Project is a working group of gardeners, Scientists, Teachers, Students, Environmentalists, and Others promoting planting native plants for pollinators.

List of free plants we received from The Butterfly Project:

Aromatic Aster – Aster Oblongifolius
Larkspur – Delphinium Exaltatum
Trumpet Honeysuckle – Lonicera Noveboracensis
Blue Star – Amsonia “Blue Ice”
Smooth Phlox – Phlox Glaberrima “Triple Play”
Wreath Geranium – Solidago Caesia
Mountain Mint – Pycnanthemum Muticum
Zigzag – Goldenrod - Solidago Flexicalis
Wild Blue Phlox – Phlox Divericata
New York Fern – Thelypteris Noveboracensis
Poverty - - Juncus Tenuis

Please visit www.butterflyprojectnyc.org for more info

HAWT 2013 "save-the-date cards are here!

lawrence Tuesday, May 14, 2013
"Save-the-date" cards

We will distributing the HAWT 2013 "Save-the-date" cards through out Central Harlem in shops, restaurants and community centers over the next few days. If anyone would like to pick up any cards. They will be in a box outside of Casa Frela Gallery at 47 West 119th Street, between Lenox and 5th Ave. Cards designed by Allicette Torres for HAWT.